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Advice from a National Champion

This summer I am honored and SUPER PUMPED to have Cassie Reilly-Boccia assisting me at my gym. She’s fulfilling her Master’s Degree from Northern Iowa University, with a focus in exercise science and sports biomechanics, following her four years playing for the University of Alabama softball team.

She will be spending the summer coaching young athletes through training sessions, while learning how to apply her knowledge of biomechanics to exercise technique and programming. I will admit, she is only going to be helping me part time, because she has her own clients to train. She gives batting lessons to young athletes year round (working at home during the summer and at an indoor facility while at school).

Alabama graduate. Four years playing for the Tide. National Champion. Researcher. Volunteer assistant. Coach at heart.

When Cassie arrived, I think I had more questions for her than she did for me. Mine however, were not as academic. “How much free stuff did you get from Nike?” “How scary is Keilani Ricketts?” “What’s it like seeing yourself on ESPN?” I’m learning so much.

Eventually we got down to training and our expectations for the summer. I explained to her that my goal was not to show her  “the perfect program”, rather that the program is only as effective as 1) the training environment and 2) how much the athletes believe in it.

Then it happened. The motivation for me writing this post. One, not so serious question, followed by a stone cold response that literally vibrated with intensity.

JB: “Did the girls on your team like to workout?”

CRB: “We were training for a National Championship.”

Train for a National Championship, every day. I don’t mean to be so hyperbolic, as I am NOT a fan of inspirational quotes, but take Cassie’s advice. Don’t think because she was at Alabama that THEN it became about training for a National Championship. Look at her résumé. She continues to take everything she does seriously and to the next level, just like she did way before Coach Murphy knew who she was.

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About the author

Joe Bonyai

Joe Bonyai is a strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Fastpitch Power. Joe operates Empower Athletic Development, a speed, strength and conditioning business for competitive athletes in Westchester, NY. Joe also authors a multi-sport training blog at www.Empower-ADE.com. Feel free to connect with Joe through Facebook at www.facebook.com/JJBonyai.

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