Michele Letendre Launches Deka Competition Team to Build Camaraderie and Foster a Community of Competitive CrossFit Athletes

February 21, 2021 by
Credit: Deka Comp:
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Michele Letendre, the founder of Deka Comp — a company that provides programming for CrossFit athletes — is expanding her services to build a Deka Competition Team.

  • Athletes on the Deka Competition Team will receive, not just programming, but also more individualized coaching, access to training sessions and training camps, online conferences, as well as gear and other resources. The overall idea is to create the feeling of belonging to a club, much like you’d experience being on a cycling or triathlon team, Letendre explained. 

Remind me: Since retiring from elite CrossFit competition in 2017, five-time CrossFit Games competitor Michele Letendre quickly established herself as one of the top CrossFit coaches in the world. 

  • Not only is Letendre three-time CrossFit Games podium finisher Patrick Vellner’s long-time coach, she also coached Laura Horvath to a second place Games finish in her rookie season in 2018. Two other notable Letendre pupils include four-time Australian Games athlete James Newbury, who is now trying his hand at bobsledding, and Canadian Adam Davidson, who qualified to his first Games in 2020 under Letendre’s tutelage.
Credit: Deka Comp:

The details: The inspiration for this project — to be launched after the 2021 CrossFit Games Open — came from Letendre’s recent experience when she joined a triathlon club. She was quickly taken back to her competitive water polo days, to a time when she felt a true sense of belonging to a team, she explained. 

  • She remembered how important it was for competitive athletes to have that kind of support, which she realized was missing under the current Deka Comp format. That team feel is certainly something she could have benefited from when she was competing in CrossFit. “It just made me realize how I could have developed in a more professional way at a younger stage in my career,” Letendre said.
  • Another one of her goals for the Deka Competition Team is to help athletes “get access to educational and technical coaching at a lower price than personalized programming,” but in a way that still provides them valuable coaching and resources, she said. 
  • Next up: Letendre and the Deka Comp team are hosting an online conference this Thursday, February 25 at 5 PM ET that will feature three guest athletes who will talk about their Open mindset. They will announce more details about the new project at the end of the conference. 

One big thing: Letendre isn’t the only one going in this direction to help develop CrossFit athletes, suggesting this might be the way of the future for the sport of competitive CrossFit. 

  • Last month, we reported on Ben Bergeron’s plan to build the CompTrain Training Academy, a facility that will be constructed as an addition to CrossFit New England’s affiliate location. Athletes in the CompTrain Academy will have a training space just for them, full-time coaches, including subject matter specific coaches, a dedicated recovery space, including a sauna and bodyworkers, and managers to help them reduce outside stressors, among other resources and tools.

The big picture: While Bergeron’s CompTrain Training Academy is, at least in the near future, focusing on perennial CrossFit Games athletes, Letendre intends to service anyone who wants to compete. As long as the athlete is “willing to invest him or herself, we will do the same,” she explained. 

  • “We really felt like there was something that needed to be done for the average competitive CrossFit athlete…We’re looking to make sure we help athletes that may slip through the cracks in this current format,” Letendre said. 
  • She added: “I really feel like this is going to be a win, win, win for everyone involved in this project.”

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