Program News

Wings West Partners with Athletic Mentors to Help Young Athletes Get the Edge at New Training Facility

August 1st, 2017 by Athletic Mentors

Coach Mark Olson pictured during K-Wings workout. Olson will now also head the Wings West off-ice training programs.

Come September, young athletes in Kalamazoo will be able to “get the edge” with world-class off-ice training programs thanks to a new partnership between Wings West of Greenleaf Hospitality Group and Athletic Mentors, the area’s premier athletic training organization for ice sports.

The first phase of the new training facility at Wings West, located off 9th Street in Kalamazoo, will focus on programs developed for the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA), the Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association (GKSA), and the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League.

“We are excited see the new space come together,” says Danielle Brandenburg, General Manager of Wings West.

“The investment in the space will be well worth the positive impact it can have on youth sports in the area.”

The partnership has been met with enthusiasm by local hockey program leaders.

“Injury prevention is a key advantage to off-ice training with Athletic Mentors, along with helping athletes learn how to live a healthy lifestyle through nutrition programs,” said Kristen Crandle, President of GKSA.

Frank Noonan of the KOHA says his organization is “really looking forward to the competitive edge we will gain by working with the utmost premier hockey trainers in the area.”

Athletic Mentors will be working with the coaches to identify the overall goals of the teams and then design programs based on strengths and weaknesses. Mark Olson and Cheryl Sherwood, founders of Athletic Mentors, stress the importance of the customization of their programs.

AM Hockey operates summer hockey camps in dryland training shown here at the Richland facility, as well as on-ice speed skating and skill drills.

“Every athlete is unique and requires a customized strength training and skill development program that helps them achieve peak performance both individually and within the team dynamic,” said Mark Olson, head coach and co-founder of Athletic Mentors.

The AM Hockey coaches are no strangers to training on-ice athletes. Athletic Mentors works with the Kalamazoo Wings in-season to stay game-ready. The company is also widely known for its popular on-ice and off-ice hockey camps led by Olson, a former D-1 player, and key coaching staff Eddie Ward, former NHLer, and Stacie Barber, speed skating specialist. The summer programs blend performance-focused mental and physical conditioning with precise skill development to produce athletes who are ready to move up to the next level.

By early 2018, Athletic Mentors hopes to extend programming to meet the demand for community-wide health and fitness programs beyond hockey. Currently, the company offers sport programs in basketball, volleyball, soccer and football, as well as multi-sport training and coaching. Most recently, it has introduced individual fitness programs with metabolic testing, TRX bootcamp and Yoga classes at its Richland facility.

“We’d love to bring healthy living and recreation to the wider community of young athletes,” said Cheryl Sherwood, co-founder of Athletic Mentors and manager of the multi-sport team.

“It’s important to stay game-ready when you’re a team athlete. But it’s even more important to stay fit for life. And that starts with training smart.”


For more information on Wings West, KOHA, or GKSA, please visit To learn more about Athletic Mentors and their programs available, please visit

Wings West, owned and operated by Greenleaf Hospitality Group, is home to the Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association, Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League, Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association, and Adult Hockey leagues. Built in 2002, Wings West is a committed partner in bringing youth and adult ice sporting events to the Kalamazoo community.

Team Athletic Mentors Ready to Triumph with Greenware Multisport Sponsorship

March 24th, 2017 by Athletic Mentors

multisport team and training Athletic Mentors and Greenware logos

Athletic Mentors — the training and team management company responsible for getting Michigan triathletes known across the region as “podium performers” — is delighted to launch its newest team partnership catering to Michigan multisport events and active living.

The team core of Michigan amateur triathletes, cyclists, runners and Nordic skiers will be suiting up with presenter-level support from Greenware for the 2017 season. It’s the beginning of a partnership that promises to ‘keep it green’ in Michigan.

“Greenware is in it for the long haul and so are we. It’s a perfect pairing with a forward-thinking brand designed to preserve earth’s resources while providing on-the-go packaging,” said team Manger Cheryl Sherwood of Athletic Mentors.

