Since the age of 6, Paul Pratt has either been a student-athlete or working with student-athletes in the Los Angeles area. After his family moved from South Los Angeles to the San Fernando Valley, Paul started his athletic career as a track and football standout. Working with youth was modeled early on for him by his father, local legendary track coach Ray Pratt, and in his father’s example, he saw the value that a role model could have on his fellow classmates. After a successful collegiate football career, during which he obtained his B.S. in Communications at the University of Nevada at Reno, Paul went on to play two seasons for the NFL’s Detroit Lions. While life after a professional sports career can be challenging for some, Paul made a seamless transition into his post-NFL career as a physical trainer, specializing in speed and agility for athletes from youth to adults. He continued to grow his client base, soon becoming known as “Dr. Speed,” until finally his entrepreneurial spirit led him to forming 2nd Wind Performance in 2015.
2nd Wind Studios was born from Paul’s desire to pair training with entertainment. In observing that many of his photography associates were lacking a spacious indoor facility, he determined that his training facility was also an ideal photography studio. By providing a variety of lights, systems, backdrops, and even a photographer if necessary at a reasonable price, 2nd Wind Studios makes top-level photography sessions accessible for every level of photographer, videographer, model, athlete, and other artist. Paul’s hope is that 2nd Wind Studios provides a space to inspire positive and creative people.
As CEO of 2nd Wind Performance, Paul’s work with youth has expanded, and in his work with his student-athletes, he realized that their needs were not being completely met. These students were attempting to navigate the challenges of balancing sports, academics, friendships, and family life on their own, many with limited resources. Using his platform and access to fill these gaps became a goal for Paul, and in an effort to reach more youth in need of direction, 2nd Wind MENtors was born. Through a pilot program launching in 2020, Paul will implement a program that highlights his expertise and experience to guide student-athletes through these formative years. The program rests on a unique foundation that addresses a student-athlete’s needs on three fronts: physical, social, and emotional. Its objective is not to merely build better athletes and students, but to develop future leaders as well. The 2nd Wind MENtorship program is ambitious in scope, and it is our vision that the program would expand as more athletes join in Paul’s vision of athletes giving back to athletes. It is the hope of 2nd Wind MENtors that as more student-athletes see the value in mentorship, a thriving community of athletes encouraging and guiding one another can prepare more young men to lead and serve in their sport and in their communities.