Over the next two blogs I’d like to share with you how StrataSoles® came to be. Many credit me with creating StrataSoles® and I must say I’ve had a lot to do with what we have today, but this story started with my good friend, Dr. Ken Sylvester.
If you are interested in the “WHO” of StrataSoles®, here’s the straight scoop! When Dr. Ken Sylvester was in the 11th grade, his father was working for a medical supply company. He had brought home some x-ray material used to shield patients from the effects of x-rays in hospitals and examination rooms. His father threw it into the garage with the intent of later, permanently discarding it. It was somewhat pliable and Ken thought it might be useful. Ken chose to step on it and draw an imprint of his right and left feet on the material. Then he cut out pieces of the sheet and placed them in his shoes. He wore them in every pair of shoes he had. He walked to school on them and practiced sports with them. He used them to build his leg strength, quickness and explosive power. He was not large of stature, but he played high school baseball, basketball, and football. He indicated that he was disappointed that he was cut from the basketball team as a senior because of his height (5’8”) and not his ability.
He was vindicated, however, when he was asked to go out for basketball in college. You see, Ken attended Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. The coach had seen him leap during an extra point try at a football game. In fact, by this time Ken and his inserts had increased his vertical leaping ability to an astounding 43” and allowed him to knock down errant extra points and field goals in football and dunk over taller opponents in basketball!! Ken strongly credits his weighted insoles with the improvements in his jumping prowess! Eventually, he settled in a starting pitcher on the college’s baseball team and he did become a world class racquetball player later in his life!
Ken has shared the concept of his performance enhancing sole with a number of notable performance trainers using plyometric training concepts during his early adult years and they gave the soles ringing support.
During one of our visits, Ken showed me the insoles and I was amazed. With the network of contacts, I had developed over my eighteen years with the NCAA (I was the former Head Football Coach at Portland State University and VP for Education Services at the NCAA), Ken had hoped to identify and secure a partner with the wherewithal to take the “super performance product” to market. Unfortunately, his other business obligations as a management consultant prevented him from pursuing the sale of his product further.
Get the final chapter on my next blog>>>>>