Greenware is a registered trademark of FabriKal, a Kalamazoo packaging company that caters to restaurant, event and entertainment service with an exclusive line of annually renewable drink cups, lids, portion containers and on-the-go boxes made entirely from plants. FabriKal is privately held and home to more than 800 employees.

For 2017, Athletic Mentors has elected to be the title sponsor for the team in keeping with the expansion of its Richland training facility, which now serves both elite athletes as well as regular active lifestyle seekers. With the expansion, AM now offers adult fitness programs, classes, metabolic testing and sporting camps. Previously, Athletic Mentors has managed the award-winning Bissell cycling team, the Priority Health Team and OAM-Now.

“Athletic Mentors is in a growth phase, and there’s no better way to show people what we do than titling the team – the proof is on the podium, so to speak,” Sherwood said.  The new Athletic Mentors-Greenware Team will feature the same core of talent as prior iterations such as OAM and Priority Health teams.

“With the support of Greenware, we will take this organization to the next level in multisport performance. Our goal is to motivate Michiganders to get off the couch and hit the road or trail.”

Headed by John Kittredge, Greenware’s company ethos includes active living in Michigan’s environmentally preserved trails and natural resources.

“Anything we can do to promote active, healthy lifestyles in Michigan fits with our company mission to act responsibly as corporate citizens and contribute to both the well-being of our communities and the environment overall,” says Kittredge, himself a competitive cyclist.

“Our family has been innovative in environmental stewardship and alternate transportation, and we’d love to help motivate our employees and neighbors toward healthy lifestyles that indirectly impact both sectors. Learning to value the environment does not come from sitting on the couch,” Kittredge said.

In addition to team registration at numerous multisport events across Michigan this year, from Barry Roubaix to Michigan Titanium, the two companies also look forward to community outreach through appearances at schools, community events and athletic clinics.

For more information on Team events, opportunities or appearances, visit

For a media interview or speaker scheduling, contact
Cheryl Sherwood, Co-Owner
Athletic Mentors
or email:


Athletic Mentors LLC, is a west Michigan-based athletic training and sports management company that offers individual training, team training programs, clinics, elite hockey programs and sports management services.  For more information about Athletic Mentors or becoming a supporter, visit

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Train Like a Pro with Trainers of Pros: Athletic Mentors Coaches K-Wings for Strength and Conditioning

March 17th, 2016 by Athletic Mentors
Coach Mark Olson working with the K-Wings pro hockey team during a pre-season testing session. Athletic Mentors is the team's strength and conditioning trainer.

Coach Mark Olson working with the K-Wings pro hockey team during a pre-season testing session. Athletic Mentors has been named the team’s professional strength and conditioning coaching staff.

Athletic Mentors’ slogan is Train Like a Pro. The slogan has taken on a new dimension for up and coming hockey players now that AM is the professional strength and conditioning coaching staff for the Kalamazoo K-Wings of the ECHL.

This summer, athletes in the popular Dryland and Ultimate Ice hockey camps at Athletic Mentors might also have a chance to train alongside some of those pros.

Named the K-Wings strength and conditioning coaching staff in the fall of 2015, Coach Mark Olson says the designation has helped strengthen the Athletic Mentors hockey program beyond its already robust, national reputation. This year, the Ultimate On-Ice Skills and Power Skating Package has expanded to offer a straight Power Skating option.

How K-Wings Training Helps Campers

“Working with the K-Wings is of tremendous benefit for our hockey kids in a couple of ways. First of all, coaching a greater number of high level, pro players in-season elevates the skill level of our own coaching team,” said Olson. “We love being part of the team and helping the coaching staff focus on running the team.”

“Secondly, it’s inspiring for younger, amateur players to train in the same place, with similar programs, as the pros.”

Olson expects some of the in-state K-Wings players will continue their strength and conditioning training throughout the summer. Others will return in-season, and some may even move up to the NHL.

Olson has his trainer’s eye on one passionate, driven player he expects has the work ethic to make it to the next level: Anton Cederholm, the Vancouver Canucks draft pick. He describes the Sweden native as one of the “more driven” players in terms of being consistent with his off-ice training.

