A former Major League Baseball player who learned the fundamentals of the game in northwest Indiana is opening an athletic training facility in Highland.
Jordan Schafer told our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana he’s introducing the type of training that’s more popular in Florida and the southern U.S.
"The difference is the training there focuses on being more explosive and producing bigger, faster and stronger athletes,” said Schafer. “Athletes in the Midwest might be more fundamentally sound, but the training in the south makes athletes bigger, faster and stronger.”
Schafer, who played in the MLB for eight seasons, says he wants to combine the strength training with fundamentals of the game.
He’s opening Athletic Performance Factory in what was a gym and former fitness center. Schafer says the idea came from his uncle.
"My uncle and family still live here. I made my Major League debut in 2009 for the Braves and played eight years for the Braves, Astros and Twins. When I retired last year, my uncle suggested a sports performance place here."
The paper says Schafer has extensively renovated the former gym, so it features a strength and conditioning area, batting cages, pitching mounds, an outdoor infield, an all-purpose astroturf area, classrooms, a vision training center, a pro shop, and a parent observation deck.
Schafer says youth and high school athletes are expected to make up the bulk of the business, but it will serve anyone interested in improving their athletic performance, according to the publication.
"It’s a different way of training, whether you’re a beginner or elite athlete. It will push you whether you’re trying to get in shape or trying to make your high school team."
The grand opening is scheduled for October 21.