Local athletes ‘Sharp’en skills at camp
On Thursday, June 9, student athletes from the local area participated in a new athletic training camp called SP Athlete Discovery Camp, put on by Sharp Performance Health & Fitness at the Sabetha High School track/football field. This event was made free to all athletes participating by sponsors Saylor Insurance, Keim TS Trucking and Rolling Hills Realty.
Sharp Performance is a physical fitness company headquartered in Salina that specializes in personal and athlete training. When training student athletes, Sharp Performance will work with and give recommendations to colleges looking for high school athletes to join their teams.
Jake Sharp, owner and founder of Sharp Performance, was inspired to be a personal trainer and create Sharp Performance when he briefly played football professionally.
“[Sharp Performance] pretty much started back in my pickup truck when I decided to stop playing football,” Jake said. “I was with the Chicago Bears long enough to get a cup of coffee, and I quickly learned that my future would be coaching and not playing football. So, we started molding youth camps and high school combines to train high school athletes, and it’s just grown every year.
It’s amazingly fulfilling to be able to help kids as well as the general population. We also help people who want to lose weight or gain muscle, and those who just want to move better and feel better and celebrate the active lifestyle with us everyday.”
Jake also knew gyms would be in his future at a young age.
“In the sixth grade, I sustained an injury where I dislocated my knee and broke my femur. My dad was a body builder and he handled my physical therapy, so I kind of fell in love with the gym at an early age,” Jake said. “I knew I wanted to own some gyms, but at the time, private trainers weren’t even really a thing. So I kind of hit it right where the industry started to emerge for what I was good at.
The need for a platform for high school athletes to get noticed by colleges in the state of Kansas, there is a definite need for that. Just helping and working with the high school coaches to provide the most comprehensive training and athletic experiences we can for the kids has just been a real blessing.”
According to Jake, around 100 young athletes – grades 7 to 12 – from schools in the local area were present at the SP Athlete Discovery Camp, which lasted about three hours. Bringing the camp to Sabetha was made possible in-part by Sabetha alumnus Kegan Schumann.
“Kegan Schumann is the head coach of our Sharp Performance Football Academy, and he happens to be a Sabetha graduate,” Jake said. “Him and Coach [Garrett] Michael were talking, and they were like, ‘Hey, let’s make this thing happen in Sabetha.’”
Jake was impressed with the athletic talent he saw during the camp.
“I think [the camp] was fantastic,” Jake said. “There was a lot of talent from the northeast Kansas corridor that I think is really underserved, and I think being able to put a platform like that in that region is a need for those kids. There was quite a bit of talent there that I know we weren’t aware of, and I’m not so sure colleges were aware of either.”
Jake plans to bring the SP Athlete Discovery Camp back to Sabetha as an annual or biannual event.