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East County Friday, Apr. 12, 2019 2 years ago

Stretching (toward) the truth

Local trainer wants to help kids maximize their body's potential.
by: Ryan Kohn Sports Reporter


Stand on one foot, with your other out in front of you.

Hold it. Now turn your head to the sky. After holding that for a few seconds, keep the pose, but close your eyes.

If you are like most people, your balance shifted significantly when you closed your eyes.

The exercise above demonstrates one of the things Sarasota’s Shane Neumann is hoping to change perspectives about. Neumann, who started Kids Interacting and Developing in Sports Training (K.I.D.S. Training) in 2011, works with both athletes and people with disabilities, with the goal of getting the most out of their bodies.

Neumann, a muscle performance specialist and a licensed massage therapist, said the above balance exercise proves people are relying on their eyesight too much and their bodies not enough.

“I want to take what you have got (naturally) and teach you to properly use it,” Neumann said. “People do not know how to use the muscle they gain. I want to get your mind in tune with your body.”

Neumann typically works in private-home sessions to make the clients and their families feel as comfortable as possible, like he does with Sarasota’s Daniel Heed, 20, who raced in the 250 C division of the 2018 Loretta Lynn’s AMA Amatuer National Motorcross Championship in Hurricane Mills, Tenn., Lakewood Ranch sophomore softball player Jillian Herbst and multiple NCAA Division 1 athletes. 

But this year Neumann has also worked with Lakewood Ranch Little League (LRLL), setting up his massage table in the league’s office on game days and scanning from game to game in case a coach calls him over to work with an aching player.

Neumann said it is just as important to teach coaches proper stretching technique as it is the players. That way, he said, the people making sure kids are using proper technique actually know what they are doing. Neumann, who played baseball at Riverview High, said for a long time coaches in all sports have neglected learning this information, and it has led to athletes developing more long-term aches and pains as adults. 

“You hear it all the time, ‘Kids bounce back fast, they heal quickly,’” Neumann said. “But what if a muscle is out of place when a kid heals? Why have them feel it when they are 40 when it would take 10 minutes to fix it properly now?”

On April 1, Neumann held a stretching session with Braden River High sophomore wrestler Chris Bay, the son of LRLL president David Bay, while watching the games. Chris Bay said he has been working with Neumann for a year and has noticed a difference in his body’s ability to recover.

“I hurt myself during this past season,” Bay said. “I fell on my knee. Well, half fell. After a few sessions it started to feel better. A lot better.”

It is not always a comfortable experience. Bay said getting his traps worked can induce a hot, stabbing pain, but one that leads to more relief and movement once the session is over. Neumann said his clients often joke around with him during sessions to lighten the air of inherent awkwardness — and distract from the discomfort. They hate him when it’s happening, but thank him later, Neumann said.

“The hardest part is teaching the world that there is more out there than just weight rooms,” Neumann said. 

For information, email Neumann at [email protected].

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I’m the sports reporter for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. I was born and raised in Olney, MD. My biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. My strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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