About EAO Sports
EAO Sports knows that, in order for athletes to excel at their specific sports, they need sport-specific training. At EAO, athletes train for their specific positions in such a way that they will peak at the ideal time of the season.  This optimization is what sport-specific training focuses on.

Appropriate training is critical in most, if not all, sports. Athletes who do not train properly not only run the risk of injury, but they also are not performing optimally. In order to train athletes for their specific positions and sports, the trainers at EAO break down the player's position into specific movement patterns and, after an initial athletic evaluation, devise a strength and conditioning program geared toward preparing and mastering those movements. This is known as sport-specific training and is done with a specific peak time in mind, whether it be a try-out or a championship. This sport-specific training ensures that gains are realized at the times when they are most beneficial, giving Elite Athletes the edge they need for competition.

Mission Statement:
EAO Sports (Elite Athletes Only) was founded for one purpose: To achieve top athletic performance. EAO Sports provides its athletes with a high energy environment, proper techniques and proven methods, as well as the mental engagement that each athlete needs in order to achieve his or her athletic goals and be mentally prepared to compete at the highest level. EAO Sports provides orthopedically sound, safe movements that will maximize performance and minimize injuries in each athlete's respective sport(s). 

     

 

 

About Dan Jones:
Dan Jones, founder of EAO Sports, is one of the foremost experts in the field of strength and conditioning. He studies many different styles of training from all over the world. A champion bodybuilder and expert on nutrition and holistic health, he has been training elite athletes of multiple sports for over 20 years. Dan actively studies, lives, and applies the most current sports-specific training methods. He is known for creating a very intense yet positive environment and delivering tangible results. He is highly educated on both Fast Twitch Fiber and force production training. Dan has delivered more scholarship and national champion athletes than any other trainer in Northwest Ohio.

Coach helps get Walleye into mint condition:
MARK MONROE BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Dan Jones approaches his job as the Walleye's strength and conditioning coach with intensity, passion, and an edge.

Jones, a champion bodybuilder who is in his first season working with the team, exudes energy.

With an engaging personality, Jones incorporates the physical demands of the sport with the mental tools required to get the most out of every athlete.

Jones, a 49-year-old from Lambertville, Mich., is a fountain of fitness knowledge and of memorable mantras. Phrases such as “competitive excellence” and “mental warfare” are a major part of his lexicon.

There is a method to the big man's madness.

“With physical dominance you can achieve great things, but with mental dominance you can achieve anything,” Jones said.

“It's the team that can be mentally tough and relentless that will bring the Cup home.”

Jones, a Northview High School graduate, is the founder and owner of Elite Athletes Only Sports, a Sylvania-based training center.

Jones trains local high school standouts and other high-level athletes. He works with St. John's Jesuit graduate and former Ohio State lineman Jack Mewhort, who plays for the Indianapolis Colts. He also trained former University of Michigan lineman Jack Miller and current Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback.

Jones has a hockey background, having played in high school, and Walleye officials approached him during the offseason to gauge his interest.

“When I first talked to [first-year Walleye coach Derek Lalonde], he talked about this positive culture and culture of winning,” Jones said. “I could tell the guys he brought in were a bunch of leaders that knew how to win. They are a cohesive group.”

Jones is responsible for off-ice conditioning, as well as supplementation. Typically, he works with the players three to four times a week. Jones handles the weight training, while he also has spin and yoga instructors.

Before every home game, Jones puts the players through a 12 to 14 minute “dynamic workout.”

“We try to get the body temperature up and the joints lubricated,” he said. “We want them to break a sweat and get the pulse rate up.”

Jones, who is highly vocal during the exercise, has the players do old-style exercises, including jumping jacks and pushups. They also do short sprints and an exercise called the mountain climber.

“We're getting them ready to compete,” Jones said. “We engage the mind. At first I think they thought I was nuts or a little left of center. But they've all bought in now.”

It's not likely a coincidence that the Walleye are having the most successful season in the franchise's young history. Toledo has clinched a Kelly Cup playoff berth and is in first place in the North Division.

“Obviously, I don't want to take full credit for the team's success,” Jones said. “But it's been wonderful to be a part of such a great thing. It's very exciting. We could go all the way to the Kelly Cup. It's thrilling to be a part of this team.”

Veteran forward Kyle Rogers said Jones has been huge for the team.

“We've never had anything like this,” said Rogers, who is in his fifth season with the team. “To have him in here gets us going. He's a very energetic guy. He does wonders for us to get us in the right mindset. We have a great time with him and he has a great time with us.”'

Jones and Walleye goalie Jeff Lerg, who has set a new franchise record for wins (29), have mutual admiration. Lerg said Jones put the team through very tough workouts at the beginning of the season.

“He is a real good motivator for sure,” Lerg said. “He gets the guys excited.”

Jones said Lerg is the most competitive athlete he has been around.

“I've never seen such intensity,” Jones said. “Mentally, he's a monster.”

Jones is an expert on nutrition and has been training athletes of multiple sports for more than 20 years. He said his specialty is creating a very intense, yet positive environment, and delivering tangible results through sports-specific methods. Jones has an inspirational word of the day for the players. Some he has used are hunger, relentless, opportunity, and believe. Jones, who has also worked with special forces in the military, emphasized the correlation between effort and results.

“You have to have the skill set, but with strong minds and big hearts, you can do great things,” Jones said.

Lori Miller, the general manager of EAO, said Jones' passion makes everybody better.

“He's unique. He has an energy I've never seen,” Miller said. “I've never seen somebody care how much these athletes turn out as people. He makes people believe in themselves.”

Miller said Jones has helped the players “beyond the hockey skills.” She said she believes no other ECHL team has a strength and conditioning coach.

“The players drop the terms that Jonesy uses,” Miller said. “These guys know they are cared about as human beings. They're not just athletes to us.”

Jones graduated from Northview in 1983 and was captain of the hockey team as a senior. He also has been a hockey referee for college and youth games. Jones still goes to drop-in skate sessions on Sunday nights with a group of former Storm players.

He said his experience with the sport's demands gives him credibility among the players.

“It does help because I've been playing since I was 5 or 6,” Jones said. “I know the condition a hockey player needs to be in to play for 60 minutes. I know what it takes to back check and pump your legs and move. It's an endurance sport and an explosive sport.”

With just a handful of games left in the regular season, Jones said he has scaled back the intensity.

“You have to be smart,” he said. “You don't want to over-train the guys. It's important that they aren't running around like salivating dogs.”

Jones said working with the Walleye players has been rewarding in a number of ways.

“I never thought I'd be so invested in this team. I didn't think I'd be this connected to the players,” Jones said. “All these guys are great. I am engaged in the games. I get upset when we lose.

“Quite frankly, I believe we can win this whole thing. This team is explosive and dynamic. This is a special group. I wouldn't change anything on this ride.”

 

 


   


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"Dan Jones offers the most comprehensive training experience in the Northwest Ohio area."
-Jack Mewhort


"EAO has taught me the true definition of hard work by pushing me both physically and mentally."
-Lauren Abendroth

"Training with EAO sports was the stepping stone for my success as an athlete and also as a person."
-Brogan Roback


"If you want to reach your highest potential and put yourself in the best possible position as a competitor, Dan Jones will get you there!"
-Jack Miller


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