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Welcome to the Champions Club Summer 2018!

Coach's Corner...Deadlift or Dead Wrong


Take a moment to look at this picture and tell me what you think is wrong. One of the keys to improving your performance is knowledge because as they say one of the best ways to learn something is to teach it to someone else. 

Post your answers and thoughts to the comments 


Motivation 101: Revamped...

First off you can not motivate the un-motivated. There I said it. Whether you like it or not, motivation comes from within; it is intrinsic. Yes, you can have extrinsic motivation like a picture of Kyle Chandler, the offer of a new car, a snazzy prize like a backpack, a dollar for every A, etc...but that motivation is a gimmick. It will last about as long as an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. Greg Glassman, founder of Crossfit, famously says, "Men will die for points", I would add to that, "and most of them stick around as long as the cooler is full". Think about it.

That being said, I believe, despite the negative attitude that permeates a society of lazy, whiny, entitled individuals some people do indeed rise to the occasion. You may think signing up for the Champion's Club is insignificant in the grand scheme of things but really it is a silent declaration that you are willing to push yourself, that you believe it will have a positive effect on you, and that nothing is given to you except that which you work hard for.   

You may say, "pshaw, i'm just here to workout" but I say you are here to rise to the occasion.

Workout Schedule

For this week, the workout sessions will be as follows:

Monday: 3:30 pm, 6, pm, 7 pm

Tuesday - Thursday: noon, 3:30 pm, 6 pm, 7 pm

Friday - 11:30 am, 3:30 pm


This should give you more than enough time to get back home and study for finals.

A Toast to the Track Bags

This year, six Champion’s Club athletes participated in Track & Field for the first time in their athletic career. For most of them, it was a decision they were somewhat reluctant to make. And I can’t really blame them. In all fairness, we didn’t give them much of a choice.

Sydni was the first to commit.  With her decision in place, Nicole, a fellow junior, was not far behind. Their decision came easier (relative to the others) due to the fact that they did not participate in any spring activity other than the daily workouts (and drum lessons apparently).  Although neither were shy to voice their sincere disgust for running, they were certainly good at it. This dynamic duo proved to be very versatile for the team. Sydni’s events ranged from the 100m to the 800m, with her specialty being the 400. Nicole ran the mile and 800 all season. Then what did she do at Regionals? Just qualified for states in the 2 mile…her first time ever running it. If that’s not a well-rounded athlete, I don’t know what is.

Mikey was another to follow. His conversion was not that difficult either, considering he had to choose between sitting the bench at Lacrosse, and actually participating at every meet. I was very pleased to have this Junior run for us. It gave him an opportunity to visually see the improvement his hard work in the Champion’s Club has gotten him. (You can’t show off your hard work by sitting on the bench, ya dig?). The intriguing thing about Mikey is the willingness he has shown to learn. With a summer and fall of CrossFit Endurance workouts supplemented with the regular WOD, look for Mikey to start placing in events next year.

Abby and Emma are a different story. A recruiting process that began in the summer of ’10, Emma’s decision to run track came about two weeks prior to the season. And since Abby is her bff, she forced her into running as well. Both made incredible contributions this season. Much like Mikey, track has given Abby an outlet to showcase her newfound athleticism (as opposed to riding the pine for softball). And Emma is far and away our most dynamic runner in events ranging from the 100m – 400m. (I’m going to go out on a limb and say she could probably run the best 800 or mile on the team as well).  I honestly can’t imagine what the end result would be if she ever came to terms with the fact that Track might actually be her best sport.

And then there’s Renee, whose decision to run track came on the car ride to Foley about five minutes before her soccer practice was going to start. After a persuasive phone call from Emma, Renee walked into the Fieldhouse with the famous quote, “So Emma, I left my house thinking I was going to soccer practice...and here I am at track now”. Peer pressure at its finest. Although had Renee known that the first day of soccer practice consists of a two-mile time trial (and the fact that two miles was equivalent to eight laps around the track), I’m sure the decision would have come easier. But like Brian beating me in a workout, sometimes it’s better to be lucky.

But I digress. My intention in writing this is not to detail our training; their performance speaks for itself. Nor do I intend to boast on their behalf as their performance speaks to that as well. This is, in fact, a “thank you” letter.

Considering the outside sources that made this season rather, shall we say, tumultuous, the one constant throughout was our Champion’s Club athletes.  I’m sure I can speak for Brian as well when I say that it was very enjoyable getting a chance to coach you all this year. After having never run track in your life, you have come out and blown away older and more experienced competition, many of which consider track their primary sport. Your dedication to training a general, physical preparedness gave you the skills needed to achieve the success you have attained. Bottom line, you all have solidified yourselves in the top 10 percentile of all Division III runners, unintentional as it may be. Without specializing, you have competed at the state level with the specialists. What you guys have demonstrated is the epitome of what CrossFit stands for.

