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Industry Profile: Chris Phillips, Compete Sports Performance

 

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Chris Phillips cut his teeth working in hockey, but after a decade and a half living a somewhat nomadic lifestyle, he was ready for a change.
 
The head athletic trainer for the Anaheim Ducks from 1999-2005, Phillips spent a total of 15 years in the game between stints in the American Hockey League (AHL), the Ducks and Washington Capitals.
 
Growing tired of the travel and other demands of the professional game, he returned to Southern California in 2007 and two years later opened his own business.
 
Compete Sports Performance and Rehab (CompeteSportsPerformance.com) has facilities in Lake Forest and Westminster and offers sports performance training, sports rehab and personal training for athletes participating in a wide variety of sports.
 
Phillips took time out of his busy training schedule recently to talk with California Rubber about everything that goes into training athletes – from hockey players to gymnasts, and from high school students to adults.

California Rubber: What do you like about running your own athletic training business?
Chris Phillips: I’m my own boss; if something goes wrong, it’s my fault. I like having the opportunity to make the decisions to grow the business, and I also like the fact that I’m not on the road 100 days out of the year like I was in the NHL. I work 60-70 hours a week now, but at least I’m in my own bed every night.

CR: What was your overriding goal in starting a training business?
CP: One of the reasons I wanted to start Compete Sports Performance was that I saw the training that was being offered to the public in other places, and I thought it was sub-par. I wanted to be able to offer to the public what pro athletes were getting.

CR: What are some of the success stories you’ve seen so far?
CP: We’ve had more than 50 college commitments in less than seven years in business. A lot of them came back during the Christmas break to train and say hello, and that part is very rewarding. Two of our bigger clients are (former NHL and current Kontinental Hockey League defenseman) Jonathan Blum, who we started with when he was a Bantam, and Corey Kane (a forward in the AHL). Those are great stories, but I also have a girl who started with me in the eighth grade and was very sick recently. She rehabilitated with us and made it back to competing with her high school team.
 
CR: How big are your facilities, and what services do you offer?
CP: Our Lake Forest location is 3,300 square feet with some additional outdoor space, and the Westminster location – which is inside The Rinks facility – is 800 square feet. I have three athletic trainers and seven strength coaches working with me. About 50 percent of our business is sports performance training, which is essentially helping athletes become better athletes – focusing on agility, strength, power, speed and more. About 25 percent is sports rehab – helping athletes come back from injuries. And the other 25 percent is personal training for adults who want to get in better shape.

CR: You don’t just deal with hockey players, right?
CP: The majority of our athletes are hockey and soccer players, but we also work with basketball, football and baseball players. We even have some athletes in cheerleading, tumbling and trampoline, which many people don’t know is an Olympic sport. You have to learn the demands of each sport and tailor your programs to them and to the specific athletes within those sports.

CR: Do you customize your programs for different athletes?
CP: Everybody is different, and you have to treat your training that way. The demands on a goalie are different than the demands on a defenseman, and I can’t design the same program for a Pee Wee as I do for Jonathan Blum. We try to design programs that meet the specific needs of each athlete.

– Compiled by Greg Ball