Sport: Cross Country and Track
High School: Air Academy, Class of 2015
Most athletes are ingrained with a certain level of motivation. They are motivated to succeed, they are motivated to win, they are motivated not to lose, they are motivated to outperform their competition. No matter what it is that drives them forward, that motivation has to come from within. Only so much can come from another person. All that a parent, teammate, or coach can do is provide incentives in order to stimulate that desire from inside. However, at the end of the day, if an athlete cannot motivate himself, he will eventually struggle to succeed.
Colin Adams does not need any help being motivated. At Max Performance we tell our athletes that if they want to improve they need to “get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Colin left his comfort zone behind when he began training with Max Performance at 13-years-old. At the time, Colin played a variety of sports – football, wrestling, basketball, and baseball. A sport for every season. It was when he entered high school, though, that Colin really found his passion on the cross country trails of Colorado. You could say he was born to run.
Since taking on running full time, Colin has seen significant improvement in his race times. A big reason for his improvement has been his ability to stay healthy. Runners are notorious for having bumps, bruises, and nagging injuries that hold them back. But, Colin has used his training at Max to stay healthy which has allowed him to focus on improving his running technique and race times. Here’s a quick look at some of Colin’s times and improvements since his freshman season:
As he begins his junior year at Air Academy, Colin is looking to improve even more on his times. His love of running and his ability to self-motivate will be his driving force as he leads his teammates toward a successful cross country season.
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.” -Maurice Green
Somewhere out there, someone is training. They are moving and pushing their mind and body to the limit to try and get a little bit better. They are training, they are working, they are moving. Those who move will survive. Those who survive will flourish. In my sport, those who don’t move will lose their talent and hard work and it will go to waste.
Max Performance has helped me stay injury free for the past four years that I have been going there. I’ve never had one injury in that time. Max Performance also helps strengthen the smaller muscle groups that most people neglect to exercise, which I attribute to a large part of my success.
Emil Zatopek because not only is he one of the greatest distance runner in history, but also he was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in and was known as on of the nicest people anyone had ever met. His life can be summarized by his own quote: “Great is the victory, but friendship is all the greater.”
Time management. Training takes dedication and time, but it should not run your life. Friends, family, and fun should also be an important aspect of your life, and trying to balance all of that with the limited time is probably the hardest thing to overcome in order to reach my goals.
High School: St. Mary’s, Class of 2014
Club Team: Pride United ’96
Webster’s Dictionary defines determination as a “firm or fixed intention to achieve a desired end.” Synonyms include perseverance, persistence, doggedness, stubbornness, tenaciousness, and Alex Sjobakken. That’s right. Alex Sjobakken.
Alex, a soccer player for St. Mary’s High School, is about to enter her senior year where she will lead a very talented soccer team. However, getting to this point was not as easy as it seems. Unfortunately, Alex suffered an injury that many female soccer players dread - a torn ACL. But, this is where Alex reflects the word determination so perfectly.
After having surgery to repair her ACL in October of 2011, Alex made it her goal to be back playing by the 2012 spring season. She worked harder than ever with physical therapy and made it back on the field midway through the season. Upon completing her sophomore year, Alex knew she still was not where she wanted to be. That’s when she made her commitment to Max Performance and stepped her game up to a whole other level.
Alex started her post-ACL training program in the summer of 2012 and has not looked back since. Every day she got a little stronger. Every week, a little faster. Every month, a little more determined! By the time her junior season rolled around in 2013, Alex was just itching to get on the field and dominate her opponents. And dominate she did. Alex’s junior season was a breakout year where she recorded new career highs for goals and assists. She was also honored with awards such as 2nd Team All State, 1st Team All-League, All-Area Honorable Mention, and All-Colorado 3A Honorable Mention.
But that’s now in the past, and Alex is still showing her passion and enthusiasm for getting even better. Training with Max Performance this summer, Alex has hit new highs in her training program, culminating with the top spot on our girls’ deadlift leader board at 255 lbs. Remember boys, somewhere a girl is warming up with your max! There is no doubt Alex is one of our strongest athletes. And there is no doubt the positive effects passion, enthusiasm, and determination can have on an athlete who sets her mind on being the best.
In August of 2011, in a collision with a goalie during a club soccer game, I tore my ACL in my left leg. The injury resulted in reconstructive surgery in October 2011 and I was not able to compete in my club fall 2011 season. I rehabbed during the winter and was back partially playing in March 2012 with a knee brace.
I trained with Max Performance all summer of 2012 where I gained back all leg muscle I lost during the surgery plus more. The summer training helped me to have enough muscle strength and mental toughness to start playing without my knee brace during my fall 2012 club season. I continued my training with Max from November 2012 all throughout my high school season of 2013 which has helped me have one of my most successful seasons as I earned a 3A All-Conference recognition, 2nd Team All-State, Gazette All-Area Honorable Mention, and my career high of goals and assists in a season.
