Synergy Track Academy helps local athletes
Ashwaubenon’s Mara Schroeder was a participant in Synergy’s Track Academy (Rich Palzewic photo).
BY RICH PALZEWIC
ASHWAUBENON – The track academy at Synergy Sports isn’t in competition with the local high schools but wants to help make better athletes.
Just completing its eighth year, the academy for this go around started early last November, just as the fall high school sports season was coming to an end.
“Obviously when you start that early in the school year – well before the track season starts – it shows the dedication of these athletes,” said Scotty Smith, the owner of Synergy Sports. “A lot of these kids came 2-3 times per week. We still did all of the program things with them like strength, speed, quickness and agility, but with the track kids specifically, we focused on a lot of the other stuff as well – like how to come out of the blocks in a sprint race. We work with a lot of sprinters and jumpers. That’s what sets the program apart … we do so much stuff with starting blocks and the proper technique there. Not that the schools don’t, but we can do more because of our smaller groups and more individual attention. The schools have so many kids in the program that it’s hard for them to work individually on that sort of thing due to numbers. Some of the athletes will even come on over during the season for one-on-one tune-ups.”
Smith noted that it’s neat to see how many athletes make it to the WIAA state track & field meet on a yearly basis.
“Fifty-plus kids routinely make it to the state meet every year that went through our program,” he said. “Obviously we are not solely the reason for their success, but we like to think we are part of it. We get participants from all over, but mainly in this immediate area. They train together all year here, so they know one another very well. It’s cool to see them hang out together outside of here and wish each other good luck at the races.”
Smith said that each relationship with the schools is different, but Synergy tries its best to keep the lines of communication open and to have a good, working relationship.
“It’s important to realize that we are here to help the schools, not to work against them,” he said. “Some of the schools are very appreciative of what we do, while others – not going to lie about it – become territorial and are afraid we are going to steal some of the credit for their kids, but that’s not what we are here to do … we are here for the kids. You won’t find us posting pictures of kids taking the credit for their success – they are the ones who put in the work. The more we can get coaches to work with us the better.”
Former UW-La Crosse track standout and Packers player Bill Schroeder does the majority of the work in the academy. Many former and current Bay Port and Ashwaubenon athletes have gone through the program, including Schroeder’s daughter Mara.
“I’ve been doing it since the inception of the program,” Schroeder said. “I like seeing the kids improve and reaching their goals when it comes to the end of the season at conference or state. When I first started I had four athletes. It seems as though it’s basically doubled every year. There are so many kids in this area that want to get better and are looking for that extra edge. I feel that some of the things that I do are a piece of the puzzle. We have some phenomenal coaches in the greater Green Bay area, but my goal is to give (the athletes) at least one more thing to help them improve. I’m not their coach, I’m just their trainer. I don’t try to replace their high school coaches … I’m just trying to get them ready so when their season does start, the coaches can continue what they’re doing.”
Another Ashwaubenon athlete that participated in the program this year was Luke Foley, while Bay Port had quite a few more in Isaiah Gash, Olivia Mabry, Teagan Kleeman, Bailey Cisar, Mya Biebel, Libby Breider, Ben Geise, Noah Stascak, Matthew Ashley and Tanner Hendricks.
Synergy Sports Performance has been so successful over the years that it was time to relocate and expand. They began construction on a new 18,000 square foot facility last October with foundation work, with an expected finish date anywhere from late spring to the beginning of August this year. The new location will be at 1200 Flightway Drive in Hobart.
The new state-of-the-art facility will allow Synergy to expand the services offered to adults and even more to the active populations. Some of the new services that will be offered are track lanes, athlete recovery area, showers and adult fitness and bootcamp programs.
You can follow Synergy on Twitter (@SynergySPGB), Facebook (Synergy Sports Performance and Fields) or Instagram. For more information on programs/rates, Scotty Smith can be reached via phone (920-632-4185) or email ([email protected]).