With DeVentri Jordan
Season 5, Episode 13 | July 19, 2022
From a young age, sports offer a way to stay active and learn valuable life skills. For some, they become an ambition as they get older. In this mini episode, DeVentri Jordan, founder and national director of GameFace at Life Time, shares the ways this sports-training program helps people grow in athletics, whether they’re just getting introduced to sports or are aiming to compete at a high level.
DeVentri Jordan is the founder, national director, and hype master for GameFace at Life Time.
In this episode, Jordan shares what makes GameFace different from other sports-training programs:
- It serves every athlete and every sport. Rather than a hyper-focus on a single sport, the GameFace emphasis is on becoming an all-around better athlete. You’ll work on movement skills — including lateral, linear, and multidirectional movement — as well as progressive lifting abilities, improving acceleration and deceleration, and preventing injury.
- It meets athletes where they’re at and offers true performance progression. Trainers get to know each athlete and understand their personal goals and motivators. An athlete’s initial evaluation helps trainers identify their specific needs, which they then use to inform the design of their individualized training program.
- It helps athletes become better physically and Trainers understand that athletic improvement goes beyond fitness and movement, which is why a holistic approach — including elements such as healthy nutrition, adequate recovery, and good mental health — is prioritized.
- It’s a community. Athletes become like family when they train together, emphasizes Jordan.
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Transcript: Why GameFace?
Season 5, Episode 13 | July 19, 2022
[MUSIC PLAYING] Welcome to another episode of Life Time Talks. I’m David Freeman.
And I’m Jaime Martin.
And we’re joined today by DeVentri Jordan. And we’re going to go deep inside as far as who this individual is– founder, national director, hype master of GameFace Training at Life Time.
Yes. Yes. And has been training elite athletes his entire career, including athletes Under Armour and at IMG Academy, as well as top high school talents, college D1 players, and professional athletes. DeVentri created GameFace in 2012 and then partnered with Life Time in 2020. Welcome, DeVentri.
We’re excited to have you, finally.
I’m excited. I’ve been watching the podcast, I’m like, I can’t wait to get my shot.
Well, here you are. Here we go. All right. You ready?
I’ve been doing the other podcasts just to get ready for this one.
Oh, that’s great.
There you go. Got the reps in.
You got to practice, right? It’s all the practice.
Got to get those reps.
All right. So let’s start. You got to tell us, what is GameFace? And why did you create it?
I created GameFace because I felt like there was a need for true sports performance. I feel like you have performance coaches, but the one thing that GameFace have– we have a community. And we have an approach where we meet athletes where they’re at, and we help get them better not just physically but mentally also.
One thing about when you walk through our doors, it’s the vibe. It’s the feel. The music. The smell. Our evaluation process when we bring athletes in. And we’re probably one of the only companies that offer a true performance progression for every athlete for every sport.
I love that.
I want to dive into that. I mean, you talked about community and then you said how you offer to every sport. Can you just dive into some of the sports that have come across GameFace?
Everything– soccer, team handball–
We’re getting some pickleball players now, you know, because Life Time’s going big in pickleball.
Soccer. We train one of the huge soccer programs in Minnesota. They got about 60 teams. We trained a lot of high-level basketball players, football players, rugby, lacrosse. So we train every sport.
At Life Time what you’re offering, there’s individual offerings. So you’ve got GameFace Sport and GameFace Pro. Can you just tell us what each of those are?
So GameFace Sport is made for 8 to 13-year-old kid who wants to get introduced to sports performance. They’ve been sitting at home. Mom’s like, listen, you’ve got to do something. You can’t be playing Fortnite. Let’s go. Let’s go work out.
So we try to make it a fun, active way for kids to get introduced into playing sports. And then what we do is if they’re interested, we help them find a progression path to get to the Pro Series. And Pro Series is like, hey, I think I can go to college or I can play sports at a high level. That’s when you progress and you come to the Pro Series.
And this is one thing that I’m big on, as far as just when it comes to programming and progressive programming. And one thing as far as a young kid, they should have a lot of variety. So I like the fact that you kind of say here, train to become a better athlete, right?
And then, once they start to come into their own, then they start to navigate to whatever sport that is that they want to kind of specialize in. So can you dive a little bit into what the progressions look like, and then when you or the parent how you all come together and says, all right, this is going to be the sport that they’ve identified with, what they have fell in love with and they want to pursue?