While there are many similarities between the K-Wings training and the Dryland hockey summer camps, the pros net a higher training volume using more advanced techniques and higher overall intensity, Olson says.

“We’re dealing with very seasoned athletes on the K-Wings. We love working with them, and making a positive impact.”

AM-Adbit2016HockeyRegistration Open for Summer Hockey Dryland Training and Ultimate On-Ice and Power Skating Camps

Olson says he’s excited to open registration on this summer’s Hockey Camp and Ultimate On-Ice packages for Young Elite, Elite, and aspiring Pros.

“Our Ultimate Skills & Power Skating package was so popular last year, we’ve expanded the program to include stand-alone Power Skating packages for all age groups,” Olson said.

Since skating is the key to skill development, even the youngest players can benefit from working with Pro Power Skating coach Stacy Barber and Olson’s all-star coaching team. NHL agent and pro, Eddie Ward and first-round NHL draft pick and rising star, Stefan Noeson round out the team.
“The combination of our intense Dryland off-season camp with our Ultimate On-Ice skills and Power Skating package will enhance our athletes’ stride, strength and power for explosive stops and starts on ice,” said Olson. “Players will learn new skills that can only be taught by coaches that have played or are playing at the highest level.”
Also back this year is an attractive all-inclusive accommodation package for athletes who hail from afar or who just want the full camp experience. This year’s residence is a well-appointed Gull Lake home that will provide a resort-style experience.
Visit our Hockey Registration Center to learn more.

Athletic Mentors Launches New Hockey Website & Open Registration

April 9th, 2015 by Athletic Mentors

ad-bitAthletic Mentors is pleased to announce a new website ( for its nationally renowned Hockey spring and summer camps. Registration is NOW OPEN for young elite, elite and pro level players.  Founder & Coach Mark Olson and NHL agent and pro, Eddie Ward head up a star-studded lineup of coaches for the brand new On-Ice Ultimate Skills & Conditioning package, which can be added to any Dryland program or purchased separately.

“The combination of our intense Dryland off-season camp with our new Ultimate On-Ice skills and conditioning package will enhance our athletes’ stride, strength and power for explosive stops and starts on ice,” said Olson. “Player will learn new skills that can only be taught by coaches that have played or are playing at the highest level.”

He and Ward will be joined by Pro power skating coach, Stacey Barber and  first-round NHL draft pick and rising player, Stefan Noeson.

Also new this year is an all-inclusive accommodation package for athletes who hail from afar or who just want the full camp experience.

Athletic Mentors’ Hockey program is one of the nation’s premier, innovative programs that produces well-developed athletes powered by the perseverance and commitment required for pro-level play. Dedicated hockey players learn how to unleash their peak performance through structured, holistic hockey-specific training. The team of top notch experts in hockey strength and conditioning, programming and sports nutrition are complimented by Athletic Mentors clinical grade testing, physical therapy and sports massage resources. The AM team collaborates with NHL agents, scouts and coaches to ensure effective programming.

“Gone are the days where you could start summer camp training at 16 and expect to be competitive with your peers during the draft,” said Ward, an NHL agent and former pro. “I’m seeing that the most successful players are starting year-round, single-sport training years earlier, and it shows in the level of play. Athletic Mentors and Mark Olson are the best thing that can hone native talent to the next level of play.”

The intensive spring and summer camps feature specific training modules within the areas of physical, mental, nutritional and recovery management. From energy systems development to micro and macro nutrition and recovery strategies, their players emerge as well-developed athletes with the confidence and skill set to succeed.

Serious athletes from all over the nation register for these programs, which typically sell out early. Get the edge to unleash peak performance with an Athletic Mentors Hockey development program today. Register Online or Learn More about our summer hockey programs at

Meet Joey Chester

March 5th, 2015 by Athletic Mentors

Screen shot 2015-03-05 at 12.13.39 PMAthletic Mentors is delighted to introduce one of the newest members of its coaching cadre, Joey Chester.

