Helping Southwest Ohio student athletes succeed
While many people may have heard the term athletic performance in chatter at the gym chatter or at a local sports event, they may not know what it entails. Here in southwest Ohio, one person who specializes in it is Melanie Redd. Redd is a strength, speed & athletic performance coach and owner of Melanie Redd Performance Training.
“I work on contracts in high schools working with sports teams to help them become stronger, faster and less injured. I am contracted to work with all 20+ teams at Chaminade Julienne High School which consists of 500 athletes. I also work with teams at Wayne High School and Beavercreek High School, and I have a high level interactive consulting platform called The Performance Pack that services sport coaches who have to run their own strength & conditioning in the absence of a qualified strength coach. I have also worked with individual teams on a consulting basis in Ohio, Louisiana, and Illinois.”
Redd says that for student athletes, the goal is injury prevention. “In middle school and high school athletics there is a dire need to improve movement quality in order to reduce the amount of injuries teenagers are sustaining every year. Female athletes are especially prone to catastrophic knee injuries that simple strength training can drastically reduce. The priority is always durability first. Luckily, the same things that make kids stronger, faster and more durable are also the things that make them better performers at their sport/s. The ultimate goal is that four years in a high school weight room will not only help an athlete have a better experience in their sports in high school, but will help those who want to play in college. There is also an underlying goal of general health of athletes and education on how to take care of their bodies in high school and beyond.”
Although she began as a personal trainer for adults, Redd says that she found her calling in athletic performance.
“I brought on some adults who wanted to build strength and durability to play recreational sports, which led me to an expertise in functional movement and injury reduction. Six years ago, I stumbled across the opportunity to be an assistant strength coach for the Chaminade Julienne Catholic High School’s football team. It was that experience that completely changed the trajectory of my career and began the evolution of my business to go all in on athlete performance. I eventually became head strength coach for football which has led to the contract for the entire school's sports programs.”
Redd says the path to a career in performance athletics begins with education. “First, [someone interested in this field] needs either a college degree in exercise science or a strength coach certification and a high quality hands-on internship. Having a mentor helps for professional growth. Getting work in the coaching space is very dependent on relationships with coaches, school admin and parents. Putting in the work as a coach who is a master of their craft, a great teacher but also someone who is committed to ongoing education in an ever evolving field.
Women who want to get into strength and conditioning have an uphill battle because the industry is male dominated and unfortunately, women have to be better coaches than their male counterparts in order to be taken seriously. It can be very frustrating for women wanting to enter the S&C space, however the industry desperately needs more women and people of color as strength coaches who can represent the broad array of the kids being serviced in sports around the country. I feel it’s my obligation to represent women in the athlete performance space by working hard at being a great coach that people can trust and one that gets results, which is more wins and less injuries. It’s also my obligation to blaze a trail in the high school strength & conditioning and athlete performance space for women and to make the process of getting work a little less grueling and for all strength coaches across the country to obtain fair pay. “
As her business has grown, Redd has shifted from individual training to exclusively working with teams, “So those interested in my services would be sport coaches and athletic directors of high schools or club sports organizations.”
So, if your local high school or alma mater hoists a championship trophy in victory anytime soon, you may have Melanie Redd to thank for it.