Training in Young Athletes: Investment or Expense?

Sean-Thomas Faulkner
October 3, 2023
Training in Young Athletes: Investment or Expense?

If I told you that you could invest $1,000 today to receive $180,000 in ten years, would you? What about $5,000 or even $10,000? When considering the cost of athletic performance training, there is often a misconception that it is a recurring expense that is the cost of increasing athletic ability. However, I believe that the money spent on training is an investment. In my personal experience, it is an investment that saved my parents and me hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition costs for me to obtain not only one but two college degrees.

From the time I was in Kindergarten, I was blessed with athletic talents greater than most of my peers. I vividly remember racing my classmates on the playground and almost always coming in first. On the football field, I was always the best player on my team due to my natural speed and the ability to outrun everyone. I took advantage of this privilege and didn’t ever look to find ways to increase my athleticism. Why would I? I was already the best just by just showing up. I had a dream that I was going on to become a big-time college athlete.

Fast forward to middle school. I started to realize that everyone was catching up to me. I slowly went from the fastest kid in school, to probably not even in the top 5. However, I was still one of the most talented football players so my decrease in athleticism was under-exaggerated. I was still a big fish in a small pond. Once I entered high school, my slow realization that I was losing a step turned into a complete smack in the face. I was now a small fish in a big pond. Everyone was bigger, stronger, and faster than me. For the first time in my life, I spent the majority of my time watching games from the sidelines rather than being the star. No matter how great my football skill was, I could not overcome the deficit in athletic ability.  Something had to change or my dream of playing college football was never going to come to fruition.

Following my Freshman year, a friend of mine’s dad introduced me to Coach Mike Johnson. At the time, I had no clue that he would change my life. For our first session, Coach Mike had us do testing to get baseline numbers for us. We did the broad jump, 5-10-5 shuttle, and the 40-yard dash. I thought I was still decently fast and would excel in these tests. We got our results back and was not fast, I was slow. My 40-yard dash time was 5.2 seconds. To put this in perspective the average collegiate skill player runs in the range of 4.5-4.7 seconds. I was running at the same time as most offensive linemen. I was devastated. While I was worried, Coach Mike was not. He could see my potential and knew that If I put in the work, he could get me to where I needed to be.

After two years of training with Mike, my athleticism finally started to catch up with my football skills. I started to grab the attention of college coaches and eventually landed a partial scholarship to The Citadel. I went on to earn a full scholarship for the final three years of undergraduate and then went on to earn a full scholarship to finish my career at the university where I earned my MBA. In total, I was awarded over $180,000 worth of scholarships and two degrees. Without the help of athletic performance training, I would have most likely been either a walk-on paying my way through school or not playing football at all.

When deciding to invest in performance training for your athlete, do not be quick to assume that you are just paying for them to become a better youth league athlete. You are investing in their athletic future. At some point, they will enter a world where millions of kids are competing for thousands of opportunities. What will separate them from everyone else?

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