Fishers Sports Academy Celebrates 5th Anniversary
Writer / Ryan Kennedy
Photographer / Eli Beaverson
Five years ago, Ed Woolwine saw a need in his community and decided to address it.
“At that time five years ago, or actually even before that, I used to be the travel director for youth sports here in Fishers,” says Woolwine, an Ohio native who moved to Indiana in 1994. “It was hard for teens to find indoor practice space and training. At that time when I was the travel director, I would sublet places that had open space during the winter. I would sublet back to leagues so they could have their travel teams in there, and it was cost efficient.”
Woolwine was introduced to co-owner Kyle Bach, who he says was looking for space in the community and had interest in opening up a place of his own. The two men decided to become business partners, and opened up Fishers Sports Academy.
“It’s a baseball and softball academy, along with movement, speed and agility training,” Woolwine says. “We opened it as a community-based program. For the first two years it went well. We developed this for the need of our community – a training facility that’s in close proximity to Fishers. We went to the baseball board and we had all the travel teams come into our facility. We also tried to reach out to softball, and at first we had a few, but not many to come into Fishers Sports Academy. In recent years, people have wanted bigger and better.”
Woolwine says that over time, Fishers Sports Academy lost the travel teams it relied on for business to other, larger facilities around central Indiana.
“Then COVID happened,” he says.
Because of this, according to Woolwine, Fishers Sports Academy has not grown in the way he and Bach anticipated five years ago. While Fishers Sports Academy still trains full teams, the facility has come to rely on its personal training program.
“We do a very good job personal training – one on one training,” Woolwine says. “We have wonderful instructors. They’ve helped us sustain that market through personal relationships, strong training and development, and withstanding the competition with our staff. Personal training doesn’t leave because the place is bigger. Personal training stays from the expertise and the energy you give to a young man or young woman.”
The 10 trainers on staff work with individual clients on everything from pitching and hitting to speed and agility. Each training regimen is customized specifically to address each client’s needs.
“I and my instructors evaluate them on their first session, either on hitting or pitching, and then we have a conversation even on our movement training, which is speed and agility,” Woolwine says. “Then we have a discussion with their parents on the best avenue to follow and cost associated with that.”
Woolwine says this attention to detail sets Fishers Sports Academy apart from its competition and, more importantly, helps clients achieve their potential.
Woolwine says he never claims credit when a client develops and goes on to receive a scholarship. The facility never markets itself as tied to one client.
“At the end of the day it’s their work, and extra work they put in after their lessons, that catapults them to the next level,” he says.
Woolwine says he and his staff let clients know what they need to work on when they’re not training at the facility.
“We do that one-on-one with every kid all the time, and it’s their effort that gets them to the next level,” he says. “It’s not one individual instructor. It’s not one individual, or it’s not one facility or academy. It’s all on them for how they process the information, where they take it, and what they do with it.”
Five years since it opened, Fishers Sports Academy hasn’t grown the way Woolwine and Bach wanted, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t achieved their goal of providing a service to the Fishers community.
“We’re both still here,” Woolwine says. “We’re still surviving. For us, for a 14,573-square-foot facility, we are not going to be all things to all people because of the space, but what we can do is be the development piece for kids in our community.”
Fishers Sports Academy is located at 12910 Ford Drive in Fishers. Give them a call at 317-436-4772.