The most important aspect of my training is being mentally there to train every day, whether it’s on the field or in the gym. Having the attitude of wanting to work to get stronger and training hard every day is the only way you can get better.
My parents have been the biggest influence on my life. They were both standout athletes in high school, so they know the life of the athlete and push me to work my hardest and do my best in everything I do, on and off the field. They have always supported me in all I do and have been there to get me the best therapy and training to help me for soccer and I wouldn’t be where I am without their influence on my life.
Next season I hope to have my best season yet. I hope to improve on my stats for goals and assists, teamwork, and my leadership. I hope to have a standout season in hopes of getting a college scholarship to play soccer.
My favorite motivational quote is one Jenna showed me this summer. It is:
“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” -Henry Rollins
My injury was a huge setback for me, but now looking back, it has helped me become a more determined and hardworking athlete. This quote helps me realize I am now stronger, faster, and better than I have ever been and I cannot let any injury, no matter big or small, set me back.
College: University of Wyoming
High School: Palmer High School, Class of 2011
Some athletes are natural born leaders. Others are gradually molded by their experiences and circumstances. Some leaders are quiet while others thrive in being more vocal. All great leaders, however, must lead by example. And that’s exactly the leadership style of Dominic Rufran.
Dominic, a graduate of Palmer High School, is about to enter his junior year at the University of Wyoming, where he will look to lead the Cowboys football team and its receiving corps. In fact, no other Wyoming player has caught more passes (83) than Dominic the last two seasons, and his seven receiving touchdowns are second most in the last two seasons. He’s been impressive in his first two years, but he’s ready to take his game to a whole new level this coming season.
While on break from school near the end of 2012, Dominic came to Max Performance looking to learn some new ways to work on his speed and explosiveness. While he was only able to train for a short time with Max before returning to Laramie, Wyoming, Dominic proved to our staff that he was definitely a Division I caliber athlete who loved to be challenged, didn’t mind putting in a little hard work, and was not willing to settle for less than his best. If you are looking for a leader to mold your own individual game after, consider this dynamic athlete.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13
Anytime I am in pain or I feel I cannot push any harder, I look up and find strength from Him. He gave me life. So when I want to give up, I remember the pain and suffering He had on the cross which gives me strength to keep pushing on.
It is different in the aspect that I get a lot more personal attention with Max Performance which helps me focus on the little things I need to work on and push me harder as well. The exercises are a little different but I have definitely had workouts at Max Performance where I thought the workout was harder than a workout in Wyoming.
My greatest inspiration is Jesus Christ. The reason is He is the greatest leader in History. He took 12 men and spent time with them – then they together changed the world. It can apply in your athletics as it only takes a couple to lead the rest of the team to a championship.
You are going to face many trials as an athlete. The ones who learn from their trials and use their trials to become a stronger person and athlete are the ones who will succeed. Give 100 percent all the time on and off the field – not just for you but for the people around you and for God. Giving that type of effort, you will become more than a phenomenal athlete but also a phenomenal person that can influence others to do the same.
For me the defining moment was after my first 100-yard game vs a team that was ranked in the top 25 in the entire country. I realized I really had what it took to play at any level I set my mind to. Your athletics is all about confidence and the confidence you have in yourself. You gain that confidence from the off-season work that allows you to perform at an optimal level when it’s time to compete. Because of my defining moment during the season, I have never worked harder in my life than this year’s off season. Your defining moment is a trickle effect that starts off with a moment, that then changes your outlook on everything, that then allows you to become whatever you desire through hard work and dedication.
Club: Colorado Classix 17′s
High School: Colorado Springs Christian School (CSCS), Class of 2014
There comes a point in every athlete’s career when there is a setback or bump in the road. Some don’t make the varsity roster, some don’t crack the starting lineup, and some are hit with an injury that puts them on the sideline. No matter what obstacle comes in the way, there are always those athletes that make the best of their situation. They put their nose to the grindstone and find a way to improve their game, keep a positive attitude, and find a way back to the court or field.
Kelsey Hunter is one of those athletes. Unfortunately, Kelsey suffered an ACL injury during her high school season, causing her to miss the State playoffs with her team, and later, delay her off-season training. As most athletes, coaches, and parents know, an injury to the knee (especially an ACL tear) can change a career. But, Kelsey was ready to attack this new challenge head on. Her positive mindset and her determination to come back stronger than she was before her injury really set Kelsey up for success. Not only did she dominate her physical therapy sessions, it was not long before she was back training with Max Performance and just itching to get back to the volleyball court. Kelsey has now fully returned to playing volleyball and is enjoying the club season. She was recently named a captain for her high school team and is hoping to lead Colorado Springs Christian back to the State tournament.
I tore my ACL two weeks before my team went to State. It was a devastating blow to me, because this would be the second year I had gone to State and not played. I also missed out on a lot of time I could have spent getting better, which hurt the most. It set me back both physically and emotionally.
