Wildcat Tracks: Jacob Buffa ‘ 12
What started out as an idea between two friends turned into a successful business venture for alumnus Jacob Buffa ’12. Buffa is the owner of a performance training company called Elite Baseball Academy in the Chesterfield Valley.
“We specialize in performance training for baseball players at the high school, collegiate, and professional level,” Buffa said. “I also work for the Houston Astros as a member of their strength & conditioning and sports science staff.”
Buffa credits his time at Westminster as impactful on his current mindset. “I can’t speak highly enough about my time at Westminster! There were a number of teachers that touched my life looking back,” he said. “I have to say the combination of Ken Boesch and his challenging political science class had the biggest impact on me.” Buffa explained how the class, although intimidating at first, ultimately turned out to be enjoyable. “At the time, I wasn’t a big fan of pushing myself in the classroom. So I was reluctant to join the class at first, knowing how tough it would be. After graduation though, I can safely say I was extremely glad I did! More so than providing a mental challenge, Mr. Boesch introduced me to a new way of thinking and provided one of the first and only classroom experiences I enjoyed!”
After graduating from Missouri State University, Buffa moved back to St. Louis and started a general strength and conditioning facility with a business partner. Through trial and error, they decided to niche down their market/product service to technology and baseball. “We re-branded as Elite Baseball Academy,” he said. “Now we focus on serving a small subsection of dedicated athletes and using our in-house research to try and advance training methods in the industry.” Buffa has worked with Tate Matheny ’12 (WCA, Boston Red Sox), Braxton Martinez (Francis Howell North, River City Rascals), Matt Adams (St. Louis Cardinals), and Jeremy Hazelbaker (Kia Tigers) to name a few.
As he looks toward the future, Buffa doesn’t plan to slow down, personally or professionally. “I’m engaged to be married at the end of this year, so I’m very excited about that!” he said. “Business wise, we are investing in force plate assessments that give us very quick and helpful insights into performance and injury prevention. We are also researching scalable technology that allows us to be a part of remote athlete training.” Pretty impressive forward thinking from this alum, who’d like to share that knowledge with the WCA community. “I would love to bring this technology and research to Westminster. To have them be on the forefront of injury reduction in high school sports in whatever capacity possible,” Buffa said. “Westminster contributed greatly to my future and I would like to be able to give back!”
This alumni spotlight was originally featured in the Februrary 2019 issue of our alumni newsletter, Wildcat Tracks.