top of page
IAP Sports_edited.jpg

"We’ll CREATE your goal, CULTIVATE your drive, and CONQUER your passion."


Our Story

Building more than athletic ability.

IAP is designed to improve physical performance and ability through strength training, explosiveness and power development, plyometrics, speed and agility training, and other sport-specific needs. Led by professional athletes and trainers, IAP provides intensive, individualized plans focused on accomplishing established health, ability and lifestyle goals.


Through our training, athletes will be taught positive character and core principles that lead to confidence building characteristics. We believe by instilling these principals from the beginning, we will develop a sense of awareness in the athlete’s strengths and weaknesses in order to reach their full athletic potential. While doing this we will also exemplify the meaning and true essence of what it’s like to get things done the right way as a Christian athlete, keeping priorities intact.

The IAP staff has played, trained and coached at the highest levels. Now they are bringing their knowledge, expertise and energy to you!


The IAP staff has played, trained and coached at the highest levels. Now they are bringing their knowledge, expertise and energy to you!

Ryan Smith.PNG

Ryan started Innovative Athletics Sports Performance back in 2018. Having access to facilities like the Nike (MJP) facility and Exos, he developed a passion and a craft to help athletes reach their highest potential. Over the years Ryan has worked with athletes ranging from the youth to the professional level in a plethora of sports platforms ranging from basketball, football, and softball all the way to fencing. Originally from Texas, that is where he gained his passion for developing athletes on and off their sports platform mentally, physically, and emotionally while seeing their hard work come to fruition. Being a former professional athlete, having the experience of what it takes to play at an elite level. He's dedicated his time to providing these young athletes access to a platform that they can showcase their talents and perform at a high level and helping build Iowa athletes for the state of Iowa.

Coach, Owner of IAP

Ryan Smith

Rico Gafford

Professional Athlete, Athletic Trainer, Co-Director of Iowa Flex

Rico Gafford

Rico is an experienced athlete who has played for 5+ NFL teams and was also known as one of the fastest players in the league throughout his career. He played high school football at East High and Dowling Catholic, winning a championship and multiple First Team All-State accolades. Football is what he’s known for but during his high school career he also ran Track and Field and held the fastest time in the state for over 7 years. After high school he attended Iowa Western Community College and the University of Wyoming. He ran a 4.22 and 4.23 at his pro day recording the fastest time to ever be ran in the state of Iowa which is still held till this day and the Country that year. From there made his mark on the league before coming back home to train athletes. Rico brings experience and knowledge not many people from Iowa have and plans to give that back to athletes of the greater Des Moines area.

Sam Young.HEIC

Trainer, Sports Performance Analyst

Sam Young

Sam Young joins as a recent graduate from Iowa State University and is currently working to obtain his Sports Analytics Master’s degree as he works with us. Sam has spent the majority of his life competing in sports all throughout his life; In baseball, he was an accomplished baseball player at Dowling Catholic before he played a year of college baseball at Iowa Western Community College as a RHP. 

Following that, he spent the last 2 years working with the Iowa State Men’s Basketball team as a student manager - working hands on in many of the day-to-day operations behind the scenes as well as gaining a vast experience in High-Level Winning  atmosphere

He also had a stint with the basketball staff at the University of Missouri, and through basketball Sam has been able to be a part of a high-level basketball atmosphere daily, working on court with NBA players like Georges Niang , Tyrese Haliburton , Matt Thomas and Monte Morris. He has spent the last 2 years working with Monte Morris at his skill development camp in Ames as a camp instructor

Sam brings a tremendous amount of value to what we hope to provide to our athletes – working to supply data, visualization and insights to help develop our athletes to reach their highest potential

Aspire To Inspire

Creating a Culture of Quality

Here at IAP, we are a group of people with different backgrounds, different struggles, different upbringings, different races, that are becoming a family that loves each other. We work together for one goal, which is to be better. That’s the reason why IAP does what it does which is build a culture that’s bigger than any one person, any one sex,  any one race. IAP is about building a quality culture within the community.

bottom of page