(949) 388-8664   |

Dom ela

In San Clemente, CA born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my days… Thought I’d drop a Fresh Prince of Bel Air line to get this story rolling.  But the playground really is where it all started.  I grew up playing every sport possible and wanted to be the best at each one.  My first two coaches got me going in the right direction: Mom and Dad. I got my athleticism from them both… my dad will tell you it’s from him, and my mom will tell you it’s from her.  My mom made the high school basketball team nine months pregnant (with me) as a freshman and is a 3-point record holder at San Clemente High School and Sonoma State University.  My dad was a stud high school soccer star at San Clemente and enjoys coaching.  My Dad was by far my toughest coach.  There was a 99% chance I was leaving the field in tears after every training session. I hated him at the time but now I thank him because he pushed me to be the best.  I also have my legendary coaches to thank for teaching the aspect of hard work, on and off the field.  My goal is to instill the same type of principles in the athletes I train today.

I played wide receiver at San Clemente High School.  By the looks of me you’d probably think I played linebacker. I was short for the position and wasn’t the fastest guy out there.  I had to work harder than everybody else at training and know every position on the field. I had to separate myself from the rest of the pack to get recruited.  I ran the best routes around, and I caught every ball that came my way.

Unfortunately it wasn’t enough. I had to take an alternate route to get where I wanted to be. After high school I went to Saddleback and played for Mark McElroy. The competition was unreal. There were 38 guys fighting for one position. You had to fight for reps, and when it was your time to shine you had to make the most of the opportunity. I was the guy that made the most of it and after my first year I had zero scholarships. The next offseason I didn’t take a day off. Every day was a grind. I pushed myself too hard and my body was exhausted. I had had improper form when I would lift and this affected my career in the long run (this is relevant later in the story).  Sophomore season rolled up fast and I was on pace to break records.  I had 55 receptions and 775 receiving yards in six games. Every day I was talking to a new school and I was high on life. Then in a moment, my life changed forever. The first quarter of the 7th game against OCC I went in to hit someone and before I got him I slipped and blew out my left knee – I tore every ligament you are able to tear. In turn I lost every scholarship. All my hard work in the off season ended up being useless due to improper form while training. I never thought I’d have a chance to play football again. Then I got a call from the University of Utah. They still wanted me. I said yes without even visiting Salt Lake City. The estimated recovery time for my knee was 9 to 12 months. I tried to push it to eight and during the very first rep of Fall Camp at the U I went up to catch a ball and when I came down I tore my meniscus and lost some cartilage. After two knee surgeries in less than a year, I decided it was time to hang up the cleats.

I invested my whole life into football and my goal was to go to the NFL. I was two months away from having my daughter Callan and I had no Plan B. I decided to stay at the U and get educated. I graduated with a BS in Sociology and came back home. I jumped around from job to job and wasn’t happy. I had a hard time being away from athletics so I decided to get into training. I started training at a place where it was hard to evolve so I left. Everything changed when I met RY, Blake, and the Foundation Family. The atmosphere they created at Foundation is something I didn’t even realize I was looking for. When I walked into Foundation for the first time I told Ry this is the first job I’ve ever had where it’s hard to leave, and it still like that after every day. I am passionate about what I do. I live through my athletes, I’m competitive for them, I want them to be healthy, confident, and physically and mentally ready for competition. What’s my point? I’ve been at the bottom, top and everywhere in between. I know what it takes to get to the next level. I used to live with regret and say I wish I could go back but now I just embrace it and use my story as a teaching tool to help athletes learn from my mistakes and triumphs.

1001 Calle Negocio, Suite B.,
San Clemente, California 92673

(949) 388-8664  |


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