After an assessment of the surrounding community found the need for athletic training offerings, the Youngstown YMCA opened its new Athletic Performance Center.
Meri Fetkovich, the senior director of health and wellness at the Y, said due to the popularity of sports participation at all ages, it’s important athletes are trained to prevent injuries, strengthen joints, understand proper nutrition for muscle recovery and rebuilding, and to develop skills to perform at their highest level.
“My goal was to design and develop an Athletic Performance Center that would meet these needs and help athletes reach their full potential,” said Fetkovich. “With the help of our facilities manager, we worked to renovate underutilized space in our 100-plus year-old Central YMCA in downtown Youngstown.”
The project was made possible due to the Y’s leadership and Board of Trustees who helped make the Athletic Performance Center a reality.
“With a focus to strengthen the foundations of our community, the YMCA is always looking to expand our programs and services so those we serve will lead healthier lives,” said Fetkovich. “Through the creation of the center, we are able to invest in the development of our youth and all members of the community.”
The new space is equipped with the following training equipment:
Thanks to a wide assortment of gear for visitors, Fetkovich said the Y offers several types of fitness programs and classes. These include Athletic Performance Training (individual and team), Olympic Weightlifting, HIIT, Bootcamp, 12 Rounds, Orientation to Jump Stretch, Basic Jump Stretch and Stretch Express. A licensed dietitian providing nutritional solutions to help improve physical performance is also included with the facility.
“We currently run 23 classes and trainings a week and can hold up to 50 people a class,” said Fetkovich. “Camps and clinics are currently in development. The Athletic Performance Center enables the YMCA to stay relevant and keep up with trends in the industry, resulting in program and membership growth. These results provide resources to continue to develop new and impactful ways to serve more lives in our community and further the mission of the Y.”
Fetkovich said the YMCA has seen a great reaction from the community and value has been added to membership since the new center opened. In fact, several area high school teams train there in the offseason. Numerous athletes who use the center’s programs are on their way to college on athletic scholarships.
She said basketball coaches from local high schools such as Lowellville High and Boardman High stated the training and workouts provided at the Athletic Performance Center is very beneficial to their player’s physical and mental health.
For other entities considering adding a similar facility, Fetkovich said to first assess the community. Then, visit other training centers and see what aspects could be incorporating into your new workout space.
“Make sure you have staff who are trained and certified,” said Fetkovich. “Talk to your staff and find out their strengths and what ideas they have for programs. Your staff are your best resource. Then solidify your vision. Ask what is your end goal and how will you achieve it? Then go for it.”
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