Meet Our Partner – Paul Thompson
Outperforme Athletics is extremely excited to announce Paul Thompson will be joining the Outperforme Family as a Partner! Paul has been the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach since December of 2014 and we are excited to have him join us in a larger capacity.
Where are you from and what are your connections to the Westman area?
I grew up in Pierson, Manitoba and my family moved to Brandon in 2008. Growing up, I played hockey and baseball in all the small towns around Westman, Brandon, Winnipeg, and basically everywhere else in Manitoba. I’m a product of the great minor hockey and baseball systems that really helped me get to know the Westman area and all it can offer for development of athletes and of good people.
Tell us about your education – we’d love to hear not only about your qualifications but also about your experiences as a student athlete on scholarship.
I went to high school in Pierson, and then from there moved on to Minot, North Dakota to play baseball. There I took my bachelor’s degree in Corporate Fitness, getting my CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) along the way. From there I started working in gyms around Minot and with the University’s strength and conditioning program. A few years later, I earned my CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification through the NSCA.
My experience as a student athlete is one that I really cherish. I had a decent career as a pitcher in Minot, but wasn’t quite good enough to make a career out of it. I had a great opportunity to pitch at a high level and see a lot of the country, as well as make some lifelong friends that most people experience through playing sports. Minot is also where my passion for strength and conditioning developed. Growing up in a small town there wasn’t much opportunity for training, and it wasn’t until I got to the university setting that I began to learn about the benefits of offseason and in-season strength and conditioning. After seeing the huge difference that it can have on athletes, it’s something that I wish I had started much earlier in my career.
What are your specific interests related to health and fitness?
A lot of my health and fitness interests are in athlete/sport specific training. In working at Outperforme, I’ve come to learn about more sports than I previously had knowledge in, and the different training that each sport requires. You’re starting to see it more and more through social media and in the professional sports setting, but the trend is starting where more and more people are realizing that individualization in training is much more beneficial than the standard “cookie cutter” formula. I’ve done hundreds of assessments of different people, and I’ve never had two people assess the exact same. Something I try to research and improve upon as much as possible is how to correctly assess, and what exercises and corrections are best for improving health and performance. Sometimes these small adjustments can make for huge improvements and I think that is why I find myself so interested in individualization.
What are your specific interests related to the business side of health and fitness?
One of the first things that became clearer to me as I moved into the business side of health and fitness was how important customer satisfaction and customer experience is. In order for clients to meet their long-term goals they have to be happy with their trainer, the gym atmosphere, each 1-on-1 session, and everything else that goes into a good gym experience. The more that we can meet the client’s needs, the more beneficial it is to them, and to us at Outperforme as well. At Outperforme I think we do a great job of going the extra mile when it is within our power for the clientele, and it’s something that I strive for day in – day out. Client retention, client satisfaction, and being a solid support system is something I’m interested in and take very seriously; it is also a big contributor to the success of Outperforme.
Do you have any courses or education options that you are thinking about pursuing in the future?
One thing that I can improve upon is my nutrition knowledge. I took courses in university for nutrition, but it is such a broad and ever-changing subject that I would love to explore it more. We have a great nutritionist associated with Outperforme, but I would love to have a broader knowledge on the topic for both my clients, and for myself personally as well.
If you could give one piece of advice to your athletes, what would it be?
I would say not to neglect the mental side of training. When people think of training, they think of the physical elements, but the mental components are just as important. During a full training cycle, it’s no doubt difficult on the body physically but mentally as well. Showing up to the gym every day, taking care of your body in cooldowns and warmups, on top of a part time job, family commitments, etc. is as much of a mental grind as it is physical. My advice would be to work on your mental health just as much your physical, either with a professional, or finding out what works for you. High level athletes more and more are working full time with sport psychologists and other mental health professionals to take their game to the next level. It is an incredibly overlooked and undervalued part of the training cycle.
If you could give one piece of advice to others in the strength & conditioning field, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to try things that scare you. I believe it is the only way to expand yourself and ultimately make you better. Through Outperforme I’ve had the opportunity to work with some very high-level athletes playing on university, professional, and international platforms. My first time working with these teams/athletes was a very intimidating situation. These athletes demand the best, and there is little room for error in their training regimes. Mostly I was terrified to get started, but I’ve learned it isn’t permanent, and it’s the only way to learn and improve yourself. Jumping right in is going to help you get better.
Favourite Outperforme moment thus far.
For me, it’s not really a gym moment or moments, but seeing the results from clients pay off for them are the highlights for me. Seeing Joel Edmundson and Zach Whitecloud make their NHL debuts was a special moment. Seeing Jordy Stallard’s name pop up during the NHL draft was special. Connor Gutenberg, Zach Wytinck, and Lynden McCallum making the Wheat Kings were huge moments for them and for me. They are all examples of hard work paying off. These are just a few examples, but you see it at all levels from minor sport up through the professional ranks. The moments like the ones I listed above are definitely my favorites.
What books are you reading? Name a book that you would recommend to clients.
One that I just finished reading is called The Power of Habit: Why we do what we do in life and business. I would highly recommend it to anybody. It takes a deep dive into habit forming in people and societies and offers vast knowledge into improving your daily habits to make life more productive and enjoyable.
Another book I just started reading is called Quiet: The power of introverts. Just started this one, but so far, so good.
A unique fact about yourself that the Outperforme family likely does not know.
I’m a big fan of video games and board games. If anybody wants to challenge me at NHL 2019 or the board game Settlers of Catan, hit me up.
Outperforme has always been about putting our athletes first, and putting their best interest as our top priority, what does this mean to you?
I think it’s about sacrifice, and for lack of better word the “greater good.” Almost every athlete I’ve worked with has a lot on the line, with tryouts coming up, camps, and everything in between that they need to be in outstanding condition for. Sometimes that may mean that some sacrifice has to take place. Placing the athlete first may mean that their trainer will have to sacrifice some time in the evenings, weekends, etc. for that “greater good.” It’s an understanding that at any given time, you aren’t the most important person in the weight room. People come to Outperforme to be a priority, and everybody should have that feeling when they walk through the doors. It’s not just the trainers that sacrifice either – parents, teammates, drivers, and anybody else involved in the athletes’ lives make huge sacrifices to make each athlete a priority.
What excites you most about joining the Outperforme staff as a partner?
It’s something that was a goal of mine from the very first job interview when I learned that there may be opportunity at some point to become a partner. They say to surround yourself with people that will lift you up, and I believe that’s what I’ve found at Outperforme. The other partners, Bobbi and Jon, have been wonderful to work with as well as the other trainers on staff Maddie, Matt, Sean, and Britt. Continuing to work with the great athletes and people around the Westman area is incredibly fulfilling, and having my name attached to Outperforme is something that I take great pride in.