"My Story" - Branch
Where has the time gone! What started off as a young man fresh off graduating from Northern Michigan University looking to achieve the ultimate goal of playing in the NFL has now turned into less than 3 months away from finishing my 6th year of owning Advantedge!
My Story: To be completely honest, when I finally hung up the cleats for the last time, I didn’t know where my life was going to go, all I knew was the game of football…when my agent told me the dream was over and I should start looking for a real job I knew then that I had to figure it out QUICK!
Going into my pro day at Grand Valley State University on March 11th 2011 I felt that at the time I was peaked and ready to show the 16 NFL scouts in attendance that I belonged at that level, that a kid from a small school in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan deserved a shot at playing with the best players in the world. Quickly I found out that my 40 yd dash was going to be the determining factor on not making it onto an NFL roster, all the scouts said I ran crisp routes, had great hands; but my vertical speed was not suited for the NFL coming from a Division 2 school.
This experience broke me, what was everything to me was taken away in a blink of an eye. I thought to myself, I was training so hard, but clearly not smart… this led me to find out how to get stronger, faster, more explosive… So, I sought out guidance and coaching from the best in the strength world, Louie Simmons of Westside Barbell.
What I felt after my Pro Day was something that I never wanted to experience again, but instead of making it completely about me, I wanted to turn this experience into something that I could HELP guide and mentor the next kid that I came in contact with and help them get to THEIR next level; whatever that was. I took a job at Advantedge Sports Training to help local football athletes in their off-season training. This turned into something that I was good at, and for the first time it took away the sting of not being able to continue my playing career, but help facilitate the growth in someone else.
After less than 2 years of working as the Director of Strength and Conditioning, I took over as sole owner on December 20th 2013
My Why: This is what gets me going every morning…my passion. And this is still true to this day, my why is to help someone get to their next level, whether that be helping a college athlete go pro, a high school athlete earn a collegiate scholarship, middle school athlete earn a letterman jacket in high school, or a someone looking to earn a promotion at work!
Initially when I began my college football career, we had athletes from all over the country. Kids from Florida, Texas, California, New Jersey, you name it! One of the biggest pet peeves of mine was when a teammate of mine would say to me “damn, you’re good for a Yooper!” That back handed compliment pisses me off to this day, it's also another reason why I do whatever I can to help a local kid out, to prove to everyone that we belong on the same playing field as the kids coming from 5A schools in Texas.
I thought to myself that one of the major differences that they had on me at the time was the training they had at their disposal growing up…. These kids had legitimate strength and conditioning programs that we did not have! These kids were coming out of high school physically mature, when I was coming out I never legitimately trained in my life! This is why we have a facility like Advantedge, my mission is to get individuals to have an Advantedge (pun intended) when It comes to strength and conditioning!
My Vision: My vision for Advantedge is to become the best training facility in the Area…. Region… become nationally recognized… and finally become a world-renowned gym. What once started out as just a sports training facility has now morphed into a top-notch adult training facility as well!
The way we will get to these goals is to stay true to our core values that I set out for myself and Advantedge.
1. 4th Quarter Living- BRING IT every day! Constantly in attack mode!
2. Compete- this PASSION to compete will drive you to be the very best person you can be! IT’S YOUR WHY!
3. Consistency- be exceptional in ALL areas in life ALL the time, as a coach, teammate, friend, son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother etc.
4. Create lasting relationships- really get to know our Advantedge Family, become lifelong friends!
If you are reading this, this is a huge THANK YOU to you for trusting in the product that we have here in our training facility, and for being a part of EdgeNation! Just know, we are just getting started, and are more passionate about getting to that NEXT LEVEL then we were back in 2013!