Kevin Boss: from WOU to the NFL to Bend business owner

Kevin Boss: from WOU to the NFL to Bend business owner

Kevin Boss is a Exercise Science alum and former football tight end. After a successful 6-year NFL career, highlighted by a Super Bowl XLII victory with the New York Giants, Kevin moved to Bend and founded Boss Sports Performance. The passion and tireless work ethic that allowed Kevin to chase his NFL dream is the same drive and passion that he now uses to help build Boss Sports Performance into one of the Northwest’s premiere Athlete Performance Center.

Did you always want to run your own business? What obstacles did you have to overcome?

When I was a freshman in high school, I had a former football coach of mine show me the weight room and I instantly fell in love. I loved what it did for me as an athlete as well as more importantly the confidence it gave me as a timid boy when I desperately needed it. I was hooked right then and there and knew that I wanted to provide that same feeling for young athletes when I had the opportunity.

After I was forced to retire due to concussions, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. My family and I moved to Bend and all the effort and energy that I once poured into football for so many years I now shifted that same intense focus and energy to becoming the best strength and conditioning coach that I could. There were and still are plenty of obstacles to overcome with most of them falling in the business type category. I was and still am fairly green when it comes to running and owning a business, but I have also really enjoyed the challenge and it has pulled out this entrepreneurial spirit that I didn’t know existed previously.

How about the NFL – what was that like? How did you go from being a student athlete at WOU to playing in the NFL?

The NFL was an incredible life altering experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. Although the job was very stressful, both mentally and physically, it has opened up doors and provided me the opportunity to pursue my true passions of being a present husband and father as well as a successful gym owner! Like I said, playing football for a living was an amazing opportunity, but I know without a doubt doing what I’m doing now is my true calling in life. Football just gave me a platform to reach more people with my gym.

What did a typical day in the NFL look like compared to typical day now as a gym owner?

I think the causal NFL fan has the misconception that we practice for a couple hours each week and then show up on Sundays and play. In reality, we’re putting in 9-10 hour days at the facility, coming home to eat some dinner before putting in several more hours of preparation before going to sleep. Then you wake up and do it all over again.

Now with 4 young kids, a wife, and a business to run, I’m still busy – it’s just a different kind of busy. When playing, you had to be a little bit more selfish with your time in order to take care of yourself and get yourself ready to play each Sunday. Now, I’m lucky if I get 45 minutes each day for myself, which I typically try to use for a quick sweat session of my own.

Here’s a breakdown of my day – then and now.

  • When I was in the NFL
  • 6:30 – 7:00 a.m.

    Breakfast at the facility – usually oatmeal, eggs, and a smoothie

  • 7:00 – 7:30 a.m.

    Training room and hot tub

  • 7:30 – 11:00 a.m.

    Team meeting, special teams meeting, and offensive and tight end meetings

  • 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    Practice

  • 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

    Lift and lunch

  • 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

    Cold tub and other treatment

  • 2:30 – 5:00 p.m.

    Review offensive and tight end practice videos

  • 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

    Home and dinner

  • 6:30 p.m.

    Ice and study opponent videos

  • 10:00 p.m.

    Bed

  • Now as a gym owner
  • 8:30 a.m.

    Arrive at gym

  • 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

    Teach adult fitness class

  • 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    Work with pro athletes – who it is depends on the time of year; right now we have a group of 4 NFL guys in town training during their off-season

  • 1:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Busy office work, lunch, and a workout

  • 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

    After-school programs

  • 5:00 p.m.

    Head home – our first 2 years, I was at the gym until 8 p.m. and beyond most nights, but now my coaching staff covers the remaining evening sessions

What type of clientele do you work with?

We work with kids as young as 5 years old in our "Intro to Sport & FUNdamentals of Fitness Class” all the way up to 65 year old adult fitness clients and everything in-between. We have been fortunate to work with professional athletes from a number of different sports including: NFL, MLB, Olympic Snowboarders & Skiiers, Mountain Bikers, Rock Climbers, and Runners. With our main day to day clientele being youth athletes of Central Oregon.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

There is so much that I love about what I do now. I love the relationships and daily interactions with the kids. I love seeing a young kid walk in lacking self-confidence and then several months later walk out beaming with pride and confidence.

I enjoy my role not only as a strength and conditioning coach but more importantly I really enjoy the platform it gives me to mentor these young athletes on and off the field. I also love seeing the relationships that are formed in the gym from like-minded kids from different schools that may not have had the opportunity to meet elsewhere.

I love having the opportunity to teach life-long lessons that the weight room provides such as hard work, dedication, commitment, resiliency, consistency, and so much more! I also really enjoy teaching, mentoring, and leading by example for my younger staff.

How did your time at WOU shape your future?

My years at WOU were some of the best and most formidable years of my life. I wouldn’t change my experience there for the world. I was surrounded by and had the opportunity to learn from great professors, coaches, and other faculty members that had a tremendous influence on me and helped pave my path to success.

Not to say there weren’t bumps in the road because there were plenty of those, even a huge roadblock my senior year when I injured my shoulder and was forced to have season ending shoulder surgery and suddenly my hopes of playing in the NFL were slipping away. But through the belief and support of my teammates, coaches, professors, and the entire WOU community.

What advice do you have for students or recent grads?

Don’t be afraid of a little hard work! Just like one of my favorite quotes reads: “Nothing in this life worth having comes easy!” With the instant gratification society that we live in these days, I see too many young adults not willing to really WORK for something and are quick to give up when adversity strikes.

Find something that you are really passionate about and find a way to make it your life's work. Be ready to have people doubt you and be ready to fall on your face a time or two. But don’t stay there! Get up, brush yourself off, learn from it and keep relentlessly pursuing YOUR dream!

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