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More pro athletes are choosing Tampa Bay to train | News

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More pro athletes are choosing Tampa Bay to train

Tampa, Florida-- If Saddlebrook Resort is good enough for all-stars Derek Jeter, Ryan Howard and Ryan Zimmerman, it's no wonder why hot-shot major league prospects like the Rays' Wil Myers and others continue to flock to the Tampa Bay area to try to get a boost in their careers.

For eight years Dr. Tim Bain and his staff at the Saddlebrook Resort have worked on every skill players will need to maximize their potential.

"This off-season, I was ready for a challenge and I wanted to come out here and see if I could elevate my game," said five-year major leaguer, Denard Span.

Bain is the mastermind behind the athlete revolution. He runs the athletic compound at Saddlebrook where dozens of major leaguers and other athletes come to train year around.

PHOTOS: Athletes train at Saddle Brook resort

"He can sit there and look at you and tell you exactly what you need before he even touches you," said Baltimore Orioles' second baseman Ryan Flaherty. "To have a guy like that before the season starts to get your body in shape is huge."

At the resort, players are put through a six-week program that includes specialized workouts designed for them as individual athletes. Players get group training and one-on-one attention in hitting, running, weight lifting, yoga, stretching and muscle therapy.

Players vow it's a vital way to prepare for a long baseball season.

"You can go into [spring training] and separate yourself right away," said Flaherty. "All of the sudden you're at the all-star break and you're still feeling good because of what you put in before."

Dr. Bain also works with the Tampa Bay Lightning and, on a game day, he's especially busy.

"I got here at seven this morning and will probably be down in the locker room until about 12:30, 1 o'clock in the morning. Those are rough days but you know it's fun and I really enjoy it. I enjoy getting around these guys," Bain said.

Span is a former Tampa Catholic star who spent a decade in the Minnesota organization before being traded to Washington this off-season. He made sure Saddlebrook was in his plans to help him prepare for a new league.

In 2011, Span was referred to Dr. Bain after suffering a concussion. After working at Saddlebrook, Span was able to get back on the field and hit .283 with a career-high 38 doubles.

"I played last year and I didn't have any symptoms from the concussion that kept me out for a long period of time," said Span. "A lot of the protocols and things he gave me to get through it definitely helped me."

Saddlebrook is open year around and trains more than just baseball players. Since Bain began training athletes 12 years ago, he's helped train players for football, hockey, tennis, basketball and other sports as well.


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