The Athletic Performance Center drives female athletes to success

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(Image provided by APC)

By Camryn Ragland ’18 and Alexandra Sprouls ’19

The Athletic Performance Center (APC), a gym in Norwalk, Connecticut, allows athletes from female sports teams to lift and train in an accepting and motivating environment. Tim Taylor, the owner of the APC, currently offers training sessions for the girls’ soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, softball, varsity tennis and basketball teams, whether they be in season or off season.

“I started APC because I felt there was a need for female athletes to get the same type of training that male athletes get,” Taylor said.

The boys athletic teams are more often found lifting weights and sharpening their skills during their off seasons in the weight room at Staples. The well equipped training room has no shortage of barbells, weight machines and athletic equipment.

“As a player on the football and baseball team, I mostly have to work out with the teams in the Staples weight room even though I’ve always enjoyed working out at the APC,” Kevin Rabacs ’19 said.

Taylor has watched the boys teams accel in their athletics, and thought girls should be given the same opportunity. So, Taylor decided to open his facility to the female athletes at Staples to promote a positive training environment and give them opportunities to improve at their sports. Over the summer of 2016, both the girls’ soccer and field hockey teams trained at the APC to be better prepared for their seasons, and their hard work paid off.

“[Working out at the APC] helped my abilities to jump further, kick farther, and run faster,” Anna Sivinski ’18, girls’ soccer captain, said. “It also gave me confidence in my abilities. I think it helped the team in that it prevented a lot of injuries that happen later on in the season and kept us fresh and strong through November.”

The varsity field hockey team had a record breaking season in 2016, winning the State Championship, and playing in the final match of the FCIAC tournament. Part of what led to their victory was the hard work they put in during their off season at the APC.

“Working out at the APC affected the season by first making us stronger and therefore helped us in games accelerate to the ball much faster while also bringing us closer together,” Kyle Kirby ’20, varsity field hockey player, said.

The girls’ soccer team placed third overall in the FCIAC regular season and made it to the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament. Both the field hockey team and girls’ soccer team attribute part of their success during the season to some of their players’ summer training at the APC.

“Through the team’s hard work at the APC, we will all be stronger and faster, which will set us above many other teams in the FCIAC who do not put in this kind of work in the off season,” Reese Sutter ’20, girls’ soccer player, said.

As the success has been proven by both fall season teams, the APC has caught the eye of other sports teams, including girls’ basketball and lacrosse.

“At the APC, we try to create a fun environment as well as functional at the same time. So we are here preventing injuries, getting girls stronger, and preparing them for the season, but also trying to have a good time,” Dave DeMattio, a trainer at the APC, said.

Along with lifting and sprinting, dancing and singing are a crucial part of the fun atmosphere that is promoted in a workout at APC. And because of the team-like atmosphere, athletes are more motivated and encouraged to get better and work harder.

“It’s a lot of fun with all of the girls here and [the APC] makes working out more enjoyable. I’m generally more motivated to lift more, do more reps, and push myself harder,” Charlotte Rossi ’17, future Fordham college soccer player, said.

With training from the APC and the hard work Staples athletes dedicate to their sport, the athletes are improving their ability, as shown in their results. The efforts of Taylor can be directly related to the success that Staples athletics has been having in the 2016-17 school year, and there is hope for this path to continue a legacy for Staples.

“There are a lot of workout options out there, going to a gym is very ineffective. What I’m trying to do is provide an experience for the female athlete that they wouldn’t get until they reach the college level,” Taylor said.