Erin Bratcher and EB Athletics

Erin Bratcher, owner and founder of EB Athletics, image courtesy of wixstatic

Erin Bratcher, owner and founder of EB Athletics, image courtesy of wixstatic

Ella Clinard, Reporter

Erin Bratcher, owner and creator of EB Athletics, started out as a Ravenscroft high school student here in Raleigh. She played multiple sports in high school, which inspired her to do more with her passion.

“This definitely kickstarted my interest in working with athletes down the line,” she said when asked about her inspirations.

After high school, Erin pursued a Bachelor’s in Kinesiology, as well as a Master’s of Exercise Science. After graduating from college, she played professionally in the German Bundesliga.

“The positive moments are endless; the opportunity to travel and see the world, meet new people, learn about other cultures, and build lifelong friendships are just irreplaceable.”

But as with any job, it wasn’t all positive. The pressure was immense, with the nagging knowledge that she was being “paid to produce” always there. Despite this, the hardest part of the job came at the end of it.

“Ultimately the biggest challenge I had throughout the entire chapter of my life was knowing when to hang it up and retire.”

Now, Erin works with local athletes of all ages and skill levels.

“EBA serves athletes of all kinds. From middle school to pros, and across so many different sports.”

EBA helps athletes condition and enhance their performance. The company goal is to help athletes build a healthy body and mindset that will help them throughout the rest of their life, during and past their sports careers.

“We build friendships, we build relationships, and we get to watch these athletes do things they never thought they could do which is incredibly rewarding.”

The other two coaches, Aaron Brown and Justin Dottavio, are also extremely qualified educationally and professionally with experience in a variety of areas.

Bratcher shared that creating the company proved to be a challenge, especially since she did it during the pandemic.

“You name the difficulty, I faced it!”, she said, recounting her obstacles.

The pandemic took Erin’s job, so she decided to find a new path.

“With as much education as I went through in the field of S&C (strength and conditioning), very little of that tells you how to run a business.” She had to figure out bookkeeping, appropriate advertising including creation of a website, and the navigation of getting equipment while other companies were also struggling under the weight of the pandemic.

“There was challenge after challenge to navigate. But I was fortunate for a few things; a circle of support and people to lean on, a reputation as a coach that brought people in, and clients that believed in me that spread the news like wildfire.” she recalled.

Now, EBA serves as a large and very successful training gym, but Bratcher and her team care about more than just physical fitness.

“… it’s the lifelong growth and development that really encourages me to continue this work,” she remarked.

EBA has committed itself to giving back to the community. Erin works with athletes not just in her own gym, but also at Meredith College and Cardinal Gibbons High School.

Bratcher has a passion for working with young athletes. Seeing students discover themselves and their passions is extremely rewarding. She also wants to create safe spaces for teens, especially with the rise in mental illness over the past few years.

“With all the stress and mental health issues we see in this group, it’s so nice to have the weight room and training be an outlet for these athletes.”

Erin stresses to both her clients and other teens to take care of themselves, but also to work hard when the time comes.