Movement, mindset, and natural rhythms supporting athletes development, performance and to optimize flow in sport and life. That’s the vision of Moto Athletic – the newly launched company founded by Wasaga Beach native and Toronto based trainer, Allie Bendus who’s been working with the Steelheads since 2015.
And she’s not alone. She’s teamed up with former Steelheads player Marcus Dickerson for the journey ahead.
“My journey to moto has definitely been an interesting one’ she says.
A life-long athlete with a love of movement, high performance sport and nature, Allie has been training professional and amateur athletes and teams since 2012 including the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Blue Jays, Raptors, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavs, Calgary Flames, Vegas Golden Knights, Atlanta Braves and the Washington Nationals.
“As an athlete myself, I was always really curious about all things related to the body, mind, movement, and how athletes develop and perform optimally in their sport. My sister also played hockey for the Women’s National Team, so I was fortunate to spend a lot of time in high performance environments learning and training.”
She started noticing all the different ways athletes moved their body and utilized their mind in sport and began taking courses; studying and researching ways they might be able to improve.
“There wasn’t a ton of emphasis being placed on movement or mindset at the time. My background as a competitive athlete and thinking and problem solving skills I gained through Philosophy and law ended up providing a really good foundation for me to be able to grasp the new information I was taking in and allowed me to start creating programs that would help other athletes develop and perform.”
Allie earned her BA in Philosophy from McMaster University where she was also a member of the varsity cross country and track team and received her JD from Western law focusing in the area of athlete advocacy and dispute resolution. But her journey eventually shifted from law back to the gym.
‘Law just wasn’t really the right fit for me. I loved all the problem solving and analytical/critical/logical thinking – but felt more at home being in the gym so I decided I would just apply those skills in a different context. I was getting busy with referrals from teams and athletes after I graduated so I decided to flow with the rhythm of this new path and see where it takes me.”
That’s around the time she first met Marcus.
“I met Dickie back in 2015 and I tell him this a lot..…. but I’ll never forget that moment. My very first session with the team he walked right up to me with a huge smile on his face, shook my hand and introduced himself. He instantly made me feel like I was part of the team and brought such a great energy to the room. I always looked forward to catching up with him at the rink.”
A leader on and off the ice with the Steelheads, Marcus has been up to some big things since his time with the team.
Using his 4-year tuition education package from the OHL, Marcus is currently pursuing his BA in Sports Communication and Media, with a Minor in Marketing from Rowan University. And he’s not stopping there. He plans to follow up his BA with a Masters in Sport Business.
“The OHL not only allowed me to play hockey at a high level, but granted me access to pursue a career and education after my playing career. Being a part of the Steelheads allowed me to meet Allie in 2015 and we connected right away. Now we have reconnected and created Moto Athletic”, he says.
While still remaining focused on his academics, he continues to learn, grow and stay connected to the game through coaching, training and development work at Rowan. He was an assistant on-ice skills development coach for the 2018-2019 Rowan University Women’s Hockey team where the team finished in 1st place during the regular season and won the DVCHC Women’s championship. This earned them an invitation to the ACHA D2 National Championships, which was the first time in school history that any Rowan Ice Hockey team had made the National Tournament.
“Rowan has provided me an opportunity, I would have never thought of before. After I was done playing in the OHL, I was not sure what I wanted to major in. With the timing of fall enrollment, Rowan University created a Sports Communication and Media major. This allowed me to explore public relations and advertising in the world of professional sports. As I look to graduate in Spring 2021, I am connecting with sports professionals everyday and Allie has certainly helped me with the process.”
As a team, Allie and Marcus share common values in their work ethic, passion for learning, commitment to helping athletes succeed and dedication to supporting inclusivity and diversity in the sports community.
“Moto Athletic allows Allie and I to work together to create and share our findings about movements and rhythm within ourselves and others. In today’s world many athletes are looking for new ways to get ahead and gain insight on the next method of training. We both see Moto as being a huge tool to develop not only athletes well being, but their approach to life as well.”
And Allie definitely agrees.
“I think between the both of us we have a pretty unique and wide range of knowledge and experience so we’re able to see the big picture, connect the dots, and help other athletes with their own journey in an effective and meaningful way… whatever that journey may be!”