The college running back and Plainwell alumni has been a competitive athlete his entire life. While at Defiance College, Joey was an integral part of the school’s football program. His moves on the field led him to become the third leading scorer going into his senior year, averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Off the field, he was a member of the Sports Business Association and received a degree in Wellness and Corporate Fitness.

Joey began his career at Athletic Mentors as an intern during the summer of 2013. He has since become a familiar face among the athletes, staying on after graduation in May 2014 and adopting new responsibilities this winter in connection with the Athletic Mentor’s Corporate Wellness program offerings. Joey has become entirely immersed in the training at AM. He oversees strength training of athletes in the areas of hockey, soccer, football, volleyball, tennis, swimming and other disciplines. He also offers personal training for adults looking for a lifestyle change.

Helping people reach their training goals inspires him. Being able to see the positive effects of the training is rewarding. Joey is passionate about what he does and all of the people that he is able to help along the way. His calm demeanor and insight have proven to motivate all that he works with.

Winter Swim Sessions for all abilities start January 3, 2015

December 28th, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

Winter is the time to strengthen your weakness and for most triathletes that means focus on the swim.  Don’t miss out on our winter swim classes starting next week! We have sessions for everyone, from the newest swimmswimer to the competitive Triathlete. If you can’t swim one length of the pool, we’ll get you there. If you can swim a good distance, but just want to get faster, we’ll improve your technique and your performance. For more information, check the links below. Classes start next week!

Beginner Swim Class

Intermediate / Advanced Swim Class

Last Call to Take Advantage of 15% Off for Our Fall Tri & Swim Clinics!

August 26th, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

SAVE 15% on Fall Clinics if registered by 8/26/14 at midnight, or until full.

VIDEO & STROKE ANALYSIS: November 2, 2014Diving
This half day clinic, will include high definition video to critique technique and then teach the most effective ways to correct your stroke. This is the best 3 hours you’ll ever spend to make a notable improvement in your stroke technique, efficiency and performance. Click here for more info and to register.
6 MONTH TRAINING PLAN CLINIC : November 15, 2014
This half day clinic designed for the half and full iron distance athlete will include field testing on the bike and run, and classroom instruction covering proper training. Athletes will leave with a 6 month custom training plan designed for their individual skill level, ability and the goal race of their choice. Click here for more info and to register.

Only 10 participants per class.

Race Smarter. Race Better. Learn From the Pros.

July 7th, 2014 by Athletic Mentors

If you’ve ever thought about bike racing, but were hesitant to line up among all those high-end bikes and cyclists in matching kits, this clinic is for you.

If you’ve ever wondered how sprinters find the perfect position from which to make their sprint, this clinic is for you.

If you’re prepping for the Miller Energy Criterium and want some last minute advice (as well as a sneak peek at the course), this clinic is for you.
This Friday, Athletic Mentors is offering free racing clinics, for both men and women, at the WMU BTR course featuring experienced cyclists from Team OAM Now including World Record Holder Chris Gottwald and State Champion Amy Kimber (Stauffer). Whether you’re a new rider looking for basics, or more experienced and looking to hone your skills, you’ll be grouped with similar riders and paired with an experienced cyclist to teach you new techniques and strategies.
Some of the clinic highlights include:

  • A safe environment, for all riders, without intimidation
  • A bike skills course to practice handling, cornering and more
  • Elite racers will discuss road criterium rules and what to expect
  • For new riders, both discussion and hands-on experience in group riding etiquette and safety
  • For more experienced riders, racing strategies and techniques including, but not limited to: perfecting the sprint, finding and maintaining good position, cornering, and attacking/chasing the pack

The clinic aims to introduce new racers to the criterium, offer tips and tricks to seasoned racers, and, overall, improve the performance of the pack. Even if you don’t currently consider yourself a racer, even if you’re not currently signed up for a race, this type of clinic is the perfect introduction to what road racing is all about and enough to give you a taste of this exciting event. The clinic is free for those who pre-register, but $10 if you wait.

