The Team

David Hollinger, Co-Owner & Director of Sports Performance

David Hollinger David Hollinger, a nationally certified strength coach and the Director of Sports Performance for Chicago Sports Institute, is a highly sought out sports performance specialist. He has had the privilege of training athletes from around the country in 21 different sports competing at the Olympic, collegiate and professional levels including the MLB, NHL, AHL, NFL, UFL and NBA.

David entered college as a baseball player but a shoulder injury put an early end to his athletic career. Having experienced first hand the need for high quality, knowledgeable strength coaching for athletes, David developed a passion for athletic development and enrolled in Hofstra University’s Exercise Science program. Following graduation, David worked alongside several of the industry’s leading strength coaches, gaining valuable experience training the nation’s top athletes.

In 2011, David created 4strong Sports Performance attracting athletes from across the country to his chicagoland location. Following two successful years of 4strong, David partnered with Dr. Josh Akin to form Chicago Sports Institute. David and Dr. Akin created Chicago Sports Institute with the goal of becoming the premier sports performance and sports medicine facility in the Midwest.

David holds certifications from the Poliquin International Certification Program as a Level 3 National Coach and a Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist among others. David has become an expert in power development, improving throwing velocity, sprinting speed, body composition, corrective exercise prescription and reducing injury potential. 

Phil Paulsen, Performance Coach, CSCS, PICP Level 1

Phil Paulsen
Phil, a Performance Coach with Chicago Sports Institute is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), a Poliquin Certified Coach (PICP) and is certified as a Precision Nutritionist (PN-1). Phil has been coaching professional, college, and elite athletes as well as active individuals since 2006.

Phil grew up in Southwest Wisconsin where he was a three-sport athlete throughout his years at Riverdale High School. Phil attended University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, where he majored in sports management, with a minor in recreational management and a concentration in strength and conditioning. When Phil wasn’t in class, he was either playing rugby or powerlifting. With his expertise in sports management he quickly became the president of these organizations, and through his diligent work brought them to new heights. Phil’s experiences in college helped him obtain an internship at Athletes Performance in Arizona, where he worked as a strength and conditioning coach with MLB and NFL players.

After this experience, Phil moved to Chicago to work for Poliquin Performance Center as a strength and conditioning coach.  

John Sandberg, Performance Coach, MS, CSCS, PICP Level 3

John Sandberg
John has helped many athletes progress to the next level from youth to professional and elite amateurs. He has trained athletes in 23 different sports. John has had the privilege of training athletes from the NFL, NHL, NBA, AHL, ECHL, NCAA, AFL, and Lega Basket Series A (Italian professional basketball). He has also trained athletes on national and/or Olympic teams in volleyball, hockey, sailing, speed skating and alpine skiing. Before coming to Chicago Sports Institute, John was a strength and conditioning coach at Poliquin Performance Center Chicago. Prior to that John was the Director of Sports Performance for the Institute of Sports Excellence in Logan Utah.

John received his Masters Degree in Exercise Science from Utah State University. His thesis research, investigating the effects of stretching opposing muscle groups on strength and power was published in the prestigious Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. He received his Bachelors Degree from Utah State University in Physical Education. John is a Level 3 Certified Strength Coach through the Poliquin International Certification Program. This certification requires an athlete whom the coach has trained to place in the top 10 percentile a national or international competition. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He also completed the Sports Performance Coach certification with United States Weightlifting. 

Michael Sorrentino, Performance Coach & Director of Hockey Performance 

Michael Sorrentino Michael grew up in Mundelein, Illinois where he played Peewee to Midget Major CSDHL hockey for the Falcons Hockey Organization. In high school he trained under Chicago Sports Institute‘s Owner and Director of Sports Performance David Hollinger. During his time training with David, he developed a strong interest in sports performance training and decided to pursue a degree in Exercise Science.

Michael attended Eastern Illinois University where he played hockey for four years.During this time he lead the team in scoring three out of his four years. He was the assistant captain for his junior year and captain for his senior year. During these two years he was also elected team president and took over all operations of the team.

His senior year he received the All-Conference award for his outstanding play. In 2013 Michael earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. Following graduation Michael had the opportunity to intern under David Hollinger where he assisted in training athletes of all levels from junior high to the professional level.

Michael is a Certified Fascial Stretch Therapist (CFST) and is a Level 3 Certified Strength Coach through the Poliquin International Certification Program. His goals are to put his clients in the best position possible to achieve and go beyond their set goals. His passion for hockey has given Michael the drive to create a specialized elite hockey performance training program for players of all ages in the Midwest who are looking to take their game to the next level. 

James Alvarado, Performance Coach, PICP Level 2

James AlvaradoJames is from Niles, Illinois where he grew up and played both baseball and football at Niles West High School. Towards the end of his high school career, he experienced a lower back injury that prevented him from continuing his participation in athletics. Since then, he became highly interested in sports performance, injury rehabilitation and improving performance in other athletes.
During his years in college, James had the opportunity in coaching youth football for the Chicago Bears Youth Football camp for three summers. During the summers, he coached many young athletes in developing sport specific skills as well as balance and coordination.
James attended Eastern Illinois University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. Immediately following graduation, he interned with the strength and conditioning coach from Niles West High School. He had the privilege of training and working with high school sports teams, including football, baseball, basketball, track and volleyball.
James’ goals are to help clients prevent injuries, achieve their set goals, and to bring out the full potential in each individual. James is a Level 1 Certified Strength Coach through the Poliquin International Certification Program.