Initially, Brandt Fralick thought he would be too angry to coach.
“I’d just suffered a career-ending injury and my physiotherapist was encouraging me take up coaching,” said Fralick, 27.
“I thought I was too miserable to coach anyone. But, Roy (Gillespie from Pinnacle Physiotherapy) set me up with some Okanagan Sun football players to coach and it went well. And then I started helping kids train and get scholarships and it all really saved my life.”
Fralick is the founder, owner and athletic performance coach extraordinairre behind Kelowna-based Nitro Velocity.
“It’s become my big passion,” he said.
“Helping kids reach physical excellence and get scholarships so they get an education too is where it’s at. And along the way, I found I can also help adults achieve their goals with health and wellness programs.”
In early 2008, Fralick was a world-class sprinter with his eye on qualifying for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing in the 100, 200 and 400 metre races.
He’d just run times good enough to get on the Canadian team headed to the Olympics
at the Western Canadian qualifiers when he had a horrific car crash on the Coquihalla driving from Vancouver to Kelowna.
His back was badly injured and doctors told him when fully recovered he’d have to walk with a cane, or at least a limp.
When he started sessions at Pinnacle Physiotherapy to recover, he wasn’t in a good place.
Coaching others helped him, not just physically, but mentally, and he even recovered enough to sprint again at the Canada Games in 2009.
“I proved I could compete again and then retired to coach full-time because that’s where my future was,” said Fralick.
The key to Fralick’s coaching success is velocity training, thus the name of the business, Nitro Velocity.
Such training uses weights and cardio to increase the intensity, power and function of the nervous system, so speed is paramount.
“Speed is irreplaceable in every sport, so we use light weights pushed faster to become faster,” he said.
“Different intervals and repetitions and intensities also builds speed and success.”
Fralick uses this innovation one-on-one, with teams, in classes and even in corporate groups.
So far, he’s had 36 students land athletic scholarships and another 26 earn partial scholarships.
Sessions are held at the Nitro Velocity gym at 2550 Richter St. as well as outdoors at the beach, on a mountain side or in a park.
While most are paid sessions, he also offers free time two or three times a week for two or three hours where anywhere from 20 to 90 students will show up for workouts and advice.
“My accounant reams me out for not charging enough,” said Fralick.
“But that’s OK. I enjoy doing it.”
He also sponsors various teams with his time and training expertise.