HENRICO, Va. (WWBT)- On any given day, you'd find Elkin Sports Performance in Henrico County busy with athletes working to get better. However, like many gyms and personal training facilities across the country, ESP has been forced to close its doors for the time being because of the coronavirus pandemic, replacing the usual sounds of hungry competitors and colliding weights with silence.
"Being quiet in here, I don't do well with calm," said ESP owner Jason Elkin. "I like controlled chaos. I like things going on."
So when Governor Ralph Northam called for non-essential businesses to shut down, Elkin had a decision to make.
"We had to choose which way we were going to go, either feel sorry for ourselves or get better, no different than being an athletic sport anyway," Elkin recalled. "We needed to find a way to compete and make sure that we could offer a service to keep our athletes going."
That's when Elkin discovered Zoom, a tool used for video conferencing that some personal trainers had taken for a spin. Now he's using that to reach his clients, even doing group workouts where he's reached up to nearly 30 athletes at once.
"I can explain what the exercise is, then I step up toward the computer and I can watch each individual and I can see and I can correct their form right through the program."
Elkin admits that it’s a technology he used to consider out of his comfort zone, but now he’s become accustomed to it. It’s been big for his ability to interact with his members, especially given the wide range of ability levels and ages he trains.
What has not been good is what the pandemic has done to businesses like ESP. Despite those hardships, his focus has been keeping his community together while the facility has to remain empty.
"I do believe that the community side of what we do... that's why our clients come here, that's why I go out to different teams. It's the whole team aspect."
Elkin's ultimate goal is for his athletes to be ready to compete whenever their respective sports get going again.
"Their goals should never change. This is an obstacle that the entire world is dealing with. You just have to take care of yourself to make sure that you are ready to go."
For more information on Elkin Sport Performance and its Zoom workouts, click here.
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