Homegrown Fitness: Koda CrossFit’s Homegrown Training Model Puts Five Teams Atop the North American Leaderboard in the 2021

May 3, 2021 by
Photo Credit: Koda CrossFit Norman
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While the close of the first annual team quarterfinals event placed the usual suspects at the top of the leaderboard. There was one gym whose positions on the leaderboard could not be ignored. 

One big thing: A quick glance at the North American leaderboard, and you’ll see the name Koda before a handful of teams, all in solid qualifying positions for semifinals. In fact, at the close of the final workout, Koda ended their first quarterfinals appearance by qualifying five teams for semifinals.

  • Team Koda: 24th Place In North America
  • Koda CrossFit: 41st Place In North America
  • Koda CrossFit Norman: 55th Place In North America
  • Koda CrossFit Native: 69th Place In North America
  • Koda CrossFit Ironview: 80th Place In North America

Always the bridesmaid never the bride: While Koda CrossFit has never been to the CrossFit Games, they have always held solid positions in the Central Region, finishing in the top ten in 2015 and 2016.

  • “We were always on the cusp of qualifying for the Games,” said owner Brice Collier.
  • He added that once the affiliate cup was canceled and superteams became the norm, it became much more difficult to qualify teams, since all their teams have always been homegrown.
  • “No one is really moving to Oklahoma for CrossFit,” he said.
  • However, with the return of the affiliate cup this year, Koda’s homegrown athlete model could shine once again as they fight for their spots in the semifinals.

A midwest powerhouse: While superteams stole the limelight in 2019, Koda CrossFit continued to grow through their organic model and the results speak for themselves. 

  • In 2011, the doors opened on the original Koda CrossFit. Since then, they’ve opened four more affiliates throughout Oklahoma and one in Colorado.
  • Across their six gyms, the Koda CrossFit family is home to more than 1,000 members, who make up the seven teams that competed in the Open vying for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Homegrown: Perhaps one of the biggest points of pride for all Koda CrossFit affiliates and teams, is the unique way their athletes train. 

  • All athletes, regardless skill level or ranking on the Open leaderboard take class.
  • While the elite athletes contending for spots on the semifinals teams may perform 30-40 minutes of accessory and skill work outside class times three to four days per week, the bulk of their training is during class times with other members.
  • “We’ve built a cool community where all our stud athletes work out with the regular classes and do some stuff on their own, so they’re all really supported by the community,” said owner Brice Collier.
  • “It started a long time ago when the top athletes were me and a few others. I always took class and so our top athletes also took class,” he continued.
  • “It’s always been a leading from the front kind of thing,” added Collier.
  • “The athletes have always been involved in the classes. They’re more fun, they keep things competitive,”
  • Their collective SugarWOD across all Koda locations allows for athletes to compete against thousands of members of all levels and abilities as well.
  • “The athletes want to be humbled,” said Collier.
  • “If they go to class and they get whooped by people who just do class a few times a week, they know they need to work harder,” he added.
  • “We pride ourselves on being able to run a class for someone who is brand new and someone who is an elite competitor level,” he continued.
  • “Having the athletes in class makes the community stronger. When we qualify for semifinals and different events, they’re excited about supporting those athletes moving on. They’re excited to donate money and host fundraisers,” he concluded.

Creating a culture of a two way street: Not only are members of Koda CrossFit excited to support the elite athletes who will be moving forward to semifinals, but those elite team members are also excited to support the regular members who have supported them so much.

  • “It’s a two way street,” said Collier
  • “Not only do the regular athletes encourage the pros, we’re also running a scaled Koda Championship, where we have the top scaled athletes in the Open compete in their own semifinals at their respective locations,” he continued.
  • “They will then meet for the Koda Games coming up on May 22nd, so they get to have their own day,” he concluded.
  • The Koda CrossFit Ironview athletes from Colorado will be flown in courtesy of Koda CrossFit and athletes will be put up in housing near the competition venue, so they can compete.
  • For the coaches and members at Koda CrossFit, competition is not just for the elite and just like the members support and cheer on the elite athletes moving forward to semifinals, the scaled athletes will be able to experience their own level of competition at the Koda Games.
  • “It can’t just be low tier cheering on the top tier, it also has to be upper tier uplifting the lower tier athletes,” Collier said.

A force to be reckoned with: Though Koda’s teams failed to crack the top 20 in the quarterfinals leaderboards, Collier knows that semifinals will be their time to shine.

  • Their top team, Team Koda, based out of the original Koda CrossFit location experienced a setback during the quarterfinals when one of their team members sprained their patella performing double unders in the third workout of the day.
  • Collier knew he had to make a gametime decision and put the team’s alternate in, which required the team to repeat three of the workouts.
  • Despite the setback, Team Koda still placed 24th overall in North America and Collier believes that they will perform even better in the semifinals once their injured teammate is back on the floor and healthy again.

The big picture: Throughout the ever changing formats and seasons, Koda remains a testament to the power of the CrossFit Community. Across their six locations in the midwest, they have created a homegrown community that supports and pushes each other across all levels. From the elite athletes to the brand new member, Koda has created a home and a place to grow for all athletes who walk through their doors. 

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