After more than 10 years as a strength and conditioning coach and one year as a physical therapist, Carlsbad resident Annemarie Alf was offered the ultimate gig: to work with Olympic athletes.
Alf, 36, went on to train the Chinese gymnasts who competed in the 2012 Olympics in London. It was that experience that Alf discovered a new approach to physical therapy.
Alf is the founder of Olympus Movement Performance, a physical therapy company that recently opened in Vista. Her method is simple: offering an innovative and thorough approach toward mobility.
“I want to give people the opportunity to take care of their whole self,” Alf said. “I want to give people the knowledge they need to move better.”
Olympus Movement Performance differs from typical physical therapy offices in that it offers clients an integrated team that includes strength and conditioning coaches, wellness coaches, nutritionists, doctors and massage therapists, Alf said.
Alf said she learned how crucial the integrated approach was to sports training after she worked with the Chinese Olympics team, which had a variety of experts and coaches who worked with the gymnasts.
“With the team approach, we were able to learn from each other,” Alf said. “We found that was the best way to success.”
Alf said the Vista business offers one-on-one training, which allows therapists to address each client’s limitations and improve his or her overall performance.
But, the integrated approach to mobility doesn’t just cater to Olympic or professional athletes. Athletes of all age groups can benefit from the integrated approach, Alf said. In fact, the Buffalo, N.Y. native has a passion for working with youth.
“I really enjoy working with younger athletes because it allows me to help them recognize their potential,” said Alf, who earned her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of St. Augustine in San Marcos. “I want to give them the education and knowledge they need to influence their lives and movement pattern early on. This (business) allows me to do that.”
The passion for working with youth has paid off for Alf so far. She spoke about a teenage client she has who began therapy after getting a fracture in her spine.
“She went through stem cell therapy and continued her rehab, and now she’s back on the field playing at the highest level,” Alf said. “When you’ve made that sort of impact in someone’s life, it really means a lot to me.”
For more information about Olympus Movement Performance, go to www.olympusmovement.com.