Life is Bigger Than Sports: How Athletic Republic Evansville Supports Athletes Both Inside and Outside The Center

“Life is bigger than sports.”

While the lessons and experiences that youth athletes gain from participating in sports are undeniably great, sports are just a small piece of the puzzle. An athlete is more than just the person that you see in your sports facility.

This philosophy is what motivates Maura Hulme, Director of Training at Athletic Republic Evansville.

In her 10 years at Athletic Republic Evansville, Maura has trained over 1,000 athletes at various points in their sports journey. Maura’s guiding mission is to inspire and motivate the next generation of athletes – something that Maura was lucky to experience as a youth athlete herself.


Experiencing sports from all angles

A multi-sport athlete with a strong lineage of collegiate athletics, sports were a huge part of Maura’s upbringing.

“I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, where I started playing soccer in a Tiny Tots program when I was three. Growing up, I played competitive travel soccer and basketball. But, in high school, I ultimately had to choose between the two.”

Maura chose soccer, where she continued to play for a school team and travel team, and would go on to play collegiately at the University of Southern Indiana.

In her junior year of college, Maura connected with one of her professors, who was also the facility director at Athletic Republic in Evansville, Indiana. She began an internship in her junior year of college and has worked at the facility ever since.

Today, Maura is the Director of Training at Athletic Republic Evansville, a sports facility committed to delivering extraordinary training experiences and helping athletes of all ages achieve their goals. In the role, Maura is responsible for overseeing daily operations, managing trainers and their schedules, evaluating athlete programs, and more.




Supporting athletes inside and outside the facility

As a key motivator in and around the facility, Maura and her team have made it a point to support their athletes both inside and outside of their sports training facility.


“I like to think we’re a big part of the athlete’s life. We want to make sure we’re supporting them in the center, but also outside the center as well. We want them to know they have our full support.”


One way they show this support is by regularly attending their athletes’ games.

“We want them to know we’re a part of what they’re doing, even though we might not be on the sideline as their coach. This means a lot for the parents as well.”



Tracking athletes’ progress


Inside the center, Maura and the Athletic Republic Evansville team prioritize athlete progression tracking. Not only does this validate the work that they are putting in, but it also helps to keep athletes motivated and accountable to their goals. For parents, they want to know that their athlete’s training is worth the investment.

“Remember when you were back in high school, you would get in the car, and your parents would ask you ‘how was training,’ and ‘good’ is about all they would get. We are now able to share a little more information to send to a parent.”

At Athletic Republic Evansville, the trainers are able to measure much more than just how much an athlete can lift. For example, Athletic Republic’s 3PQ force plate can record an athlete’s force development, symmetry between right and left legs, and more. From there, the team can dive deep into the metrics, individualize their athlete’s training program, and show parents how their child is progressing.


Managing goals and setting expectations

Of course, training young athletes doesn’t come without its challenges. One of these obstacles is managing goals and expectations, especially with many voices and opinions.

When communicating with parents, Maura understands that there is a fine line between telling them their child is successful and being practical about where the athlete is today.

“If you have athletes and parents who are on the same page as you, it can be lots of fun because they’re on board, you’re on board, and everyone is pushing the athlete to get where they want to be.”



The key: Having the tools in place to make athletes the priority


Building relationships with athletes is no easy feat. Neither is operating a large sports training center. Without the right tools in place, you miss out on one area at the expense of another.

For Maura, Upper Hand has been a big piece of the puzzle in Athletic Republic’s tech stack.


“[Upper Hand] has really helped because it’s a one-stop shop for us now for everything. As far as scheduling, purchasing, the client side of things, it’s handled all in one place which is super nice for us, because previously it was not.”


With hundreds of athletes coming in and out of the facility consistently, it’s also important that Maura and her team know where to be and when. “We’re on [Upper Hand] every day using that component, just seeing who’s there and making sure the business is flowing.”

In addition to managing these administrative and operational tasks like scheduling or processing payments, Maura can also use the software when it comes to managing programming, whether it be setting age limits or ranges for specific classes, or offering different passes and memberships to help athletes best reach their goals.

Athletic Republic partnered with Upper Hand to provide the best-in-class technology to support cutting-edge athlete training and assessment, as the franchise sets its sights on global expansion.



The impact of sports training


Not only does sports training impact the athletes you work with; but, some athletes may leave a lasting impression on their trainers or supporters. This is especially true as you become more involved in an athlete’s life.

For Maura, there is one athlete/ family in particular that comes to mind.

“This athlete has two siblings with a disease called EB (Epidermolysis bullosa), which is a skin disorder that takes up to 80% of their skin. So they are not able to play sports. The athlete I train is the youngest – a junior in high school with Division I college baseball offers. I have been training him since the age of 11 and have been a part of his life. The whole family has become a special part of me.”

It’s journeys and stories like these that motivate and inspire Maura every day.


“As far as loving what I do and why I do it, I always say that life is bigger than sports. That is one reason it’s easy to do my day-to-day job; thinking about those little things.”


The work of sports trainers and facility operators is not easy and often presents challenges. But, with a guiding philosophy and the right tools in place to help you get there, you can help your athletes achieve great success, regardless of their goals or where they are today.


See how Upper Hand can help you manage your sports facility. Get a demo today.

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