The ability to balance practices, games, training and the other responsibilities of being a professional is essential to success on the field.
However, when the athlete reaches the inevitable reality of retirement from competition, the structured activities that dictated the lifestyle are taken away, leaving him or her with the burden of planning the future which has become a struggle for many.
Former Roswell High School football standout, Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket and New Orleans Saints safety Chris Reis knows this reality directly and has developed the company Breakout Training, which provides training services to young athletes in the north Fulton area.
Along with his business partner and fellow Roswell alumnus Hammond Moore, Reis has used the platform to educate athletes, most recently finishing a summer stint training the Blessed Trinity football team.
“I was getting out of pro football and the transition to retirement was tough because I’d been playing football my entire life,” said Reis, who won a Super Bowl Championship with the Saints in 2010. “Hammond (Moore) and I played at Roswell together and have always been close friends. He approached me with the sports training business plan and it was about aspiring and influencing others which I’m all for.”
Breakout Training’s first project brought the business leaders full circle as the Titans are currently led by Tim McFarlin who was also at the helm in Roswell during Reis and Moore’s time playing for the Hornets, both graduating in 2002.
“This was a natural fit because Chris (Reis) and I are from the Roswell community and wanted to give back,” said Moore, who attended the University of Georgia and pursued a career as a professional baseball umpire before returning to Roswell. “There was no better place to start the business than with coach McFarlin. We had a great game plan going into it but kept adapting because this is our hub to start.”
Breakout Training’s staff includes former University of Georgia stars Sean Bailey, who attended Milton High School, and Jermaine Phillips, who went to Roswell and eventually played eight years for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, winning a Super Bowl during his time in Florida.
“The guys bring real playing experience,” said Reis. “Many trainers fall short because they may have the knowledge but not the experience of playing at a high level. We know what works and doesn’t.”
Upon witnessing a session of Breakout Training in action, spectators will see the familiar drills and exercises that have become common throughout the country for athletes of all levels.
However, the trainers look at the experience at a philosophical level.
“Training brings out who you are because going through adversity shows the character of a person,” said Reis.
“We look at every exercise from a physical, mental and effort view. It’s not what drills we do, its how we do it because its about pushing though the tough times and encouraging yourself and others.”
During each week of the training sessions with Blessed Trinity, one trainer would speak to the entire group about his football experience to connect with guys at different stages of development.
“Our mission is to change the world through sports one athlete at a time,” said Moore.
“We thought the best way to enter the market was at the high school level and we expect to expand downward to middle school and elementary school students involved in recreational programs. We hope to have some of the guys we trained in high school come back and work with us because we’re trying to develop the next leader.”
Reis has navigated the journey of a retired professional athlete and seeks to pass his knowledge to others.
“This was my way to keep my foot in the sports world while influencing kids,” said Reis. “We want to train a complete athlete because we understand that athletics is going to end eventually and they’re going to become employees, husbands, wives, parents and we have to influence them beyond the physical aspect of training because there are life lessons in sports.”