Fairmont has a history of innovation. When we see an opportunity to address our students’ and families’ needs, we seize it! A few months ago, we began thinking of what it would look like to create an  Athletic Academy that would allow elite athletes to train and refine their skills as part of the regular school day.

We heard from parents how hard it was for them and their children when daily sports training often meant arriving back home late in the evening, starting homework at 9pm after a long and exhausting day. We also didn’t want local athletes to have to trade academic excellence for sport excellence–at Fairmont you can have both! So we created a program for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade student-athletes at Fairmont’s San Juan Capistrano campus to address these needs.

This week, we spoke with Fairmont Preparatory Academy’s Dean of Students, Coach Fred Romo, about his involvement as an administrator of the new program.

How did Fairmont Athletic Academy get started?

High school athletics are becoming more competitive than ever. With this change in competition, younger athletes who are involved in elite club or travel sports programs are looking to increase their athletic performance to prepare for high school.

Being involved in youth sports through my son, I have seen the creation of various new sports “academies” instructed by limited certifications and subpar academics. There is a need for an athletic academy that can combine high-level performance training with a rigorous academic curriculum to prepare student-athletes for the physical and academic challenges of high school.

How will the Athletic Academy benefit students in the program?

Students will receive the most scientific training methods available. Student-athletes will become stronger and see improvement in conditioning, agility, and recovery. The Academy will monitor student-athletes in all phases of athletic output and ensure optimum performance with proper recovery. Student-athletes will receive specialized training in their sport of choice within a small group environment.

How will Athletic Academy benefit parents?

The Academy’s model provides students with comprehensive course instruction, built-in time for high-level performance training, and sport-specific training all within a traditional school day from 8 am to 3 pm. The convenience of this program eliminates the need for multiple coaches and training locations.

As a parent of a club level athlete, I know what it is like to pick up my son from school, drive to different trainers, and attend club practice than can run well into the evening. This program saves parents time, money, travel, and late-night homework sessions. 

How does taking Athletic Academy fit into a student’s schedule?

Students who participate in the Athletic Academy use their elective courses to participate in the Academy classes. Students in the Academy will take Math, Science, English, Social Science, and Foreign Language/Leadership in addition to their performance training.

How does Athletic Academy differ from traditional sports training?

The Athletic Academy is powered by The Treigning Lab. The Treigning Lab is a world-class performance training center that works with top-level professional, collegiate, and Olympic athletes.

Fairmont San Juan Capistrano will be the only school training program in the country to have access to scientific training methods of the Treigning Lab. Each student will have an individual program created to improve their physical abilities and specific sports ability.

How does this compare to other school sports programs?

In addition to our partnership with the Treigning Lab, the Academy has focused on hiring certified professionals that will ensure the health and safety of our students.

Our Strength Coach, Josh Goedl, is a certified Strength and Conditioning Coach trained in the latest performance methods and educated in proper form and technique. The Academy also employs a full-time athletic trainer making it the only academy with a full-time athletic trainer to monitor the student-athletes’ health and recovery.

Academically, we would be the strongest academy in Southern California. Other school academies use online charter schools for educational purposes. Fairmont Athletic Academy students attend Fairmont classes with our renowned teachers and curriculum. There is no other academy that can combine the athletic performance training and academic curriculum that the Fairmont Athletic Academy does.

The credentials of the athletic and academic professionals associated with the Academy cannot be matched by any other Junior High School sports program in Southern California.

What is your involvement with the program?

It is my responsibility to ensure that our coaches and trainers have everything they need to provide the best possible environment for our student-athletes.

What is your background in sports?

I grew up playing competitive club sports and played football at Chapman University. I have been coaching football since 2002 at Chapman University, Orange Lutheran, Corona Del Mar, and El Modena high schools. I currently serve as the head football coach at Fairmont Prep since 2012.

In what ways will this help students with high school sports?

Students will be prepared physically and academically to compete immediately in high school as freshmen. Our training methods will have student-athletes physically prepared to compete, and the academic strength of Fairmont will allow them to excel academically in any school setting. Student-athletes who attend the Fairmont Athletic Academy will have a competitive edge on other incoming freshmen.

To learn more about Athletic Academy, please email Coach Romo at aromo@fairmontschools.com, and keep an eye out for more blogs featuring Athletic Academy staff!