Matt Travis has a big day, professionally, this Thursday -- in Westborough and Southborough.
The Westborough public schools resume classes after winter break; Travis teaches physical education at the Fales Elementary School.
And Athletic Revolution Metro West opens at its new home, at 40 Southville Road, Southborough.
Travis is expanding the business, where he is owner and head coach, that he ran at Westborough's Forbes Municipal Building gymnasium since 2010 through the Westborough Recreation Department.
"They were such an awesome support system for us. I can't say enough good things about the Westborough Recreation Department. They helped us build our business to what it is," Travis said Sunday.
Travis said he had been looking for a space with "high ceilings, 2,000 square feet, to make the business into what we really wanted it to be: a home for kids, and basically a place where we can help to empower kids with specific needs to improve their overall physical development."
"We needed a space where we could do this year-round and do it where kids are getting that physical development throughout the year," Travis said.
Athletic Revolution Metro West will offer three-, six- and 12-month programs, he said.
"We don't offer less than that, because physical development doesn't happen in a short period of time," he said.
The center will offer youth programs for ages six to nine (Discovery), 10 to 13 (Exploration) and 14 and up (Transformation), as well as adult programs, Travis said.
Every child will get assessed when they come in, he said.
"We look at what are their biomechanics looking like. How are they moving? And based off of what we see, I program individually for each kid. They may be in the same session together, but each kid is moving and doing things differently based on what their needs are," said Travis, a 2001 graduate of Westborough High School, where he played football and basketball.
"If I have a kid who's never skipped before, we need to teach him how to skip. If I have a kid who's a stud at skipping, I'm going to increase that in another way."
Travis said that "I feel like physical
education is taking a different route, into a better future." Physical
education teachers "are more like life coaches at this point," helping
students work on social and character development, and problem solving,
"When we were growing up, we went outside and we played. There were
no parents around, and we had to learn to solve our problems. It
doesn't happen anymore. There's no more pickup games outside. It's all
organized sports," he said.
"Here, we give them a space to do
that. I'll give them a task. And then I'll say, 'Go do it.' And
especially with the younger students -- the six through niners -- we
make sure that they get a chance experience how to solve a problem with
"We don't step in for that. Because it's for them to figure out. We give them the tools that they need. We give them that guidance. But then we have them go through that challenge, and really see what it entails."
Travis said he plans to continue teaching, even as his business grows.
get to do what I love. And the number one thing, and the number one
reason I got into this, was knowing that it's not about me. It's 100
percent about the kids," he said.
"I can get them faster. And I can get them stronger. But I want them to be better people. If I can help a kid get through a really hard time, those are the moments I remember, and the moments they remember."