When Tim DiFrancesco served as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, he worked with the likes of superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.
“Preparing and treating high-level athletes for six years was a rich and incredible experience,” says DiFrancesco, who earned a doctorate of physical therapy in 2006.
But he knew in his heart that he wanted to have an impact on more people’s lives during his career.
“I realized that I wanted to use my skills, passion and experience to help more people than a 15-person roster get healthy,” he says.
So he left the LA Lakers to dedicate his career to his business, TD Athletes Edge, a fitness training facility located in Salem, Mass. DiFrancesco and his staff of coaches and nutritionists help many clients, from pro athletes to the average person looking to get in better shape, achieve their maximum performance through training, recovery and nutrition.
One of DiFrancesco’s core beliefs is that all humans are athletes who, with proper planning and training, can achieve their potential.
“There’s both an art and science to what we do,” he says. “We start with a comprehensive assessment and design an exercise training plan that’s customized for each person. More than that, though, we provide accountability and motivation to keep going.”
While DiFrancesco was a student at UMass Lowell, he was confident that his coursework was excellent preparation for a professional career.
“The professors were always helping me look closely at what evidence-based practices could be brought to the trenches. This is so valuable,” he says.
In DiFrancesco’s clinical rotations, he worked in hospitals, neurological rehabilitation centers and clinics.
“During these experiences, I learned how to connect with people, which in turn got better results,” he says. “I have this deeper well of understanding that I pull from with all of my clients.”
TD Athletes Edge recently became a partner with the Exercise Science program, providing students the learning opportunities to help people reach their physical goals.
“Since my clinical rotations at UMass Lowell were filled with rich experiences that helped me point my compass in the right direction, I wanted to help students do the same in their young professional life,” he says. “Teaching and sharing knowledge is a passion of our team, and therefore we all benefit.”
While DiFrancesco left Los Angeles, some of Hollywood’s biggest stars still seek him out for help. Actress and comedian Amy Schumer credits him with helping her to recover from back and hip injuries.
“I want to thank [trainer Tim DiFrancesco] @tdathletesedge for pushing me to recovery beyond what I thought possible,” she wrote on Instagram in September 2018.
DiFrancesco says that getting his doctorate opened many doors in his career.
“If I had not earned my doctorate, I would have regretted it for my entire career, and would not be where I am today.”