Right. So let’s take you, for instance. You have kids, so. And you probably work with your kids. And you probably know– you know your kids better than anybody.
So the one thing we do is when we do our evaluation, we take what we see, but we also take what you see also. And you say, hey, man, my son, I think he needs to get a little quicker. He doesn’t do this. He doesn’t do that.
And so what we do is we take that evaluation along with your comments and then we come up with a plan and we go over it with you. So usually it goes for anywhere between 4 to 6 weeks. Then we come up with a D low phase. And always, our key focus is injury prevention right away.
So when we start, we have a learning and training phase. That’s taking the athlete, getting them used to us, getting used to our verbal cues, our breathing techniques, our patterns. And then we go out to our training to GameFace. That’s helping them be more competitive athletes. Then, the training to train. And then, our training to train is when you’re elite level athlete. And then you’re competing at a high level.
You mentioned earlier you’re talking also about the mental side of this. So how do you work with your clients with this? In the mental health space.
Oh, we talk– I mean, like Dave said, we don’t skip reps. You can’t go to point A to point C back to point B to point Z. You can’t skip any steps. And we tell our athletes, every moment matters. You maximize your moments, not the minutes. So you come to workout and we’ve got a certain thing that we’re trying to get done today. And we’re going to get it done regardless of how you feel.
When you look at the impact that you’ve made with so many kids over the years, can you share some of those stories as far as what you’ve seen an individual coming in one way and then leaving another way? Can you share some of those stories with us?
Yeah. I mean, I can talk about it right now. We had some pro day guys when they walked through the door, I’m like, man, is this going to be a money play? Can we really help these guys out?
And to see these guys eight weeks later just their bodies change and they’re down there bulking out their shirts off walking around, showing their six packs. We’ve had one guy, a receiver out of Chicago, who come in at 175, is up to 193. He couldn’t put up 225 at all, now he put it up the other day for 10 reps. But just seeing the confidence, seeing the swag, with these guys. Seeing their appreciation to be here, to be involved.
Or you could take– I could take a lot of soccer girls that we train who are afraid of just competing. Who they don’t know if they want to go to college, or they just want to get a job. And because their parents weren’t sports athletes, they don’t feel like they can be. And then, all of a sudden, they get that one offer or a piece of letter– a letter in the mail from a school, and now they’re just so grateful.
For me, hearing that and seeing that and seeing how it changes people’s grades, kids’ confidence go up– because if you think about it, a lot of youth commit suicide–
–because they lack confidence or because they didn’t get a like on a Twitter post or an Instagram post. So talking to these kids, helping them navigate through things like that also is an approach that we take too.
I want to touch on that. I want to stay right there, just because it’s a small percentage that makes it to the elite level. So what are some of these skills that they’re learning, as far as everyday life, that they’re going to be able to apply beyond the sport?
You get out what you put in. You have to maximize every moment, and you never know who’s watching. You never know. And you can’t afford to skip reps. And that time is important. Time is something that we can’t afford to waste.
One thing you mentioned earlier, too, is the community and the culture. And I think– we know that team sports, what they do for people, what you get out of them– you learn to communicate, you learn all these other skills. Talk to us about the community that you’re fostering there? Like what are some of the values that are inherently part of GameFace?
Well, we call ourselves big brothers, big sisters, mentors, coaches. And so what we find is that a lot of kids come talk to us about their issues that they’re not comfortable with talking to their parents about. We always bring it back to the parents, but we gain– I call it we make those deposits. So we make a lot of deposits in kids. So when it’s time to make the withdrawals, kids come to us and they talk to us and they vent to us. And they tell us a lot of information that’s going on with their lives or with their coaches or with their teammates. And we’ve had athletes who are in high school who were alcoholics.
And we’ve helped them find counseling.
We find athletes who are being threatened or being bullied at school and we help them resolve those issues. So there’s so many different things that go on because of the community feel that we have with all of our coaches and then with all of the kids that come that it ends up becoming more of a blessing for us because it becomes a referral system. Because now, mom is speaking about us at the soccer game, saying, hey, not only do they train great athletes and help make athletes better, but they’re also good mentors.
