Meet the Team


Dr. Joseph LaPlaca,

Dr. LaPlaca obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Biology and a Minor in Chemistry from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He then obtained his Doctorate of Optometry from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, Illinois in 2009. 

     After working in corporate optometry for 8 years, Dr. LaPlaca decided to pursue his real passion of Sports Vision Training/Enhancement. In July of 2018 he started Ares Elite Sports Vision to help athletes gain their competitive edge. While helping athletes in the office was beneficial, Dr. LaPlaca believed much of the vision training could be completed by the athlete at home. He began building out programs for his athletes to accomplish this. 

     In December 2019, Ares Academy was officially launched with Dr. Appelbaum & Travis Cox. Through the past 2+ years we have been building, refining and improving Ares Academy to where it is today. 

    Dr. LaPlaca loves to spend time with his wife Deanna, their daughter Remington, and son Asher. In his spare time Dr. LaPlaca enjoys woodworking, all sports, and watching movies. 

Travis Cox, C.L.F

     Travis Cox grew up in Syracuse Indiana. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Selling and Sales Management from Purdue University in 2003. He later became a Certified Coach in 2011 and added the CLF (Certified Leadership Fellow) designation from the American College of Financial Service in 2017. 

     Upon graduation from Purdue University, Travis started a Financial Planning career at Northwestern Mutual where he specialized in working with business owners.

     In 2013 Travis was named Chief Development Officer for the state of Indiana where he led the state's recruiting and new adviser development for the next 8 years.  In 2019 Travis decided to pursue a career change. Travis’s passion today is taking his nearly 20 years of business experience and applying it to different industries, Travis currently serves as the Director of business Development for Seamless Roofing and Ares Academy in the Sports Vision world. 

     Away from work Travis also leads Driving for Dyslexia, a 501(c)(3) not for profit business, designed to raise money and awareness for children with Dyslexia.  In his spare time he enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife Amanda, going to swim meets with his daughter Isabel, and spending time at the race track with his son Elliot.

Dr. Bryce Appelbaum,
O.D, F.C.O.V.D

     Dr. Appelbaum is a board certified Fellow of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Southern College of Optometry. He completed his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis where he majored in Psychology and Pre-Medical studies and graduated with clinical honors from The Illinois College of Optometry.

    Dr. Appelbaum has worked with hundreds of professional athletes, numerous professional and collegiate sport teams, and countless amateur athletes to transform raw talent into honed performance through vision.  These athletes include NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and NWSL players, professional golfers, volleyball and tennis players, and Olympic fencers, gymnasts, swimmers, archers, and shooters. 

     Dr. Appelbaum also helps teams consider who to draft or sign as free agents based on assessing a player’s visual potential and identifying how far off they may be from operating at that ceiling. 

     Dr. Appelbaum owns Appelbaum Vision, PC, a private practice specializing in Vision Therapy and Rehabilitation with offices in Bethesda and Annapolis Maryland.  Away from the office, Dr. Appelbaum chases after his three kids and enjoys golf and working out.