5 Questions With...

Michael Ledo, CEO at Athletes With Purpose
10/5/2017
Deborah C. Gerbers
Steve Vorderman
5 Questions With...

As the CEO of Athletes With Purpose Sports (AWP), Michael Ledo seeks to be a mentor to foster the talents of his athletes, leading to their continued success in all areas of life.

Q1: What is your background in sports, and how did your path lead you here?

In high school I was a pretty successful football player at Bishop Luers, but I did not always find success in academics, which impacted my college decisions. After transferring from Pasadena Community College in California to return home for my family, I graduated from Saint Francis with a degree in business marketing, and I was inducted in the athletic hall of fame in 2016. And with personal success and failures, I committed my career to mentoring not only sports, but life.

Q2: Can you explain the history of AWP, your mission and what you can uniquely offer to athletes?

AWP Sports stands for Athletes With Purpose, which my partner Bryan Bourcier and I co-founded in 2003. In 2007, we formed an actual business entity, adding more partners like Ortho Northeast. We both had the same vision – finding a way for sports to make people into better leaders and positively impact them, while earning college scholarships and ultimately helping them find their purpose beyond athletics. That is the core of our mission. Sports are a great vehicle to do that. We have been the trendsetter in Fort Wayne as the first sports performance provider of our kind, which differs from strength and conditioning – sports performance is more in-depth, combining speed, strength, athletic movement and injury prevention. Linear and lateral speed training has always set us apart in helping athletes maximize their athletic talents. We also believe in mentorship, placing value on relationships first. We want to help kids be entrepreneurs, in the sense that they pursue opportunity in life without regard to resources currently controlled. We want them to go after their dreams no matter what. 

Q3: What is the best part of your job? 

The greatest part for me is seeing people grow into entrepreneurs. For example, many of our staff members start here as their first or second job, and after a few years they have learned business, hands-on application and leadership skills. The other thing I like is that since I’m pretty hands on with the athletes, mentoring kids who are what I call ‘20 percenters,’ which means they are in the 20 percent of the population who strive to be great. I find that 80 percent of people are satisfied with being average. When I get these kids, they seek out advice and they simply want to be great in life. I have kids here who are on their way to becoming lawyers, doctors and accountants – sports have just been a platform for their success in life. And I love seeing the impact they will have on the world.  
 

Q4: What are some of the biggest challenges you face, and how do you work to overcome those?

The greatest challenge is working with athletes who don’t come from a supportive background. We have kids we want to help and guide, but they don’t have the support from home – financially or emotionally. This is an investment in many ways. Another challenge is that because we view athlete development in a holistic sense, combining the mental, physical and spiritual, the process is very time consuming and requires dedication and education. We want people to understand the value behind the investment they are making. The mental and athletic performance combined is what drives overall success for our athletes.  
 

Q5: Where do you see AWP going in the future? 

As we are a member of Parkview Sports Medicine with ONE and Parkview, we see ourselves as a regional leader in athletic development, sports performance and medicine. We see ourselves expanding throughout the Midwest and we would like to be an affiliate partner to other sports organizations to help them have continued growth and success.


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