5 Sports Sit Down: Viking Performance Training’s Jerry Handley

How Viking has enhanced the performance and abilities of local athletes
Power outages reach day 12 for many
Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 1:00 AM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Jerry Handley, the owner of Viking Performance Training joins Casey Kay on this week’s sit down.

Viking Performance Training has been involved in the strength and conditioning for several local football teams including Fairmont Senior and Philip Barbour, “What’s funny is the benefit they come to us first for is less injuries, watch them be better conditioning, better endurance for the game, faster, stronger, bigger those are the main things they come to us for and we make sure that we make those things happen we you know make them happen to a bigger and bigger degree, what they actually don’t notice until we already get started is one were bringing you to a culture of hard work like you know we, were blessed to have been here for eight years now so especially when we start working with teams we go in and they have an approach that basically creates that hard work mentality so they know they’re gonna get that but especially when the years tag on that’s when you see another difference that you don’t even expect, Fairmont senior is a perfect example, you know how many years in a row even have they gone through seasons where its like okay these guys graduated a big class, this could be a year down for them but yet they keep winning, there’s no drop off, exactly, no drop off and a big part of that is that that momentum takes hold in the actual culture and so to go through and you know, they put in the work, they put in the work in the off season in the weight room with us, and then they show up on the field so the next year everybody’s that there has already basically been in it and their seeing it their whole career and the eighth graders that are coming into high school are stepping into that environment,” said Handley.

Individualized training is what Viking Performance Training is known for, in both students and adults their structure has lead to huge benefits, “One thing were really able to do here is all of our training, 100% of the training that we do for anybody so this is what all the kids are coming here for is individualized so not only is it sport specific, but were then individualizing it to the actual client, the actual athlete so whatever their goals are were making sure were working them towards that, in the sport or sports that they want to play, we see more like kind of emotional and mental changes in our clients than I think people realize,” Handley said.

Prior to opening up Viking Performance Training eight years ago, Handley was a strength and conditioning coach at WVU. Owning his own business has allowed him to focus in on the parts he really loved about individualized training, “From WVU, I mean the best parts there were just the actual training because we did a lot of very individualized training, we had very specific goals high level athletes so I was able to bring that here and basically reverse engineer it to help all these athletes to be even better prepared when they’re getting to either late high school season or when they get to college because we get a lot of middle schoolers to, so helping them be ahead of the game I mean we have middle schoolers who are doing better at the weight room right now than I had college athletes back then, people only come here if they actually decide its worth it and they want to be here so that’s something we have to continue to provide, so we keep making sure they have a great experience that they’re getting more than the results they expected when they come here, at the college level at WVU, every athlete there has to go to the wight room you know there’s no option so it’s just like a different mentality so they don’t, basically the strength coach there you don’t have to worry about if the athletes necessarily like it or not because you either agree or forcing them to do it, I still liked it when my athletes enjoy working out because I feel like you get more out of people, but I know there’s a lot of strength coaches that aren’t that way, they don’t like it, whereas here that was always important to me from day one, I want the people to actually like training so that way I feel like they get more out of it.”