ZONE Sports Physiotherapy aims to better overall health

Written by Darren Steinke, Gordie Howe Sports Complex

June 19, 2020

Mitch Dahl and the ZONE Sports crew empower their clients with knowledge. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

Clinic empowers clients with the “why” to their rehab

Knowledge helps power a person on their physical rehabilitation journey.

Mitch Dahl, who is one of the founding partners of ZONE Sports Physiotherapy, believes clients should know “why” they are doing something, so they know “how” they can become better.

Dahl is one of three ZONE team members who are at the company’s second clinic located at the Indoor Training Centre on the grounds of the Gordie Howe Sports Complex. The ZONE founding partner said the team at his clinic aims to give their clients knowledge and tools that will help them recover from injuries and improve their overall health.

Dahl said the ZONE team’s goal is to help their clients move better, so they can live better.

“It is more of an approach of a very active based rehabilitation,” said Dahl. “We are really trying to educate people and engage them in the process.

“If you teach people things, the unknown is not as scary. All of a sudden, things make sense.

“I always tell young athletes don’t just do it because we tell you to do it. Understand what is going on. We try to give lots of people tools in their toolbox and empower them to get better so they are not dependent on us.”

ZONE’s first clinic that opened in 2011 is located in the Point 9 Building in University Heights in northeast Saskatoon, which is also home to the Saskatoon Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Centre.

One of the treatment rooms at ZONE Sports Physiotherapy. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

The ZONE clinic on the Gordie Howe Sports Complex grounds opened in May of 2019, and due to the nature of that location, they see a variety of athletes.

With that said, the ZONE clinic on the Gordie Howe grounds does see clients who are non-athlete every day and all day. People that utilize that ZONE clinic range in age from eight to 88 and come from all walks of life.

ZONE Sports Physiotherapy delivers individualized care and expertise for assessment, treatment and management of sports, orthopedic, personal, work and auto injuries including post-operative rehabilitation.

Dahl said he often fields questions from potential clients asking if they can come even if they are ‘not an athlete.’ He said everyone is an athlete to some extent.

If a person gets injured doing something physical at the work place or the injury occurs in an athletic environment, Dahl said in both cases the injured parties are trying to regain the ability to do a physical movement.

Dahl enjoys seeing both athletes and members of the general public come through ZONE’s doors and when they are doing physiotherapy programming at the gym run by one of ZONE’s long-time partners in IGNITE Athletics.

“It is actually a pretty neat vibe, because they kind of feed off each other sometimes,” said Dahl. “You can see it in the gym too.

“It is kind of neat to see the mix there, and I think it spills over to here too where someone comes in and they are a high-level athlete, and they start having a chance to converse with someone in the waiting room, where they are just making small talk. It creates a good sense of comradery and community.”

Another treatment room at ZONE Sports Physiotherapy. (Photo by Darren Steinke)

All three therapists on staff at Gordie Howe Sport Complex’s ZONE clinic can treat head to toe injuries, and they each have a specialty interest area too.

Dahl came over because he works with baseball and football athletes a lot, so it was a natural fit for him to be on site. He will do assessments for football athletes, so they can determine which weaknesses or physical areas they need to work on before going off to events like the CFL combine. In baseball, Dahl will do assessments for players in regard to how they handle things physically like their throwing motion.

Brad Spokes oversees the ZONE Performance Multisport program that is geared to helping athletes in endurance-based sports, along with some strength and explosive type sports athletes as well. The presence of track and field, speed skating and Nordic skiing athletes made the Gordie Howe Sports Complex location a draw.

Jennifer Browne runs the “60 Strong” program, which is a masters age level strength program. Those workouts run twice a week.

If a need arises where a client would be better served by seeing a staff member at the first ZONE clinic to access a specific area of expertise, such as vestibular/balance/dizziness rehab, a referral will be made.

Overall, Dahl said it is rewarding to work with the high-quality people that utilize the multisport facility on a daily basis.

“Being here on site at Gordie Howe with the people that we work with, the athletes that are here, the parents that are here and the coaches that are here, it is a great spot to come to work every day,” said Dahl. “You look forward to going to work.

“If you need to stay late and help people out, it doesn’t feel like work, because you are in a great place to be.”

For more information about ZONE Sports Physiotherapy, feel free to contact them via email at or by phone at (306) 477-9663.

Mitch Dahl and the ZONE Sports crew enjoy helping their clients. (Photo by Darren Steinke)