KEEPING UP WITH MINNESOTA TOP TEAM

Keeping up with MN Top Team: Meet The Coaches

Posted by Jennie Clark

Nov 17, 2015 12:23:31 PM

Our coaching staff is growing!  Although you've seen these faces around MTT for a while now, we wanted to formally introduce you to our newest coaches here at Minnesota Top Team.  Get to know a little bit about each of them below and make sure to say hi when you see them around the gym! 

 KYLE NORMAN CrossFit Coach: 

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Glyndon, MN
Where do you currently live? Apple Valley
How old are you?  32
Where do you work outside of MN Top Team? I work as a Corporate Wellness Coach for a company called Real Appeal. I also am a part time personal trainer at the Downtown Mpls YMCA
Tell us about your family and pets: I have been married for 4 years and we have a son who is 14 months and two cats (and a baby on the way!).
What is your favorite song/movie/book: My favorite song is Metallica's Nothing Else Matters because of its lyrics and versatility; You can slow dance to it and you can lift heavy weights when its playing loud. My favorite book is American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, the complete randomness and abstract thoughts Patrick Bateman (main character) has is hilarious. And my favorite movie(s) is the latest Batman trilogy. 
What do you do in your free time besides what you do at the gym? Spend time with my family. 
Best vacation you've ever taken: A cruise five years ago where I proposed to my wife.
What is it you love the most about CrossFit? What I enjoy about CrossFit is that the constant need to get better at something. There are so many movements within CrossFit that it is hard to be a master at all of them. Every individual will have their strengths and weaknesses but its the hard work and challenges that come with improving on weaknesses, that I enjoy. 
What do you think makes a great coach and/or why did you choose the coaching route to your sport? I think that a good coach is internally motivated  by others' success. A good coach knows how to actively listen, observe and give the right cues to help an athlete become the best they can be. I choose to be a coach because I like seeing people improve themselves, whether it be getting their first rope climb or just reaching their goal weight. Being apart of that moment with someone, knowing that you were able to help them is very rewarding. 
 

THAO LE, Black Belt, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach:

Where did you grow up? I came to the United States in 1975 from Vietnam.  
Where do you currently live? Brooklyn Park.
Where do you work outside of Minnesota Top Team and M-Theory Martial Arts? I am a Consultant at Allianz
Tell us about your family and pets. I am the youngest of 3.  I have 2 older brother and sister.
What is your favorite movie? Gladiator
What do you do in your free time besides what you do at the gym?  Spend time with my parents.
Best vacation you've ever taken. Every vacation I've taken has a special memory/meaning to me.  They all are great!
What is it you love the most about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? The learning curve is endless and the friendships you make.
What do you think makes a great coach ?One that has their students interest first before their own.
Another cool thing about Thao! His family is one of the first Vietnamese immigrants in the State of Minnesota.
Where did you grow up? Red Wing
Where do you currently live? Rosemount
How old are you? 33
Where do you work outside of MTT? Minnesota Army National Guard
Tell us about your family and pets. Single 
What is your favorite song/movie/book?  Ghetto Superstar, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, the menu at Jensen's Cafe
What do you do in your free time besides what you do at the gym? Watch basketball
Best vacation you've ever taken. Maui
What is it you love the most about CrossFit? It's a social journey through pain, soreness, joy, and quantifiable improvement. 
What do you think makes a great coach and/or why did you choose the coaching route to your sport? I think the best coaches learn from their students. If you keep giving the same cue and no one understands what you mean, it doesn't work. Sometimes your coaching peers or even other students can share what triggered them to improve. The bottom line is you want everyone to improve. Swallowing your ego will go a long way. 
Another interesting Kurt fact: At one point he actually had hair!

 

