More Work To Do: Three Major Takeaways From Mathew Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey Interviews

September 22, 2020 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit Games

The Morning Chalk Up was able to get an exclusive interview with both Mathew Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey after their dominating performances during the 2020 CrossFit Games online stage this past weekend. Here are three things that we took away from those interviews from Fraser’s garage gym in Cookeville, TN.

It’s a team effort: Both Fraser and Toomey always make it a point to give credit to the people that make them the champions that they are. With the intimate setting of the online phase, those people were more noticeable than at a normal live competition.

  • Sammy Moniz not only was there to provide food and fuel for both Fraser and Toomey but also helped out in recovery by doing body-work after each day of workouts on her fiance.
  • Matt O’Keefe was the logistics manager for the duo. For each event, every weight needed to be weighed, labeled and confirmed by the onsite judge. Measurements needed to be taken for starting and finishing lines. Equipment needed to be set up a certain way so that way all athletes had the same set-up and no one gained an advantage. O’Keefe handled those aspects as well as assisting the Buttery Bros in their media and filming needs.
  • There is no secret that the online stage was unlike anything ever done for a competition. The access of the coaches to the athletes was something that provided uniqueness. Usually on the sideline or observing high in the Alliant Energy Center Coliseum, Fraser and Toomey’s coach Shane Orr was front and center. He was there to help the athletes make adjustments during the actual event and keep them aware of the clock.
  • Having people they trust handling the auxiliary items of the competition and allowing them to focus solely on competing was something both athletes reiterated and credited for their success.

Blueprint for success: There’s no secret that the relationship that Fraser and Toomey have developed has helped in both of their successes. Two of the greatest athletes in the sport, training together seems simple enough to replicate but it hasn’t been successfully pulled off yet. Here are some reasons why.

  • They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and because of that they were able to game plan during the online stage. If a particular event favored one’s strength over the others, they would go first and that allowed the other athlete a chance to formulate their approach with the help of Orr.
  • Being training partners for so long has allowed them to communicate freely with each other. Their trust in each other and brutal honesty is key in their training sessions and in competitions.
  • They compete by not competing against each other. They can push each other in training because they aren’t directly competing against each other in competitions. Because they are in different divisions they aren’t necessarily fighting for the same goals but at the same time they want to be the best in the sport.

Nothing changes: The Ranch in Aromas, CA is the next stop for these two athletes. Each has an opportunity to solidify their legacies as the greatest in their divisions. Fraser looks to break the tie between him and Rich Froning for the most Games titles, Toomey looks to further distance herself within the women’s division by making it four-straight “Fittest” titles. What stands in their way is the live competition in which Director of Sport Dave Castro promises that will be the toughest test at the Games in it’s 14 years of existence.

  • Fraser says that Toomey and Orr will continue with what has led them to their success. Changing the programming and training for something they have no control of and have little information on would be foolish.
  • Their training doesn’t reset, it just continues. Each saw flaws in their performances and they want to clean them up before heading out west.
  • They trust Orr and why shouldn’t they? They are both coming off dominant performances and each athlete trains to prepare for everything and anything. Orr has led them both success with his coaching and programming. He’s hands-down the best in the sport right now and knows his athletes have more to give