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Meet Andrew Ricks of Excel Sports Performance and Rehabilitation in Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Ricks.

Andrew, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am the owner of Excel Sports Performance and Rehabilitation, a transformative physical therapy practice located within sport clubs and gyms, where we help you move your best and take control of your health and wellness. My wife, Morgan, and I are Georgia natives and huge Georgia Bulldog fans and alumni and just moved to Arizona in 2017. I studied Exercise and Sport Science at UGA before receiving my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Mercer University in Atlanta. During my schooling, I interned in Arizona at Bloom Performance and Rehabilitation, and we spent our spare time hiking and loving the Arizona lifestyle. The contrast from the South is huge with the open desert, the emphasis on health, and the ability to be in a new climate in two hours and ultimately we decided this is the place for us to live and grow early in our lives. Morgan and I believe in active healthy lifestyles and the Phoenix area checked all the boxes. Since moving out here, I have completed an Orthopedic Residency and received my Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist honor, started Excel, and bought a house to really set roots in this community.

Has it been a smooth road?
Yes and no. I have been blessed with great mentors and opportunities that led me to where I am today. I grew up one of four boys to small business owners and swore I would never own a business and work as much as they did. However, the ability to take ownership of my actions and really set the course of my physical therapy practice ultimately won out. I am young in the field and business ownership has challenged me to really learn how to give my all to my clients, my family and myself. The act to go independent was a huge decision and I was never quite sure if I was ready. Now I still have late nights, scrub the baseboards and fold towels, and lose sleep when I am not productive but I couldn’t be more excited and happy to provide a higher quality service to my clients than a traditional clinic allows.

Tell us about your company. What do you do, what do you specialize in, what are you known for, etc. What are you most proud of as a company? What sets you apart from others?
Excel Sports Performance and Rehabilitation is a transformative physical therapy company that works in the country club and gym settings to perform traditional rehabilitation as well as sports performance training to maintain high level performance throughout all life spans. I am building a team of rehab professionals who work with clients in their settings to keep them active and prevent injury, maintain high levels of skill and performance, and restore function when an injury does occur. Our newest initiative is adding pelvic health specialists to work with pre- and post-partum moms, men and women who have difficulty with sex or incontinence and constipation as well as pelvic florr dysfunction or back pain during exercise.  This is a huge void in our healthcare system and many people don’t have access to a pelvic floor specialist in the valley.

We are different in that we treat each client one-on-one and don’t utilize adjunct employees to carry out exercise as many clinics do. We are not just massage therapists, stretch therapists, or doctors who use ultrasound. We empower our clients to be stronger, learn about their body and ultimately leave with the confidence to manage and limit their pain independently. This takes direct attention from the doctors the whole time and we make sure that happens.

I am most proud of our treatment philosophy of putting patients over profit. Our excellence is marketing enough and sustains our ability to offer top notch services for the communities we serve. Our goal is to put people first in a medicine ecosystem that has become unattainable for many due to cost and access restrictions set in place by the insurance community and hospitals. In addition to individual treatments we’ve taught six golf classes with golf pros and fitness partners, partnered with tennis and golf coaches and CrossFit coaches to host clinics, and hosted running and charity events.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Healthcare in general is changing and everyone has problems with the current system whether they pay too much for insurance, barely get time with their doctors, or get denied coverage. However, there has been a positive trend towards people paying for PT services with cash or Health Savings Accounts and having more control over their care. I believe insurance will continue to become more restrictive and expensive making this a more viable option for most who want to actively manage their health before they become injured or chronically ill. I think this will continue regardless of the insurance changes because the younger generations are more actively involved in their care and want the freedom to choose previously uncovered tools such as acupuncture/dry needling, cryotherapy, fitness programs and massage to name a few. This isn’t revolutionary, rather a correction back to the market standards from only 30-40 years ago when it was normal to pay for your health visits out of pocket and use insurance only for emergency visits. I think we can all keep more money in our pockets and get better care this way and hope the trend continues.

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