Team Mash Elite Update

Team Mash Elite Update

A few months ago I announced the plans for Team Mash Elite Weightlifting. Now I want to give you a full update. Coach Chris Wilkes, Coach Don McCauley, and I are working hard to build something special with this team, and we realize that our dream is only possible with the help and support of all of you. That is why I am going to continue giving somewhat quarterly reports to all of you. Everyone that reads our articles, watches our videos, or comes to one of our seminars is on the team. All of you are the only way that this team will ever succeed.


In case you didn’t catch the original article, our goal is to build a team that produces international medals. For years now America has been criticized for not producing champions in the sport of Olympic weightlifting. We have set out to change that.


In America the mindset has been to make the world team or the Olympic team, and that is the first mistake that we will try to remedy. No longer will we talk about making teams. We talk about getting on podiums. We don’t just talk about it. We also talk about what is required to get on the podium.


It’s easy to figure out the totals required to get on the podium at international competitions. How do we actually get our athletes on the podium? Here are some of our plans:

1. Affiliate Programs all throughout the country to identify talent, teach proper techniques, and to develop that talent.

2. University Programs that incentivize young athletes with potential scholarships. This will also give the sport legitimacy amongst parents.

3. Centers for senior athletes that will provide excellent coaching, equipment, stipends, and sports medicine. These athletes need to me able to focus the majority of their time and energy on training and recovery.

Mash Elite Weightlifting also has the dream to reach the ‘at risk’ youth throughout the country. Coach Wilkes has put together a solid plan to reach these young boys and girls. Here is a small excerpt from his plan explaining who is ‘at risk’:

“Those from single parent families, dysfunctional family units, and other socio-emotional issues tend to be at a greater disadvantage of succeeding in life. They are exposed to violence, substance abuse and other negative influences at a very young age. Thus youth can be at risk despite their ethnicity, gender, age or family background. Parents can raise their children right and be supportive and loving, however they cannot prevent their teenagers from being caught up in dangerous lifestyles and making poor choices.”

We will use these parameters to identify the ‘at risk’ youth, and then we will use lessons from the barbell to help these young men and women to grow like:

• Goal setting
• Overcoming adversity
• Work=Reward
• Mindset
• Human potential

We will also encourage positive growth with:

• Positive team environment with our existing athletes
• Life skills taught by our coaches or staff (role of the family, steps to making college a reality, household finances, etc.)
• Being available to talk about issues they are experiencing

So these are the plans. What have we done so far? I can be a very impatient man sometimes, but I am very pleased with the progress so far. Right away an individual, Jay Sharpe, from Albany, GA that is simply an individual that loves the sport of weightlifting, partnered with us, but he also shares our vision to help ‘at risk’ youth. Jay stays in touch with us on a monthly basis giving encouragement, advice, and feedback.

His partnership bought us some time to put together some programs that will help self-fund the team. Right now, we have started our affiliate program, and we are putting on a weekend camp July 8-10. The camp is going to look like this:

Friday- watch max out Friday with the team and then a social dinner afterwards

Saturday- Weightlifting Clinic with Coach Wilkes, Coach McCauley, Coach Mash, and the team.

Sunday- Meet Preparation Workshop and a Sanctioned Meet to follow

We were going to charge a lot for this camp, but we have decided to make it affordable for the masses. If you love this team, believe in what we are doing, and want to learn from us, then we want you here. For the entire weekend, the price is $249, but it is limited to only 20 people. Find out more below:

The Mash Weightlifting Camp

We are also in the process of partnering with a barbell company, supplement company, and we have one company that wants to remain anonymous. I will announce the companies officially, when the deal is complete. The point is that we are on our way.

We are also working on the process of making a local University a part of the University Programs that offer scholarships to promising young weightlifters. My goal is to go through the process, and then try to understand the process a little better. Then hopefully we can streamline the process for future Universities. Right now we are working on Winston-Salem State University because it is in the same area as our current gym. WSSU offers a great Exercise Science Program along with some amazing post-graduate degrees in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Nursing.

Our athletes have also performed well this year. We have one athlete still in the running for the one Olympic spot, and that is Caine Wilkes. He made the Senior Pan American Team that will decide America’s fate. Caine is working very hard under the watchful eye of his father Coach Wilkes.


We had four of our team members make the Junior Pan American Team: Dylan Cooper, Nathan Damron, Tom Summa, and Mason Groehler. We came back with seven medals amongst these four athletes including Nathan’s Silver Medal Performance.

Three of these boys earned spots on the Junior World Team: Tom Summa, Nathan Damron, and Dylan Cooper. In seven weeks these three boys will battle it out with the best Junior athletes in the world in the country of Georgia.

Well this is where we are. We have made some amazing strides thus far in 2016, but we have much bigger goals to conquer. The only way to accomplish our goals is with the help of all of you.

Here are the ways that you can help:

1. Become an affiliate– Our first affiliate ever was Undisputed Strength and Conditioning in Minneapolis, MN. Vinh, Jason, and the team up there is an extension of our team in North Carolina. They coach with us at National meets, and their athletes are a part of our National Teams. We are one big family. For more details about becoming an affiliate email

2. Become a Partner– for more information about that email me personally

3. Donate to the Team– thousands of you guys and gals read these article every day. If all of you donated $1-2 we would be in a much better situation. Click on the link below to donate:

Donate to Team Mash Elite

4. Come to the 3-day Mash Camp July 8th thru the 10th click the link below to find out more:

3-Day Mash Camp

5. Volunteer with fundraising, administration, or simply prayers. If you want to help, email us at:

We have big goals. We get it. We will definitely need all the help that we can get. This thing is bigger than three coaches. We need a team. A massive team! We are going to either do this once and for all, or stop talking about why America is terrible on the international scene. This is a chance for all of us to have a part in this.

Please share this with all of your friends!

Let’s make America great in the sport of Olympic weightlifting.



  1. Frank Zedar says

    Travis – You’re doing good things! But don’t forget a very fertile, current source for recruiting into the weightlifting world – CrossFit! I’m a 70 year old CrossFit coach and have jumped back in the Oly pool in recent years. I’m a guy who, as a kid, drooled over Vinci, Berger, Kono, Schemansky, and Anderson and read every one of Bob Hoffman’s “Strength & Health” magazines.
    As a part of CrossFit’s popularity, the classic lifts are being given new life in the US (although seen as a train wreck by “real” weightlifters. The ones who don’t call it a “squat clean.”). However, it sure has been a boon to marketing and subsequent interest!
    Also, I appreciate your open mind to the influence of Louie Simmons. I’m thinking a well trained 200 pound weightlifter, who can deadlift 600#, can probably C&J more than his 200 pound well trained teammate, who can deadlift 500#.

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