Meet The Norton Performance Team
The Norton Performance Team has experience from the top sports science and training facilities in the country. Combining all their skills and knowledge they are able to take the best philosophies from their experience and use that to develop a growing and adapting strategy to help athletes perform at their best. By tracking and testing all of our athletes we design the optimal program for the athlete to increase in performance and health.
Ricky Norton is the founder and owner of Norton Performance Training Systems. Their main facility is located in Highland, Utah and they also have two additional locations in Herriman, Utah and Logan, Utah, with 2 more locations coming in the near future. Ricky built Norton Performance on the principles and philosophies learned during his time being mentored by Dr. Marcus Elliott (Harvard, M.D) and the P3 Team (www.p3.md). He has a great understanding of rotational bio-mechanics and training of the rotational sport athletes, such as baseball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, volleyball, and quarterbacks. Ricky also has a great understanding of shoulder health and arm care for those overhead athletes. He also has great understanding on how to enhance the vertical jump, sprinting speed, and overall athleticism of all athletes. This unique training has brought tremendous results in every athlete Norton has trained. Today, Norton Performance houses many of the state’s top athletes’ from the professional ranks down through college and high school levels.
As a player, and professional, Ricky's work ethic is second to none. At Timpanogos High School, Ricky helped lead his baseball team to two State Championship wins in 2004 and 2005. He was also honored as MVP of the 4A State Tournament All-Star Game. He went on to play short-stop and pitch at Palomar College in San Diego, Ca. The Palomar baseball team was ranked #1 in Southern California and 6th in the nation. After Palomar College, Ricky went on to play at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, MO, where the team ranked 11th in the nation for NAIA baseball.
While in California as a player, Ricky was trained by Dr. Marcus Elliott, Harvard M.D., and trained along-side many professional baseball, tennis, volleyball, basketball, and lacrosse players at Peak Performance Project (P3) in Santa Barbara, Ca. During that time Ricky went from throwing 83 MPH to 92 MPH in less than a year's time. Ricky also spent time with Coach Mark McKown and the Utah Jazz Summer league, learning from the Jazz strength staff and helping the Jazz players. He also spent the fall of 2012 training all of Utah State University athletic teams as an assistant strength coach while finishing his Bachelor's degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at USU.
Ricky returns to P3 a few times each year for continued education. He also seeks out to learn from the best and brightest coaches around the world.
Director of Sports Performance
Alex Neff grew up playing club soccer in the state of Utah and received the TOSH Utah Youth Soccer Association Player of the Year Award. After one year at BYU, transferred to Utah Valley University where he became the most decorated Soccer Player at UVU (Division I). Alex was a 3 year captain with 3 straight All- Conference First Team honors, NSCAA All-West Region Team for 3 straight years, and 3 time Academic All- Conference, along with playing in the NCAA tournament and winning the Western Athletic Conference.
He received Scholar All America Second Team Honors, Academic All-District First Team honors, and was a National Finalist for Senior Class Award. Alex reached the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals with Seacoast United in the Premier Development League. Graduated from Utah Valley University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.
Alex has experience training soccer players and athletes of all stature. He has trained under multiple high level Sports Performance Coaches. His determination drives him to get the best results out of any athlete he comes in contact with. He has a great understanding for sprinting dynamics, changing of direction, explosiveness and sports nutritional recommendations.
Sports Performance Coach
After having an all-state high school season in Arizona, Neil put his hat in the ring as a BYU baseball walk-on contender. He subsequently played 3 years as a Starting Pitcher on the BYU staff. Collecting accolades such as National Pitcher of the Week and Second-Team All-Mountain West Conference. In June of 2011, Neil was drafted by the Miami Marlins. He quickly worked his way up the ranks of the minor leagues, reaching AA in his first full season, and AAA in his second. Neil spent 2013-2016 playing for different organizations at the AAA level. In July of 2016, Neil decided to retire at age 29 to raise his family and pursue an opportunity of Software Development.
While at BYU Neil majored in Exercise Sciences and graduated in 2012 with his Bachelors Degree. In his first few off-seasons he worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Pitching Coach for two different Colleges in the Redding, CA area. In 2014 Neil suffered an injury that cause him to miss the second half of the season. However, this set back afforded him the opportunity to become a Coach at Cressey Sports Performance in Jupiter, FL.
While there he helped assess and train some of the best MLB players in the game. Along with several high profile college and high school athletes in a wide range of sports. With this experience, Neil has gained an eye and mentality to properly asses the athletes that come into Norton Performance.
Being great at what you do is not always easy, but it is always worth it.
