Impact Training: The key to youth fitness and performance success




by Ryan Ketchum


The title of this blog might be a little misleading.  I am not going to talk about ground contacts, high impact training exercises, or anything related to movements or programming.  I want to discuss the impact that we have on the youth that we work with and the effect it has on your business and, more importantly, their lives.


I always tell our staff that we have a profound impact on the perception of this entire field every time that we work with a client or athlete.   This is something that I have used to make sure I give the best in every session for the past 6 years, and built a thriving business because of it!


Think about dentists, doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists, and any other service profession, if you know someone that has had a single bad experience they automatically have the perception that all others in the field must be the same.   Do you ever want to be the cause for someone thinking that youth fitness and sports performance coaches are anything but exceptional people that have a high level of knowledge and skill? 


I shudder at the thought of giving someone the perception that all coaches were terrible at their profession, didn’t care about the clients/athletes, and got people hurt.


Each time you get the pleasure of coaching it must be in your mind that you are going to give the best possible coaching you can provide that day.  You never know when someone might be having a bad day, is down on their luck, or just don’t want to be there.  If you don’t give them your best and they don’t enjoy the training mom and dad might determine that your training program isn’t a needed expense.


How many lives can we change in one day?  5, 10, 20?  


Every training session is a chance to change a life.  You can alter the course of a kid’s future with one conversation. 


If you don’t believe me I have proof! 


We had an athlete come to our facility that was not your ideal training client.  His family was broke, his family life was less than stellar, and he was in trouble all the time. However, this kid had a gift!  He is one of the most exceptional athletes that I have ever seen or had the pleasure to work with.   


This particular athlete could not afford training with us.  My business partner, Wil Fleming, took it upon himself to be role model and mentor.   We scholarshipped his training, Wil made every effort to keep him on the path to success and fed him when he might have not had meals.    I am not saying this to brag or ask for kudos, I am letting you get an inside look at what having an impact on a young athlete’s life really means.  


This athlete has overcame all of his troubles, worked through all of his bad decisions and climbed out of holes most of us couldn’t imagine to be a rising star in collegiate athletics today.   He is a starter, as a true freshman, at a BCS level school.   He is going to shine.


I can only imagine that Wil had a great impact on this kids success.   He stood by him and believed in him when no one else would give him another shot.   What could have happened had they never met, or if we passed him off to the next person that didn’t have his best interest in mind?


This is the type of impact that we should be working on providing for our athletes in every training session. When you create an impact like this on several dozens of kids you will have a thriving business that changes the perception of youth and performance training for your entire community.  


Make an impact on a kid’s life today!


Change lives today!




Ryan Ketchum is the Co Owner of Force Fitness and Performance and Athletic Revolution Bloomington. Not only does Ryan work in the trenches with athletes, but also other coaches helping them build their businesses and achieve great success. Ryan is a proud members of the IYCA and honored to be on the Board of Experts.




4 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    Ryan, great article. I’m going to pass it on to the 30 coaches I coach. It’s great to be paid to do work we love, but your words will greatly encourage many more who offer their time at great sacrifice as volunteer coaches in rec programs. They may not have all the knowledge and skill that professionals do, but they should be encouraged to offer their best and refer the rest. Their payoff is seeing a kid make the progress you describe and knowing they had a part in it. Stay true to the mission!

  2. Cory says:

    Words to live by indeed. Growing up with a father as a coach and seeing how he indeed became a father figure to other kids who weren’t as fortunate as my siblings and I certainly makes this point resonate with me.

    We can have a far greater impact on children’s lives than we ever know and we have to be sure our young people know they have our support, 150%, every single day.

  3. Casey Wheel says:

    What if they kid wasn’t already a great athlete? What if he was awkward and clumsy but wanted to give the same effort? Would you still have worked with him?

  4. Coach B says:

    Having coached football 43 years and still counting it is always the expectation to impact one more young person’s life today.

Leave a Reply

Comment using: