7 Years – 4 Injury clinic – 1 Gym

Optimal Performance has grown from a small room in a Football club to a commercial gym, to a sports specific gym and now to its own gym.

November 2008 – Sutton Coldfield FC

Optimal Performance – Sports Injury Clinic started out life in a small room at Sutton Coldfield Football Club. I approached the club (who I played for at the time) in the autumn of 2008 with the idea of updating the current Physio room and opening up a private injury clinic from the premises. The club generously gave me the opportunity to use the room for free which was a massive help starting out in business. I’m eternally grateful for all the help Sutton gave me in setting up, as this is where my journey began.

I built up a substantial client base by advertising at the football club, networking at various sporting events (pre/post sports massage at local 5/10k runs, triathlons etc..) and business networking breakfasts at BNI. The help, support and experience I gained through this, gave me the foundational skills that have guided me to the position I am today.

October 2009 – Fitness First Cannock

While still at Sutton Coldfield I looked to progress the business further and felt that being within a gym environment would be better suited for my service. The gym is a good referral pathway for sports massage and injury prevention, making key relationships with staff and members enabled me to build a good referral business within the gym.

The 3 years I spent at Fitness First was fantastic, I built up great relationships with individuals, staff and clients, many of whom still see to this day. It was great being part of a team and one of many trainers/coaches in the gym. This gave me the confidence to develop my business further.

With over 4k members at the gym it gave me a large pool of potential clients to get in front of to promote my services. I did demonstrations, talked in front of classes and offered free 10 min consultations on the gym floor/lounge. However, being one of many trainers, was also a negative. I kind have got loss in the crowd. I felt that the next progression was to either set up my own practice or move the injury clinic to a smaller gym.

As a therapist my working practices developed over the 4 years to this point, from looking at individual injuries/situations to looking at the person as a whole. I wanted to build individuals/athletes for injury free performance focusing on injury prevention rather than cure.

Whilst still developing my knowledge and skills as a therapist I wanted to broaden my skills as a practitioner focusing time on key functions of movement, the fascial system and more advanced strength and conditioning of the body. Toying about with various treatment techniques and rehabilitation methods has given me a successful injury protocols for a variety of injuries that have been very affective over the past 7 years. I’m not saying I know everything because that is impossible but I’m sure the individuals who have worked with Optimal Performance will be confident in the results they have had.

Whilst researching and broadening my knowledge and still at Fitness First a friend introduced me to a new fitness concept called CrossFit. The concept was branded as the sport of fitness and was emerging from the USA.

The focus on correct functional movement and multi-fitness domains that CrossFit combined, suited the Strength and conditioning principles associated with my working practices as a therapist. If taught correctly the benefit of CrossFit could be developed to suit all sporting practices and true for injury rehabilitation also. I felt my clinic would benefit a gym with these principles so jumped at the chance to help a friend open a CrossFit gym.

February 2012 Crossfit Cannock

Moving from a big commercial gym to a sport specific gym was a risky decision, going from a membership pool of 4k to 100-150 was a big drop in exposure. However, I came to find out quickly that being only 1 of a few trainers/individuals in the gym, in comparison to over 25 at Fitness First, got you more individual contact with potential clients and the closer community. This gave the business a fantastic boost, which I’m forever grateful.

Again at CrossFit Cannock I developed some fantastic relationships with individuals that are still very strong today.

It was always my goal to either own a private injury clinic or a gym. The new year of 2014 brought a new addition to the Owen family and a new focus. I needed to build myself a business that enabled me to take a step away at some point and more than just me. I developed the room at CrossFit Cannock into 2 clinical rooms and brought on a new therapist, Isabel Rogers. Isabel started in April 2014 and started to build a good client base, everything was going great.


Unfortunately, the summer 2014 brought a sudden twist to everything business and otherwise. The less the said about this the better but CrossFit Cannock closed down and Optimal Performance was left without a home. It was time to sink or swim and I don’t sink!!!

Our Own Gym

August 2014 Optimal Sports Performance

Our reaction to the unforeseen circumstances was to open our own gym, which the injury clinic now is located. From the relationships gained at CrossFit Cannock we (Conor Murphy, Jon Aldridge and myself) couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by. After a number of weeks planning and prepping we opened Optimal Sports Performance or OSP in the August of 2014 and haven’t looked back. Its been a great decision all round and I want to say a massive thank you to Conor and Jon for their support and more importantly to my family.

Optimal Performance – Sports Injury Clinic now sits pride of place in its own gym and has gone from strength to strength. 2015 has been my best year in business yet and hopefully continues to grow.

I want to say a big thank you to all the clients I have work with over the years, the personal trainers who I’ve been involved with, Bridgtown cycles, Fitness First Cannock/Walsall Wood, and many more.

Here’s to another 7 Years.