Many will tell you team sports build character, perseverance and self-esteem.
And in the heart of north Minneapolis, a newly opened gym is doing that and more.
On a Monday afternoon, student athletes from around the Twin Cities push toward their goals. The path is loaded with heavy obstacles. But no matter the challenge, their trainer Jeffrey Scott pushes them to never give up.
It is a model he adopted as a student at North High School. He left a career in the financial sector to open “ME & I” gym, which stands for motivate, educate and inspire.
“We are in the 55411 zip code,” Scott said. “Here in near north Minneapolis. I am not sure there are any other gyms in the zip code.”
Scott said the gym, located in the THOR building on Plymouth, is two blocks from his childhood home.
“This wasn't something we had in the area. To have a gym within walking distance of the people who come here is something we are excited about,” he said. “The first thing you notice when you walk in is the turf. We put in athletic grade turf on the fields. This is the same stuff you are going to find at US Bank Stadium or the Gophers stadium at TCF, so it allows our athletes to come in here and practice on the same surface they will play on at their school or in a facility such as US Bank Stadium.”
At the gym, student athletes participate in strength and conditioning with Scott and two-time Super Bowl champion, Tyrone Carter, who also played for the Minnesota Vikings.
They learn what it takes to be successful both on the field and in life.
William Petty, a sophomore at Benilde-St. Margaret's, said he loves the energy and dedication Scott delivers.
“He brings energy to workouts and challenges us every day to get better,” he said. “He wants to see the best for us, so he pushes us to be the best.”
And with each step, Petty and the other athletes are learning if they keep going, they can overcome any obstacle.
“I want to be a professional football player or somebody that makes a difference in the world. Either way it goes I want to make a difference and change the world,” Petty said. “Never give up on your dreams and no matter what you're doing, finish to the fullest. Finish as fast as you can and as hard as you can.”
Scott trains students from all around the Twin Cities. The message is the same for suburban and inner-city kids.
“Life is always going to be tough. It's about being mentally tough even when your body wants to give out. That means working past that point of break and failure. Getting comfortable being uncomfortable and doing what you need to do and achieve your goals,” he said. “We want to take that raw talent and make a better athlete. Not a better football player or hockey player but a better athlete. When you get to the collegiate level, you are all city conference and American. So is everyone else. Your raw talent is no longer enough to get you to that next level. Everyone has the raw talent.”