Cole Dal Bello, Jr. Gryphon Hockey & Canadian Ball Hockey Association
I have been doing dry land training at the U of G since March working with Mac James (Asst Strength & Conditioning Coach at the U of G) and Josh Ford (Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the U of G). It is called the Gryphon Performance Academy. The gym is located right across from the hockey rink.
Since I have been doing the GPA program I have noticed improvements in my speed, strength and balance. These changes were particularly evident, and satisfying, when I did 3 weeks of power skating in June/July - I felt powerful, strong and confident.
Not only did I see changes in my physical self (I gain about 13lbs) and ability, since my hockey season has started, I am even more proud of the mental confidence and strength that I now feel knowing that I have prepared and gone that extra mile to ensure I am at my optimum level to perform.
Additionally, another benefit to the program is the exposure to varsity athletes - I find it inspiring and energizing to watch, and sometimes train alongside, these elite athletes! I look forward to every minute I am at the gym with Mac and Josh. These guys are motivating, tough and bring out the best in each person they work with."
Abbi Morrell, University of Central Michigan Women's Soccer
My main objective was to get in the best shape for my freshmen year at Division 1 school Central Michigan for soccer in 2018. Before starting my training at GPA I had previous experience weight lifting at Goodlife for about two years and had a personal trainer at another club that I worked with for about a year. At my first session at GPA I was tested to determine my fitness level and also discuss my goals. The goals I wanted to focus on were building mobility, core strength, getting stronger, and faster. So Mac and my trainer Serra put together my first program. The first couple training sessions for my first program I remember killed me. I had never mobilized my body in such positions before. All exercises required using full body strength. Throughout my first sessions with GPA I not only progressed my form and strength, but I learned so much about why each movement is important for my progression. I never had a trainer not only tell me how to do an exercise properly, but why to do an exercise properly. I find that once you know the why behind the how it makes you so much more knowledgable and motivated to do something correctly. These same characteristics apply to everything, obviously we know we should eat properly but few of us look into why that is. And the people who do look into why, progress further than those who don’t which is the biggest difference between GPA and any other personal trainers I’ve had. Another factor GPA and Serra have incorporated into my workout plan which is very beneficial and something no trainer had done before is fitness at the end of my lifting program. This I found very painful and difficult in the process but I got better and certainly benefited from it for my sport, soccer. I trained my heart to keep going even after it had worked its hardest. Breaking your limits and pushing yourself is the only way you’ll progress. And it showed through my stamina on the field. I trained twice a week in my off season and as soon as the season hit I was already fitter than most people.
Serra developed my program purposefully in stages, each stage working a different aspect beneficial for soccer. She planned out every stage leading to my departure date for school. I took a pre season YoYo test in April when I was in more of my lifting focused stage and I achieved a score of 17.1 above my in season score required at CMU (16.5), I then took the same YoYo test in June after continuing 6 weeks longer at GPA and achieved a score of 18.1, beating my initial score by a full 10 stages. Seeing how the fitness at the end of each lifting session had kept me in shape, and how well planned out and knowledgable the people at GPA are to design a program that worked just for me is what helped me to progress. Everyone is different and wether you’re an athlete or just wanting to get in shape, a program designed specifically for you is what will help you reach your goals the fastest and most effectively.
Along the way I picked up small nagging injuries from soccer and I knew the best thing was seeing Serra to assess my injury and modify my program to accommodate for recovery. I recovered quickly and fully each injury.
I can confidently say I feel prepared and ready for pre season more then ever. I don’t regret a second of the hard work I’ve put in the last 8 months as what you put in is exactly what you get out.”
Frank & Luisa Cazzola, Parents of Highschool Soccer Player
Eliza joined the Gryphon Performance Academy in January 2017 in preparation for her summer soccer season and continues to train for her overall health and well being long after her season finished. She is trained on correct techniques in a personalized strength and conditioning program that is sport specific. Eliza has been injury free since she started training due to her preparation for the season with GPA. She is physically and mentally stronger than ever before. Mac and Josh have created a positive, professional and athlete centred environment that will benefit every Junior Gryphon athlete and enrich their team training.
John and Johnny Beaton, Father and Player of Jr. Gryphon Basketball
Kurt Vosper, VP of Rep Guelph Youth Basketball Association
Both of my sons first worked out with Josh and Mac at the Gryphon Performance Academy in the summer of 2017. Kent (16) was working out individually and Robert (12) was working out as part of his team.
Over the course of the summer I saw a great deal of change in both my son’s. Both boys became more confident in their strength and athleticism. This has allowed them through the summer and fall to challenge themselves more in their basketball practices.
I have seen both boys get not only stronger but they move better, run faster, jump higher and are more flexible.
My kids both comment on how great Coach Josh and Coach Mac are and how they motivate them and push them hard to succeed. They like that the coaches have expectations and are unafraid to push them to help them get better.Long term I see a great benefit for them as they are realizing how to properly work out and the importance of working out the right way.
Daniel Dooley, Windsor Express (NBL) & Guelph Gryphon Alumni
Kyle Bertrand, University of Western Mustangs Women's Hockey
I have been training at the Gryphon Performance Academy with Mac for the past 3 years, during the off-season. Mac has trained me through the transition from Midget AA to Junior and now onto Varsity hockey. I never thought I would be where I am today and I have to attribute a lot of credit to Mac for his dedication in helping me reach my goals.
Mac, Josh, and all of the staff at GPA are fully committed to the process. Becoming stronger and better takes time, effort, and determination. Each and every person that steps in that door is dedicated to this process and Mac and the team are the most knowledgeable people to push us past our limits. When I first started at GPA, I had already done some training on my own, in addition to dryland with various teams. Even though I had already trained, Mac took me through some testing to see where I was. This allowed Mac to analyse my strengths and weaknesses and build a program that was custom to what I needed to work on. At the beginning of the training process with Mac, I remember thinking to myself that I could already do some of these basic movements. However, what I didn’t realize was that every single thing Mac was getting me to do was part of this process. Whether it was an accessory exercise that worked on the little muscles or a movement to better my form, everything in my program led me to where I am today. Each and every off-season, Mac has put me through testing at the beginning and the end of every summer to track my progress. He has also made me lay out goals for myself. It continues to amaze me at how much improvement I have made every time I go back to GPA. My main movements have consistently improved by 10-15 lbs each summer. Not to mention the huge changes in my on ice performance. This goes for everything from skating and acceleration to power in my shot and strength in the corners. Those around me, such as my coaches and parents, have commented on my off-season improvements, and this is because of Mac.
Being at GPA has pushed me more than I ever thought imagined. Some of the exercises and cardio Mac has put me through have been extremely difficult. But each and every time I do them I notice a change and I realize that it is for my benefit. I can only thank Mac for his knowledge and skill in what he does. He has made me enjoy training and pushed me outside my limits. Being in the environment that is GPA is one that I will never forget. Every single person is so motivating and encouraging and only wants the best for you. While the lessons I have learned have been directly related to sport and athletics, they have also been applicable to other areas of my life. Even though you may not realize it at first, the way in which you train and carry yourself during training impact who you are as a person. I have realized that I have grown as not only an athlete but as a person while attending GPA.
There is a reason I have come back here each and every year, and it is because of the dedication of Mac and everyone at GPA. I have met numerous people and many other varsity athletes. Training with some of these people has motivated me to become better and reach their level. Now that I am where I am, it is crazy to think that I almost gave up and didn’t try at times. But it is because of people like Mac and others at GPA that have pushed me to realize my potential. Mac and all of GPA are amazing and I wouldn’t think twice about training here. I can easily recommend it to anyone looking to gain a step in their sport.