Feature Article - March 2006
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Command Performance

Sports performance training offers fitness facilities some room for improvement

By Margaret Ahrweiler

At What Cost?

While its benefits are obvious, one drawback of performance training is its cost.

For example, at Sports Performance Advancement in Appleton, Wis., training programs run in six-week cycles, with the cost averaging about $250 per cycle, with an average of about $20 per session. Owner Tony Soika acknowledges that he'd like to reach more kids who may not have the means to pay for performance programs but does his part to make his programs affordable, offering discounts for good grades, repeat customers, families with several kids in his programs and gift certificates for referrals.

Britton Kelley, regional fitness director for Gold's Gym and president of Trainer's Performance in Smithtown, N.Y., agrees.

"The problem is only the kids with money are getting the training," he says.

"We do cut off a big part of the market at this point."

He hopes to continue working with schools and coaches to make sure kids have access to high-quality performance training even if they can't afford a private gym.

Some Velocity Sports Performance gyms are branching out to offer their programs through local park districts, which can subsidize part of the cost, and are offering scholarships for local athletes who could not afford the service otherwise.