Mike D’Andrea has a passion for athletic performance. A 2012 Lorain County Hall of Fame Track and Field inductee and starting linebacker at The Ohio State University, where he was a freshman on the national championship team, D’Andrea now channels his aptitude and talent into developing local athletes through his growing business, T3 Performance.
The Avon-based T3 Performance started in 2009 and has been sprinting forward ever since. With 25 coaches and employees on staff, T3 offers specialized and science-based training protocols for anyone who’s looking to jump higher, run faster or throw the ball harder.
“I wanted to kind of give the local middle school and high school kids the same kind of opportunities as big D1 schools and pro teams,” says D’Andrea, a 33-year-old father of young twins.
“Being able to have a kid drop two or three tenths [of a second] off a 40-yard dash time — that’s what we specialize in,” he says “There’s a lot of programs out there that just burn calories and make you puke after a workout. We specialize in taking that athlete, no matter what the sport, to the next level.”
T3 works with youths ages 6 to 11 and athletes ages 12 to professional. At any given time, it has 400 to 500 athletes between the training and travel baseball teams. In fact, T3 has outgrown its facility and is moving to a 56,000-square-foot location near the Lake Erie Crushers stadium and YMCA that will be triple its current size.
“The new facility will be a training and competition facility where we can run youth baseball, soccer, lacrosse, football tournaments,” D’Andrea says, adding that the move will happen in August or September. University Hospitals will have its sports physical therapy at the facility, creating a nice partnership where T3 coaches can work to fill the gap after physical therapy.
Because, ultimately, injury prevention is of utmost importance, D’Andrea says.
“We always [say] you can make a kid as fast and strong as you want, but if he’s injured and can’t play, it doesn’t matter,” he says. “So first and foremost, we work to keep our athletes healthy.”
At Lost Nation Sports Park West, athletics is king, whether it’s on the court, turf or grass. And it’s got all three, in a large scale, geared to all ages and just about any sport with a ball. Think soccer, futsal, basketball, flag football, tackle football, rugby, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, softball, dodgeball and volleyball. There’s also batting cages equipped with eight Iron Mike pitching machines.
This powerhouse sports complex, in the former Brad Friedel Premier Soccer Academy on Leavitt Road in Lorain, opened in fall 2015 and has been growing in popularity ever since, says Chris Dore, general manager.
“Over the course of the year, tens of thousands of people are coming here from all over northern Ohio mainly, as well as people from Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Cincinnati, coming to participate in events,” Dore says. “So it’s helping the businesses around the area as well as gaining regional exposure for our facility.”
The sports park also has the ability to house 40 to 50 people for residential overnight camps. This additional building is fully equipped with dorm rooms, meeting rooms, a weightlifting facility and cafeteria.