The list of clientele for Hawaii’s Tactical Strength and Conditioning owner and trainer Darin Yap is extensive, ranging in sports such as baseball, football, volleyball, wrestling and surfing, among a handful of others.
Kolten Wong, Kamu Grugier-Hill and Ezekiel Lau were just some of the athletes he was working with to get them ready for their respective seasons. But due to the coronavirus pandemic, the gym is closed and business is on hold.
“It’s tough, just because this is an area where we’ve never been before,” Yap told KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello. “For me and our athletes, it’s been rough trying to make sure that those guys are OK and keeping up so that when they get called back, they’re ready to go.
“If they’re not ready to go when they get called back, that’s a whole wasted year right there. Some of the guys are coming up on contract years and things like that, so they’re all really important.”
The sentiment of staying ready in order to prevent getting ready rings true for perhaps the most prominent athlete Yap works with: UFC champion Max Holloway.
Before COVID-19 virtually shut down the entire sports world, Holloway’s next fight was rumored to be a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski in Australia for the UFC featherweight belt in June.
The fight may no longer be in Australia, but UFC president Dana White is hellbent on having fight cards resume. Yap and Holloway are staying in contact in case White calls the Waianae native’s name.
“Max knows that. The whole team knows that. He’s staying ready. We’re doing everything, getting super creative with his training, Yap said. “This is his prime year to make money, to leave his legacy and he’s gotta be ready to go.
“It’s huge, right? Because if you’re not that guy, then you’re not gonna be ready and you’re gonna see guys that are able to push themselves and guys that can push themselves.”
Despite the temporary closure of his gym to the public and paused revenue, Yap still hopes others stay active while gyms worldwide are closed. To help curb that, he’s teamed up with athletes such as Alessa Quizon, Yancy Medeiros and Kelia Moniz to host virtual workouts on social media that can be done from home.
“Everybody doesn’t have their gym that they go to, probably doesn’t have a lot of equipment at home. We’re all in this together,” he said. “Whatever each one of us can do to help the other guy out and if we can all do our part, then this is just a little easier to get through, right?”