Alex Jackson, a Rancho Bernardo High School junior and star baseball player, may not be going to the NFL anytime soon, but that doesn't mean he hasn't benefited from TEST West Sports Academy in 4S Ranch.
"I've noticed improvement in everything overall," the RB catcher said of the 4S Ranch training facility program. "Better speed, power, agility, arm strength."
Jackson has spent the past eight months training with Tom Cox at the newly-branded Velocity Sports center, which will now be known as TEST West Sports Academy. Cox said that Jackson's strength, speed and coordination have all improved thanks to the training program there.
"He's learned properly, so now, he can train on his own the right way," Cox told Patch. "We always see improvement here, but it's really important when we see improvement on the field."
TEST West's training program is deep-rooted, with more than 20 years of professional NFL training on the East Coast in both New Jersey and Miami.
CEO and Founder of TEST Sports Academy Brian Martin told Patch that the training system isn't just limited to aspiring pro-football players. It's a system for all ages, sexes and athletes.
"TEST stands for Total Energy System Training—It’s designed to give you energy throughout the day," Martin said. "We do a lot of team training, team building, nutrition."
Most notably, Martin's athletic program whipped Baltimore Ravens Quarterback and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco into shape before entering the NFL combine, an invite-only chance for football players to be scouted by NFL agents.
"We trained Flacco in 2008," Martin said. "After we did TEST training with him, he was the number two quarterback overall.”
Martin said he's trained more than 200 NFL players at TEST Sports Academy and is ready to bring his proven company to the West Coast with the help of former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia.
Garcia, who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, played for the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles before retiring after 2011. His goal since has been coaching youth with his 18 years of professional football experience.
"Brian and I were basically looking for a facility to really bring our visions and our passion together to launch here in San Diego," Garcia said.
The football pro started Jeff Garcia Football about five months ago, he said, training local San Diego youth and high school quarterbacks. It's a separate program from TEST West Sports Academy, but inspiration for the program nonetheless.
Garcia said Martin is "really the visionary behind the entire pre-combine program," but the other training offered at TEST West is more than just NFL prep.
"My thought was, if I was going to do all of this training and mentoring, it would be nice to have a facility to train in," Garcia said. "I look at it as a mentoring program—not just the youth and high school kids, but the professional athletes, sharing my personal experience to fully help them be guided in the right direction."
Garcia said three months out of the year, the big focus of TEST West is pre-combine training. This year's training started on Jan. 1.
"We have 16 current college athletes that are preparing for their NFL pro-days and hopefully live that dream of playing professional football," Garcia said, noting one SDSU quarterback and a USD player, plus collegiate athletes from Montana, Utah and beyond.
"We’ve brought in people like Marshall Faulk (SDSU alum and former Ram) to coach our running backs, Quinn Early (former Charger) to coach our wide receivers."
However, Garcia wants to take his professional experience and share it with all types of athletes.
"NFL training is part of what we do... but it’s really the year-round program we want to expand," he said. "Our plan is to really start to get out into the community and bring our training to Pop Warner programs."
Martin agreed, saying that the most exciting group of athletes to work with are the younger ones.
"Kids 12-18 training is exciting for us because it’s a chance to get scholarships for those kids," the CEO said. "I also like to work with females—they have tremendous, tremendous gains."
Young or old, professional or amateur, TEST West Sports Academy, powered by Velocity Sports, is about pushing yourself to achieve your goals, big or small.
"I want to inspire people to live their dreams and make something great of yourself," Garcia said.
And inspiring he is.
"Jeff Garcia is a tremendous mentor," Martin said. "He’s the team captain here and I’m blocking for him."