CrossFit Games

The Rise of the Teenage Training Camps

August 20, 2021 by
Photo Credit: CrossFit LLC
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We’ve been tracking the recent rise in training camp development for elite individual and team athletes over the last couple of seasons. Coming off a record season for teenage athletes, we’re now seeing the development of teen-only training camps for the first time.

One big thing: While we’ve seen big names in coaching (MisFit Athletics and Brute Strength specifically) training younger clients for the past several years, it’s mostly been remote. Similar to other big four sports, we’re seeing teenage division athletes actually moving across the country to specifically train in CrossFit. 

The details: Two separate training camps are emerging: One in Naples, FL under Brute Strength and the other in Clive, IA with James Townsend’s TBO Training Team. 

  • Brute: Emma Cary, Cole Greashaber, Dallin Pepper, James Sprague, and Phil Toon will all be moving to Naples, FL to train under coach Matt Tores. 
  • TBO Training Team: Tudor Magda left Brute and will now be training with Mal O’Brien. 

Why it matters: As the CrossFit Games sport continues to grow and more financial opportunities become available, it’s inevitable for athletes to start making CrossFit a full-time sport at a younger age. It’s also hard to remotely coach young athletes as effectively as in-person, plain and simple.

  • Torres: “Immediate feedback is an important factor that you can only get when you’re there with a coach.”
  • “I have often thought that CrossFit as a sport needs to be taken as a day to day program with more intent built into every aspect of their day as is done in other sports.”

A few relevant teenage stats from the 2021 Games season:

  • The 2021 CrossFit Games qualified its first teenage athletes who were eligible to compete in the teenage division: both Mal O’Brien and Emma Cary. 
  • At 16-years-old, Emma Cary became the first woman to win a worldwide Open workout
  • At 17-years-old, Mal O’Brien became the youngest athlete to ever win a CrossFit Games workout
  • 15-year-old Olivia Kerstetter snatched the heaviest weight of any female athlete across all divisions at 202 pounds, more than Tia-Clair Toomey and Annie Thorisdottir. 
  • Emma Lawson, who won the 16-17 division at age 16, qualified for the Atlas Games Semifinal and finished 9th overall. She still has another year of eligibility left in the teenage division and has the ability to also qualify as an individual next season. 

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