CLEMMONS — Ashe County’s very own Travis Mash will be the head coach of the United States Junior Weightlifting team in the upcoming International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Junior World Championships to held in the country of Georgia.
The championships will take place from June 25 through July 2.
Mash is the owner of Mash Elite Performance just outside of Winston-Salem, an athletic performance center that works with some top athletes in their respective sports to improve their strength and conditioning.
“I’ve been working with athletes full time since about 2005,” said Mash. “I’ve worked with the starting fullback for the New York Jets, Tommy Bohanon, linebacker Jared Barber at West Virginia who is with the Carolina Panthers and Cade Carney a freshman at Wake Forest.”
Mash said that his camp also houses some of the best Olympic weightlifters in the country, including a pair of Olympic hopefuls for the upcoming Rio Olympics later this summer. On the USA Junior team Mash is coaching this summer will be three familiar faces from his gym in Clemmons.
Mash certainly has a spot in his heart for his hometown as his mother, Kathy Eller, is still in the county and is the owner of Hometown Furniture in West Jefferson. He also helps out with some weight training activities for the football team at Ashe County High School.
“Normally when I’m up there, I usually have about 10 or 20 players come out every time,” said Mash.
Mash has also worked with some local weightlifters, including Zack Vogler, who has competed in numerous competitions.
“Travis invited me down to his gym and completely changed how I did my bench press and he has given me little tips along the way,” said Vogler. “I am doing his powerlifting training program now and I am getting stronger than ever. The one thing about Travis is that he is always wanting you to be better and he encourages me to chase my goals and to never be satisfied.”
Vogler has been helping out with the Husky football program as well and has noticed a lot of improvement from the kids that have taken the time to come out and put in the work to get stronger.
“We had pretty much all the freshman come after school and they got very strong. one kid could only squat 180 (pounds) his first day and our max day last week he got 315. All the kids have went up tremendous,” said Vogler. “We made shirts and on the back we put Travis’s saying ‘Never Be Satisfied.’ When he (Travis) comes up to see the kids, he brings such a high energy and the kids love him.”
Reaching out to youngsters has become a big focus for Mash and his gym. According to Mash, they have put together a non-profit program that is being used to reach out to “at-risk” youth all across the United States.
For more information on Mash Elite Performance and the services they offer, visit their website at www.mashelite.com, find them on Facebook by searching “Mash Elite Performance” or check them out on Instagram and YouTube. Mash also offers a weekly Podcast with great information.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87