I chose Spectrum because I knew the people there, and I knew that they would do everything they could to get me back on the court as soon as possible. I honestly would not trust anyone else to help me with that.
Max Performance has not only made me physically strong again, but they have also made me mentally strong. I know that after training with them that I have an advantage over many of my opponents, which has led me to be more confident in myself and my abilities.
I believe the mental aspect of my training is the most important. Becoming mentally strong comes during those last couple of reps when you think you cannot do it. But instead, you dig deep and finish. This has taught me to dig deep and fight, even when you don’t think you have anything left.
My last coach, Ellie Marshall, was one of my biggest inspirations after my injury. She taught me how to believe in myself again, and she helped me remember why I love the game of volleyball so much. I would be happy to grow up and be at least half the person she is.
I have a lot of little quotes and Bible verses that keep me motivated, and that help keep things in perspective, but this is one of my favorites:
“You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.” – Richard Bach
College: Wichita State University
High School: Pine Creek, Class of 2013
Some athletes just know that they are destined for great things. They know they were meant to compete at a high level — to make a big time play, in a big time situation, in a big time game. Enter Reagan Biechler. At only 14 years old, Reagan joined the Max Performance family and trained off and on with us over the course of his high school career. But it was not until 2011, when as a junior at Pine Creek, that Reagan really stepped up his game on and off the field.
Off the field, Reagan committed himself to not only training harder, but training smarter. Gradually working to pack on muscle, Reagan dominated his training sessions from September 2011 through February 2012. Then, when he was on the field, his hard work and dedication shined through as he overpowered the competition on his way to turning the heads of college recruiters at Wichita State University. After earning a baseball scholarship with Wichita State, Reagan bettered himself in his senior campaign. As 2013 Gazette Preps Peak Performer of the Year and an All-Colorado selection, he hit .478 with five home runs and 20 RBIs, while he dominated on the mound, going 8-2 with a 1.61 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord, and not for men.” -Colossians 3:23
It helps remind me that as long as I work as hard as possible, God will be on my side and help me get to where I need to be in life.
They helped me gain a lot of muscle and weight, made me a lot faster, and increased velocity on my fastball.
My greatest inspirations are my parents because they have always been there for me no matter what, and have both coached me and made me both a better player and person throughout my life.
Somewhere in the world someone will always be better than you. So work as hard as possible and don’t ever let up in order to compete with that person.
When I signed my National Letter of Intent to play Division I baseball at Wichita State University.
College: University of Oklahoma
High School: Air Academy, Class of 2013
Coaches dream of coaching athletes that are passionate about their sport, work hard to better themselves, and have fun doing it. Max Performance is lucky enough to train such an athlete in Caren Nelson. Always on time and with a smile on her face, Caren wasted no time in fitting right in to the Max Performance family. She brings her ‘A’ game to each and every training session, and does not settle for less than her best. Her attitude and enthusiasm is exactly what we hope to get out of every athlete that walks through our doors.
Caren enjoyed an outstanding career at Air Academy where she dominated on the soccer field for 4 years. Caren earned All-State 1st Team honors in 2012 after garnering 2nd Team recognition in 2011 and 2010. She also captained Air Academy to a 4A state title in 2012. While showcasing her talent with her high school and club teams, Caren turned the heads of college recruiters and eventually secured a scholarship offer from the University of Oklahoma. Caren recently left for Norman, Oklahoma where she will begin her freshman campaign in 2013.
“Failure happens all the time. It happens every day in practice. What makes you better is how you react to it.”
I always try to remember that no one is perfect. When I am struggling in practice, have had a bad game, or even have had a bad week, I remember that your failures shape who you become. You can choose to learn from your failures or continue to struggle. I remember everything happens for a reason and my failures and difficulties are what is going to help me in the future. It lets me grow as both an individual and a player. Failures happen, but you have to react positively in order to continue to be successful.
Max pushed me beyond my limits every day in order to help me physically and mentally. They helped me become stronger and more fit then I had ever been. Even when I was hurt they continued to help me get back to where I was. College sports are at a new level, but Max made the transition easy by training with intensity and continuing to push my boundaries.
My greatest inspiration is my parents. They have continued to support me in athletics and in my life. They are true role models and have never left my side. I could not be more thankful to have them in my life as they have truly developed me into the individual I am today. They make me want to strive to be the best I can be and I would never want to disappoint them.
I would say to practice every day. If you want to be successful it takes dedication which means doing something every single day. I would also say to never give up. There are going to be obstacles in life but its how you adapt and learn from them that will truly make you successful.
I feel as if I am in my defining moment right now in my life. I am recovering from an ankle injury and surgery and as much as it sucks to sit out it truly shows me how much I love playing soccer and how blessed I am to be able to play Division 1. It has showed me hard work pays off but you have to continue to push yourself to be that much better. I better understand that my passion is soccer and I play for the true reason, for the love of the game.