Novi High School Varsity Softball Team Uses CrossFit to Boost Endurance, Camaraderie

Going into the 2018 softball season, Novi High School girl’s varsity softball coach Dave Langlois knew the team’s focus in the new season was going to be on base running and explosive movements – two aspects of the game where a team must be fundamentally sound to be successful.

As a regular athlete at Grand Trunk CrossFit, Langlois started to see a connection between movements he did on a regular basis, and the movements that his team needed to be good at. So he reached out to GTCF in March right after tryouts and his final roster was set, and Brooklyn started the girls on a regular class schedule as part of their commitment to the team.

“We play an aggressive form of the game that involves quick thinking and pinpoint decision making on the base paths,” said Langlois. “The explosive movements we undergo at Grand Trunk Crossfit helped tremendously in that regard.”

Since the season started, the team has been coming to Grand Trunk twice a week for workouts that are geared toward the type of movements the girls are going to endure during the course of a game. This means WODs that are more focused on endurance, and less focused on weightlifting, as the girls need to remain nimble and flexible as they play through a long season.

Coach Langlois has worked closely with the coaches at GTCF to ensure that, not only are the girls performing at a high level, but also they leave the box with a sense that these workouts are about more than just working up a good sweat.

“This is also a way to expose these young women to something that, I hope, benefits them down the road as they look for ways to stay fit,” added Langlois.

The results, to-date, have been exactly what Langlois was hoping to accomplish when he signed the team up for their softball-specific workouts. He notes there has been a noticeable difference in their stamina in what can be a long season. However, they’ve attacked their practices with an enthusiasm and that can be directly attributed to intense workouts at GTCF.

“We are ready to go physically at all times,” said Langlois. “Our practices are tough on the body. They are filled with headfirst slides and constant movement. But these girls don’t stop; they just keep firing away.”

To Langlois’ knowledge, no other team in the area is looking to CrossFit as a way to train, but that just makes it all the more appealing as a secret weapon that he can deploy throughout the year. And when this season is over, Langlois figures to bring his travel team to GTCF for training, and 100 percent Novi High School’s varsity softball team will return in 2019.

“The team has benefited greatly this year from having access to Grand Trunk Crossfit,” said Langlois. “Brooklyn and Diana have worked closely with us to succeed, and I know my team has benefited greatly from their passion for exercise and staying fit.”

Member Spotlight: Melissa Christensen

Each month, we will profile a Grand Trunk CrossFit member who has seen incredible results since joining our “box”.

It is our hope, that by showing you what can be accomplished through regular workouts and a commitment to fitness, you will be encouraged to take the leap and come in for a workout.

This month’s spotlight is on Melissa Christensen, a member since August 2015.

When did you join Grand Trunk, and why?

Melissa: My husband Chad and I joined in August of 2015 upon moving to the area. I recently started CrossFit because Chad said I would like it. I guess he was right (did I just admit that?)

What do you enjoy most about GTCF and CrossFit?

It’s been said before…THE PEOPLE! I come for the workout but I stay because of the awesome friends.

What is your favorite movement?

Power clean.

What is a CrossFit goal you have achieved that you are most proud of?

Breaking the 200-lb. mark on my deadlift.

What is a current goal you are working on and hope to accomplish?

Pulling myself up on the rig. When you have a husband that can butterfly with ease, it only seems fitting that you can, too.

What advice would you give a new member or someone who is thinking about trying CrossFit?

Try it and you’ll love it! Everyone and every skill level can do CrossFit and continue to grow and have achievements. CrossFit is a group sport with individual results…there is an “I” in CrossFit!

How has CrossFit impacted your life outside of the gym?

The Grand Trunk CrossFit community helped us make friends since we were new to the area. It’s also given me the energy to be the best mom taxi I can be!

What is a fun fact that people might not know about you?

While living overseas, I successfully used charades to get the maintenance men to unlock my townhouse when I locked myself out. Never forgot my keys again!

If you could create your own WOD, what would it be?


10 Power cleans

20 wall balls

30 slam balls

Fill in the blank: I CrossFIt (because/so I can): As a parent, I love the example I set for our children. I also enjoy that it’s something Chad and I have in common and we can do as a couple. Saturday morning partner WODs are my favorite workout of the week!

If you’d like to schedule a free, no-sweat intro, sign up today!

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