Athletic Performance gets athletes and competitors to the next level. That might mean getting ready to go from high school football to college, or from college to the NFL.
Clients all have different goals, but they have one thing in common: they all know owner and Strength and Conditioning coach David Standifer has their back and is going to get them where they need to be. He’s done it all before, with great success.
Standifer was a football player at College of the Sequoias. But his career went in an unexpected direction after an injury. “A friend said ‘you played college ball, train me.’ I said I didn’t want to be around it.” His friend was persistent and Standifer eventually began training. “I fell in love with it,” he said.
From there, in his parents’ garage in Hanford, Standifer grew steadily, outgrowing several larger locations, moving up to the current 8,000 square foot facility on Clovis Avenue between 3rd and 4th Street. And now in his 16th year of business, he plans to open a new facility in Clovis between 12,000-15,000 square feet within the next few years.
Standifer described the beginning of the gym with humility and still with a sense of disbelief of how it happened.
“Our first squat racks were two tetherball poles with holes drilled in them,” he said. “Now we have seven guys in our NFL draft class this year. We’ve trained olympians, World Cup players — everybody. We’ve got our biggest MLB class this year with eight guys. If you’d asked me 15 years ago if we’d be in this position with this amount of pro athletes, I’d say it wasn’t going to happen.”
Among Standifer’s keys to his success so far, he said, is being surrounded by the right people. “If it weren’t for my coaches and my other help, I’d still be in the garage. Our staff is second to none in this area. I’ll put our staff up against anybody. That’s why most of the pro guys are in this gym.”
Their mission, he said, is to grow something that everyone can be proud of, right here in Clovis. “This city has been good to me. A lot of people gave me a shot that I still appreciate. The Valley has a lot of talent that comes out of here.”
College seniors from Fresno State, Michigan State, Kansas and Upper Iowa are working with Standifer to prepare for the draft. “They move out here and train with us until the first part of March, then I’ll start traveling with them for their pro days. It’s not a bad gig,” Standifer said. They’ll train for three hours a day, six days a week. “Last year we had the fastest NFL lineman in the draft; it really put us on the map at that point.”
Athletic Performance has earned a solid reputation that brings these players from around the country to Old Town Clovis to train. This is testament to the work of Standifer and his staff, as well as his partner, former Fresno State Football standout and former NFL player Cameron Worrell.
Worrell, along with Jamie Climer, started a nonprofit through Athletic Performance three years ago, called Changing Lives for Tomorrow, for training and mentoring at-risk youth athletes.
“This year, most of the kids have between 3.4 to 3.8 GPAs and three of them are getting football scholarships,” Standifer said. “That’s the fun part for us, seeing these kids that wouldn’t be able to afford to be in here, get tutoring and training. A lot of them realize they have a great opportunity a lot of people don’t have in their situation and they want to better themselves. As a business, you always want to make money, but when you have kids in here that really want to do something with their life, it makes you say it’s worth it without the money.”
Kids can start learning form and mechanics, like learning how to run and jump, as young as seven to eight years old, Standifer said. Learning proper techniques at a young age will help prevent ACL injuries later on.
Aside from the non-profit organization, high school athletes, boys and girls, from just about every school in Fresno and Clovis sign up to come train at Athletic Performance.
For the high schoolers, it’s hard work, but they love it. “We try to make it like a family and our retention rate is good because they like what they do and they like being here,” Standifer said. “Their parents like it because the kids learn discipline.”
Standifer and his crew may be working with professional, or soon-to-be professional athletes, but there’s room for anyone with a desire to improve. “We train men and women who want to get in shape but they know when they walk in here, they’re going to train hard and train like athletes,” Standifer said. “Some people that come in have never played sports, but they find a competitive edge and it makes it fun.”
“This time of the year is the most fun for me, getting guys ready for the draft and having MLB guys here,” Standifer said. “It’s good that we got the attention of NFL agents, that want to fly guys out from Kansas and Michigan. It means we’re doing something right. Now we just have to keep on.”
You can view and sign up for classes and meet the trainers at apfresno.com