How does Taranis Select Their Team?

Another CrossFit Games season is done and with it comes inevitable questions, comments and opinions. Some are positive and some … not so much.

In case you are wondering, I will shed some light on how we at CrossFit Taranis select our team. (We have used this process since 2010 and it has been relatively unchanged except for the addition of the Open and the survey that we have athletes fill out prior to the Open commencing)

The process begins during every day training sessions. Observations are made regarding athletes’ physical abilities as well as potential. As the CrossFit Games Open draws near we begin to encourage our entire membership to participate regardless of ability, as it is a great way to develop community! If there are athletes that have aspirations to go further in the competition (Regionals or Games) as either a team athlete or an individual athlete we have them fill out a short survey.

The survey looks like this:

Athlete Name:

  1. Are you registering for the CrossFit Games Open? YES or NO
  2. Please circle one to finish this statement: I hope to qualify and compete at Regionals as: A) An individual athlete; B) A team athlete; C) Neither, just doing for fun and experience.
  3. If you qualify as an individual athlete at Regionals and make the choice to compete at Regionals as an individual athlete but do not make it to the CrossFit Games, are you interested in being a consideration for a Games qualified team position? YES or NO
  4. Of the 2 teams we hope to qualify for the Regionals which one would be your first choice to be considered for? TARANIS or THUNDER
  5. Are you open to being placed on a team other than your first choice? YES or NO
  6. Each team has 8 athletes, 2 of those athletes are alternates and do not play on game day but are still considered team members and the same level of commitment is required of those athletes. Please answer the following based on this information:
  7. Are you comfortable being listed as an alternate on a team? YES or NO
  8. In the event that you might be listed as an alternate on Team Taranis but we could use you as a starter on Thunder, would you prefer to be on Thunder? YES or NO

Any other information that you would like to tell us:

Thanks very much for taking the time to do this!! The selection process is a big task of strategy and we approach this process the same way we do for game day decisions: MAKE THE BEST CHOICE FOR THE GOAL OF THE TEAM.

Once the survey is complete the head coach and the coaches of the Competitor Development Program review the survey forms and attempt to build 2 teams that will qualify for Regionals. One team is built with fewer athletes in an attempt to free up a variety of athletes all of whom help in qualifying the second team for Regionals. The aforementioned process takes usually 2 or 3 meetings and several discussions with athletes to clarify information on the form (survey above) and any questions the athletes may have.

Once the decisions are made, athletes are placed on the Open rosters and attempt to qualify for the Regional competition.

The second stage of building our team begins once the Open is complete. If we have qualified a team(s), we begin to select our Regional roster of 4 male and 4 female athletes. This selection is based on several factors: Physical health, Physical ability, Individual aspirations (going as an individual to Regionals or not), placing in the Open, and attitude and effort throughout the Open.

The selected roster of athletes will begin team practices. At the very first team practice it is laid out to the athletes on the team what the expectations are and we explain in detail that NO ATHLETE is guaranteed a spot on the Regional floor and even if the athlete makes the Regional floor, there is NO GUARNATEE that the athlete will be on a qualified Games team. We are very clear about this fact.

Prior to the Regional competition, the head coach has closed door private meetings with each athlete on the roster individually. These meetings are confidential and the athletes are encouraged to voice any comments or concerns with practices, coaching, attitudes, or clashing personalities. The coach will ask for feedback in these private meeting as to whom, in the interviewed athlete’s opinion, should be on the floor at Regionals.

The floor athletes are selected based on the following criteria: Physical health, Experience, Team cohesion, Physical abilities, Attitude and effort during practice, Team athlete feedback, Regional events released and performance in those events during practices.

The third stage of building a Games team only comes if we are lucky enough to qualify for the CrossFit Games. Discussions begin with the 4 male and 4 female athletes that were on the Regionals roster as to whether or not they wish to continue. Discussions also take place with any individual athletes that did not qualify for the CrossFit Games as an individual to determine whether or not they are still interested in competing on a qualified Games team. Usually at this point a new revised 4 male and 4 female athletes are submitted to CFHQ. Practices then begin with the new team of 8.

