His idea for rehabilitation and conditioning has expanded greatly.
SPECIAL TO THE VINDICATOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- It started as an idea in a high school weight room in 1977. Fifteen years later, Jump Stretch has moved into the world market place for rehabilitation and conditioning.
By some standards, Dick Hartzell, slightly over 5-foot-4 and never more than 165 pounds, is considered a little guy, but he has moved in a land of giants on equal footing.
In one way or another since developing his Jump Stretch while the football coach at West Branch High, the man has never stopped moving.
Bringing his product to the attention of athletes and coaches everywhere has been his driving purpose. Hartzell is constantly on the road for clinics, demonstrations and therapy sessions. He is perpetual motion.
On the road: Packing equipment in the back of a pickup truck, Hartzell drove over 15,000 miles from November 2001 to January. In early November he was in Scottsdale, Ariz., for a clinic at a women's softball conference and while there he worked with the strength coach at Arizona State University.
There are also requests for therapy which Hartzell answers with regularity.
There was such an incident in November when Steve Miller, a Las Vegas, Nev., resident who had heard of Hartzell's work and who suffered from chronic back problems, flew Hartzell to his home.
Miller hoped to avoid surgery and Hartzell was able to recommend exercises for him to do so.
Never one to waste an opportunity, Hartzell visited UNLV strength coach Mark Phillipi, who competes in Strongest Man competitions. Quickly, Hartzell had Phillipi ready to compete.
So it was through December around Ohio, at many schools and with several clinics for athletes.
Talks to Tressel: Hartzell met with Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel and his strength coaches, Al Johnson and Mike Cochran, in the early morning of Jan. 11. The next day he was at Clarion (Pa.) University for a women's softball clinic, and the following weekend he went to Notre Dame for a similar function. Hartzell also was a guest speaker at the American Football Coaches Association convention.
February will be no different for the Boardman resident, who will attend another football clinic in Chicago and the Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Classic Feb. 22-24.
Hartzell will also makes what has become an annual visit to Florida for baseball spring training. Hartzell has worked with the New York Yankees for five years, helping Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, southpaw Andy Pettitte and outfielder Paul O'Neill rehab from injuries.
He also has March and April booked with clinics in Toledo, Dallas, Atlanta and San Diego.
The rest of April and the spring has Hartzell on the move every day to football camps with baseball and basketball clinics thrown in for good measure. All this is from a concept of weight training being done as quickly as possible.
His gym, located at 603 North Meridian Road, has all the Jump Stretch workout equipment and Hartzell, the traveling man, is often there to help and why not? After all it is his invention and more than anything else he is a people person.