Get registered now!

Men can register for the men’s clinic, from 7-9pm, Friday, July 11, here.

Women can register for the women’s clinic, from 5:45-8pm, Friday, July 11, here.


Triathlete Spring Swim Class – Registration is Now OPEN!

April 1st, 2014 by Cheryl Sherwood

With winter slow to end, the open water swimming is sure to be extra cold! Join us for this clinic to prepare for the open water and your first race. We’ll do some high intensity workouts to get ready for those high anxiety race starts and pull lane markers to mimic the open water experience with swim buoys and group starts. If you would like to feel ready to race when the season starts, this 4 week class will give you the confidence you are looking for in your race-ready fitness. Register Now as capacity is limited. Class starts April 18th.

Click here for details and to register.


Michigan’s Premier Elite Multi-Sport Teams win OAM NOW Title Sponsorship

January 17th, 2014 by Athletic Mentors
Watch for Team OAM NOW at multisport and endurance events throughout Michigan.

Watch for Team OAM NOW at multisport and endurance events throughout Michigan.

Elite cyclists, runners, tri-athletes and Nordic ski athletes in West Michigan will be hitting the trails in 2014 sporting a new title sponsor from West Michigan health innovator OAM NOW.

The team’s management company, Athletic Mentors LLC, announced the co-titling partnership with OAM NOW, a provider of Urgent Orthopaedic Care and supported by the OAM Sports Medicine Institute, both operated by Othopaedic Associates of Michigan. The multi-sport team program, formerly sponsored by Priority Health, has won national and international attention for the athletes it has developed in a variety of events. Two out of six American Tour de France cyclists are program alumni. The team’s athletes have made numerous trips to the podium and one, Chris Gottwald, has even set the world record for the 100 mile timed trial. The team serves as a platform to get athletes started and when developed, helps them advance to national or pro-level programs.

“We’re excited to support athletic excellence in Michigan, and to extend this opportunity to Michigan’s youth and competition veterans alike. The team’s focus on character-building, integrity, quality and the promotion of healthy living in the community mirrors all the things important to OAM. We’re looking forward to great seasons to come,” said Patrick J. Reid, CEO of Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan.

Team OAM NOW Presented By Athletic Mentors is comprised of athletes competing in Cycling, Triathlon, Running and Nordic Skiing throughout the calendar year, with additional objectives to create a healthier community and develop young athletes in sports that are not typically available in the school system.

The racing and youth development program was first launched in 2006 to bring business and athletes together to achieve common objectives. The team’s top elite athletes not only compete, but also volunteer in schools and community events to promote healthy lifestyle and athletics.

“Many young athletes wouldn’t have access to such sports as triathlon or bike racing unless a parent or older sibling was already involved,” said Cheryl Sherwood, co-owner of Athletic Mentors and Director of the Multi-sport team.

“The sponsorship by OAM NOW will allow us to continue to support the growth of these young hopefuls and at the same time encourage and engage the community in healthy, active lifestyles throughout Michigan. Without this support we just couldn’t keep the program going. ”

Sherwood also noted the continued support of additional sponsors, Agility Physical Therapy, Grzanka Grit McDonald and Gauthier Family Homecare.

“We’re excited to bring together such a great family of sponsors,” she said.


OAM NOW is a program dedicated to providing urgent, specialized orthopaedic care requiring no wait and no referrals. The program features extended hours until 9 p.m., a dedicated triage nurse and on-site support services such as MRI and physical therapy and is the first of its kind in West Michigan. For more information, visit

OAM Sports Medicine Institute physicians are focused on athletes – from the little leaguer to the college quarterback, from the weekend warrior to the professional competitor. For more information, visit

Athletic Mentors LLC, is a west Michigan-based athletic training and sports management company that offers individual training, team training programs, clinics, elite hockey programs and sports management services. For more information about Athletic Mentors or becoming a supporter, visit

Press Contact:

Cheryl Sherwood Olson
Athletic Mentors LLC
O: 269.664.6912
C: 269.491.2488