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Emma McQuaid Eyes 2024 for Comeback Season

Morning Chalk Up

November 20   |   POWERED BY


Good morning and welcome to the Morning Chalk Up.

In today’s edition:

  • Emma McQuaid returns to her quad bike roots while looking ahead to the 2024 Games season
  • How the “minimum effective dose” principle can help with coaching mental toughness
  • Are you missing out on client retention by ignoring an important (easily trackable) metric?

Don’t forget to hit us up with story tips, highlights, quotes of the day and more.

‘Tis the season to check out Morning Chalk Up’s Black Friday | Cyber Monday Buyers Guide.

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“What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.” - Maya Angelou

  Comebacks and Quad Biking: Emma McQuaid on Her 2023 Season and Beyond  

Comebacks and Quad Biking: Emma McQuaid on Her 2023 Season and Beyond

Since 2019, Emma McQuaid has qualified for every CrossFit Games. But this year would be a bit rockier than her four prior years at the Games. Just weeks before her trip to Madison, McQuaid injured her neck. While she still managed to start the Games this year, she was ultimately pulled from the competition by the end of the first day.

One big thing: Despite her setbacks this year, McQuaid is determined as ever and ready to take on whatever challenges next season brings.

In fact, while her injury prevented her from finishing the Games, McQuaid knows she is probably the most capable she’s been from a CrossFit perspective.

  • “I wish I had been able to compete because this year’s workouts were probably the most fun, most enjoyable, and most well-rounded workouts. I think that kind of made me a little bit more angry,” she said.
  • “If I was fit and healthy, there wasn’t a workout out there I saw where I wasn’t thinking ‘I’m not ready for that.’” McQuaid added.
  • “Everything we did this season really prepared me,” she continued.

Looking back: McQuaid’s withdrawal from the Games was a tough ending to an already tough season.

  • When asked for her favorite part of the season, McQuaid shrugged and replied, “that’s a tough one,”
  • After a few seconds of contemplation, she replied, “I thrusted 100kg during the Open,”
  • “That was the only highlight of the year,” she added chuckling.
  • “This year, I made the decision to switch things up a bit and purposefully not peak for the Open or Quarterfinals and save that nice big ramp for the Semifinals and the Games,” she said.
  • “I didn’t enjoy the Open because I wasn’t fit and I consciously was not trying to compete or leaderboard,” she continued.
  • “I literally rolled in on a Friday and got it [the workout] done and then jumped into a training session,” she added.
  • But after week 3, I was really pissed off, because I hate not performing,” McQuaid continued.
  • “After I [saw my performance in the Open], I said to my coach ‘you know what f*ck it we’re going to perform in all the workouts in Quarterfinals,” she said.

Unfortunately, McQuaid wouldn’t get her redemption arc during Quarterfinals. The week before the weekend kicked off, her brother returned from Australia with a nasty virus that kept her in bed the entire weekend of Quarterfinals.

And her redemption wouldn’t come during Semifinals either.

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🎙️ 🎙️ The Weekly Buzz: Check out our news brief collab between the Morning Chalk Up and Kettlebells and Cocktails and get caught up on some of the top community, affiliate, and sport stories of the week.

  • On this week’s episode: Joe and Niki discuss the Morning Chalk Up changing hands, remembering some moments from Madison, movements to start practicing now for the Open and more.

Looking for great deals on holiday gift ideas for the athletes in your life? Check the Morning Chalk Up’s Black Friday | Cyber Monday Buyer’s Guide.

🎟️ 🎟️ Spectator tickets for the Dubai Fitness Championship are now available.

One Hour to Go All In: The Gauntlet at TYR Wodapalooza is open for registration now. If you haven’t experienced it, The Gauntlet is a way for spectators to throw down in front of the crowds at TYR WZA and compete in some seriously tough workouts. Check out the divisions and register for a time slot now. 

🎙️ 🎙️Jason Khalipa, 2008 CrossFit Games champion and eight-time Games athlete was a guest on the Jocko podcast last week and discussed his life, career in CrossFit and his successes in business, marriage and fatherhood.

ICYMI: India’s Fittest Woman, Hannah Kathrein, gains confidence training at CrossFit Fringe.

  Coaching Mental Toughness with the “Minimum Effective Dose” Concept  


Coaching Mental Toughness with the “Minimum Effective Dose” Concept

Recently on the Chasing Excellence podcast, we have focused on answering listener and viewer questions in a “coach’s corner” style format. Here’s a question we received from “Victor” about coaching mental toughness with his daughter. Ben used the opportunity to discuss a concept frequently referred to as the “minimum effective dose.”

Victor’s Question:

I’m doing my sprint session at a local stadium and notice a father playing soccer with his kid. The daughter, who appears to be between 6 and 10, is struggling with missing the ball and tripping. The dad is playing the game with some intensity – not being cruel but also not taking it easy on her.

As a result, she starts crying. Despite the dad’s attempts to motivate and encourage her, he eventually gives up.

How would you have approached this? How would you teach a kid about mental toughness and handling challenges when they become more difficult?

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  The “North Star” Client Retention Metric You Might Not Give Enough Attention  

The “North Star” Client Retention Metric You Might Not Give Enough Attention

Nine percent: That’s the industry average for monthly client churn according to data released by the popular client management software company PushPress.

As for CrossFit-specific gyms, that number sits at 7.63 percent, meaning the average gym with 100 members loses between seven and eight members each month.

Ok, so why does this matter?

Harshly put, client churn is the “silent killer,” explained PushPress founder Dan Uyemura.

Consider this: Let’s say you’re a gym that charges $200 a month, and you’re generating 20 leads a month and converting 50 percent of those leads into members.

When we look at the math of churn, under the above circumstances, if you’re churning clients at nine percent, you’ll generate $20,000 in revenue a month, but if you improve your monthly churn rate to four percent, revenue jumps to $50,000 a month. Thus, a five percent churn improvement—from nine to four percent—results in $30,000 more in monthly revenue.

  • “Imagine if you got your gym to two percent…You would be a million-dollar gym,” Uyemura added.

So how do I fix my churn?

While there’s never one way to do it, and no quick fix, per se, Uyemura said there is one very powerful metric that has a huge impact on client churn: Client check-ins.

In short, when you create and enforce a culture where clients register and check-in when they attend your gym, client retention improves significantly. In this sense, client check-ins are a quiet “north star metric,” Uyemura said.

  • Checking in “creates a culture of focus,” that keeps people accountable to their commitment. “You need to engineer experiences that reinforce the actions you want them to take,” Uyemura said.

What the data says: PushPress data shows that when a client comes to the gym just once a month, they have a 20 percent chance of churning the following month, Uyremura said. On the other hand, when a client comes to the gym 12 times a month, there’s only a two percent chance they’ll quit the next month.

  • Worth noting: Three days a week, or 12 times a month, is the sweet spot, so to speak. If a client comes more than 12 times a month, their chance of quitting is essentially the same, but if attendance drops below 12 times a month, the client’s chance of quitting increases significantly as their attendance decreases.
  • “Between 12 and 22 (check-ins) doesn’t matter. So I would almost encourage my gyms to sell a three days a week membership, not unlimited, so you can maximize the number of people who go to the gym,” Uyemura said.
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