As a parent, you never want to see your child get hurt, much less seriously injured. This was definitely the case for Tyler Armstrong, father to Aubrey Armstrong, competitive soccer player just signed to Oklahoma City University for her college career.
“We would see kids getting injured on the field and parents in turn investing a lot of time and money getting their child rehabbed and back on the field. I thought there has to be a better way to prevent this from happening in the first place” remarked Tyler. Turns out there was. Tyler and his daughter Aubrey found their solution in performance training with The Sports Armory. Coach Pace set up a specific training program tailored to meet Aubrey’s needs and goals and she began training at The Sports Armory at the age of 13. For the next several years, Aubrey trained with Coach Pace and steadily improved her performance and confidence on the soccer field.
From the first workout with Coach Pace, I was hooked. It was less like work and more like fun, even though what I was doing was super challenging. I wanted to work hard for Coach Pace because he was unlike any coach or trainer I had ever seen. He not only cared about me as an athlete on the field, but also a person off the field. That unique characteristic translated into his training sessions with me. I knew he genuinely wanted to see me succeed – not for his own accolades – but for me. That made me want to put a lot of effort into my training sessions,” said Aubrey.
From a parent perspective, Tyler believes you can’t afford not to train at The Sports Armory. “They taught Aubrey so many solid techniques when it came to running and changing direction that I have no doubt her extra training at The Sports Armory was the number one reason she went injury free her entire high school career. We spent a lot less on her training than several parents did on injuries.”
Aubrey further acknowledged her parent’s decision in choosing to train with The Sports Armory by saying “I didn’t even realize I was sprinting wrong. Pace and his team of trainers broke down every movement so I could see where things were falling apart and how I could improve. Once I started to see how much better I was at certain fundamentals, it motivated me to try even harder and see what else I could attain.”
Another aspect that convinced Tyler that sports performance training with Coach Pace was a worthwhile investment was that Pace and his staff had a way of teaching the kids the same things you want to teach them as parents, but can’t because they don’t want to hear it from you. “Pace garners this automatic respect from the kids, so they trust him from the start. It’s pretty amazing to witness because these athletes just flock to him and connect with him and his staff. These athletes will do things for Pace I’m sure their parents have been telling/asking them to do for some time, but it’s just different when they’re training with Pace. He sets the bar high and the kids respond and are encouraged like you’ve never seen because of the connection he makes with them,” says Tyler.
“It’s hard to change a bad habit,” remarked Aubrey. “My overall speed wasn’t great, I was holding my knees up too high. I didn’t even know the proper way to stand ready on the field because these are the types of skills no one teaches you. Then I started training at The Sports Armory and everything changed. It was like a whole new world was opening up for me and my confidence grew because my performance was improving.”
Pace would contend that a parent can tell their athlete what they think they’re doing wrong all day, but we here at The Sports Armory use a different kind of language. “We tell them the why and the how. Why it’s important to run on the balls of their feet or how to train for speed. All my trainers speak the same terms and reinforce the correct techniques with proven methods time and time again to get maximum effort out of the kids” said Coach Pace.
Playing competitive soccer for five consecutive years injury free is a massive accomplishment for any athlete. The staff at The Sports Armory will tell you it’s all due to knowing how to perform the right way. According to Pace, each component is crucial – from warming up, to your actual game, to stretching, conditioning, nutrition – it all plays a role in your overall athletic performance.
Now 17, Aubrey feels confident and prepared to hit the ground running at Oklahoma City University. “I saw her passion for soccer and I thought she had a pretty good chance at playing in college, so that helped us make the decision to train at The Sports Armory,” says Tyler. Clearly, it’s one of the best decisions they’ve made as a family as Aubrey now prepares for a college soccer career.
Spend any time with Coach Pace and you’ll hear people ask him what he likes most about his job. The answer remains the same every time. “The kids. This is more than a job to me. I wake up everyday thinking about my athletes and how my team can improve our methods or how I can study up on the most recent sport performance study. I’m constantly asking myself what can we do better? They give me 100%, so the least I could do is give them 110%.”
Whether your child is a recreational athlete looking to improve their performance, a competitor trying to excel to the next level or someone that has the passion to pursue a college sports career, The Sports Armory can help with state-of-the art facilities at Titan Sports and Performance Center and a team of professional trainers that all train under Coach Pace himself. It’s a winning combination for your athlete and an investment that will boost confidence, instill great technique and encourage life-long skills that foster quality sports performance.