Building Community: Friday Night Lights

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by DARIA SALAMON

A Creative Sense of Competition

A Creative Sense of Competition

Undefeated implemented an imaginative way to create a sense of competition amongst its athletes during Friday Night Lights, regardless of what type of athlete they are.

The formation of diverse teams strengthened the community...and created a palpable and energetic buzz around the gym.
Competition has always been a driving force at this gym. Undefeated runs a competitive program, Unleashed, that trains very hard most days of the week. The gym has sent a team to Regionals for the past three years. This is a box that takes its training, its performance, and its competition very seriously.

But Undefeated doesn’t believe that competing should be reserved for the elite athletes. “Competition is life’s blood. It’s what makes us better. We don’t need to see you in an actual competition. It means you compete against who you used to be and leave them behind,” Winchar says.

Assistant Head Coach Daniel Peri explains they wanted to draw every single Open athlete into the competitive spirit of the gym and bond a diverse array of athletes. They created a roster of eight teams that united the elite athletes with the newbies, members from the 6 am crew with evening attendees, teens with masters.

The formation of diverse teams strengthened the community, built relationships among athletes who normally don’t workout with one another, and created a palpable and energetic buzz around the gym.

Teams earn points not only with their performance on the leaderboard, but also through challenges like taking creative team photos, monitoring nutrition for a week, active recovery tasks and taking the classic “CrossFit in public” photo. All progress is tracked and athletes must use the hashtag #undefeatedFNL2016 to be awarded points for their efforts.

The top team will be awarded an inaugural Undefeated Intramural Team Competition trophy. “Every member has the chance to earn their team points, despite what kind of athlete they are. This is the shit I live for,” Element muses.

The gym also celebrates and highlights the successes and triumphs of individual athletes. Each week, one outstanding member is identified as The Athlete of the Week for their contribution to FNL. The winner is determined based on a combination of performance, effort and all-around team spirit; the athlete is awarded a weekly prize pack from Lululemon and bragging rights.

“I hope that athletes leave these five weeks with a strong sense of accomplishment, with some clarity of where they are at as an individual, and with a whole new set of goals to work on.”
Additional athletes are singled out and lauded for their efforts in a weekly Open review that is posted on the box’s blog.

Mason Gobert is celebrated for his place on the leaderboard; currently he’s 1st in Canada West, 11th in the world – Teen Boys 16 & 17. But 15 year-old Aboriginal athlete Denae Petti’s efforts are also applauded: she started CrossFit a little over a month ago and she was a heartbreaking one rep away from completing the 16.2 Scaled Teens workout. (She was hoping to get through the second round.)

39-year-old Chris Maclean is 25th in Canada West. He’s been singled out for a work ethic and drive that defies age. Mel Phaneuf just got chest to bars a week before the Open began and she blew through 7 rounds of 16.1.

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