Meet Danny

Danny McLarty is a Fitness Coach and a Basketball Skills Coach.  He trains people out of his gym, MVP Training, in Roscoe, Illinois   He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Planned Periodization Specialist (PPS through Tudor Bompa). Danny feels that “there is no ‘magic trick’ to improving your body; train, eat, sleep, and repeat. Those that are consistent, disciplined, and give everything they have, can bring their health, physique, and performance to a new level.” Danny earned a place in the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007 for his high school (Hononegah High School) and college career (Rock Valley Junior College and the University of Nebraska @ Omaha).  He was also named the NIC-9 MVP and the NJ4C Conference MVP.  He accomplished this while standing at a height of 5′7″.  Danny’s basketball lessons are set up to help players improve their ability to get open, with and without the ball.

Danny McLarty

Danny had been living in San Ramon, California for the past 7 years but just recently moved back “home” to Rockton, Illinois to get closer to family (he and his wife, Shondra, just had twins).  He has 3 brothers, and a sister (as the only girl and youngest child in the family, her brothers never picked on her.  Not once :) ).  When he is not training clients in the weight room and on the basketball court, he loves heading to the weight room to work on his physique.  He also still loves to play basketball, although he doesn’t play as much as he used to.  Aches and pains have accumulated over the years, but the foam roller and lacrosse ball have helped a great deal!!!

Danny notes; “life is good, but it would be so much better if the Cubs could just win the World Series!”


“I’ve been coaching for thirty years and Danny McLarty is the toughest player I have ever coached. His dedication was second to none. He was either shooting baskets or in the weight room all the time. He was trying always to outwork his opponents.

He had great vision on the court and got to the rim whenever he wanted to. Danny separated himself from others by his toughness, his work ethic, and his drive to be the best.”

Coach Jay Bryant
Danny’s High School coach

“In fifteen years of coaching basketball, I have been very blessed to have coached a number of outstanding point guards – Danny McLarty was the best. I have coached a number of talented players who were also great leaders – Danny McLarty was the best. I have coached a number of young people who I would want to coach and mentor my sons – Danny McLarty would be my #1 choice.”

Frank Haney

Danny’s Assistant Basketball coach at Rock Valley Junior College

“I have been involved in coaching for over 25 years and can honestly say Danny McLarty was one of the most coachable young men I have ever had the pleasure of working with. His two year Junior College career in my program was steeped in leadership, dedication, industriousness, and a positive mental attitude at all times. He was as intense a competitor as I have ever seen. Evidence of this can be found in the fact the he was voted MVP of our league after he led us to the conference title. Danny was the league’s best floor general, passer, ball-handler, and on the ball defender despite standing only five- feet seven inches tall. His heart was twice the size of his body. In today’s individualistic exhibition of basketball that is often times displayed, I have a great appreciation for Danny’s unique unselfishness towards a total team commitment. He was the vehicle that drove us to succeed.
If you are looking for a person to trust, in the development of character and skill with young boys and girls, look no further than Danny McLarty. I am completely confident he will strive to instill productive principles and values, and provide a positive example to those under his supervision. He is simply put – a winner!

Sincerely speaking,”

Carl Armato
Head Basketball Coach Rock Valley College (1989-2001)
Assistant Basketball Coach Northern Illinois University (2001-2008)

“My son has been receiving basketball lessons from Danny for two years now. We could not be happier with his coaching. He has so many positive things going for him I hardly know where to start. First of all, I’d say he is a young man who I feel so happy to have mentoring our son – he is a wonderful role-model, a person of high integrity and sincerity. He constantly teaches life lessons as well as the sport. He knows the game and is able to teach very effectively. He is especially gifted at teaching skills: ball handling, shooting, passing, body positioning, change of speed, change of direction… He can talk it through, and execute examples. He can and does motivate our son to give 110% every time he works with him. Danny is completely dependable; he’s a good communicator not just in working with our son but in terms of logistics with us as well. My only hesitance in giving you this recommendation is that I selfishly wouldn’t want him to become overloaded. We feel like we have found the diamond in the ruff and don’t want to lose him. As far as I can see, I hope he can work with Joey until he goes off to college.”

