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Rapids goalie trains with former Nuggets trainer

Steve Hess, a 21-year Nuggets trainer, has been training Rapids starting goalie William Yarbrough for the last three years.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colorado — Inside the training institute at the Panorama Orthopedics and Spine Center, motivation is easy to come by. Just ask Rapids starting goalkeeper William Yarbrough, who has trained at the institute for the last three years. 

“Coming here, the conversations we have, and the work that I get out of it, is what keeps me coming back and wanting to keep working with Steve," he said.

This guy Steve isn’t just your average, run-of-the-mill trainer. He’s Steve Hess, 21-year Director of Performance for the Denver Nuggets. His knowledge is extensive, but it’s his passion that’ll grab your attention. He’s getting Yarbrough ready for another MLS season. 

“The thing I love about him, and this is my view on life, is how you do everything, we’re always locked in, so it doesn’t matter where he’s at at the day, he comes with 200,” Hess said. “That’s the most exciting thing for me, and those are the people that I want to be around.” 

Yarbrough knew Hess meant business when he first met him. 

“From day one, I remember sitting in his office and right off the bat he said, ‘Yo my dude, when you come here we’re not talking and we’re not playing. It’s go time,'" he said.

And since that moment, there’s been positive progress in Colorado’s keeper.

“Different body. It’s a different machine," he said. "We rolled in with a Volkswagen and now my boy rolling a Lamborghini and a Hummer mixed,” Hess laughed while he praised Yarbrough. 

Hess lives by what he preaches: positivity and work ethic. And Yarbrough said it’s rubbing off. 

“It’s a message to me, and I observe that so I know I can apply this in my work environment. I know that if I bring positive energy to my teammates, I know it affects others," he said.

A lesson learned through friendship, but it’s even deeper than that. 

“I have to respect an individual to bring them close to me and I respect him and I just feel he’s part of my family,” Hess said.  

Yarbrough echoed that same family sentiment. 

“This dude’s family," he said. "When I see how he’s helped me these last few years, not only with the work we do here that’s gonna help me on the pitch, but mentally, it’s just turned into something that is family.”



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