At the end of the fall season, the George Rogers Clark HS Girls Soccer coach, Matt Abner, informed all of the parents that he had been working with Josh & Corey of CrossFit Strode Station to establish a winter training program for the girls. Knowing quite a few friends that worked out at CFSS & them having nothing but good things to say about their experiences, I was excited for my daughter to have this opportunity. I approached my daughter, Talen, to see if she would be interested. Like me, she had a few friends that were already involved at the gym & she was equally excited to get started. The training would be two nights a week & an optional Saturday morning session. It would run for two months, January & February, with an option to continue into the following months if there was enough interest.
The first night rolls around & off to the gym we go. The first thing I notice when we get there is the evening CrossFit class going on. Weights clanging, kettlebells swinging, medicine balls flying & adults sweating their tails off. I became a bit skeptical as I wondered if she could handle this, even if it was scaled down for the youth. I mean my daughter is a 13 year old 8th grader. Sure, she’s in pretty good shape but could she really do this? Safely? Josh & Corey huddle the girls together, introduce themselves & start chatting with them about what they would be doing over the next few weeks. They go through a series of warmups & then into the workout, both coaches taking the time to instruct on proper form, movement, & technique. As the hour progresses & the workout continues, the coaches are constantly observing & correcting anything that seems the slightest bit off. As the class ends & we head home, I asked Talen what she thought about the class. She loved it & was ready for the next one. For the next couple days all I heard is talk of how sore she was. That’s a good thing though, it means she’s strengthening parts of her body she was not used to using even after the fall high school soccer season & the start of high school swim. As she went through the next few classes, I started noticing that this was not CrossFit, at least not in the tradition sense. Some of the movements were the same but the workouts were much more focused on the parts of the body that are typically used in sports such as soccer; legs, hips, core. This, along with the conditioning & agility work incorporated in each session, is much more specialized than a typical CrossFit class. The coaches spend a great deal of time programing workouts specifically for their youth training make sure the athletes build strength effectively & safely.
After close to four months of training, I can see a vast improvement in my daughter’s strength & conditioning on the field. As the spring club soccer season started, I could tell how much more leg & core strength she had. She is no longer getting knocked off the ball or bullied out of position. Her ball striking has become better than it ever has. Add in her increased endurance thanks to the CFSS training & she is a much better player than she was a year ago. I look forward to seeing how much she improves throughout the spring season & over the summer leading into the fall high school season. I believe her, as well as the rest of the girls participating in the training, are going to have a huge advantage when high school soccer starts up again.
If you have a youth athlete, a team, or even a child that just wants to be more active, I encourage you to look at CrossFit Strode Station for their training. You will not find more knowledgeable, caring, passionate, or motivating coaches than Josh, Corey, & their staff.