The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

Early September 2022 || issue #119
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All-Sports Issue

Over 200 athletes trained in the All-Sports Braz Camp this summer. Ryenne Feeney and Rose Kiley have combined for 21 summers in the program. The first step to success in any sport is to be there. Show up. No excuses. Ryenne comes to our Peabody location from Boxford. Rose makes the trip from Andover.


Ryenne Feeney

[On the last day of Braz Camp in 2021, your editor spoke with Ryenne about the option of training next summer in the “Early” program, starting at 7am. While guided by Coach Braz, who is on the field, athletes in the early session need to be focused. It is a perfect option for serious athletes who have other summer commitments. It was perfect for Ryenne and a few others this summer.

Ryenne writes: “I am a junior at Bentley University where I’m pursuing a Corporate Finance and Accounting degree. I’m a defender on the Bentley Women’s Soccer team and started at outside back every game last year until injuring my foot halfway through the season.

“I went to Masconomet Regional High School where I played varsity soccer and ran indoor/outdoor track as well as played club soccer for NEFC North Shore. I focus heavily on academics, have a 3.98 GPA and serve as an athletic tutor throughout the year at Bentley. I hope to eventually work in public accounting after continuing at Bentley to get my Masters in Accounting.

“I have been participating in GTD since middle school and have stuck with it while juggling soccer training individually and with the Upper 90 women’s league in addition to a summer internship.”]

GTD: Ryenne, this was your 9th summer training in Coach Braz’s program, and due to your schedule, you did Early Braz Camp, with its 7am start. How did this happen?
Ryenne: This fall I will be in my junior year, so I decided to get an internship this summer to get more experience in my field. I ended up getting a part-time finance & accounting internship at SmartLabs, which required me to go into Seaport three days a week for work. Since I had to be there for work at 9am, I was unable to do the normal GTD time, but the early 7am time worked perfectly for me. I was able to get a solid workout in, then go straight into Boston to start work. The 7am workout was the perfect way to fit in my busy schedule of work, conditioning, and playing soccer.

GTD: Who was in the program with you this summer?
Ryenne: This summer in the 7am group there were a lot fewer athletes than in the 9am session. The group I trained with consisted of Hailee Lomasney (UML, lacrosse), Aja Alimonti (Merrimack, soccer) , Amber Kiricoples (Bentley, lacrosse), and occasionally Hayley Dowd, who plays soccer professionally in Sweden. It was great working with a group of female athletes and competing with them every morning to get better. It was really important for me to have other people to train with for even more motivation to show up each day and work hard together.

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Ryenne, Hayley, and Hailee

GTD: The sociologist David Reisman, in The Lonely Crowd, developed the concept of “inner directed” vs “other directed.” Athletes in the 7am program need to be inner-directed. You do not have a coach (the other) watching over each step you take. Coach Braz is nearby and available throughout your session, but 7am athletes must be inner-directed. Tell us how this works.
Ryenne: It was definitely an adjustment training at GTD this year since there was not a specific coach watching to tell me to push harder or to get another rep in. I was required to hold myself accountable for all I did because it was now my responsibility to make sure I was putting in the work. There were some days where I struggled with it and felt like I was just going through the motions, but I quickly became adjusted to reminding myself of the end goal and what was required of me to get there. The idea of the fall season and my personal goals were what constantly kept me to push myself and succeed with the program being inner directed in the 7am session. I quickly found that as I have gotten older and gained more experience it was not hard for me to make this adjustment and be successful with it. It became something I actually really enjoyed about the program and that I was proud of myself for because I did not feel like I lacked intensity compared to past years. If anything I often pushed for us to go a little longer, do an extra rep, or go at a higher intensity when we could have easily just stopped where Coach Braz’s workout told us to.

GTD: How would you describe the program to an athlete who may be interested in it?
Ryenne: I would describe this program as one that requires great discipline and intensity if you want to be very successful fo your upcoming seasons. It is something that gives you much more than just a workout every day, but expectations and motivation to do the best that you can at those workouts instead of just going through the motions. It is a program that helps you grow as an athlete and move to the next level by developing that discipline and accountability for yourself. It is easy to work hard and do your best when someone else is watching and pushing you to, but it is another thing to do that by yourself when nobody is watching. For anyone who wants to become an athlete who excels and stands out then this program will help them become that since it develops much more than just the athleticism and conditioning of an athlete.

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GTD: What’s ahead for your college sports seasons?
Ryenne: This fall I will be entering my junior year and beginning my second season of soccer at Bentley. Last season injured my foot partway through the season, so this season I am hoping to come back strong to help my team beat our 3rd place standing in the conference from last year. I am hoping to bring more than just my skill and athleticism to the field, but also the mental part of being an athlete like the leadership and accountability roles. It is important to me to prove to myself that I can come back even better after my injury, but I also saw last fall after my injury how important off field actions are so I hope to bring that back as well. I am looking forward to getting back onto the field and enjoying the game I love to play with a great team after the summer break.

GTD: Post-college plans?
Ryenne: I currently have a year and a half left in my undergraduate track to graduate with a degree in Corporate Finance and Accounting with a minor in International Affairs. Once I finish that I plan to go straight into pursuing my Master in Accounting at Bentley. Since my freshman year we did not have a season because of Covid, I have a fifth year which I expect to use while I get my Masters. Once I complete that I hope to move on to become a CPA and go into public accounting.

[For more insight from Ryenne, see her interview from 2019 and her Covid Summer Report.]

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Hailee, Amber, Ryenne -- photo op //// Ryenne and Coach Braz discuss the next element


Rose Kiley

[This was Rose’s 12th summer of Braz Camp. She began when she was 3 (and specialized in hopscotch), and she’s now heading to high school in September 2022. Rose is one of 100s of athletes who work extremely hard each summer in the GTD conditioning program. As shown in her words and the photos, she attacks the conditioning drills. For more, see her interview from last year at this link.]

GTD: Last summer you were heading into 8th grade in the fall and playing club ice hockey and lacrosse. This summer you’re heading to Andover High School. What’s ahead in your sports world for the coming school year?
Rose: This year I will be doing field hockey, hockey, and track at the high school.

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GTD: Did the move to high school sports change what you did at Braz Camp this summer?
Rose: Overall the drills I did this summer didn't really change, but my focuses did. Since I now know that I will be playing field hockey this fall, I really tried to focus on my footwork and stamina this summer since those will apply to my upcoming season.

GTD: If you could do more of one Braz Camp drill, what would it be? Why?
Rose: It would be a drill that tests your reaction time. I like these drills because it is fun but also really helpful and good practice for any sport.

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GTD: Last summer you said the GTD program was a ”trust the process camp.” Based on this summer’s weather, you might say it’s a “survive the heat camp.” But seriously, how would you describe Braz Camp to someone who’s never been there?
Rose: I would describe Braz Camp as a camp where you get to do a lot of different skills and drills that prepare you for your sports but it is also a camp where you get to choose how much you want to push your limit and decide how much better you want to get.

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Personal Coaching

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Previous Issues of The Little Things

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Visit our website -- Going the Distance
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