Growing up a huge fan of UK sports, I am familiar with the Boyd and Minnifield names.
Frank, Dirk, Chase, Shane, and Aaron are all legends in our sports culture. I was fortunate enough to chat with Aaron and Chase, who have brought ELITE athletic training to Lexington. They have lived the dream and now more area athletes can, too.
Each of you had a lot of success in football. Would you guys like to share a bit of your early story?
Aaron: I had growing pains with football...other sports came natural to me, because of my body type, such as basketball & I was good baseball player also. My high school coach wanted to move me to receiver because of my athleticism & my hands (even though I wanted to be a QB like my brother) his son was the QB.
I immediately started at WR as a sophomore & I was good but not good enough...I didn't have any experience! In order to be great, it's about the things that people can't see that matter. I lived right behind Henry Clay & my uncle bought me a pair of strength shoes. We cut a hole in the fence behind the school & my coach gave us a key to the field house.
My uncle would wake me up at 6:30 am every morning before school & put me through crazy workouts (freezing cold) didn't matter! I was stronger & faster with more confidence & I had a great junior year which landed me as the #1 player in the state. Then, my senior year, I was one of the best in the country.
Chase: My background is I grew up around football my entire life. I always wanted to play in the NFL just like my father. I came up through the parks and rec leagues here in Lexington before going to Henry Clay. My dad was my coach, all the way up until my junior year of high school.
Heading into my sophomore year at Henry Clay I really started training hard outside of football. Prior to that I was already just playing all kinds of sports, but not really training myself to become a better athlete. I knew I had to start investing in my dreams, by myself. It started off with just running and training outside on the street at my house, and I would do it every day and test myself etc.
The reason I decided to do this was because I had set goals! I wanted to be all-city by a sophomore and all-state by junior year. I wanted D1 scholarships, and I wanted to win the state championship. That's a little bit about my background and why I started investing in my game and my dreams at an early age.
The similarities you both share are many. However, the one that stands out to me is that you both had family role models who experienced a lot of success. Frank Minnifield and Shane Boyd certainly served as influences, respectively.
Aaron: They were pretty much the standard for both of us...& those are some pretty big shoes to fill! I fell in love with football watching my brother play...he was my own Superman! It's good that we both had that role model because they have lived it & know what it takes. Another similarity, I believe, Chase and I had was fear...the fear of failure.
Chase: Yea, I agree my dad for me always pushed me and taught me what it takes not only in sports but in life. I tell everybody if you know his story, then you know working hard is what he hangs his hat on, so for me not giving it everything I got no matter what it was, just wasn't' an option. He would always say "you aren't getting better until you pushed yourself to failure" and that applied to everything running, lifting, studying.
After fairly young retirements from the game, you guys have found yourself operating a sports training academy, Next Up, and would love to know how the idea and the name came to fruition.
Aaron: The average retirement is 26-27 & we are right there...people don't understand how small the window is & how blessed you have to be to make it past that! We came up with the name on a group decision...me & chase we're #1 players in the state back to back years. It's pretty much like who is next up to be great.
We outgrew our first facility & the one we are in now accommodates us a bit better. It's more about what we offer rather than any facility. Me & Chase have been through grueling workouts on hills & in streets! We put in work anywhere. We just want to show kids the work that needs to be exerted in order to set yourself apart...not only in sports but in life. We plan on having passing clinics in the summer, also.
Chase: I agree. Next-Up comes from us both wanting to help young athletes who had dreams just like we did. There's a lot of talent here, and we want to help the young athletes around the area reach their dreams!
Yes. The career of a professional athlete is often not a long one. It leaves you a young man and plenty of time to have a "second life." For any intrigued parents out there, where are you located?
Chase: Come check us out tonight at 630 if you are free we would love for you to see how we work 1524 Parkers Mill Rd (Lexington, Ky). We are right across the street from Starbucks.
My family and I were able to go to Next Up, and they had an amazing workout. They have a great program, incredible expertise, and are adding extraordinary services. My girls are clients, now. I recommend everyone check them out!