Sharon Chipman (mother of Joey Chipman, age 13)

“In the 5+ years I’ve been training with Danny I’ve been consistently impressed by his ability and his standards.  In a profession that sees more than its fair share of mediocrity, it’s rare to find someone with such dedication, both to excellence and to continually learning in what is an ever-changing field .  Danny’s clients have good reason behind their loyalty to him.  I attribute my physique as much to Danny’s work as I do to my own.”

Kevin Campbell

I was getting closer to 40 than 35, I was about to become a new dad, I am a full time teacher, and a varsity basketball coach. I wanted, and needed to get back in shape but honestly didn’t think I had the time. I talked with Danny and he created a program that fit my life. With simple diet changes, and a workout routine that fit into my busy life I have changed my body and more importantly I feel healthy. Danny has me working out three days a week, for about an hour each workout. That’s it. The workouts are tough, but I feel a sense of accomplishment when I’m done, and my energy levels are higher than ever. Danny’s program quickly got me back in shape, and he keeps the workouts fresh and ever changing. In only three hours a week, Danny has me in shape at a healthy weight, and I have great energy.

Mike Hansen

Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Dougherty Valley High School

“I would not be where I am today without Danny.  After suffering a spinal injury several years ago, I am please to say that I’ve regained a lot of my strength and mobility with regular weight training sessions.

Danny has skillfully navigated around my injury to achieve results I could not have attained on my own.  I feel truly privileged  to be his client.  Words cannot express how grateful I am to have my life back and to be able to enjoy the active lifestyle I had always been accustomed to prior to my injury.  Danny–THANK YOU so much for your expertise and patience while climbing that mountain with me.  I will never forget what it felt like to be at the very bottom of what seemed like such a long uphill battle.  I now feel like I’m on top of the world!

Results are empowering.  I look forward to working with Danny to achieve my next set of goals for 2010!”

Sandy Echelmeier

“I’ve been training with Danny for over a year now and it’s been the most amazing experience.  The results I’ve achieved are largely attributed to Danny’s extensive knowledge, individualized programs, and challenging yet achievable goal setting.  His professionalism and enthusiastic commitment to his clients provides the best path to success and a healthier lifestyle.  Danny truly loves his job and it’s a pleasure training with him. If you’re serious about your goals, whether it’s losing weight, gaining muscle, or just getting back into shape, Danny will help get you there.

Sue Tam

Through all of the time that I’ve been training with Danny, he has consistently been the consummate professional.  He is passionate about his work, disciplined and driven, and always strives to perfect his craft.  All of this is contagious, amplified even further by applying his considerable depth of knowledge of fitness and nutrition to his own life and motivating by example.  Danny puts the “personal” in Personal Trainer, custom making programs that are expertly tailored to the goals, abilities, and limitations of the client.  Working with him is a pleasure, and he helps me continually improve in ways I would most certainly not otherwise.   I am always looking forward to our regular sessions as I continue to reap the rewards of a happier, healthier lifestyle. Thanks, Danny!”

Greg Schroeder

“Danny has been training me for the last  2 years. When I started I was  215  lbs/waist line  42″.  To date I am 191 lbs with a 36″ waistline.  I have a medical condition which is type  2 diabetic.  Since working out with Danny on personal level I have been able to control my sugar levels and have been off my medications for the last two years with my doctor’s approval.  I personally do not have the discipline to workout on a regular basis so having Danny in my work regimen has given me that consistency, not to mention the knowledge on how to eat and take care of my body in a healthier manner.  His workouts are a lot of fun and complete stress reliever.  Danny is a complete professional and it’s great having him not only as a trainer, but as a personal friend as well. Look forward to our future workouts as I attempt to reach my goal of 185 lbs.

Best  Regards ,”

Willy Pena