Friday, August 7, 2015

Sports Performance Institute Brings Personal Touch to Rugby Training in Cleveland

The Cleveland area can easily be called a hot bed of rugby in the state of Ohio. From a strong youth program and renowned high school teams to club teams that are consistently at the top of their league, Cleveland’s rugby players are comparable to some of the best out there. Now, thanks to the hard work of a few new members of the city’s rugby community, the city is going to get its first rugby-specific training site focused on keeping players operating at top gear both with their health and development.

Over the past few years, a group of personal trainers and rugby enthusiasts came up with an idea for a training center that would service the rugby community of the Cleveland area. There was still one question that lingered.

“How do we create a facility to merge the things that you need to do in your personal training type scenarios,” said Michael Piaser, one of the brains behind the new sports complex. “How do you merge that into the sports side of things?”

The idea was simple: have one building that male and females players of all ages could go to in an effort to improve on their skills and train their bodies in ways that would allow them to recover from injuries more quickly and resist getting them at all. That place will be called the Sports Performance Institute.

With this idea solidified, Piaser and his team decided to serve the rugby community with their new facility. Not only is rugby’s popularity growing but there simply wasn’t anything specialized for rugby players in the area.

Piaser brings direction to the dream, helping ensure that everything is planned out and executed properly. The plan is to have a location in the Valley View area be the one-stop-shop for any and all player improvement needs. According to Piaser, the facility will have a very unique set-up as well.

“Our facility will be half turf and half training things,” he said. “The turf is not going to be big enough to play games but it is big enough to run drills and do training on skills. I think that’s a pretty meaningful thing.”

The facility won’t be just a gym with turf, though. The service that will set the location apart from others like it will be the guidance provided to players. According to Piaser, trainers at the location will guide athletes through individually designed exercise plans. The planning will be essential to players’ future improvement. This service will welcome teams and players to the facility but also act as consultants to teams set farther away from the facility. That way everyone has equal access to the quality services the Institute plans to provide. It is this commitment and approach that will set SPI apart from all the other gyms in the area.

Once the plan was made, it came time to bring it to the masses; and Piaser’s group did so in a meaningful and methodical way that ensured the rugby community would be on board and that the support the Institute needs to succeed will be there from the start.

“We’ve got a good plan,” Piaser said. “We’ve really got a good product, here. Now, let’s just make sure that we’re right. If what we develop is successful and really does the things we say it is going to do, the community is going to be like, ‘That’s cool.’”

From the start, this endeavor has been a community-centric project and when it came time to pitch the idea, Piaser and his team went straight to the people they would be servicing. The group spoke with high school coaches as far as Medina as well as local backing groups like the 1964 Foundation and the men’s teams in the area. This approach was key because the people behind SPI want to be a gathering and rallying point for all players and coaches in the area. According to Piaser, the reception from the rugby community has been positive.

“So far, the feedback has been pretty positive,” he said. “This is a win-win for everybody.”

In order to ensure that every member of the rugby community can be catered to, the Institute will have staff members that specialize in speed, strength, conditioning as well as a litany of other area. According to Piaser, there will be people that specialize in working with female players as well.

Though the Institute’s launch is still a few weeks away, players and coaches can get in on the ground floor and declare their interest in what will be offered. Those interested in reserving their spot at the Sports Performance Institute can go to the Web site and register.

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