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New Muti-Sport Training Facility Aims to Develop Next Generation of Professional Athletes

Photographer: Ryan Woodall

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a complete novice, there’s something for you at Pro X Athlete Development.

Now open on the Grand Park sports campus in Westfield, Pro X aims to help athletes at all levels reach their potential.

“It’s kind of hard to explain to people until they see it,” says Owner & President Joe Thatcher. “When you think of my career, being a professional baseball player, you think we’re a baseball facility. But we’re a lot more than that.”

Indeed, Pro X offers training for athletes of all kinds — including sport-specific skill development in baseball, softball, football, golf and soccer. But it also offers sports-related services in injury rehabilitation, physical therapy, performance, nutrition and psychology.

Thatcher says Pro X caters to “any athlete of any age of any sport.”

A former Major League Baseball pitcher, Thatcher now hopes to impart to others the wisdom he gleaned from performing at every level of sport. It’s an idea he developed with co-founder Dr. Jamey Gordon, who once served as Thatcher’s off-season trainer and now is Pro X Director of Athlete Development.

“My career took me all over the country and to different parts of the world, and it opened a lot of doors for me,” says Thatcher, a Kokomo native. “I have an obligation to give to the next generation.”

In 2017, Thatcher says he and Gordon set out to open a facility that would teach the lifelong lessons sports can provide, a business that would offer “everything an athlete needs, in one building and one brand.”

And that facility would be in Central Indiana, accessible not only to those in Indianapolis but also to those in surrounding areas.

The realization of that dream, Pro X, features tens of thousands of square feet of open turf and a 50-foot ceiling. It houses 22 batting cages, a golf simulator, a weight room and a physical therapy area. But Thatcher says there’s something about Pro X that makes him even prouder than its state-of-the-art facilities.

“We feel blessed to have the people we have involved,” he says. “We’ve got people who are doing this for the right reason. These are people who love sports and love what they do — being around kids and making a difference.”

The Pro X staff includes former pros who, like Thatcher, once trained with Gordon. Former Colts players Dan Muir, Curtis Painter and Justin Snow are among those who offer instruction.

“I want to provide the opportunity to get to know professional athletes,” Thatcher adds. “Hopefully when kids are around them, they’re watching what they do and how they carry themselves. It’s fun for us pro guys to interact with the kids and fun for kids to walk in and see professional athletes and know who they are.”

Within days of opening at Grand Park in January, Pro X had athletes onsite training for the NFL Scouting Combine. But Thatcher says he’s just as interested in serving athletes like those struggling to make their high school varsity teams, or those working to catch the eye of college coaches. Even young children just learning about sports are a focus at Pro X.

Also important to Thatcher is being involved in the success of Grand Park and Westfield.

“Being somewhere where sport is the focus of the community is important to us. I’ve never seen a complex like this,” he says of Grand Park. “We’re proud to be a part of it. Our being here is another feather in the cap for the city, leaders and citizens of Westfield.”

Thatcher says Pro X has been well received so far, even from its earliest days at its temporary facility on Westfield’s Main Street. And now that Pro X is in its permanent home, he hopes to expand the business’s offerings to also cater to those who may not be athletes but simply want a boost to their fitness and health. His main goal, however, will continue to be shaping the lives of athletes.

“If I can help any athlete experience half the things I did along my journey then I’ll feel like that’s a success for me,” Thatcher says.

Pro X Athlete Development is located at 651 E. 191st Street in Westfield. To learn more, visit proxathlete.com or give them a call at 317-733-6000.

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