Getting young athletes ready to compete at a higher level is one of the primary missions of Athletes Edge, a new training facility on East Main Street, co-owned and operated by Ben Buchholz.
Buchholz is a coach with Batavia High's football and baseball programs and he said what he's seeing today is local schools squaring off against Monroe County schools, and those athletes have taken on more challenging training routines during the off-season.
It's no longer enough just to show up on the first day of practice and expect to be ready to go. Young athletes need to train during the off-season.
"We're falling behind what we have to do to help us get better in every aspect of sports," Buchholz said. "We need to do more off-season stuff and this gives kids a chance to really get in here and do it. Now a lot of kids are doing a lot more off-season work and it shows in season. To compete, you've got to do it because everybody else is doing it."
The Blue Devils' deep run in post-season football is an example of how good off-season training can pay off, Buchholz said.
When you walk into Athletes Edge, if you're expecting a gym, you'll be struck by what you don't see. There are no weight benches, universal machines, dumbbells or barbells.
Modern athlete training is no longer about just pushing around heavy slabs of cast iron.
It's about speed, agility and stamina, and that's where Buchholz puts the emphasis.
The training tools at Athletes Edge involve boxes and stretch bands, but much of what is taught and trained is about body weight.
Plyometric workouts, which involve body weight and explosive movements, are a big part now of even the most elite athlete's daily routine.
"It's getting away from lifting huge heavy weights and getting into more athletic movement with strength," Buchholz said.
The facility's batting cage and pitcher's mound might leave the impression on a visitor that there is an emphasis at Athletes Edge on baseball, and that wouldn't be an incorrect perception, but the facility and training is open to all athletes and all sports. Notre Dame hockey, for example, is considering a team training session, Buchholz said.
Le Roy and Alexander's baseball teams have both already been in for a session since the business opened a month ago.
There's training available, also, for younger athletes. Athletes Edge is sponsoring travel baseball teams for youths from 8 and under to 12 years old.
Buchholz also hosts group events, such as birthday parties for youths. Those events might involve activities such as dodgeball or kickball or other activities.
"Whatever parents want to do, we set it up and just roll with it," Buchholz said.
Athletes Edge is located at 214 E. Main St., Suite #3, Batavia. The phone number is (585) 356-5995. The business is co-owned by Sam Antinore.