Yesterday, I took the drive to ATC (Athletes Turn Champion) Training Facility, which is located just off Main St. at 245 Esten Avenue in Pawtucket. I have visited ATC in years passed and was really looking forward to checking in on Coach Bobby Rodericks and his sports conditioning facility. ATC has some parking in front of their front door (if you get lucky) and even more as you pass the building to the left. Under the “ATC” logo, you enter the building, go down one flight of stairs, and then enter the sports facility.
When I arrived yesterday afternoon, Rumford Little League players were participating in a clinic. The coaching staff was working with players on fielding drills and there was a lot of excitement in the building. Every player, coach, and parent was wearing a mask and the equipment bags for the players were “socially distant.” After greeting a few parents, I took a spot in front of several Providence Journal All-State Baseball news clippings from years passed. You may recognize a few players in these news clips that have now moved on to college baseball, some even to professional baseball.
As I walked to the back of the sports and conditioning facility, I couldn’t help notice the lighting. Great lighting throughout the building. Walking passed the screened in batting cages, I came upon the sports and conditioning area. There is a large rubberized running/sprinting area. There is also a huge fitness area complete with weights, plyo boxes, free weight racks, tires, benches – everything you might need for a strength and conditioning facility.
When I visited ATC several years back, one of my favorite spots was the bullpen area in the back of the facility. It is equipped with three pitching stations and is the standard 60’6″ to home plate. Coach Rodericks showed me the 60′ mark on the wall, so you can bet that home plate is in the right spot! The netting allows for hitters to take live batting practice and for players to start to get reacquainted with hitting off a live pitcher as well as throwing to live batters. Coach and his staff utilize other batting practice methods in the cages located in the main section of the gym, but really loved the fact that his players could hit live BP. This bullpen area is an awesome spot at ATC.
As I walked from the bullpen area, through the sports conditioning section, and back out into the main baseball area, I ran into Coach Rodericks. If you look up “outgoing” or “Townie” or “East Providence baseball” or “East Providence wrestling”, Bobby Rodericks will most definitely be front and center in your search. He is one of the most outgoing baseball coaches I have ever met and his Townie Pride is unmistakable. Bobby coaches, works with, and supports many baseball players from all over the state of Rhode Island and parts of Massachusetts. But his passion and deep devotion to East Providence and his Townie players that he has cultivated over the years is just incredible. Coach Rodericks spoke at length about creating a positive system of hard work, proven conditioning principles, and proper baseball techniques for East Providence youth baseball players such as those in attendance at ATC on Saturday out of Rumford and Riverside Little League. He spoke proudly about players who had passed through ATC over the years like Ben Sears, Nick Karalekas, Luis DeLeon, CJ Woods, just to name a few. Coach was proud of the sports and conditioning area and walked me into the wrestling room, which is just to the left of the baseball cages. And as Riverside Little League players were taking their spots in the baseball cages, Coach Rodericks pointed out that two of his former players were now coaching and helping these youth players with their baseball skills – CJ Woods and Nick Karalekas.
I had a great visit to Pawtucket’s ATC Training Facility. Whether it was sprints in the conditioning area or ground balls in the open baseball area, every kid was having a positive sports experience. The facility has a great floor plan with tons of space when you draw back the netting. Or, you can retract the nets and create several individual batting or pitching or drill stations. The back bullpen area of the gym is awesome for live pitching, live hitting, and getting back to the basics of baseball. Great work by the staff led by Coach Bobby Rodericks in creating an incredible sports and conditioning facility there in Pawtucket.
Here is how you can connect with ATC Training Facility and check out photos and videos of some of our local Rhode Island teams working out this winter.
Facebook – ATC Training Facility
Instagram – Athletes Turn Champion
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