Why We Affiliated Our Weightlifting Team with Mash Mafia
Below is a short article written by my friend Vinh Huynh, owner of Undisputed Strength & Conditioning in Eagan, MN. All the members and staff of this gym are like family to me. They made it easier to see my daughter that resides in Minnesota all the while making me feel apart of their very special gym family. Anyone in the Minneapolis area should check them out if they are serious about weightlifting, getting into shape, or simply want a second family. Check them out here: ==> www.undisputedsc.com
Now enjoy Vinh’s article:
First and foremost, I will get this out of the way and say this post will be a little bias, after all, we are a Mash Affiliate. However, we made this decision well before Travis officially started his affiliate program.
Where to begin? In late Summer of 2013, my business partner and I started laying out the ground work for what would eventually become Undisputed Strength and Conditioning, Hellcat CrossFit Eagan, MN (an affiliation we have since resigned). While listening to an episode of Weightlifting Talk (the podcast Travis was on with Jon North), Travis mentioned he had a daughter in Minnesota and he was looking to partner with gyms in the Twin Cities area so he could see her more often – he requested for people to contact him if they were interested in seminars, consulting, etc.
Since I was a fan of Travis’, I reached out on Twitter to let him know that we were looking to open a new gym and we wanted to have a competitive weightlifting team. However, many delays occurred with our opening. Just about everything that could go wrong with finding a space, went wrong. Over the Fall and Winter, Travis and I continued to message back and forth to stay in contact. Again, most of this was over Twitter.
Fast forward to early Spring 2014, we had our place locked down and we were on the verge of opening May 1st to the public, and April 15th to members we’ve worked with before. Again I reached out to Travis, but by this time he had a few other gyms that were interested. But I just knew if he would like what we wanted to do with weightlifting. After his initial visit here, he also knew we were the gym in Minnesota he wanted to partner with, so he did.
With Travis’ support of our program, it gave us immediate credibility. He gave us a few shout outs and it helped attract athletes to our facility and program – which we named Mash Mafia Minnesota, and it gave birth to the very first Mash Affiliate. In December of 2014, we had helped 3 weightlifters reach the American Open, one of which found us as a direct result of Travis advertising our program. At that point in time, Travis was a coach of Team Muscle Driver USA – but at the American Open he made sure he helped Jason and me at our first National Meet. He even helped us with strategy for Tri Phu (who swept Silver Medals), to ensure he placed where he did.
Vinh, Tri, and Jason with the 2nd Place Team Trophy from the American Open:
Travis and our relationship continued to grow stronger and stronger, and our Minnesota Team grew larger and larger. As an affiliate and friend, getting advice from the best coaches (Travis and Don McCauley) makes developing weightlifters a lot easier. In 2015, I don’t even remember how many athletes we sent to National Meets (including our own boutique online program), but we qualified 16 for the American Open. Yes you read that right we went from 3 to 16 in a year. But this time, Travis had Jason and I helping at national meets with his athletes in the backroom. There were even times he trusted us solely with his athletes. Recently at 2016 University and Under 25 Nationals, I was the primary meet coach. Additionally, I passed on the wisdom taught to me to future coaches on how to warm up athletes, count cards, strategize attempts, etc. But none of this would have been possible without learning all of this from Travis. When we think of seminars, we tend to think of ones athletes attend. But at these seminars, Travis thinks outside of the box and also worked in developing us into better coaches; in turn it made our athletes better and it will make yours better too.
Is there a chance we would have gotten here without Travis’ help? Sure, anything is possible. But would athletes have sought us out without the affiliation -Maybe, maybe not? Would I be the coach I am today without learning from Travis and Don, definitely not. There’s no way we could have replicated everything we learned by being an affiliate, hosting seminars for athletes and having Travis and Don as mentors.
Without being a Mash Affiliate, there’s no way in the 2.5 years we’ve been open that we would have gone from dreaming about having a great program, to being part of of the best program in weightlifting.
Some of you might say, we’re an exception because of our personal relationship with Travis. But let me remind you that I was only a stranger that reached out to him via Twitter… I literally had 140 characters.
What do you get by being a Mash Affiliate:
1) Marketing and Advertising Power – don’t underestimate it, lots of athletes have come our way because we are a Mash Affiliate – now we’re Minnesota’s powerhouse team.
2) Programming – Lots of you might be saying, programs are a dime a dozen, but not all programs are created equally. When athletes are beginners, you can put them on any program and they’ll get better, but that’s because they’re super new to the sport. When they’re no longer beginners, they’ll need programs designed for them. By being an affiliate, you can learn how to program, correct flaws, etc. If you’re stumped, you have the best coaches in America answering questions for you!
3) Business Advice – how many of you pay 3k per year for another affiliation? I bet lots of you do. But the only time I got a call from them was the week before my renewal was due. I never got advice on growing my business, marketing, etc. Did I forget to mention athletes who wanted to learn how to weightlift or compete nationally sought us out? You actually get something out of being a Mash Affiliate.
4) Your athletes can compete side by side with the rest of the team – This team is huge, it includes onsite in North Carolina, affiliates and online members. Our athletes were on the roster as point scorers for the 2015 American Open team that took 2nd Place and yours have that opportunity.
I encourage all of you to look into the program. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!
For more information regarding affiliation, check out the following link: ==> Become a Mash Mafia Affiliate