Dee Olson Discovers the Be an Eleven Fast Track to Success
How an also-ran became a frontrunner in track and volleyball with the inspiration of the Be An Eleven Program
By Roger Freeborn
Published: Fall 2003
Dee Olson enrolled in our Be An 11 class in January of 2002, a frustrated, part-time, back-row volleyball player with a defeatist attitude. I discovered Olson’s dream was to be an outside hitter on the volleyball team for her senior year, even though she had next-to-no chance because she was too short to play front row. Says Olson, “I’d been told by everyone, ‘It’s useless!’” I took a different approach.
I asked Olson, “What if we went to work and you out-jumped all those other front-row players?” She responded, “Can I do that? Is that possible?” “Let’s go to work and find out,” I answered.
In our Be An 11 class at Estacada High School in Estacada, Oregon, those athletes not in season do the BFS program on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays they are in the classroom working on the mental aspects of performance enhancement. Our Be An 11 curriculum focuses on attitude, motivation, goal setting, affirmation and commitment utilizing the Five Power Axioms of Success, the BFS Steps to Success and the Ultimate Success Formula.
At first Olson was intimidated by all the football players in the program with just a few girls there for support. Fortunately, one of those girls was Brynn Cogdill. Cogdill was a state champion and school record holder in the 800- and 1500-meter runs and earning a full scholarship to Portland State. Cogdill’s work habits at our school are legendary, such as lifting in the morning before school, running five miles after a complete basketball practice and simultaneously competing for both the soccer and cross country teams. Olson fell right into step with Cogdill, and they trained together until Cogdill was off to college.
Olson discovered she could keep up with the guys during the running part of the conditioning program, and that was all she needed to launch herself into the rest of the program. To be able to train with Cogdill was a bonus because she was a four-year vet of our Be An 11 class and she passed along her training wisdom to Olson. Olson’s hard work enabled her to set personal records of 115 in the power clean, 125 in the bench press and 275 in the box squat at a bodyweight of 115.
Come volleyball tryouts, Olsen was ready. Not only did she win a spot as outside left hitter for the team, she led the team through conference play to a second-place finish at state and was named to the All State Tournament Team. But that’s not the end of the story.
Olson discovered a passion for running during her training, and during her senior year she joined the track team. Everyone had expected Cogdill’s records to last for years, but Olson broke both of them during her first track season (with bests of 2:15 in the 800 and 4:35 in the 1500). She was also conference and district champion in both, finishing second in the 800 and third in the 1500 at state. To beat Olson’s performances, the winners had to run new state meet records in both events. To top it all off, Olsen has accepted a full scholarship to the University of Idaho!
Dee Olson credits BFS as being a major building block in her success. The program helped her transform a “What if . . . ” wish into “Wow, what a season!” in not one but two sports.
Now that’s the way to run with it!