Evolution Athletics helps students train outside of school

By Cuyler Dunn, Staff Writer

Local athletes are increasingly turning to local sports performance center, Evolution Athletics, to help them perform the best at their athletics.

Evolution Athletics began in 2017 and focuses on developing the whole athlete through strength training, speed training, and injury prevention. It helps many different high school students excel at Lawrence High athletically. Evolution Athletics boasts the training of a professional golfer, MLB draft picks, and many collegiate signees in their short tenure in Lawrence. Tyler Naylor has been a head trainer at Evolution since it started. He explained that their goal was to promote the highest level of training for their students.

“It’s important that our athletes understand how performance training can improve athletic development and reduce the rate of injury,” Naylor said, “but also how the skills that are learned in the weight room can help build life skills that carry further beyond sports.”

Evolution focuses on using science based information, different physical assessments, and fundamental movements to best train athletes. 

“We want all of our athletes to be strong,” Naylor said, “but most importantly they have to be able to go through quality pain free range of motion and have good form before we even worry about how much weight they can lift. Each athlete has different needs and limitations so we make sure to take an individualized approach to all their programs.”

Evolution has big plans for the future as it continues to grow among Lawrence and surrounding areas.

“We want to continue to grow our coaching staff with knowledgeable coaches and increase the number of athletes we can serve,” Naylor said. “We also have plans to open a second location soon.”

Evolution has helped athletes all across Lawrence get stronger, faster, and overall help them exceed at their sports. Sophomore Andrew Phalen trains at Evolution multiple times a week and has seen the impact in all aspects of his athletic performance.

“They help me succeed by working with me on mobility and helping me get stronger,” Phalen said. “I’ve been faster after completing speed school, and I’ve seen improvements in my mobility and strength.”

They have one-on-one training, small group, and full team programs. The staff use their training experience to customize their programs to each athlete and their sport.

“They have different strength programs depending on how many times you go per week and they also have a speed training class,” Phalen said.

Phalen recommends Evolution to an athlete looking to start training or take the next step in their athletic performance.

“It is a good, organized way to do weight training in a fun atmosphere,” Phalen said. “They [the staff] are really personable and very knowledgeable about weightlifting.”

Senior Ryan Lauts agreed that Evolution can make a big difference in sports performance. He emphasized the role that the training staff play in helping develop all athletes.

“The coaches are phenomenal, they are all great people,” said Lauts, “they all know exactly what they’re doing. Everything you do they make you do it because it’s in your best interest depending on what you’re doing and what you play. Since I play baseball and am a catcher, they make me do a lot of leg work, a lot of care for the hips and knees to make sure they’re not getting strained.”

They help you in just about every way possible. Not only are you lifting and getting better, it’s super fun

— Senior Ryan Lauts

Lauts mentioned the importance of a fun atmosphere and culture around Evolution that makes it different from other gyms.

“They help you in just about every way possible,” Lauts said. “Not only are you lifting and getting better, it’s super fun.”

Overall, Evolution Athletics provides student athletes of all sports a fun atmosphere with access to top class coaches where they can achieve to their highest level. Evolution continues to grow and bring in more athletes due to the unique bond that forms between trainers and athletes.

“Over the last three years we have created a culture where athletes enjoy coming in to train and see us as their second home,” Naylor said. “No athlete walks in or out of our facility going unnoticed by our coaches.”