Which training program is the best? How long is a piece of beaded skipping rope? It depends.
One of the metrics available to us the number of athletes that have qualified for Semifinals this year. So in the crudest, most basic sense of understanding – let’s dive into which training camp is “the best”.
First of all we’ll set out some comparison ground rules:
Camps or programs included have to have at least 10 Semifinalists to be included and we’re not looking at teams because there’s some cross program sharing that makes it sort of a murky comparison to bring in.
Second of all, I’ll offer this caveat – I am not saying any one training program is better than the others, certainly not based solely on this information.
But, for shits and giggles – let’s compare.
Mayhem Athlete’s most famous son may have finished off his season in favor of coaching and then heading off on his bicycle, but, there’s still a pretty decent turn out from the training program headed for Semifinals all over the globe.
63 athletes will take to the floor all over the world over the next few weeks aiming to punch their ticket to Madison with the infamous M on their chest. Victoria Campos and Gui Malheiros will lead the push in Brazil with Lazar Dukic and Uldis Upenieks heading up the list of names bound for Berlin. Andrey Fedotov is aiming to jump from 3rd last year to a qualifying spot this year in Asia and both East and West America make up a huge chunk of the number with Roman Khrennikov, Sam Cournoyer and Baylee Rayl among those to keep an eye out for. Daisy McDonald and Laken Makhlouf are taking on Torian under the Cookeville umbrella too and there’s nobody representing Mayhem at the Johannesburg Semifinal in Africa, lazy.
From the home of one GOAT to another, PRVN in Nashville have ramped up their programming and online offerings in the last 12 months. Nic Johnston, Shane Orr and their team of coaches, which includes an expectant Tia Toomey, have gotten a lot of coverage for their team offering this year but they’re not shy about bringing some heat to the individual side too. Tia might be absent from the Semifinals list this year, but, they’re the only program on the list to have an individual athlete at every Semifinal. Brooke Wells and Will Moorad are headed East with new recruit Olivia Kerstetter and Nick Matthew going West in the states. PRVN coach Will Kearney and Briony Challis will keep the Oceania fire going in Tia’s absence. Sasha Nievas is taking on the Rio field at Copa Sur, Hedieh Veisi in Asia, Thuri Helgadottir in Europe and Elzaan Goosen in Africa rounding off their 35 strong list of athletes at Semifinals.
Training Think Tank
Max El Hag led Training Think Tank operates out of Georgia and is on the mind of many when choosing a program to bring them to the next level. TTT will grace Semifinals this year with 27 athletes competing over the next few weeks. Noah Ohlsen is aiming to head back to Madison in his final year as an individual and Anikha Greer has her sights set on a rookie appearance at the big show. Justin Holiday and Youseff Ehab will jostle for position in Johannesburg, Matt Gilpin and Mitch Case will be in Brisbane with Linda Keesman in Berlin. Gustavo Errico and Juan Seitun will be at Copa Sur with the rest joining Greer and Ohlsen in the states.
HWPO have recently entered the training program scene having branched out from their original crew of Jayson Hopper and Mal O’Brien to bring their Semifinals athletes to 44. Sam Kwant, Amanda Barnhart, Katrin Davidsdottir and Cole Greashaber will grace the North American floors along with Jayson and Mal in the next few weeks along with a host of others. Ste Fawcett will be battling the best of Berlin, Seungjong Kim is among the HWPOers in competition in Busan and Georgia Pryer is tackling Torian.
Underdogs Athletics is another relative newcomer to the scene and have spread their paws out from their Camp Rhino base in Vegas to bring in athletes all over the world to work under Justin Cotler, Kiefer Lammi and their crew of coaches.
21 Underdogs will step onto the floor in both North American Semis including Alex Gazan, Ali Scudds and Mitch McClune; Asia will have Shahad Budebs and Merve Gokcil taking part; a large contingent in Oceania where it would be probably faster to list the names not with Underdogs but notable mentions to Kat Van Zyl, Gracie Walton and Bayley Martin and, finally, in Europe with Big Bron (Bronislaw Olenkowicz) flying solo there.
Brute Strength were almost (technically were) left out of this because I’m a moron, but, they have 16 individual athletes aiming to make a mark at Semifinals. Matt Torres, Micah Shoemaker, Domenic D’Agostino and their coaching crew have Emma Cary’s comeback to look forward to along with helping Danielle Brandon and Dallin Pepper return to Madison as well as exciting talents like James, happiest man alive, Sprague.
Out of the 600 athletes (300 men and 300 women), over one-third (206 in total) of those athletes trained under one of the training camps listed above.
So, which is the best? When you compare the names on the lists to each other is anyone on the other lists beating HWPO’s Mal O’Brien? Will any guy finish higher than Mayhem’s Russian Roman? If we base the answer solely on the number of qualifiers alone, then Mayhem takes it. Is it fair to compare numbers of a training program that’s been around longer than most of its rivals? Is it fair to compare just the numbers and not the names on the lists? The answer to all of those questions is probably no, but, it’s still fun to speculate and compare.