It was 2018 when Bill Goudy and Travis Hash sat down for a meeting. Goudy knew Hash from a past baseball player-coach relationship.
The meeting resulted in a partnership and the pair are co-owners of Absolute Sports Performance, a strength and conditioning business with a whole lot more inside their 6,900-square- foot building.
“It took about eight to nine months to get it rolling and things happen for a reason. We were actually going to be on Pulaski Highway,” Goudy said.
The building, which was to open in September 2018 fell through. The entire building was sold to Pepsi, just before Goudy and Hash were to sign the lease agreement.
“I think our location actually works better. Right off [Interstate] 95, seems to work well,” Goudy said.
The business, which opened in January 2019, is located on Governor Court in Abingdon. It has a mission of “providing absolutely everything an athlete needs, all in one location. From high level sports skills coaching, to research-based strength training, to the latest data-driven sports technology,.” And they have it!
The business trains athletes from youth thru college and a few professionals, using certified strength and conditioning coaches and skills training.
“Basically the business is set up as strength and conditioning is kind of the backbone of the whole business and everything feeds off that,” Goudy said. At the Major League Baseball level, they now put the orthopedics, strength and conditioning and the skills (pitching and hitting) in same box and they can communicate. That’s basically the model that we set up.”
Goudy adds, “Hoping to help athletes get better and in a short period of time and we have quite a few. Business has been good, we’ve been doing well.”
Goudy, a 1985 graduate of Poly High School and a UPS retiree, is a longtime local baseball coach and currently an associate head coach at John Carroll. 2021 will be his sixth year.
Hash is a 2104 graduate of Harford Tech and a graduate of Towson University. A three-sport athlete at Tech, Hash is a strength and conditioning coach.
“We’re kind of a working model, but we’re also about, we’re a community model, where we’re Harford County based,” Goudy said. “We do have some athletes from Baltimore and Cecil County. People have traveled from other counties and PA, but we’re based on helping the kids in the community achieve their goals athletically. The skill side is more towards baseball and softball, but our strength and conditioning model, we have athletes from football, field hockey, lacrosse.”
The business is also partnered with University of Maryland Medical Systems and Towson Sports Medicine to give comprehensive care to all their athletes.
Two athletes, both Patterson Mill High School students, have been working out at Absolute Sports since it opened in 2019.
Senior baseball player Christian Shertzer has been there from the beginning. Actually, he had already been working with Hash before Absolute Sports officially opened.
“What brought me there was the reputation that Travis had with people that I had known before. Coach Bill was my baseball coach since 13U, so I’ve known him for a long time and I have a lot of trust in him,” Shertzer said. ”I’ve gotten to know Travis really well and he knows me really well. Him making my programs is definitely like him knowing my body as well as I do in training me in the proper ways I need to grow and develop.”
Shertzer says he works out three times per week (M-W-F) and hits 2-3 times a week, mainly on the weekends.
“Coach Bill teaches me what I need to know about my swing, how to make me a better hitter,” Shertzer said.
Shertzer is taking his diamond talents to Frostburg State University in the Fall.
Madison Knight, a junior softball phenom, started training and working out in the latter part of 2019.
“I just like the environment there. Being a softball player and wanting to work out and then knowing if I wanted to hit after or before I could,” she said. “I love that flexibility type thing and I just love what Travis does. He’s just very open for anything, he’s not the type of person to be down your throat the whole time. He’s a very awesome human being.”
Knight also respects Goudy. “Same thing with coach Bill, I’ve had a couple lessons from him and they’re awesome,” Knight said.
Knight says she and younger sister Kenzie, typically train there Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the offseason and other times if a cage is open. During softball season, time in the building is limited.
Knight says she uses an hour to hit and an hour to workout.
“It’s an awesome environment to stay there and that’s why it’s really kept me there,” she said.
“Combination of free weights and machines. It’s a lot of, our programs are set. Our strength and conditioning coaches write programs on a monthly basis and they are specific to the athlete. They’re not cookie cutter programs,” Goudy said. “Skills side, we video pretty much everything so athletes and parents can see gains.”
There are cages for hitting and pitching. “We have a ton of technology to help athletes get better as far as skill set in baseball and softball.”
Goudy leads the skills staffing. Other skills trainers are Tom Eller (Baltimore Orioles hitting coach) and Andrew DiTullio (Harford Community College hitting coach).
Joining Hash, the director of strength and conditioning is Josh Berenbach.
Of course opening in early 2019, the business saw a solid first year, before COVID-19 created issues for them in 2020.
“We were shut down for three months, basically, March, April, May. Then we were able to get back in there, we were able to open back up, but we had to be outside,” Goudy recalls. “What we did was, we had to move equipment outside for two months and we made tents outside our building and on a daily basis, we moved equipment outside to function as a business and to service our customers.”
Since being back open, there are still people number restraints, but Goudy says they are good.
“We manage it, but great thing about our business model is, we really don’t have that issue,” he said. “We basically have six athletes to a trainer in the strength and conditioning and we never have more than two trainers at a time.”
A lot of the skills stuff obviously is done one-on-one or one-on-two, so no real issue there either.
“Our physical therapy, they’re usually one-on-one with the patient or maybe two-on-two,” Goudy said. “The saving grace for us was, even ready to open at 25 percent capacity, we were able to almost fully function.”
So, business has been good and community is a top priority.
“It’s been good, we’ve set up a couple scholarships, one at Patterson Mill, one at Harford Tech to give back to the community,” Goudy said. “Of course kids haven’t been in school this year, but hopefully they can get in school by May and maybe we can give the scholarship across the stage.”