Athlete News

The Difference Coached Training Makes…

February 8th, 2012 by Athletic Mentors

Many people take a DIY approach to training for events. Why hire a pro when you “know” what you’re supposed to do, right? Not so, say athletes who’ve experienced the Athletic Mentors difference.

Just ask Jim Bonnell, who, in his second full cycling season and first year will Kelli Emmett, was able to secure 5 wins and take the podium in the expert 30-39 Mountain Bike class in every race he entered. He capped off the season with a 4th place finish at the Iceman from a 5th wave starting position, and hopes to take advantage of a wave 1 start next season.

“Coaches certainly shorten the learning curve. However, when your coach has competed at the highest level for over 10 years and been trained by various high level coaches, the experience factor is pretty much unbeatable,” Bonnell said of his training time with Emmett.

Bonnell credits Emmett’s insight and assessment skills as setting her apart from ‘ordinary’ coaches.

“Any coach can assign workouts and follow a general workout regime. Kelli is able to understand the strengths and weaknesses of a rider. Then, focus on how to improve. I have been able to maintain and improve my strong areas and almost eliminate some relative weaknesses. It seems Kelli has a knack for getting to know an athlete.”

If you’d like to boost your performance and optimize your training time, contact us to be matched with a coach who can take you to new heights!

Kudos to Jake Wallbridge, Basketball Trainee at Athletic Mentors

January 26th, 2012 by Athletic Mentors

Athletic Mentors would like to send out a BIG congratulations to one of its long-time Basketball trainees, Jake Walbridge. In his best Varsity performance of his young career, Jake lead the way Tuesday (Jan 24th) in the Gull Lake Blue Devils 79-50 victory over Parma West. Jake scored a season high 11 points, 9 of those coming in the fourth quarter. Jake hit a bunch of 3 pointers, had numerous rebound and added some assists to make a big impact on the game.

“Jake is an extremely hard working young man, with some of the best focus I’ve seen in an athlete of his age,” said Mark Olson, head coach at Athletic Mentors.

“He is very committed to whatever he is working towards, be it sports or academics. Jake holds well OVER a 4.0 GPA and is a leader in class academically. He is also very active with the National Honor Society. I feel Jake is just getting started showing his ability to contribute to the Blue Devils’ win column and I’m looking forward to watch him progress.”

Check it out at

Athletic Mentors On Air

January 19th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

The WGVU Morning Show with Shelley Irwin gave us a few minutes of radio air time today to share some more information on the free triathlon clinics being offered as part of our sponsorship of the Grand Rapids Triathlon and Michigan Titanium.

Click the following link to listen to the interview and then come see us Saturday morning at the YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids starting at 9am! Morning Show Interview

If you know of anyone that may be interested in the free clinics, please send them our way!

Free Triathlon Clinics

January 9th, 2012 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

As part of our sponsorship of the 2012 Grand Rapids Triathlon, Athletic Mentors is offering a number of free clinics. All clinics will lead by Athletic Mentors coaches and staff and held in the front conference room at the David D Hunting YMCA in downtown Grand Rapids. These clinics are open to the public and attendees do not need to be registered for the Grand Rapids Triathlon.

Click here to register for any of the following free clinics:


Triathlon 101 – Jan 21, 9:00am– 10:15am

For athletes new to the sport or considering getting into triathlon

Equipment, training and racing tips, nutrition, transitions and USAT rules


Swim – Technique & Training – Jan 21, 10:30am – 11:30am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Swim stroke technique discussions and training recommendations


Bike – Technique & Training – Feb 11, 9:00am – 10:15am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Cycling technique and bike fit discussions and training recommendations


Run – Technique & Training – Feb 11, 10:30am – 11:30am

Open to all levels, but geared toward athletes looking to step beyond beginner

Running technique discussions and training recommendations, including bricks


Women’s Panel Discussion ‚Äì Mar 10, 9:00am ‚Äì 10:15am

For all ladies, beginner to intermediate

Open question and answer format with experienced athletes and coaches


Race Day Clinic – Jun 2, 9:00am – 10:15am

For all participants of the 2012 Grand Rapids Triathlon

What to expect on race day, course details, logistics, spectator info & more


New Dates Added for Swim Video & Stroke Analysis Clinic!

January 2nd, 2012 by Cheryl Sherwood

Join us for one of our 2-day sessions:

February 5th &12th
March 4th &11th.

Time: 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Location: Kalamazoo College Pool

Click here for more info

New Year’s Run

December 31st, 2011 by Roxane Kippen, USA Triathlon Certified Coach

Who is ready to ring in the New Year by going for a run or walk with hundreds of your closest friends?! Whether you are a recreational runner/walker, mid-pack age grouper or elite athlete, New Year’s runs are always a great way to say farewell to last year and to say welcome to a new year of opportunities. Below are a few of the celebratory events in West Michigan. Grab your friends, neighbors, relatives and teammates and join the fun.

Wolverine Resolution Run (4 mile) – Dec 31, 3:30pm, East Grand Rapids

New Years Eve Run, Walk & Ramble (5K) – Dec 31, 6:00pm, Holland

John Daley Memorial One One Run (2.2 or 4.4 mile) – Jan 1, 1:00pm, Kalamazoo

Sergeant Preston, Yukon King 6 Mile / 5K Memorial Run – Jan 1, 11:00am, North Muskegon

Athletic “Mentee” Brent Tate Committed to Bowling Green for 2012 Season

December 12th, 2011 by Athletic Mentors

Athletic Mentors would like to congratulate Brent Tate on his commitment to play for Bowling Green University starting for the 2012 season. We started working with Brent last spring by developing a pre-hernia training program to keep him in the best shape possible before he underwent surgery. After a successful surgery, AM got Brent back into shape in time to do serious summer training by participating in our Elite Summer Hockey Camp. Throughout the summer Brent worked extremely hard and went into The USHL’s Lincoln Stars pre-season camp in excellent condition.

“Brent has impressed me from the first day I met him with his toughness, both physically and mentally. He showed up every day for our summer training camp prior to the start time and shot pucks and worked on his stick-handling. The kid is extremely committed to becoming to best hockey player he can be. BGU made a great decision to recruit Brent and I feel strongly that Brent will make an impact the day he shows up at BGU,” said Head AM Coach Mark Olson.

“We are really looking forward to working with Brent this coming summer to prepare him for his college hockey debut.”

Follow this link to read the Lincoln Stars Blog: