In a community where sports are an integral part of everyday life for many of its youth, access to proper athletic training and programming is essential. When Elkhorn Training Camp (ETC) first opened its doors in 2017, its very purpose was to meet an underserved need in the Elkhorn/Gretna area by providing a range of services to youth athletes in a state-of-the-art sports training facility. Since then, ETC’s momentum has continued to grow with three additional locations, the acquisition of Dynamic Velocity, and a 25,000-square foot expansion project underway next to the original facility.
Sports have always been a passion for business partners Mike Alessandro and Max Fearnow, who first connected when Alessandro enlisted Fearnow—a former Omaha Westside and Stanford University baseball player—to give private lessons to his oldest son, Sam. At the time, Alessandro worked in the technology sector and Fearnow was heavily embedded in the baseball training community. The pair decided to combine their complementary skillsets and shared vision to bring ETC to life.
The co-owners credit a strategic relationship spearheaded by Jason McDonald with Elkhorn Athletic Association to jumpstarting the business operation. While ETC started with a softball and baseball focus, other sports such as soccer, lacrosse, and football have all been able to use the facility. With cutting edge sports technology and industry-leading equipment, ETC offers private lessons, memberships, and training space to the community, as well as a strength, conditioning and agility training program through an exclusive partnership with Xplosive Edge. Gibbie Duval, founder of Xplosive Edge, said the primary mission of the program is to help athletes maximize their athletic performance. “Our Developing Edge program is for children ages nine to 12, with a goal to lay solid foundation for the future,” Duval said. “We teach them all of the fundamental movement principles that might get neglected at practice.”
Youth ages 13 to 18 are also welcome to engage in the Prep Edge program, which Duval said is geared toward athletes looking to improve their overall performance. Additionally, ETC recently launched Advanced Speed Camp in partnership with Xplosive Edge. “We don’t engage in sports-specific training because that’s what practice is for,” Duval said. “We engage in athletic development training. We provide athletes with better warm up and cool down strategies and corrective exercises they can use before entering the weight room.” Xplosive Edge has trained thousands of athletes over the years, including two Super Bowl champions, a Stanley Cup champion, an Olympic gold medalist, and a Heisman Trophy winner.
“Elkhorn Training Camp and Xplosive Edge offer the best facility and program in the area for sports performance training for amateur athletes, second only to the University of Nebraska Lincoln,” Duval said. Sports are often used as a tool to teach important values and life lessons, and ETC aims to offer all children an avenue to not only improve their athletic ability, but gain confidence and self-assurance. “We serve the whole spectrum of athletes, regardless of the level they play,” Fearnow said. “Every kid age four to 18 can find something here, and I think that’s powerful.”
Over the years, ETC has trained thousands of kids and grown its team to include more than 25 instructors. Down the road, ETC has plans to potentially enter additional sports markets and add to its complementary offerings, while keeping goals of regional and national expansion on the horizon. For the time being, the focus remains on building the brand and opening the doors of its new building this fall. “The community need drove us to expand,” Alessandro said. “At the end of the day, we are here to provide resources and opportunities for as many athletes as possible.”