API Strengthens Youth In More Than Just Athletic Performance
By Dylan Roche
Stephen Vaught, founder and president of Athletic Performance Inc. (API), knows firsthand the benefits of youth being involved in athletics. It goes beyond the field to all aspects of their lives, he said.
Vaught recognized sports as a huge part of the local culture and, with a passion for athletics and fitness, established API to help further young athletes in their conditioning and training.
The first training facility opened in November 2005, but for the preceding 18 months, Vaught actively trained athletes throughout the community, moving from place to place to work with different youth on skills. He would train students at Severna Park High School in the parking lot, on the field and in the weight room; he would work with St. Marys students on city fields in Annapolis; and he would help student athletes with strength training at Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club.
But with the opening of the 75,000-square-foot facility in Gambrills, API is now able to offer all the resources its athletes need to excel in one place. The facility has an indoor turf field, two multi-sport Flex Courts, six indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and a sport performance fitness center.
What sets API apart from other programs is that it is not strictly training, as Vaught explained. Were not sports trainers in the sense of rehabilitating injuries. Were sports performance coaches, and we focus on strength training and conditioning.
With the popularity of sports particularly among youth in Severna Park, API is an undeniable asset. There was a need for it, Vaught acknowledged. There were few options for athletes outside of school, and even the schools have limitations. Vaught pointed to the benefits, which extend beyond the physical, of sports participation.
They learn commitment and discipline, he said of the athletes with whom he works. A training program requires much more than just showing up for practice. It requires focus and perseverance, and those qualities are reinforced every time the athletes are at our facility.
Beyond just training athletes, API supports them in other ways, giving back to the community and the organizations which enable youth sports. The company participates in fundraisers, silent auctions and raffles for groups including Green Hornets, Severn Athletics, Crofton Athletic Council, St. John School, AACPS, Arundel Soccer Association, and South River Youth athletics. These are the organizations that benefit us by sending their athletes to train here, said Vaught. It is important to give back to them.
Entire families have the opportunity to benefit from API. Adult training facilities are available, as well as adult programs, so parents are able to reap the benefits of sports performance training at the same time as their kids. In this way, API is able to be family oriented and unite multiple generations in the pursuit of excellent performance.