Next Level Athletics

D1 Sports Training in Huntsville’s Jones Valley stands out as different in a sea of members-only gyms.

D1 TeamsD1 Huntsville calls itself “The Place for the Athlete” with good reason. The recently renovated facility on Bailey Cove Road specializes in athletic-based training including strength, agility, injury prevention, weight loss and general fitness, as well as sport-specific instruction.

Several high school football, soccer, volleyball and cheerleading teams rely on D1 to stay in peak physical condition. Huntsville Havoc players are regulars. Emerging athletes as young as seven follow proven, age-appropriate training sessions, while many adults are drawn to D1’s high energy, boot camp-style workouts.

“We cater to all ages and skill levels, and those who want to be trained like an athlete,” said Whitney Cunningham, Huntsville Hospital’s general manager for the D1 facility.

The affiliation between the hospital and D1 means more cooperation between D1’s speed and strength coaches and Huntsville Hospital Sports Center, which provides certified athletic trainers and sports medicine services for dozens of high school sports teams at their schools and games.

Most high schools in Madison County are part of the program, including Bob Jones, Columbia, Grissom, Hazel Green, Huntsville, James Clemens, Jemison, Lee, New Hope, Sparkman and St. John Paul II Catholic. “When a team or an individual athlete trains at D1, we are involved from a sports medicine standpoint,” said Huntsville Hospital Sports Center program manager and certified athletic trainer Michael Stevenson.

Take the Grissom High volleyball team working out at D1 on a warm afternoon in late March.

Grissom volleyball team members at D1 Sports HuntsvilleGrissom’s Huntsville Hospital Sports Center athletic trainer and D1 staff collaborated on an offseason workout program to improve the players’ core strength and flexibility – keys to staying healthy during competition.

Injuries still happen, of course. Let’s say a Grissom volleyball player rolls an ankle during practice. She would be treated in D1’s recently expanded physical therapy area, which is provided and staffed by Huntsville Hospital. TOC Sports is also involved at D1.

“This is another example of how the hospital is providing comprehensive sports medicine services for the community,” Stevenson said.

The Huntsville D1 location, which boasts a 60-yard indoor turf field, was one of the first in the country when it opened in January 2008. San Diego Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers, a Limestone County native, was an early proponent and former co-owner of the facility. The D1 franchise now operates in more than 40 cities across the U.S.

D1 Huntsville recently wrapped up a major renovation. Upgrades include more room for physical therapy, two industrial-size fans to cool the workout areas, new flooring and LED lighting. “It gives us a more user-friendly space,” said Cunningham.

A D1 adult membership now comes with unlimited use of Huntsville Hospital Wellness Centers. Locations include Jones Valley, Madison and downtown Huntsville. Individual adult memberships average about $100 a month. For more information, call (256) 880-1717.