We are excited to welcome Dr. Tyler Standifird to the NP Team. Dr. Standifird earned his PhD in Biomechanics and Kinesiology from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville TN. He is currently a professor at Utah Valley University, instructing classes in Kinesiology and Biomechanics. He has over 10 years of experience collecting and analyzing force and motion data for a variety of human movements. He has an impressive resume of research with 6-refereed publications & 40 scholarly peer reviewed presentations at regional and national conferences.
Tyler is currently doing research related to running, golf, cycling, and squat biomechanics. While at UVU, he has engaged in research with baseball and softball pitchers in addition to work with the cross-country team.
Tyler will be heading the Norton Performance athlete Biomechanics Assessments, gathering more detailed data on each individual athlete. This data will allow us to understand specific deficits in our athletes and the exercise programming that will fix these deficits. Data collected prior to and after a program will ensure that our athletes achieve optimal results from their work with NP.
Sports Science Specialist
Mark McKown has over 25 years of experience working with professional athletes, 21 of those as Director of Sports Science, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and Player Development Coach for the Utah Jazz. McKown became the franchise’s first full-time strength-and-conditioning coach on September 29, 1997.
His experience, combined with the opportunity to work with, and learn from, some of the best sports science and performance experts in the U.S., has allowed him to develop a sports science and performance model that has been embraced by athletes, sport organizations and teams, as well as by his peers and other sports performance experts. His model includes, but is not limited to, a performance needs analysis designed to access sport specific athletic movement skills and identify injury indicators utilizing, among other things, the latest advances in performance testing technology. McKown is a trend setter, being the first NBA strength coach to work with Dr. Marcus Elliott and his P3 (Peak Performance Project) Team, located in Santa Barbara, CA. Today, the ‘P3’ model of assessing and training elite athletes is being used by many professional organizations.
While Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Sports Performance at the College of Charleston (SC) from 1992-97, McKown assisted the Knicks in their pre and post season preparations at the college for five seasons. McKown’s other job experience includes stints as assistant basketball coach and strength trainer at Charleston, Jacksonville University, and the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now South Carolina Upstate).
McKown’s prowess in strength training has garnered him national attention. In 2002 he published his first book, “Complete Body Development with Dumbbells,” and was featured in “Fundamental Fitness for Kids,” a workout video he co-wrote and produced in November 2003.
A native of Gaffney, S.C., McKown graduated from the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg (now South Carolina Upstate) in 1980, where he played basketball. He then earned a master’s degree in sports science from the United States Sports Academy in Mobile, Ala. McKown is also a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association where he is certified as a strength-and-conditioning specialist. McKown also holds various other professional certifications.
McKown and his wife, Sonja, are the parents of two children, Zachariah, a 2014 graduate, and 4 year football player from Columbia University, and Kallie, a former Colonial Athletic Association Setter of the Year, and 2015 graduate from the College of Charleston.
An avid outdoors-man, McKown enjoys off-trail hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking and kayaking. The McKowns reside in Salt Lake City.
Sports Massage Therapist
Josue graduated from Utah College of Massage Therapy and has been a Licensed Massage Therapist since May of 2011. He served in the United States Marine Corps from 2012-2017 and returned home to continue his Massage Therapy practice. He grew up as an active athlete playing soccer at 4 year varsity level and kicking for Snow College Football. After playing many sports and serving in the Armed Forces, Sway developed a passion for helping and working with injuries, pains, and achieving better range of motion He completed Muscle Dynamics Therapy training (MDT) in 2018, and is implementing MDT with his previous skillset to help many achieve peak performance, injury recovery, and pain prevention.
Matt Baird has spent 35 years in the game of Golf. He grew up in Everett Washington. He graduated from Cascade High School in 1993. After graduating Matt decided to put his golf scholarships on hold to serve a religious mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Tegucigalpa Honduras. Upon returning from his mission Matt decided to forego College to follow his dreams of playing professional golf. He played across the country on numerous mini tours and just missed securing his PGA tour card through qualifying school in 2007 and 2008. While playing Matt gained an extensive amount of knowledge of the golf swing and the biomechanics of the human body through the top PGA Tour instructors and performance institutes. Matt decided to take this knowledge and share it by becoming a golf instructor. He moved to Utah in 2009 and began teaching at Riverside Country Club in Provo Utah. Matt has been the head teaching professional at Riverside C.C. since then and truly has a passion to help others reach their fullest potential. Matt is known in the state of Utah as not just one of the top teaching professionals, but also one of the best players in the state.
At Norton Performance, Matt will be assessing Golfers and Baseball players, teaching them how to better apply ground force and rotational biomechanics using our Force Plate Technology. He will also train their strength and mobility in the weight room, to help maximize their swing power.