TINTON FALLS, NJ—His success stories are numerous, including University of Connecticut's Donnie Brown, the former Red Bank Catholic High School standout who currently leads the nation in rushing. But while Joe McAuliffe understands how to shape the direction of an athletic career as one of the area's most respected teachers of speed and strength, he also has seen first-hand how changing economic times can alter the course of a dream.

Sports and the economic crisis – a look at one Main Street

Looking down on the scene below from the balcony at the EDGE Sports Academy, where top athletes now flock for his expertise a mile from his JM Power Center, which closed its doors last month, McAuliffe tries to remain pragmatic about the situation.

“Athletes are cyclical, so you need a strong membership in the health club to sustain you,” he said. “Because of the affects of the economy, our big months weren’t as big as they were in the past.”

McAuliffe’s not alone, as all aspects of sports, locally and throughout the region, are feeling the trickle-down affect of a floundering economy. A Velocity Sports Performance franchise in Wall recently ceased operation. And as the stock market’s nosedive alters the mindset on Main Street, signs of the financial downturn dot the athletic landscape at all levels.

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