The YMCA was founded in 1844 by 22-year-old George Williams and his London-dwelling friends, all of whom were distressed by the dangerous conditions and bleak housing for working people. Today, the YMCA extends its branches through more than 10,000 neighborhoods across the country to foster social change by promoting youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Partnering with these communities and working with students and volunteers, the YMCA's programs sponsor and empower people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses. The organization's fitness and sports centers provide opportunities for people to exercise and achieve overall wellness, and social services connect underserved people with affordable housing, employment, and substance-abuse programs. Collegiate programs establish local service opportunities for students to teach a sense of self-awareness and community responsibility, and children’s camps help youth explore nature, be creative, and develop independence.
Founded by NFL veteran Don Beebe and athletic expert Dr. Jeffrey Schutt, House of Speed forges sportspeople of all stripes into world-class athletes with specialized equipment and personalized performance tracking. Once Steve Halloran and his crew arrange sweat donors into small groups of 5–25 (with at least one trainer for every 10–15 athletes), he targets a slew of individual body areas with an optimized warm-up. The PowerPull resistance machine teaches nimble feet to run with correct form and mechanics and the Bear squat machine's angled footplate takes stress off of the back and knees and boosts vertical propulsion for more satisfying high-fives with blimp pilots. Dartfish instant video feedback lets trainees review every juke, jump, and follow-through. House of Speed's proprietary MySpeed web application tracks progress using comprehensive data from eight core drills, allowing participants to compare their stats with those of nationwide competitors.
Since opening in 1998, House of Speed locations have trained more than 40,000 athletes, including Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and former Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner. The Chicago Bears, St. Louis Rams, and the University of Illinois have also used House of Speed's off-season training programs to keep players out of summer bicycle gangs and seedy all-night fireplace stores.