pro sports

I.T.S. Athletic Training: The Extra Mile is Built on Character

In 2014 Felando Clark was at a crossroads in his life. His pastor asked him a few questions: 1) What do you dream of doing? 2) What do you feel when someone else does something really poorly? (And, in what field would this be?) 3) What would you do even if you could do it for free? The answer was simple. Within days he quit his job and became a personal trainer. He opened I.T.S. (Impact Training Systems) Athletic Training.

Today, at 50, the Mint Hill resident has numerous successes under his belt – all won through I.T.S.

Last year, one of his clients was a first-round draft for the NFL; this year, three of his clients/kids are entering the NFL draft. Another client was just signed to play professional arena football.

In 2014, he started an eighth-grade football training program designed to help athletes prepare for high school football. Of the 13 kids enrolled in that program, eight of them went on to play football in college.

During football season (July – October), he helps train kids who come from all over the country to attend the nearby Jireh Prep School, hoping to shore up their sports or academic skills necessary to transfer to a Division I team.

His current success? A female middle school student who is one of the top middle school soccer players in North Carolina, playing on a state team which travels to and competes with other state-teams. Felando believes she’s so good that she might end up qualifying for the USA soccer team, in a future Olympics.

Although Felando clearly has a fire in his belly to win (as do many of his kids), he places as much emphasis on the character and leadership qualities he has helped instill in them. He says he knows that talent, alone, will not take them very far (or give them longevity) in the professional leagues – it is the innate qualities which will also help make sports stars. And, in many cases, both he and they are aiming for the top.

But, Felando does not just measure success by his client’s professional achievements, he also helps senior citizens, and dozens of other adults get fit, find confidence and become healthier. He takes innate pleasure in assisting them to reach their own goals and seeing them push through to conquer their personal challenges.

Retelling his four-year journey, Felando marvels at his fork-in-the-path story, his subsequent life-choice, and his well-deserved happiness with its successful outcome.

What are Felando’s favorite quotes? “Go the extra mile – the lines are shorter,” and “I can’t’ is not an option!”

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

I.T.S. Athletic Training
640-E Matthews Mint Hill Road/Matthews Executive Park
Facebook: @ITSCoachClark