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The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

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Morgan Sponholtz is a sophomore reporter and it is her first year on staff. She is also involved in Theatre, Choir, Hacky Sack and Sending Luv club. Outside of school she enjoys hanging with friends, baking,...

FEATURE: Athletic Training Programs

Student athletes continue their training at local athletic programs
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Isabelle Prô
Working hard, sophomore Madeleine Landry throws the ropes during her workout. Landry has been going to Ubuntu performance for two years. “My favorite part is the environment and the people,” Landry said.

During high school, 91% of athletes report injuries. To contest these statistics, many focus on injury prevention at these facilities. When student-athletes are in need of extra training, local gyms like Ubuntu Performance Training or Evolution Athletics open their doors for them to strengthen skills outside of their sports. These facilities use weight and athletic focused training to help athletes improve.

Ubuntu Performance Training:

Science teacher Kelly Barah opened Ubuntu Performance Training nine years ago, but said he’s been training athletes “forever.” Barah said he opened Ubuntu to make extra connections with students and give athletes an environment where they can focus on their needs. Along with their typical training, Ubuntu athletes exercise for around an hour and 45 minutes three times a week, focusing on sports-specific training.

The training facilitie’s name, Ubuntu, is often described as “I am who I am because of who we are; family.”

Furthermore, Barah said the Ubuntu environment feels like family and is very encouraging.

“You would have to see it to believe it. It’s truly a group that feels like they have all one family, so it’s a pretty unique and amazing deal,” Barah said.

Evolution Athletics:

Evolution Athletics has been training athletes for over 16 years. There are certified training staff with over 20 years of experience, focusing on technique over weight and quality over quantity. Athletes can choose between 1-3 days of 60-75 minute training classes to learn and gain experience with evolution trainers’ help while still having independence to focus on specific skills. Evolution also has flexible training programs for athletes with busy schedules.

Evolution says it is a judgment-free program available to athletes and beginners with no experience. They believe building a foundation is the most critical aspect of athletic training, which helps prevent injury. Freshman and Evolution Athletics athlete Giuliana Velilla said the environment and coaches are very encouraging.

“It’s really positive. A lot of times they’ll try to push you,” Velilla said.

Trainers from Evolution Athletics and Ubuntu said having a foundation is essential when training to prevent injury. There’s training specific to beginners and advanced athletes through these programs, along with recovery and off-season focused exercises. Barah said the secret to athletes’ improvement is getting individualized training.

“When you have an opportunity to focus a little bit with an athlete on your individual needs, it doesn’t matter where you go; you will always end up getting better,” Barah said.

Landry and Huggins said Barah’s support has helped them become better athletes and people, and it’s helped them both mentally and physically improve. Ubuntu training focuses not only on the physical piece of training but also on the psychological side of athletics. Barah said he aims to make the athletes attending Ubuntu better athletes and better people.

“He definitely helps people mentally and prepares you for different situations in sports or in life in general,” Huggins said.

About the Contributors
Corinne Kingsley
Corinne Kingsley, Reporter
Corinne Kingsley is a sophomore at Free State and a reporter for Free State Journalism. She is on the Free State Dance Team and competes on a competition dance team outside of school. In her free time she likes to hangout with friends and family, read, and travel.
Isabelle Prô
Isabelle Prô, Yearbook Photo Editor
Isabelle is a senior and is involved in cross county and track. Outside of sports, she is the Photo Editor of the yearbook. At home, she loves to hangout with her dog.
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