By: Adam White, @FOSAdam
Front Office Sports is proud to have sat down with Kim Wallis, Owner of Pilates4Pros. A graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Speech Communication, Kim took her love for fitness and turned it into a thriving business that caters to professional athletes across the United States and across all professional leagues. She was kind enough to sit down with us and offer her insight into the world of athlete injury prevention and strengthening, how important networking is and why trust is so important in the sports industry.
What previous positions did you hold prior to your current position? How did they help you get to where you are today?
Before I was a trainer and teaching Pilates, I was a series seven-licensed stockbroker in Chicago. I changed careers when I moved from Chicago to St. Louis.
I have always loved Pilates. When I got married, I decided to learn how to teach Pilates. From there it was a short time before I had my first NHL client, and it snowballed from there.
It is funny, but all the skills I acquired being a stockbroker helped me succeed in working with athletes. What I do now is all about trust and communication with the athletes. I was lucky enough to have learned those skills being a stockbroker. When you’re dealing with people’s money, they have to trust you and you have to communicate well.
The relationships I have with my clients have solidified their trust in my practices and myself.
What is a normal day like for you as the Owner of Pilates4Pros? What are some of the day-to-day challenges?
My job is seven days a week. My NFL clients are my easiest to handle because their schedule for the most part is set, but with hockey and baseball it is much more difficult to schedule everyone on a consistent basis because of travel schedules.
I have to remain flexible, but luckily I have a good idea of when my clients will want to come in and because of my relationships with some of the teams, at times I know the schedules better than the athletes. All my athletes come in the afternoon so I teach public classes in the mornings. My biggest challenge is trying to balance everything.
What is your favorite part about working in sports specifically the injury prevention and fitness aspect?
My favorite part about the business side of it is that no matter what, I have a job where I get to keep myself in shape. I also love the flexibility of my job with my two kids. I love not being able to miss any events my kids are in. Being able to participate in the success of an athlete is the best feeling in the world. I love the psychology behind dealing with the different athletes.
What is the best career advice you have received?
If you believe in what you’re doing, keep doing what you’re doing quietly. Let your work speak for you. If you’re too pushy or too aggressive, it makes it seem that you have other motives.
How important is networking in your eyes?
I think it’s everything. Everything in sports in based off of trust. Having people you trust that trust you and will go the extra mile to refer you and endorse you is extremely important. I’ve had to build trust with teams, their doctors, agents and coaches and even the front office people. My network has helped me turn my business into what it is today.
What sets your company apart from others? When dealing with customers, what is one thing you always want to provide?
I have yet to find another trainer that does the customized work I do with athletes. I have found and perfected a really small niche and it is working for me. My programs are mostly geared towards maintenance of the athlete’s body and keeping them healthy for games. Recently, I have used my methods to start helping athletes lengthen their careers, which is something I take great pride in. Being a certified trainer gives me such a leg up. My biggest and most important aspect I provide is confidentiality. That for me is absolutely key and can be applied to any aspect of the sports industry because it builds trust and rapport with the athletes.
You can also follow her Youtube channel at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMtfScnXzJBD1ODg9FL3fLw