The private industry of performance training was largely non-existent in the mid-1990s. Outside of the tremendous professionals supporting teams and universities, athletes were often left to fend for themselves in pursuit of creating a world-class support-team to help them ethically achieve their goals. An athlete desiring to go this route would have to find a personal trainer, physical therapist, nutritionist, soft tissue specialist, sports psychologist, and a host of other specialists who would then have to find a way to work seamlessly around the needs of that athlete. Given the range of professional demands on each of these specialists, and their diverse experiences, philosophies, and backgrounds, such coordination was difficult. Many elite and aspiring elite athletes who were willing to work hard and ethically to maximize their performance were left falling short of their potential.
Mark Verstegen had a vision to change this. Verstegen, who holds a Master's degree in Exercise Science, had the fortune of being groomed as a young performance coach under top mentors at Georgia Tech. He later founded the International Performance Institute at IMG Academies in Florida. The needs articulated by his athletes inspired this vision to create an exclusive venue built around the needs and demands of elite and aspiring elite athletes. In this "refuge" environment, he would assemble an integrated set of top specialists to deliver scientifically-backed, ethical performance solutions to athletes underneath one roof. If the athlete brought the will to succeed, the team of specialists would do the rest.
Athletes' Performance Facilities
With the support of adidas, his athletes, and his family, Verstegen opened the first Athletes' Performance facility in 1999 in a temporary space on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. In 2000, Athletes' Performance and Arizona State University entered into a public-private land agreement (the university's first such agreement), giving Athletes' Performance the opportunity to build its own state-of-the-art facility on the campus. The facility opened its doors in 2001 and won instant international acclaim for its design and functionality. A true refuge for the elite athlete, Athletes' Performance attracted athletes from around the globe, each of whom recognized the value of the company's ethical and integrated approach to performance training. Many of the top champions in sports soon began to call Athletes' Performance their off-season home.
In 2001, Athletes' Performance began its ground-breaking NFL Combine Preparation program. In the hopes of improving their draft position and developing a foundation for a long, successful career, prospective NFL players began coming to the facility to train and prepare for the NFL Combine. Athletes' Performance's Combine Preparation program grew quickly. It's helped prepare more than 89 first round picks and 413 overall picks since its inception, including six overall #1 NFL draft picks.
The Athletes' Performance footprint grew in 2003, when the company opened a second facility at The StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot Center) in Carson, California. The 125-acre StubHub Center complex, owned and developed by the Anschutz Entertainment Group, is the center of training and development for America's top athletes and future stars. The state-of-the-art soccer, tennis, cycling, and track and field facilities provide Athletes' Performance an ideal location to offer world-class training to elite athletes. The facility serves as the hub for athletes at The StubHub Center, offering the full range of Athletes' Performance services out of a 7,400-square-foot training facility. At The StubHub Center, Athletes' Performance has supported gold-medal-winning Olympic teams, MLS Cup champions, and All-Stars in every major sport.
In the summer of 2006, Athletes' Performance gained global recognition for its association with the German national soccer team, which finished third in the 2006 FIFA World Cup despite a ranking of 22nd heading into the event. Athletes' Performance spent nearly two years with the team leading up to the event, helping to develop individual solutions for the German players to help them perform at their peak level. Athletes’ Performance continued to support the German team through their second place finish at the 2008 European Championships and a second consecutive third place finish at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
In the spring of 2007, a third Athletes' Performance facility was opened in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Athletes' Performance at the Andrews Institute was built working in conjunction with renowned orthopaedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. The facility seamlessly integrates Dr. Andrews' surgical practice of more than 400 elite athletes per year with world-class rehabilitative and performance services. This facility is also a perfect training option for athletes in the eastern United States.
In the summer of 2009, Athletes’ Performance moved from the original Tempe, Arizona, location to a new 31,000-square-foot facility in Phoenix. This new facility expanded on the heritage of the Tempe facility, while adding larger performance training, physical therapy, and nutrition space to accommodate the expanding needs of professional, amateur, and youth athletes, as well as executive training programs and industry education events.
In the winter of 2009, Athletes' Performance opened its fourth facility at FieldhouseUSA in Frisco, Texas. The facility encompasses 10,000 square feet and features a 7,000-square-foot training floor with state-of-the-art equipment, an energy system development (cardiovascular training) section, a nutrition bar and nutrition consultation area, full-service physical therapy and massage and soft tissue work, an acceleration sprint track, an indoor turf training area, education classrooms, and an evaluation and testing area, all designed specifically to deliver integrated world-class training to athletes.