MISSOULA – Many of the KPAX Athletes of the Week over the past five years have had one thing in common — they trained at Pfahler Sport Specific. Top young athletes keep coming to the Pfahlers for help, and that led to a brand new facility for the popular trainers.
Steven Pfahler started his athletic training company in a very modest gym. But in late January, Pfahler Sport Specific moved into their new home, an athletic palace right next to Interstate 90.
“I had no idea it would come to this,” said Steven Pfahler. “I was very happy with opening up the first place.”
“This place has been, seriously, a dream come true,” added Alyssa Pfahler. “We’re able to do two groups at one time which means that kids can get more reps in at one time. We came from having one hoop to six hoops, and literally almost five times the space.”
Steven, a former Griz tight end, and his wife Alyssa, a former Lady Griz forward, continue to expand their training methods to more and more athletes. The Pfahlers currently instruct about 100 kids fifth grade through high school on the weight equipment, and start even younger on the basketball court. Plus, college and even NFL stars seek out extra training at the facility.
Steven admits they weed out the athletes who don’t want to put in the work pretty early, but that has actually made the place even busier.
“We have pretty strict standards,” said Steven Pfahler. “But those standards have created an atmosphere that every athlete here wants to be here.”
The Pfahlers have recruited more help over the years, because they have needed it to keep up with demand. Griz defensive lineman Jesse Sims, who holds many of the gym’s weightlifting records, now helps Steven as a lifting coach. Alyssa’s brother Zach Smith and Lady Griz forward Jace Henderson help teach on the court.
The Pfahler’s don’t openly advertise or recruit new kids often, but their current athletes are more than willing to spread the word.
“They just care about their athletes so much,” said Missoula Big Sky senior Tyler Flink. “They take such good care of us. They come to every sporting event I’ve ever been a part of. They came to everyone else’s. They care so much about all of us.”
“They’ve been so great to me just as mentors,” added Frenchtown senior Megan Delaney. “Playing basketball at Montana Tech, Alyssa has coached me and helped me through the whole recruiting process. Without her I don’t know if I would have been able to do that at all. I don’t even know where I would have began.”
The Pfahlers take pride in their work, but they credit their success to something that many adults question today.
“I give a lot of the credit to our athletes, because this place wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for teenage work ethics,” said Steven. “We just say we like to guide those work ethics in the right direction.”
“We have really good kids in here,” added Alyssa. “We have really good families. Just good, good people, and I feel like that’s contagious.”
Pfahler Sport Specific has trained 42 athletes that have received scholarships to compete in college.