How Can Weightlifting Affect the World?

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How Can Weightlifting Affect the World?

I love weightlifting. Most of you that are reading this either love the sport, appreciate the sport, or are curious about the sport. I want the sport to grow, but there is something that I want more. I want to leave this world a better place. Don’t you?


There is no better place to affect the world than our youth. Last week, I wrote about my plans to grow our sport and produce medals in America. Today we are going to talk about the root of my plan.

I dreamed about affecting the lives of “at risk” youth in 2006. I have worked with youth my whole life, but not in the capacity that I was dreaming. I want to provide a safe haven throughout the country for struggling youth to come to for training, companionship, and guidance.

The first hurdle is defining “at risk”. I don’t want to make it a socioeconomic thing. If we limit it to children that are in poverty, we will miss a lot of youth that need our help. I have known plenty of children that grew up rick that were abused and neglected. I don’t want to leave them behind. The first order of business will be defining the phrase “at risk”, but I promise you that my goal is to give every youth in our community a place to go.

Abuse and violence hits home hard with me. I get it. I saw a lot of abuse growing up both verbally and physically. I grew up very angry at the world. This anger could have taken me down a very different path of trouble. However, God willing I was able to channel that anger into good. I want to help the youth in our community do the same thing.

It isn’t easy telling thousands of people that my childhood wasn’t perfect, but folks abuse in the home needs to stop and it needs to stop right now. I am blessed to have a good home and family now. My family will never see the violence that I saw. Kids can change. They don’t have to repeat the things that they saw. I want to teach them that.

Our program will start right here in North Carolina. We will have two divisions at first one in the Winston-Salem area and one in Charlotte. This is just the start. Our goal is to spread our youth program all over the United States and possibly the world.

Here is the way that a Team Mash Elite Youth Program will work:

Youth Team

• Open to all youth in the area.
• Provided the same elite coaching and programming as the Junior and Senior team tailored to their ages and abilities.
• Travel to competitions will be paid
• Team Uniforms will be provided
• Potential International lifters will be identified within this group

At Risk

• They will receive all the options from above as well.
• Goal setting
• Mindset training
• Counseling will be provided
• Fellowship with the top-level Junior and Senior athletes for positive role models
• Life Skills classes (applying for college, learning a trade, balancing a check book, etc)

The youth is how we affect the future of weightlifting, and the youth is the way to make America and the world a better place. We only have three coaches. We need all of you. We want to branch this program out all over America. However we don’t want just anybody coaching our Youth Program. We want to identify the right people, and then we want to teach you how to coach. We want to give you the tools for a successful overall program.

Team Mash Elite Expansion Clubs:

• We will identify qualified individuals with background checks, education, and list of accomplishments.
• Those individuals will be going through training orchestrated by our coaching staff.
• The potential coaches will be taught technique, programming, and talent identification.
• The potential coaches will be taught the “at risk” model, so they can implement at the new location.

This will be a direct extension of our operation here in North Carolina. This program is the way that our bigger goals are met: making the world a better place and medaling in the Olympics. This is a team effort. We can’t do it all by ourselves. We are just three coaches and a team of weightlifters, but together we can change the sport of weightlifting and the lives of countless youth forever.


We have already received pledges of donations, so this ball is rolling. However, we still have immediate needs. We are looking for a building in Charlotte, NC and a new one in the Winston-Salem area. If any of you know of someone that could work with us as we get this off the ground, please email me at:

We still need partners in this venture. I am not just talking about money. I need help with several projects:

• Identifying foundations that might help
• Writing non-profit proposals
• Grant writing
• Administration
• Simply spreading the word.

Once again, if you are interested or have any advice for me, email me at I am so excited about this project. It is a way of letting all the troubled youth in the world know that they can turn their pain and anger into something good.

I hope that all of you will get behind this project in one-way or another. The first thing that you can do is sharing this article. We need momentum. Help us by spreading the word.


  1. says

    Whether you are developing athletes or better adult citizens, the earlier you start, the better. Travis has got a vision for Mash Elite Performance that will reach far beyond the weightlifting world. If you have some expertise in the areas mentioned please join him and us in this adventure.

  2. Gabriel says

    I love this post and your mission. I’m laying the foundation to do something similar in Virginia. I have a very small gym but my full time job is as a child and adolescent therapist for children in crisis. I’d be happy to offer my insights and education on the field if your team needs.

    Thanks for helping change the world!

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