AGAWAM – Two local businesses have teamed up train elite athletes with both the room to finesse skills and trainers to work on strength and conditioning. Stick Time Sports and DC Strength celebrated their partnership May 30, with full training kicking off June 1.
Stick Time Sports opened in 2012, offering turf fields and ice rinks for teams and individual athletes to train and fine-tune their skills. DC Strength, based in East Longmeadow, offers “highly capable trainers” who individualize programs for different levels of athletes, John Chalfant, whose wife owns the organization. said.
The partnership began when Sean Provost, the managing partner at Stick Time Sports, reached out to Donna Chalfant, owner of DC Strength.
“It seemed like a good fit,” John Chalfant said. “We worked through some of the details. We’re still working through some of the details, but it’s good. It seemed like a natural fit.”
Having trainers from DC Strength work with athletes who already come to Stick Time Sports, or who will be drawn in because of their presence, creates “a good marriage,” Daryl Devillier, owner of Stick Time Sports, said.
“They fit very much in tandem with us. The elite hockey players come and they stay [at Stick Time Sports] and they were training over [at DC Strength in East Longmeadow]. We thought it would be a perfect mix to utilize the training with the training facility over here as well as the ice,” Devellier said. “It’s one stop shopping; it works really well.”
The facility and the training programs are accessible for both teams and individuals. Chalfant said training for entire groups gives the team an edge in terms of performance and chemistry.
“We have the advantage here of being able to do individualized training but also potentially to pick up on some team training, as well,” Chalfant said. “Depending on time, circumstances and the desire of the coaches is something that they want to take advantage of because team training not only builds strength and conditioning but it also builds camaraderie, togetherness and some other beneficial collateral aspects for the team.”
Devillier praised the trainers from DC Strength for their ability to help motivate athletes, ranging from middle school to the professional level, in a responsible way.
“They push these kids in a very professional way to get better, but the kids need it. More than that they want it,” he said. “These guys are professional, they know exactly what they’re doing, they’re well educated but they’re pushing these kids and that’s how you get better.”
Trainer Jason Miano stressed the importance of safety when training and that it is a priority for DC Strength.
Although Stick Time and DC Strength provide training for athletes from a variety of sports, including lacrosse, field hockey and soccer, the two indoor rinks at the facility draw hockey players from the area. Frank Vatrano, an East Longmeadow native who signed an entry-level contract with the Boston Bruins in March, is one of many who utilize the facility and the training.
“It’s kind of getting best of both worlds. I know all of the hockey guys around here like skating together and training together,” Vatrano said. “It creates a close-knit group, and it’s something not everyone has.”
Devillier and Chalfant said they welcome anyone interested in learning about the facility or training offered to come by for a tour. For more information about both organization, visit www.sticktimesports.com or mbscthrive-dcfitness.com/.