I want to go into the title itself. Like, GameFace. So tell us how that came about? Like GameFace itself, the name?
I was sitting at home. And I was trying to figure out a name and I was reading an article from Lil Wayne, actually. And he says, you always got to have your game face on from the corner office, to the street corner. You’re always going to put your game face on. And it just made me think about it. It’s so true. We always have to have your game face on. And no matter what you do in life, because we want to be the best at what we do. And I think it was a name that translated for all sports, for all people, for all walks of life.
I love that.
You also refer to the athlete’s journey. So talk to us a little bit about that, too.
Athlete’s journey, they walk through the– it’s kind of cool. You walk through the door and you’re greeted by a front desk. And then you’re asked if you want your pre-workout. And you get to select what type of pre-workout you want.
You walk back, drink it, you meet the coaches on the field. You know who you’re working with for that day. You go do your pre-warmup. And then you go through your movement, then you go through your lift.
Then you’re brought back up front and get your post-workout. And you can even buy meals. Let’s say if you’re hungry, you didn’t eat at school or you missed a meal, we have snacks and beverages available to purchase.
Nice. So it’s the full experience from the moment you walk through the door–
It’s the full experience.
–before you head home.
We treat them like professional athletes.
That’s awesome. So I have two girls. They’re 11 and 8. They’re both kind of soccer, basketball. They go between. What are kids in those age ranges– what’s their response? When they leave or when you get feedback from their parents or the kids themselves, what are they saying about their experiences with you?
The parents are like, I’m glad you made my kids tired so now they can go to bed.
But I think– but also they like that we take time to help kids understand what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. We make them understand, this is why you’re running straight ahead. This is why we want your knee to go this high. This why we want you to dorsi flex here. This why you want your elbow to go back this far. Kids enjoy learning that stuff, it’s just how you explain it to them.
And then they like competing. They like saying, hey, I may be working out with a 14-year-old kid, and I have the opportunity to be just as good as she is.
It sounds like there’s a little bit of their kids first education too into their anatomy and how their body moves in space, which is so cool.
Like how do I–
–fit into this and what happens when I try this, which is very fun.
And we’re really good at explaining and demoing. Our coaches all can demo the workouts. We just don’t tell you to do the workouts, we actually do it with you. We show you and we walk you through it. And we make sure that you’re doing it right before you go to the next thing.
So many life skills. And to speak from personal experience, like what we said earlier, communication skills. Just the discipline– following a regimen, understanding structure. Also working within teams.
One thing that I want to definitely make sure we hit on is, we talk about performance. We talk about delivering at a high level. Let’s talk a little bit about recovery. So what do you do for these athletes–
Oh, man. That’s my thing right there.
–with their recovery? That’s huge.
I love recovery. Recovery as a workout all by itself. So we actually schedule recovery as a part of our athletes’ journey that we have certain days for recovery that we put that in there. Because a lot of athletes want to go, go, go, go, go, go but they don’t know how to shut it down. So we have a full recovery room. Down here at Boca we do a lot of swimming pool recovery. Pool workouts. Then obviously, with the great amenities that Life Time have with Pilates and yoga. Getting a massage. So we incorporate all the other businesses in Life Time too as a part of recovery.
Love that. Love that.
Yep. We all need a little bit of that. Always. Whether you’re training with GameFace or not.
All right, DeVentri. Anything else you want to add about GameFace before we sign off?
Come try it. Come see what we’re about, come be a part of our community. Have fun with us. And let us help meet you where you’re at and make you a better athlete.
And also, where can people find you at on any social platforms so if they’re listening right now they can go check it out? Gamefacetraining is our Instagram. My personal Instagram is deventrij.
And we’ll make sure to link to the website and everything too.
I’m trying to get followers like– I want to get as many followers as David has.
Aww. No, it’s not– I tell people all the time– and this might be a mic drop here– trust me when I say, less is more.
All right? That’s what I would say. Less is more.
That’s good. That was good.
All right, well thank you, DeVentri, for coming on. We are excited to have you and excited about what you’re doing and bringing to Life Time. Well, thank you. You all have a great day.
The information in this podcast is intended to provide broad understanding and knowledge of healthcare topics. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of advice from your physician or healthcare provider. We recommend you consult your physician or healthcare professional before beginning or altering your personal exercise, diet or supplementation program.