At the first practice it is outlined to the 8 athletes what is expected as well as the financial obligation required to go to the CF Games (without significant sponsorship it is very costly) All athletes are reminded that everyone is now placed on the bench and the process of selecting the Games floor athletes begins again. NO ATHLETE IS GUARANTEED A SPOT ON THE FIELD AT THE CF GAMES.

During the process of preparing for the CrossFit Games there are TWO private interviews with each athlete of the team. The first interview takes place after about 2 weeks post Regionals, and the second interview takes place 7-10 days prior to departure for California. Once again these meetings are confidential and the athletes are encouraged to voice any comments or concerns with practices, coaching, attitudes, or clashing personalities. The coach will ask for feedback in these private meetings as to whom, in the interviewed athlete’s opinion, should be on the floor at The CrossFit Games.

Selection of the 6 athletes that take the field at the CrossFit Games in Carson California is based on the following: Physical health, Experience, Team cohesion, Physical abilities, Attitude and effort during practice, Team athlete feedback, Mental toughness and durability, Games events released and performance in those events during practices.

Because of the delay in talking to all of the athletes and the limited amount of information released by CFHQ, the final roster decision can be very late in the season. We try to delay it as long as possible to make, what we feel, is the BEST decision for the team and the majority of the athletes on the team. We do not consider one person’s motivations or agenda above that of the many.

This is an extremely arduous and challenging endeavor for the both the athletes and the staff involved in preparing the athletes and keeping them healthy. Sometimes there are hours upon hours of deliberating all the facts and intangibles in fielding a strong and successful Games team. We pride ourselves on being transparent from the very beginning so that athletes can make their choices with eyes wide open. At the end of the day there are going to be disappointed athletes. Disappointing athletes is not something that is enjoyable for us at CF TARANIS and we do not take it lightly. While it may pale in comparison to playing at the Games, the alternates are always given jersey’s identifying them as team members. They are always given the option to be included in the team travel, accommodation and pre and post wod activities. Fundraising is shared with the alternates and in true sportsmanship, playing athletes have always shared their Games swag with Team Alternates. We are a Team of 8 with 6 playing on game day. That is sport.

This is our system.  We stand by it, rooted in truth and very transparent.

 

July Offerings!

We have so many things going on this July at Taranis it seems worth of a blog post to lay it all out for you. I LOVE SUMMER!

Wednesday July 1:

We are closed! It’s Canada Day and we want you all to get out there and have some fun, celebrate this amazing country we have the pleasure of living in and test your fitness outside the box. There is rumor of a Taranis beach gathering happening so keep your eyes peeled for facebook updates!

Saturday July 4 :

8am – Bring a Friend WOD! It’s free, it’s fun and it’s the perfect opportunity to bring your friends and family in to try out CrossFit. You don’t need to sign up and you can bring more than one person. This only happens once a month so don’t put it off until August! Bonus item: I am coaching it and I’m funny!

11:45 and 2:15pm  –  Rowing Workshop with Mike Braithwaite. Click on the link for all the information and make sure you sign up!

Monday July 6:

Our July Group Phase 1 Foundation Classes start at 7pm.  If you have someone who is interested, please email us asap!

Thursday July 7:

CrossFit Lite rolls out another 6 week block of kick ass training! The “Liters” have a great group developing and would be happy to have new people join them after all, the more the merrier while suffering through burpees!! Steve and Tyson program all kinds of fun and hard work for this group and the Liters pay them back with all kinds of sass. Check out all the details on our CrossFit Lite page.

Sunday July 12: 

We will be closed to regular programming as it is a rest day BUT we are offering Advanced Gymnastics Clinic with Sean Lind. All the DETAILS are here! Up your coaching game and competitive performance!

July 20-26:

2015 Reebok CrossFit Games are happening in California and we will have our athletes there representing Taranis!! Here at home we will have the TV set up with live coverage playing. You can expect the weekend to bring major hang out sessions at the box pre and post wod. Bring your lawn chairs and food! The bbq tank will be full and I’m sure random games of spike ball and various sorts of skill testing competitions will be happening.  We have discovered this is a side effect of having a bunch of CrossFitters sit around watching The Games 😉 More details to follow and take shape but you get the general idea!

