Washington Commanders linebacker Jon Bostic is building a new training facility that athletes across the state of Florida can call home for years to come.
Bostic, who grew up in Wellington, Florida, and played college football at the University of Florida, is about to break ground on a $38 million training facility, named the Wellington Sports Academy, in Palm Beach that will be one of the biggest in the country. His vision is to create a "one stop shop" for professional athletes during the offseason while also providing younger generations with a place to succeed and grow.
"I've been working on this plan the last two years with this site and location, but this sports academy has been about nine years in the workings," Bostic said.
The reason for Bostic working on such a project for the last decade is simple: he wants to give back and provide younger generations with a path to success. That's what his father, former Detroit Lions defensive back John Bostic, did for him by passing down knowledge from Hall of Famer Larry Little.
Those lessons always stuck with him, and now that he can do the same, he wants to do so on a much larger scale.
"To be able to give these same nuggets to the next generation is always something I wanted to do," Bostic said. "It allows these young athletes to get a head start."
The Wellington Sports Academy has been designed with the goal of catering to athletes from all sports, from football to softball and lacrosse, and their needs to take care of their bodies. In addition to a baseball, softball and multipurpose field for football, soccer and lacrosse, the academy will also include a membership gym sitting at 13,511 square feet for the public and a high-end performance gym at 6,687 square feet. The academy will also feature an orthopedic/physical therapy center, a chiropractor, professional style locker rooms and spaces specifically for coaches.
Bostic has personal experience in understanding how important it is for athletes to have access to these services in one place. During the offseason, he must travel 25 minutes west of where he lives to visit his massage therapist; 45 minutes north for his chiropractor; 25 minutes for his trainer; and 45 minutes south for his physical therapist.
Making those commutes is easier for him because of his situation, but many younger athletes do not have access to those services. And for those who do, it can be difficult for their families to spend hours driving from one place to another while trying to juggle other demands in their day.
So, Bostic set out to create a place that makes the lives of professional and younger athletes alike easier and more efficient, serving as a "one-stop shop for or us as professional athletes at this facility, but also be able to serve the next generation and give them these resources, the coaching and guidance to be able to help more of these kids be able to make it."
Bostic wants to have a positive effect on younger athletes "365 days a year." That involves providing them with opportunities to thrive, but he also wants to show them other paths to get the most out of their athletic ability. A Division II-level basketball player might be able to have more success in football or lacrosse if they were to use their skill set in a different way.
"Now, you've just put yourself at the top of everyone's recruiting board because of the type of athlete you are," Bostic said. "We just gotta help you with that skill."
Bostic is set to break ground on a $38 million sports academy that will be one of the biggest in the country.
Once the Wellington Sports Academy is completed, some of Bostic's first plans include creating a space for female athletes to train during their offseason and host skills camps. The final list of athletes is still being made, but it already includes some of the best softball and volleyball players in the country.
All the athletes will share Bostic's goal of helping younger athletes, and whenever their playing careers end, Bostic wants to provide them with a chance to work at the academy and still be around their respective sport.
"A lot of us, we would love to be around the games that gave us so much," Bostic said. "So, being able to come in to run a softball or volleyball academy, that's a no-brainer for a lot of them."