So while no doubt some all of you are probably questioning your decision to run, please consider the following. Track & Field basically gives you all the opportunity to show off. Think about it. You do handstand pushups, deadlifts, pull-ups, and cleans on a regular basis, and still kick peoples’ butts who actually practice this running nonsense year-round.   Another point that cannot be overlooked is the impact you had on the success of other teammates.  In reality, every kid on the team owes you a thank you as well. First of all, you immediately raised the competition level at practice. As other athletes see you step in and excel, they have either two choices: match your intensity level, or settle. Also, consider the possible product of your relay team(s) had you not run for us. Would there even be a relay team for that event? Your impact on the team is visible to all that watch. You were the driving force behind the most successful season in Bishop Foley track history. 10 athletes to states is kind of a big deal, but that's also expected. It takes a special group of people to raise the bar. And that exactly what you did.

We are very thankful for what you guys have done and could not be more proud of the end result you put on the track.

Thanks again,



Enjoy this now because you won’t get this humility out of me for a long time!

SPP: Practice Makes Perfect

In an earlier post, I discussed GPP (General Physical Preparedness) as akin to laying a solid foundation for reaching your athletic goals through The Principle of All-round Development.  This is not the end of the conversation, you do not stop building the house and place a make-shift tent on it after the foundation is laid or better yet just sleep on the cold hard concrete. Athleticism (I say athleticism instead of strength & conditioning because to one degree or another we are all athletes and your work in the Champion's Club is a means to allow you to express it) is only one of your tools, you can not forget to develop skill. Siff and Verkhoshansky write in Supertraining, "a high level of work capacity and sport specific fitness will not guarantee exceptional performance. Instead, the ability to exhibit a maximal level of prepardness, as the summated ongoing resultant of fitness and fatigue, is essential if such performance is to be more likely." (93) 

What does the above sentence mean?

Yes, you can have an exceptional performance. Yes, you can have the game of your life but the probablity of it occuring and even reoccuring decreases rapidly without a high level of work capacity and sport specific fitness. A solid GPP program will help to increase your work capacity but that only covers half of the equation. This is where the coach and athlete need to work on a SPP (Specific Physical Preparedness) program to address any skill deficiencies the athlete may need to work on to further their progression in their sport of choice.  

Siff and Verkhoshansky call this The Principle of Specialisation. They break it down into two categories:

(a) Practice in the specific sport under conditons which are encountered in competition. Competition is regarded as important in the learning of specialisation, so coaches advise regular participation in selected competitions.

(b) Special exercises for perfecting motor skills, tactics and other aspects essential to performing efficiently in the sport  (25) 

For instance in category B, doing Karen (150 wallballs) will not make you a better shooter even though it is similar in action such as opening the hips, acheiving triple extension, tricep extension etc. Shooting drills and working on your technique will make you a better shooter, but the ability to recover and perform those sports related tasks in a less fatigued state because you have developed a solid fitness foundation will allow you to work harder at obtaining those skills.

In Category A, shaving 2 minutes off your Kelly time (5 rds of 400m run 30 wall balls and 30 box jumps) will not give you the same experience as playing in a volleyball game even though you are utilizing the same energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic/glycolytic, and ATP-PC), jumping repeatedly and constantly getting in an athletic position such as when you go to bump the ball. It will give you strength to hit the ball harder, endurance to repeatedly hit the ball harder, and mental fortitude to fight through any fatigue or stress you may encounter in the game situation. This will allow you to play at an optimal level.

Everyone can lower the bar, but it takes a special group of people to raise the bar.

Great News

If you're like me, you have been in a state of sorrow over the past few days because Kelly Starrett, the Mobility Wizard, has been on a vacation in the mountains with no internet service. Thankfully he has returned to make the world mobile. If you are not already familiar, I highly suggest you start following the Mobility Wod he posts daily (If you're on the Hard Routine it's a requirement).

Remember, don't make the pain face!


Are You In Or Are You Out?

That is the question of the day and I don't know the answer because some of you have yet to respond.  The summer schedule starts in less than two weeks (June 13th) and if you have not firm committed to a time slot we can not guarantee you will get that time. For example, the morning session already has 17+ people signed up for it and has created the need for a 9am and 10am session. We need to know so we can set the schedule in concrete and the sooner you get your deposit in the sooner we can buy some more gear to help you reach your fitness goals.

Here's the deal:

If you don't let us know and you just show up on that first day we won't let you train. It's like an A-listers birthday party: if you are not on the list you don't get in.   

RSVP or I can almost gaurantee that results won't RSVP because they will not being showing up either.

We need to know if we can accommodate your needs if you have a varied schedule that won't allow you to go to one specific session.  

The ball is in your corner:

We just need you to kick it back. All we ask is that you commit 4-5 hours of your week to making yourself a stronger, fitter athlete. That is only 3 percent of your week which leaves plenty of time for eating in the zone, getting a summer job, playing and practicing your respective sport, lounging, and sleeping in.