ST. JOSEPH — Cody and Nicole Railsback started their business based on the phrase, “together we rise.”
It’s been a month since the Railsbacks opened the Railsback Indoor Sports Expo – often referred to as The RISE – and they’ve been surprised by how receptive the business has been.
“We want people to feel comfortable here,” Nicole said. “Whoever wants to drive here, you’re welcome here.”
The multi-sports center has a large space for practices, games and a range of training programs for athletes committed to performing at the next level. That includes, baseball and softball lessons, agility training, and incoming dodgeball leagues.
The business’s first day was Aug. 1, but the Railsbacks have been giving lessons since mid-July.
Cody said he’s been interested in giving lessons since he moved to Michigan five years ago. Before that, Cody was living in Texas where he retired from professional baseball. He played baseball for four seasons with the Atlanta Braves – and a total of eight years professionally.
Nicole is from Southwest Michigan and was all in on Cody’s plan to begin baseball lessons.
“We tried doing it a couple years ago, and the way that everything lined up wasn’t working. We didn’t have the facility,” Nicole said.
They ended up finding the perfect location when chatting with a realtor on Nicole’s birthday.
At 3905 M-139 in Royalton Township, the sports center is in close proximity to Power in Motion Gymnastics and Fort Miami CrossFit. They hit the ground running once they got a look at the 8,000-square-foot facility.
“Everything just fell into place like it was meant to be,” Nicole said.
Originally, Cody was thinking on a smaller scale by doing just a baseball clinic. When they found the current location, the Railsbacks expanded on what they would offer.
One idea was to rent the space out to teams that need a place to practice, for spring teams training in the winter, or sports leagues wishing to play somewhere despite rainy weather.
“Honestly, it’s weird a place like this doesn’t exist where we live right now,” Cody said. “With all the outdoor sports, there’s nothing you can go to to practice.”
In addition to the Railsbacks, the business also employs a softball and agility trainer.
The center is available to be rented for parties, Nicole said.
Cody said he hopes to work with all the local traveling baseball teams and coaches.
“I think that we can compliment each other well,” he said. “All I care about is helping one or two kids a year get to the next level, so they can get a college scholarship.”
The RISE has three retractable nets for batting practice, two soccer nets and baseball mounds.
Nicole said they are getting weight equipment and benches for athletes to use as well. The sports complex has a locker room located under a high rise at the back of the building.
Cody said one of the misconceptions they are trying to do away with is how they only cater to baseball.
However, they have been asked whether they rent space for everything from martial arts to pole vaulting.
The building has 24/7 accessibility. The building has surveillance and each individual user gets a different code to enter the building.
“We already have so many new ideas,” Nicole said. “We’re hoping to be in here for five years and expand after that.”
The RISE doesn’t have any set hours, as staffers meet by appointment.
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski