The GVN Performance Chicago Story

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Brian Galivan, Gabriela Galivan and Patrick Galivan owners of GVN Perfomance Chicago
Our founders

Brian Galivan, Gabriela Galivan and Patrick Galivan

Training for hockey started in the old barn in Oak Park, IL- Ridgeland Commons Ice rink. I was 9 years old and my dad took me to public skating. He laced up my old worn out leather rental CCM’s, I mean Bobby Hall may have worn these things. He took me to a spot on the board and said “have at it”! And he proceeded to skate off. I watched him glide around the ice while I held on to the boards for dear life. I remember for the first time in my short life I said to myself, “I am going to get good at this”. From that day on it was ON! I went to public skating everyday and taught myself to fly. It was such an amazing free feeling and it was the first sport I had ever worked to get good at. At the same time, my little brothers started skating lessons and within a couple years we became a hockey family. 3 boys playing travel hockey and a Mom and Dad that had no idea what we were really getting into.” Fast forward, Pat, our golden boy played D1 for WMU and had a 6yr pro career. When Pat turned pro he had a degree in exercise physiology. And I had just switched careers from a union Mason to a personal trainer. Yes, that’s right. I spent my early 20’s doing 2 things, 1) working my ass off for my union Cement Mason Local 502 and 2) lifting weights and box which led to me training people on the side after work. Recession hit and what better time to make a pivot. Gabby was a key person in making that happen. She asked me one day “If you could do anything, what would you do?” and I said “It would be cool to train hockey players.” Where I would have been ok being where I was, she knew before I even knew that this was what I was meant to do. She was relentless in figuring out ways to make that happen. Every-time I would think. “this is crazy ” She would be there to say, yes so what? Keep going. Her motto for life, “there’s always a solution to a problem” and her idea driven, overly positive mind helped us start GVN from its infancy. Pat went pro when I was in my second year as a full time Personal trainer. My brothers and I were no strangers to off season training or just crushing weights in general. So I came up with a great idea. While my brother was playing in the minors and not making that much money we thought why don’t we try to get some guys and train them for the summer. Being a current athlete and a quiet leader my brother was hesitant, not because we weren’t capable, but he knew what I, at the time, was blind too… the seriousness of off-season programming. These are their careers, a trainer can make or break a player in the summer, add or take years off a guy’s career. This is serious business, but we did it anyway! So I started calling guys up and putting out the word that we had an off-season program for pros. I was able to recruit 3 players. Brock Shelgren ECHL (who I babysat growing up), Luke Sandler BCHL, and Casey Haines ECHL. About 2-3 weeks into the summer is when I got the call that changed my career, better yet my life. Tim Stapleton, former NHL player and KHL all-star called me up and said he heard that my brother and I were training guys and he lived a couple blocks from my gym. He wanted to know if he and Andy Wozniewski, former NHL player/ Euro league all-star at the time, could come meet me and check out the gym. At the end of our meeting they asked me if my brother and I would take them on for the rest of the summer. I was pumped! I left the gym on cloud 9. I was driving home and it hit me. I have 2 NHL players for the rest of the summer and immediately felt anxiety, followed by nausea. What my brother knew all along and I finally just realized is “I have these guys’ careers in my hands” I called Pat and said “I have good news and bad news. Good news is, I got us 2 more guys and you won’t be broke all summer…bad news, they’re NHL players and we have to get our shit together!” The next turning point was meeting a former O lineman from Northwestern during a jiu jitsu class. He mentioned a book that his former roommate wrote and suggested I read it and to get in touch with him. The book: Triphasic Training. I know it sounds cliché but I felt like Cal Dietz and Ben Peterson were talking to me and saying, what your doing with your athletes is not wrong, but it may not be optimal either. I called him shortly after. He didn’t answer, but called me back later that night and we talked shop for the next 2 hours! I was floored by how much information he was so willingly giving, especially in a field where everyone thinks their program is the best kept secret out there. We decided to put together a workshop a few months later. I learned more in those 2 days than I could have possibly imagined, my mind was blown. However, the most important thing that transpired, the priceless gift Ben had given me without even knowing it, was the confidence as a coach to not only train these guys but the confidence to implement methods I had never used with a group of elite athletes.

Our coaches

Patrick Galivan coach at GVN Perfomance Chicago

Patrick Galivan

Cofounder & Performance Coach

B.A. Ex. Sci
SOMA Therapist

Patrick is a biomechanics performance coach, physical therapist assistant, and a former professional hockey player who graduated from Western Michigan University. In college, he served as an assistant captain and won the CCHA scoring title. He’s played for the Chicago Wolves (AHL) and Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL). He ended his career winning the Playoff Championship Crown with the Nottingham Panthers of the English Elite league.
In 2011, Pat interned with the Western Michigan University Strength and Conditioning Program. He became a Physical therapy assistant in 2017, giving him experience with injury prevention and rehabilitation training. Patrick built on experience with a 40-week applied functional science certification from Gray’s Institute. Most recently, he has completed education in ELDOA and Soma therapy created by world renowned Osteopath Guy Voyer. His diverse background provides our clients with a training advantage to prevent injuries, move at their best, or rehab from previous injuries.

Juan Gonzalez coach at GVN Perfomance Chicago

Juan Gonzalez


M.S. High Performance Sport, Australian Catholic University
B.S. Sport Science, Loras College
CSCS Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

A native of Chicago, Juan started his career in sport performance as a student intern during his undergraduate studies at Loras College. Since then, he’s been a student of the field learning and working internationally in Canada, then arriving at GVN in Chicago several years ago, to his most recent role as the Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Chicago Blackhawks. Juan’s philosophy includes a holistic and generalist approach in which he seeks to find the essentials needed for success in an athlete’s competitive event or sport, understanding all of the layers that lead to athletic success for each individual.

Sterling Stalnaker coach at GVN Perfomance Chicago

Sterling Stalnaker


NASM, CCC, FRCms, FMS, Kilo strength Society, MI40,
Strength Sensei.

Sterling is a Personal trainer and Strength coach with a passion for movement and athletic performance. Sterling enjoys evaluating, monitoring and motivating his clients toward their fitness goals.

Bryan VanDuser coach at GVN Perfomance Chicago

Bryan VanDuser


Master’s Degree in Applied Exercise Science w/ strength and conditioning and sports nutrition focus

For undergrad, Bryan attended Concordia University Chicago where he received his BA in Exercise Science. He continued his education at Concordia University Chicago by working as a Graduate assistant for the Exercise Science Department where he earned his master’s degree. Bryan performed exercise physiology testing for three of their sports programs throughout the season while assisting in the strength and conditioning program for the baseball team.
Bryan developed a passion to be a strength and conditioning coach after working at Athletico and realizing he wanted to be more hands on with a population of athletes. Prior to working with GVN, he interned with Goodman Elite Training.
As a former successful collegiate athlete, Bryan understands the importance of getting stronger and continuing to progress both mentally and physically. His goal is to give every person he works with the ability and knowledge to not only perform better in their respective sport, but also develop habits to live a healthier life.

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