 

Post questions below or feel free to email.

Looking forward to seeing all your happy smiling faces this week in the box!

Sully

Rowing Workshops!

Row Row Row your boat… well actually your Erg!

We are happy to offer 2 rowing workshops this Saturday, July 4. Spend an hour with retired Canadian Olympian, Mike Braithwaite, and dial in the finer points of your rowing technique.

We can all get on the rower in a wod and somehow survive but perhaps you would like to make the most of your rowing time with some tighter technique and more efficient use of energy.

WHEN: Saturday July 4.
2 sessions 11:45 and another at 2:15pm.
Spaces limited to 10 people per session.

WHERE: Taranis Athletics

WHO: Open to anyone interested, including non Taranis Members.

COST: $40

HOW TO SIGN UP:
Please email us info@taranisathletics.com
OR
Sign up in person at the gym. Sign up sheet is at the front display case.

Money to be paid before Saturday to secure your spots. Payments accepted in the office with cash, debit, VISA or cheque. Emails will be confirmed and asked to submit an etransfer to secure spots.

WHO IS TEACHING:
Michael Brathwaite made his Olympic Games debut in 2012 in the men’s double sculls event. He and partner Kevin Kowalyk finished 12th in the competition.

Braithwaite won a bronze medal in the single sculls at the 2010 World University Games and another bronze at the 2009 Under-23 World Championships, which was the first medal ever for a Canadian in the single sculls at that event.

Born in Duncan, B.C., Braithwaite is also a national Under-23 men’s singles champion. He received the 2009 Hanlan-Keller Award, the International Achievement Award and was named the 2009 Canadian University Rowing Championships Oarsman of the Year as a member of the crew at the University of Toronto.

Welcome to Our New Website!

I am just so freaking excited about this piece of delicious visual fun and I hope you all love the site as much as I do!

Huge shout out to the crew at Voltage New Media.  I found them via CrossFit Squamish and was delighted to find out that Voltage New Media is a Victoria based company so I could use their talents AND continue to serve my goal of using local sources in as many areas of my life as possible.

First thing that you need to do is update your bookmark! yaaaahooo! We have done a bit of rebranding as you will notice. When we launched in 2008 we had a hard time picking a domain and admittedly didn’t know a ton about online marketing strategy, so we went with something that we thought would tie into our location, crossfitvic.  Several years later someone came up with a similar version of it creating some confusion for folks in our area so now it’s time to leave it behind and stand on tall on the brand we have created as CrossFit Taranis. Our rebranding to the umbrella of Taranis Athletics is certainly not a move away from CrossFit. We are a CrossFit Box that offers various types of training options, clubs and fitness solutions and we want our name to represent that.

Get yourself all over the site and enjoy! A few key features to note include:

  • WOD posted right on our homepage for easy access but is also a stand alone in the navigation bar and will be archived in it’s own category. This is searchable on the blog page.

  • Blog. Say what!?! Yes, we will have a blog back! I’m looking forward to posting pretty pics, featuring athletes and sharing information on our own formatting terms again.  FB only allows one font style and colour after all and that’s just not enough for this creative girl!

  • Links to our social media streams. Everything from FB, Twitter, InstaGram, G+, Youtube, Pinterest and I am even working on a Tapiture feed for The Dingo! We all have our favorite social streams to play in so I am hoping we have covered our ground here but please let me know if I’m missing anything!

  • Trophy Case. I got this idea from our CF Squamish Crew and have noticed it on a few different sites as well.  We have a strong history of bad ass athletes at Taranis and having a place to display their athletic accomplishments makes bragging a bit easier 😉 You will notice a case dedicated to CrossFit. I have another one in the works to be dedicated to “Other Events”.  I will be filling this case in over the next couple weeks and really want to hear from all Taranis Athletes out in the world competing and testing your fitness. Send me your results!! vanessa@taranisathletics.com

  • Schedule – good old Google Cal is still the easiest and most reliable. Don’t fix what ain’t broke right?

Enjoy!!

Sully