Congratulations to our one of our youngest CrossFit members - Patrick Kielb! This past weekend, Patrick Kielb has shown that he could compete at a High level as he took the Gold Medal at Landon State Qualifier!   This was a fast pace match against a very tough opponent in a hostile environment.  Patrick showed great poise as takes home the victory in this high-pressure match.  He will look to repeat his performance next month at the Junior high State Championship.  We are excited to see his progress as he makes this jump to the Top of the podium.

Patrick is one of the youngest athletes I work with, but as athletes continue to progress in their training, what is “it” that separates talented athletes from amazing athletes?  It is not age... It is not talent...   After years of experience in working with athletes of every caliber, I believe two traits differentiate talented athletes from great athletes - mental toughness and a strong work ethic. Let me clarify this statement by first acknowledging that talented athletes certainly can, and many do, possess mental toughness and a strong work ethic, but I assert that great athletes have these two characteristics in abundance.  


What Is Mental Toughness?

Naturally,  what separates a talented athlete from an incredible athlete is their personal approach to competition, practices, and after hours skill training and conditioning.  Generally, athletes described as “mentally tough” are fiercely competitive, driven, goal oriented, disciplined, and are easily able to perform well under stressful situations.  So how can you become more mentally tough?  There are many ways to develop mental toughness in yourself:

  • Self-Belief - Have an unshakable belief in the ability to achieve your personal goals.
  • Motivation- Have an insatiable desire and internalized motivation to succeed. Be Able to bounce back from setbacks with increased determination.
  •  Focus – STAY focused on the task at hand in the face of competition-specific distractions.


What Is Work Ethic?

I believe work ethic to encompass the same focus, commitment, and perseverance necessary to succeed in any high-performance environment, whether CrossFit or sports.  Here are some common characteristics of great athletes:

  • Great athletes are dedicated to “the game” above all else and demonstrate dedication through unwavering commitment, making sacrifices to play, and meeting the expectations of fellow athletes.
  • Great athletes strive for distinction by relentlessly seeking to improve and achieve perfection
  • Great athletes accept no obstacles in the pursuit of possibilities in their sport, even when the odds are against them.


Based on my own coaching experiences, I would also add that the athlete’s ability to be coached - to listen to, trust, and follow the coach’s judgment and recommendations - are also a mark of a strong work ethic.


Mental Toughness + Work Ethic

Whereas talent may have led to the early success of an athlete, mental toughness, and a strong work ethic that make an athlete great. The athlete must have the will, the drive, and the mental toughness to accept the rigors that a strong sport ethic requires.


It is up to EACH OF YOU, to take ownership and responsibility of these attributes to reach your athletic greatness!



WOD 011416

Whats your favorite winter sport?

Metcon (No Measure)

Every 2 minutes, for 12 minutes (2 sets of each):
Station 1 – Rope Climb x 1 ascents
Station 2 – L-Sit HOLD x 30 secs
Station 3 – Alternating Pistols x 10 reps

Metcon (Time)

Complete 3 rounds of:
10 Toes to Bar
10 Burpee Box Jump Overs
20 Double Unders

Out of Town WOD

5 Rounds For Time:
3 Tuck Jumps
3 Squats
3 Broad Jumps



1. Yukelson, D., “What is Mental Toughness and how to Develop It?” Penn State University. Accessed April 20, 2014.

2. Hughes, R. and Coakley, J. “Positive deviance among athletes: The implications of over-conformity to the sport ethic.” Sociology of Sport Journal (1991) 8, 4: 307-25.


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