Four former ISU Cyclone football players joined forces a year ago to start a business to help younger athletes become the best they could be.


Premier Athlete Training has worked with athletes all over Story County, including some from four of the schools the Nevada Journal and Tri-County Times cover, said Ben Durbin, 27, part-owner and now the main full-time employee of Premier.


Durbin, who transferred from University of Wyoming to play his senior year of football at ISU, has a master’s in education and was working as an academic adviser for Des Moines Area Community College until about four months ago, when he gave up that career to keep up with Premier’s increasing clientele. The first year of operating Premier Athlete Training has “exceeded expectations,” he said.


Based out of the Sports Iowa facility, just west of Ames, Premier helps develop young athletes who want to improve their skills, something Durbin said is increasingly important in a very competitive sports environment. The business provides a number of group sessions, which can be as economical as $10 per participant, as well as one-on-one specific training sessions which can run between $40-60 a time.


Utilizing a weight training area, space for plyometrics and turf field space, along with various types of sports equipment, such as a computerized high-speed treadmill, Durbin said the Premier team, taking direction from two of its owners with degrees in kinesiology, sets up plans that can help every athlete improve his or her skills in all types of sports.


Ernst Brun, Cory Morrissey and Jake McDonough are the other three part-owners who are most involved in working with athletes, along with several area coaches, Durbin said.


Some of the things that Premier Athletic Training helps athletes with include: 1) speed — learning better sprinting mechanics; 2) strength — and improvement in flexibility, mobility and range of motion with emphasis on being efficient with movements; and 3) change of direction — understanding the techniques involved in changing direction effectively. Premier also provides cardio training and a lot of “sports specific” workouts.


“We’ve worked with athletes in most sports, both females and males, and some who’ve gone on to play Division I college sports,” Durbin said.


What he finds most fascinating about the work that the business does, however, is not that they are a great resource for the high-level, gifted athletes, but that what they do is just as important, if not more important, for those who are not naturally gifted athletes.


“Athletic ability can be learned,” Durbin said. “It’s an intelligence … and that’s really neat to be part of (watching kids improve and gain confidence).”


“I really enjoy the impact that we have on these kids and seeing their confidence increase… If you believe that you are great, great things can happen, and that’s really neat to be part of.”


The staff of Premier Athletic Training has no set hours or days for business. They often go off-site to help provide training sessions at schools, fitness camps or help run schools’ weight rooms. Durbin said Premier is open to helping with athletes and athletic programming for kids from second grade all the way up to collegiate athletes. They are also available as a resource for club teams.


“We want to become a resource for kids and schools all over Iowa,” he said.


Because they saw a need in Iowa to train athletes, the four former ISU players based their business in central Iowa, but their goal is to reach out all over the state and help get Iowa athletics up to par with other states. “Other states have had these kinds of (training programs) and we want to get more high-level athletes coming out of Iowa,” he said.


If you have questions about Premier Ahtletic Training or would like to inquire about group or individual sessions, email the business at: premierathletetraining@gmail.com.