When entering the DJonkins Sports Fitness Center, it is impossible to miss two walls dedicated to listing the names of student athletes who dream of achieving something greater with their careers, whether those dreams include college athletics or becoming professional athletes.
According to owner Derrick Jonkins, listing the students’ names, colleges they aspire to and grade point averages serves as extra motivation for new and returning clients.
“The importance of the wall is to give the kids some kind of vision,” Jonkins said. “For example, a lot of younger kids that come in look at the wall and say, ‘Man, I’m making C’s and D’s and these guys have 3.8 [grade point averages].’ It gives a lot of kids goals to strive for and a little extra motivation.”
With 22 years in personal training experience, Jonkins said his focus is on building lasting relationships with clients and encouraging a sense of community. The primary clientele are area high school athletes, although adult classes and general memberships are offered as well. Jonkins meets with each client in one-on-one settings to develop a workout plan, which varies depending on the need of the individual.
“We’re more specialized and hands-on here,” he said. “If you go to a big-box gym, you get lost when you sign up. … Next thing you know, you cancel your membership because you have no clue what’s going on. You’re always going to see certain people around here all the time, and it’s not too big that you can’t make relationships with people and become a family. I try to build a family atmosphere. … To me that’s a big thing.”
According to Jonkins, the most important question he asks clients is if they really want to be there and what kind of support system they have in place.
“I try to sit down with them and get some goals and get a little history and background on them,” he said. “I try to get a plan with them, and once they have the plan in place … I try to be hands-on with them. I always thought this was my niche; if you give people great service, they’ll keep coming back.”
DJonkins Sports Fitness Center will celebrate its first anniversary in May. Jonkins said he moved to The Woodlands area because of how close it is to area high schools and the sense of community demonstrated by the people.
Jonkins said he personally goes to support his clients, whether it involves cheering them on at an athletic event or meeting them at the grocery store to make sure they are getting the right foods to fit in a meal plan. Jonkins also offers group training, which he said often has a slightly more competitive environment.
“A lot of the time, we start with private and then gear on to the groups as we get going,” Jonkins said. “Nobody wants to run on a track by themselves.”
Jonkins said his work as a coach and teacher allows him to focus on building student athletes up to find success in college. Jonkins said he built strong relationships with college coaches, which further helps his training programs because he knows what they are looking for.
“I would say about 99 percent of the kids in our program get either academic or athletic scholarships to college,” he said. “They are really serious, and they want to play college sports, so my goal and my staff’s goal is to get them there.”
DJonkins Sports Fitness Center
1311 Rayford Park Road, Ste. A, Spring
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m.-7:30 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.-1 p.m.