STS transforms MHS’ athletics through education

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STS Athletics Facebook page

STS Athletics logo

Riley Coesens, Managing Editor

       It is undeniable that athletics largely impact the atmosphere, thrill, and involvement of students and families within the Milford community, and that the success of these teams changes how one might view the school overall. In sports and academics alike, MHS strives to be the best–and with STS, coaches believe that athletes are making gains incomparable to others in recent Milford athletic history.

By offering people a wide range of tools to encourage healthy lifestyles, STS’ impact can be seen within the MHS hallways.

The company’s success can be attributed to the unique perspective of advanced exercise techniques, trainers, and mentality on athletic performance that STS offers, based upon the idea that, “Everybody is born an athlete, it’s about deciding if you want to stay one,” as said by David Walker, a trainer at STS for over six years.

Within the past three years, many members of MHS’ athletic teams have discovered the value behind educational, engaging, and targeted workouts that help to foster better players on the field and in the community. Currently, STS training is offered to most teams at MHS, including football, cheer, swimming, basketball, skiing/snowboarding, hockey, and soccer.

Bella Reynolds, a junior and a cheerleader for MHS, is one of many students who has trained with STS since she was a freshman. She explained the long-term value that their work has had for her team: “Having STS two times a week has strengthened us in areas that weren’t nearly as strong in before,” she said. “STS is able to help us with our endurance to help hold and build stamina to perform all three rounds in our competitive season.”

She is one of many who sees the program’s impact on both cheerleading and MHS athletics overall. Reynolds said, “Having a training facility and staff as intense as STS gives us a head start in sports, as other schools aren’t nearly as lucky to have a training program like ours.” However, working with MHS’ teams is not all that STS offers.

This was part of the reason why the MHS’ Athletic Department chose STS for our teams to work with. Jim Marszalek, Director of Athletics and Health & Physical Education at Milford, said, “The athletes that have dedicated themselves in the offseason and work hard in season are seeing tremendous growth in terms of speed, agility, and strength.” He further discussed how STS is unique with its training approaches, ensuring secure opportunities and experiences for athletes as much as possible: “One major area that has definitely improved is the health and safety of our athletes. Because of our work with STS and their emphasis on flexibility and mobility, we have seen a dramatic decrease in injuries, especially injuries that require athletes to miss extended time from the action.”

STS Active, owned by Steve Gauthier, began welcoming clients through its doors more than six years ago, and has since expanded its reach in Milford and the surrounding area based on principles of recognizing and supporting every person’s inner athlete, despite one’s skill level or experience. STS has four locations, each catering to individuals with specific goals and needs: STS Active, STS Anytime, STS Athletics, and STS Zenergy. Together, these facilities offer one-on-one personal training, small group classes, boot camps, mobility training, yoga, boxing/kickboxing, suspension training, and corrective exercise opportunities. In addition, invested, certified trainers with different educational backgrounds and knowledge contribute to the empowering aspects that drive many athletes to move in healthier and stronger ways.

STS works to not only strengthen the muscles and joints of athletes in our community, but to improve the overall understanding of how the human body should work and function every day, with proper mechanics and ranges of motion. Whether it be peak performance workouts, out-of-season preparation, injury prevention, recovery, or anything in between, all of the trainers agree that STS can help anyone to “build a better human body,” as Walker described it. “STS is for anyone looking to feel better, get out of pain, or relieve stress,” said Pete Lopez, a STS corrective exercise specialist. “We tend to have something for everyone.” Personalized training can be crucial to the progression of physical health and overcoming challenges in the gym or on the field, and ensuring that a person’s goals can be met over time.

Learning about how to improve one’s particular physical restraints can be difficult, which often leads a person to the internet for guidance, especially among today’s youth. Helping young athletes is crucial to spreading awareness on this rising issue. Though it can be a useful resource, Dave Karolak, a strength and conditioning trainer, explained,  “Social media and the Internet can be ‘watered down’ or out of context… It’s tough for youth athletes and parents alike to sort through all of the available information, looking for what is accurate and truthful. Most younger people do not look for credibility first; they will click on whatever has the most likes or views–this can hurt them later on.” His job is to help people get a good, safe workout, while educating clients on the “why” of their bodies, movement, and health. As a trainer of MHS athletes, he constantly pushes these students to educate themselves on the harm that can be done without proper resources, awareness, and understanding of risks and consequences of poor training methods and habits.

Through promoting other local businesses, participating in charity events, and becoming known by the trainers’ names and faces in public, STS continues to grow and prosper as part of Milford. Each win from a high school team contributes to the success of the business and clients alike, and proves that knowledge is power when it comes to developing strong athletes and people. By mixing a variety of exercise methods and ideas for the individual and not the masses, STS creates a new perspective on what it means to be healthy and active.

“STS is more than just another gym,” Lopez stated. “We work here, live here, and are active in the community, contributing to local charities and events. We want to help our community to be the best it can!”