The NFL may be a little over a week away from the Super Bowl, but for 30 other teams, it’s already time to start getting ready for the next season. As for Natalie Kollars, SCCC, it means that her season is just starting.
Kollars has established herself as one of the top sports performance experts in the country after working with numerous athletes from the NFL, NHL, and college teams—she has even trained singer Demi Lovato.
At present, her focus is on preparing players from all over the country for the upcoming OTA camps. Players like Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Josh Allen, Seattle Seahawks running back Deejay Dallas, and Cleveland Browns cornerback Greg Newsome are among those who fly into Arizona to work with Kollars. They undergo sport-specific drills to enhance their skills and readiness for April’s OTA camps, which mark the first official team practices of the 2024 season.
However, football is just one aspect of Kollars’ current work. She has joined forces with Scottsdale-based Helix Performance and performance coach Steve J Lindquist CSCS XPS BS as part of her launch of her new company and brand, Fortis. Through this new initiative, Kollars aims to expand her performance-based reach to offer online training not only to elite athletes, but also to other professionals looking to improve their fitness levels.
Having spent several years developing athletes at Phoenix’s EXOS, Kollars states that her new venture will also provide educational and mentorship programs to young trainers, particularly females.
“I am deeply committed to providing opportunities and mentoring for young female strength and conditioning coaches,” Kollars remarks. “Because we are a rarity. It is going to involve much more than just training athletes while still maintaining that as the cornerstone of my business.”
Kollars is Preparing to Pave the Way for Other Female Trainers
As one of the very few female trainers in the NFL, Kollars, who had trained hundreds of athletes at Phoenix’s EXOS Performance before relocating to Scottsdale’s Helix, acknowledges the challenges of being in the minority. However, by honing her skills and building her brand through Fortis, Kollars sets an example that striving to be the best version of oneself and taking time to understand and value clients are equally vital as educational qualifications and certifications.
“I believe that a significant part of our industry is centered around establishing relationships and trust between a coach and an athlete,” she explains. “Similar to all aspects of life, people want to know that you genuinely care about them as individuals, not just for what they do. There’s an aspect of relationship-building, and then there’s the simple aspect of being excellent at your job.”
Kollars shares that her initial goal for the OTA preparation camps is to lay the groundwork to ensure readiness for the OTAs, which commence for teams in April, before gearing up for the training camp in July. Currently, her focus is on addressing injuries, movement quality, and any deficiencies that may have arisen during the previous season’s 17-game schedule.
“A significant part of it is getting their bodies back into shape after a long season, addressing any lingering injuries, and ensuring that everything is taken care of as early as possible, and then preparing them for an extended time away from the season,” she points out.
While Kollars may still be among the few women working with elite athletes like NFL players, the acknowledgment she receives from the players further confirms that she is right where she belongs.
“Dallas once said to me, wherever you are, I’ll be there,” Kollars shares.
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