If you are looking to better yourself or your child as an athlete, look no further than the GameChangers training facility in East Liverpool Ohio.
GameChangers is run by Ameer Dudley Sr. and Stephen Nesmith, two trainers who have lots of experience coaching and training from youth athletes all the way up to high school and college players in multiple sports. The facility features four individual workout quadrants, a weight room, massage/sports therapy, an outdoor turf area, along with two Vertimax V8 systems and five Vertimax Raptor systems, all located just five minutes from West Virginia and Pennsylvania.
They also have all the necessities, including cones, ladders, stretch bands, medicine balls, and anything else you can think of that relates to speed and agility. Due to COVID, they are only training about 50 athletes at the moment. The kids are trained in groups of eight to nine, even in years before the pandemic.
Why train at GameChangers?
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“One of the major things about us is the culture we set,” Dudley said. “When I initially started, What I was looking for was to try to give the kids, the athletes, something that was missing. I think a lot of times when you have kids that are training, especially the personalized training when you’re one on one with a coach, it’s kind of hard to know how hard to push yourself. So if you have somebody else with you that’s at your skill set level or above you, it gives you somebody to compete with in a friendly sense. You guys are both trying to make each other better, but you have somebody that you can go against. I think that’s one. Two, my experience. Some of the things that I was able to accomplish and then different things I have done between being a national coach at the youth level, playing collegiate ball, and then also just coaching throughout the years. One thing you can’t duplicate is experience.”
Dudley and Nesmith are both very familiar with the region and have plenty of experience training athletes of all kinds at GameChangers over the years. While they strive to make the athletes better players on the field, they also have another big focus: making them better people.
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“We are more than trainers, we are mentors as well,” he said. “We try to help the kids when it comes to their personal life, different things they are going through. We want to give them the experience they need to get better as an athlete and to get better as an overall person.”
GameChangers is looking for athletes at any level who are looking to improve not only the physical part of their game but also the mental part. They do not just train football players and are open to any sport.
“We are not delegated to just football,” Dudley added. “We do all sports. What I am known for is football, but I have had some great volleyball players over the years, and had some great basketball players over the years, track too. Those are probably the four sports that we have the most of, but we are open to anyone. We are not just a position specific trainer, we do attribute training. We want to make you faster, more explosive, more agile, work on your balance, your core strength, and your knowledge of the game, your mental toughness.”
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While GameChangers is not position specific, Dudley says, they will have some upcoming clinics that target one position at a time.
“Right now we have a lineman clinic that we’re running,” he said. “I will be doing a running back clinic in a month for youth league and high school aged kids, and then next month we will start our quarterback clinics.”
Dudley and his staff at GameChangers have trained and are currently training many top prospects in the area, including Harvard-bound quarterback and Dudley’s son Ameer Dudley, Syracuse commit Josh Hough, and Pitt commit Stephon Hall, among others. On top of that, Dudley says, the kids they are training come from all over.
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“We’re in a perfect location,” he said. “Even though when you say East Liverpool, Ohio, it sounds kind of far from the city, we are right there. We are 20 minutes from the airport. We get kids from West Allegheny, Penn Hills, New Castle, and then kids in the Steubenville area. You come in there, and sometimes you will see three or four states represented there.”
For Dudley, one of the best parts of running this facility has been building relationships on and off the field between kids from all those different areas.
“We bring together kids from different communities who didn’t necessarily know each other,” he said. “You always see a kid on the football field, over at the mall or something, but you don’t really know the kid. We thought it would be good to bring all these kids together from different communities, and then you’re training with a kid that half the time you see him on the field or the court you are trying to take his head off. Now you can put a face to a name.”
With kids coming from all over the region to train, one might think that GameChangers struggles to operate when there is bad weather or any other tough circumstances. However, Dudley says, they are always in the gym.
“It’s a passion. We love what we do. The parents are very supportive. When it’s snowing and everybody else is snowed in, we’re in the gym. They bring their kids, they work hard. We try to put kids in leadership positions and have them lead the sessions. Then we have them go back and have somebody else lead the session. Now we have the kids understanding that in order to be a leader, you also have to be a follower.”
Additional information regarding GameChangers training can be found at the link below.