ASHLEY AKEHURST, CrossFit Coach

Where did you grow up? Richfield
Where do you currently live? Bloomington 
How old are you? 27
 Where do you work outside of MTT? Sheridan Hills elementary school
 Tell us about your family and pets. Family is very important to me. I love spending time with family especially my three sisters!
 What is your favorite movie? Bridesmaids
 What do you do in your free time besides what you do at the gym? spend time with friends!  
 Best vacation you've ever taken. Bahamas
 What is it you love the most about CrossFitBefore I started crossfit I never knew how strong I could be. Crossfit pushes me mentally and physically harder than I'd ever imagined. It continually challenges me and I love the pursuit to be better. Most importantly I have met some amazing people through crossfit. 
What do you think makes a great coach and/or why did you choose the coaching route to your sport? I love seeing how excited athletes get when they PR on a lift or perform a movement for the first time. I care about people and love watching how crosssfit can transform their lives. I want to help people be the best they can be and achieve their goals. I love pushing people to finish a WOD and then seeing their sense of accomplishment when the workout is over.
Where did you grow up? Grew up mostly in Eagan not far from the gym, West St Paul school district.  
Where do you live now? Eagan for the past 12 years or so after moving around a bit.
How old are you? I'm 37.
Where do you work outside of MTTI own a company that deals in custom electronics both consumer and small business. (Wyattautomated.com)  
Tell us about your family and pets.I have a girlfriend and a couple dogs.
What is your favorite song/movie/book? Nonpoint - Skin.  Jeremiah Johnson, The Man from Snowy River or Donnie Brasco.  American Sniper.
What do you do with your free time outside of the gym? I spend my free time at the gym.
Best Vacation? Camping trip to Wyoming to hunt deer.
What do you love the most about CrossFitCrossFit keeps me strong and in shape.
What do you think makes a great coach? As a coach I feel I am able to help people the most by teaching them to focus on themselves.
Where did you grow up? Rosemount
Amy_Presler.jpgWhere do you live now? Rosemount
How old are you? 29 (for the 10th time)
Where do you work outside of MTTI work with my husband, Evan, who owns his own handyman/contractor business (651)335-1079. 
We do everything interior and exterior - roofing, siding, windows, flooring, painting, remodeling. We specialize in custom work.
Tell us about your family and pets. Evan and I have three children: 
Drew-16, very talented musician (performance and production), wrestler, works at Fleet Farm in the building department, excellent motorcycle mechanic (which comes in handy in our family)
Reid-12, great cook, avid reader, also a wrestler and a swimmer, hard worker with dad (finish masonry is his specialty)
Elsie-8, wrestler, gymnast, dancer, swimmer, loves to write and illustrate books (mostly non-fiction)
We also have a 3-year old German Shepard Husky named Roam. You might see us at the dog park (daily)!
What is your favorite song/movie/book? Song: it changes often, I like rock, metal, rap, country, classic rock, classical, pop, and more. So pick a song, it's probably one of my favorites! Movie: Last of the Mohicans Book: Let's Pretend This Never Happened, by Jenny Lawson
What do you do with your free time outside of the gym? We are a full MOTOCROSS family (yes, all of us)! Currently representing Honda, Kawasaki, and Yamaha.
Best Vacation? The gulf coast of Florida is my favorite place on earth!
What do you love the most about Boot Camp and Personal Training? I have been part of Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Core Class at MTT. I've been asked which was my favorite, and I'll never be able to choose. They have all enriched my life and increased my fitness. Most of all, they have all challenged my mental toughness.   Personal Training and coaching Bootcamp allows me to bring my favorite aspects of each of these sports to my clients and members. We all benefit from cross training!
What do you think makes a great coach/why did you decide to coach? In my life I find joy in both the PROCESS and the PRODUCT. Fitness is no different! Sometimes we struggle to enjoy the process, and sometimes we are slow to see the products of our own work. I like to help people find satisfaction (and FUN!) in the process of putting in work at the gym. My favorite part of working with people is helping them see results, the product, sooner than they ever imagined! Celebrating success is the best!
Another cool thing about Amy!  I really love making healthy food fun and delicious for my family! I (voluntarily....mostly) spend a lot of time in the kitchen changing recipes, experimenting, and feeding the eager smiling faces of my family and friends. It must be good, because they are always back for more!

Where did you grow up?  Anchorage, Alaska

Where do you currently live? Prestigious West Bloomington

How old are you? Guess.

Where do you work outside of MTT? A software development company called IDeaS.

Tell us about your family and pets.  I don't own any pets, but I do have some nieces and nephews.  

What is your favorite song/movie/book? Song: Whats that one Katie Perry tune? The one about me being a firework, that one. / Red Dawn (Please, the original!) / I don't read it like a regular book, but my Buick shop manual.

What do you do in your free time besides what you do at the gym? Most of my time seems to be taken up by home improvement projects. I do some drawing and painting too.

Best vacation you've ever takenThe most interesting vacation I have taken was a trip to Europe I took a couple of summers ago. I got to do some BJJ training with an old training partner in Riga, Latvia, from there I did some sightseeing along the Rhine River in Germany. 

What is it you love the most about Jiu Jitsu? Along with the intellectual growth and health benefits, I enjoy the community that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu provides. The sport of BJJ is entertaining too. 

What do you think makes a great coach and/or why did you choose the coaching route to your sport? I think what makes a great coach is preparation, consistency and open mindedness. Coaching also benefits my own understanding of Jiu-Jitsu. 

Another cool thing about Rocco, besides his name:  "I wish I was cool!" : )

 

All the coaches here at MTT are passionate about their sport and would love to have you come in and try out a class.  Try everything for free one time. MN Top Team Free Week

 

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