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The Role of a Performance Coach in Today’s Travel

Alex Williams

Sports performance is often an “a la carte” option for parents and athletes. We play an
important role in an athlete’s development but often are a lower priority compared to games, practice,
school, family, and friends. With this in mind, we strive to get the most out of each and every interaction
with our athletes. The climate of youth athletics has changed. Schedules are fuller for longer durations.
Volleyball has turned into a year round sport if you play in a competitive club, and other sports are
similar. A school season starts in August and finishes in November. Typically by January, club season is in
full swing until June. Out of 12 months, most athletes are playing 9-10 months out of the year. This
schedule gets even busier for multi-sport athletes who may be playing a spring sport for school and a
travel or club team during that same season.

Time of year can impact what demands an athlete can be dealing with. Games, practices, and
tournaments can be a weekly reality for many athletes. As performance coaches, it is important to
understand that the stresses these athletes face also can include school, family, friends, and
relationships. The totality of these stresses can greatly impact how a training session looks. Track
athletes practicing 4 times a week should not spend the one hour they come in to OPS doing more

Athletes HAVE to go to games. They HAVE to go to practices, tournaments, showcases, etc. They
don’t HAVE to train. Our time with an individual is often a luxury. A travel season often includes weeks
of 2-3 practices, travel on a Friday, and 2-3 games with more travel on a Sunday. Fitting in a training
session is great, and encouraged, but by the time we see them their battery is drained. I’ve always liked
the analogy of an individual’s battery like a traffic light. Green means go – the athlete feels good, the
schedule might’ve lightened up, or there aren’t any scheduled competitions for a few days. These are
days to attack and get after it. Yellow – not bad, not great. The athlete may be coming from a practice,
may have an important tournament approaching. These days are typically treated as normal but
intensity might be reduced. Red – the athlete is dealing with a heavy practice or game load, mental &
physical fatigue could be present. The athlete needs to be “reset”. Our job on red days is to make sure
the athlete feels better leaving than when they came in the building.

We have to be the most adaptable coach or trainer the athlete works with. Once we take into
account all the demands an individual is faced with, it’s up to us to fill the empty buckets. A high school
football athlete is likely deadlifting and squatting during team lifts. They likely aren’t addressing mobility
work. An in-season basketball athlete does not need to come to a training session and work on hopping
and jumps, they are getting exposure to hundreds of reps during practices and games throughout their
week. Recently, one of my hockey athletes spoke to me about doing a lateral squat. He said he was sore
for 5 days and could feel it during games. We talked about how as a hockey player this is a motion he’s
doing over and over during games and practice. He was overdoing it. Instead, we discussed how we
need to start strengthening his adductors – a muscle that often gets stretched during a hockey stride.

AAU and travel sports are more demanding now than they were 5-10 years ago. This isn’t bad,
it’s just a reality. Between school seasons and travel/club athletes are now playing more games, having
more practices, and have less down time. When we are fortunate enough to be a part of their schedules,
we should treat it as a luxury. Ultimately, our role as a Performance Coach is to make sure that our
athlete is able to perform at the best of their ability when they need to. Sometimes this is as simple as
getting them stronger, and sometimes it’s giving them a reset and recharging their battery.

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Discounts available for Lutheran Health Network Employees, Military, First Responders, and Students. Contact membership sales for more information. 

Premium ClasseS


A first of its kind in Indiana, OPS is proud to feature a 42-bike cycle room featuring Stages Studio bikes and programming. Escape the grind of everyday life with this high energy, party on a bike workout!

Adult Performance Training

Break out of your old mold and experience life changing results with Level Up! Adult Training. Learn from our certified performance coaches and discover a new community of motivated peers, as you uncover your inner athlete.

Additional fees apply. 

Barre Burn

What to Expect

Barre combines ballet inspired moves with elements of Pilates, yoga and strength training. This class will focus on high reps of small range of movements working those intricate muscle groups for a total body burn. This class is unheated!


Equipment Used

Ballet Bar, light hand weights, mat, gliding discs, bands

class length

45 mins

class times

Monday | 8:15 am

This class is included in your membership.

OPS Chiropractic care and therapy

Dr. Goins and Dr. Russell’s goal is to get to the root cause of your pain or movement impairment.  Using a combination of muscle testing, functional and orthopedic testing, and gait analysis, they work to more clearly identify what is driving the dysfunction.  Then a personalized game plan is put together, including at-home exercises aimed at isolating and building up the proper areas.  Whether it’s getting out of pain or boosting performance, they can give you the tools to get you there.

Call (260) 479-2752 to schedule an appointment. 

Offices are located in the new OPS Fitness Club located off of Dupont Rd. 

Meet the Team



Dr. Jason Russell, DC

Executive Director, Chiropractor


Dr. Nick Goins, DC

Director of Health and Wellness, Chiropracter

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