My little brother was just made the head wrestling coach for the high school he teaches at. He asked me, "What has wrestling done for you?" He wanted to video the response right there on the spot! Well... I felt like a question like that deserved a lot more thought... I wasn't sure if he wanted me to talk to "potential" wresters, current Wrestlers, or their parents. I put down my thoughts in my iphone on my notepad. I told my mom that what I wrote was probably more appropriate on a Blog, I joked. She said, "Sounds like a great idea!" Leave it to google to make it so easy to start one!
What "Wrestling" has done for me-
Where do I begin? A sense of belonging... Being a part of a fraternity of men, in one of the most respected combative sports in history! That doesn't mean you "like" all wrestlers, but you all have a healthy respect for each other. Too small for Football? Not Tall enough for Basketball? Not enough money for Golf or Tennis? Lace em up!!! You try out for the team, you make the team! Sorry "home-town" boys who's Dad, uncle or grandpa got you a spot on the baseball team. Who's "Donation" gave you playing time on the field or court when you didn't earn it. Step aside... Wrestling has matches to determine who is Varsity. You may not be the perfect look, you may not be "who" they want- But, when you "EARN" your spot; by winning your spot- Ain't Nobody taking that away from you.
Years ago some guys would joke about wearing a singlet, and touching other guys. The same guys that wouldn't lift weight because they didn't want calluses!!! Haha
Let's make sure we understand what wrestling is: Wrestling is a Legal Fight- With certain rules. Now with the popularity of MMA/UFC and all of the Top fighters having their strength in wrestling, it has brought more of an awareness and understanding of "what" wrestling is. In fact wrestling is more popular than ever with post grad school guys.
There is nothing more physically, emotionally, and mentally challenging for a young man... You are going "head to head" with an opponent that is the same weight. You are attempting to use ALL of your skills, strength, and knowledge to "submit," over power and out smart your opponent. Your opponent is attempting to do the same!!! The physicality after 30 seconds alone is enough to put the majority of athletes lungs on fire! The closest activity I can compare it to is: Sprinting uphill with weights on! Try it- Put a 20 lb weight vest on. Set the treadmill at a 8 incline and speed 10 (lower if you must.) Now Sprint for 2 min. then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times!
Humility: The first match I ever wrestled was as a freshman at 112 lbs. weighing in at 108. It's on thing to wrestle team mates in the wrestling room during practice. It is a completely different feeling to wrestle in front of everyone in the gym while you're the only match! Thank Goodness I was exhibition and there were very few people there or even paying attention. I was pinned in the first 25 seconds of the match. Humiliating... At that point I didn't care about winning or losing! I made a decision that I would NOT be pinned again!!! (Sometimes you have to start small, just like life.) Kyley Moody (a friend) showed me how to bridge... I practiced all week. My next match I had to wrestle a senior, I was a freshman... Yes we weighed the same, but I was definitely intimidated... I was bridging for 5 1/2 of the 6 min. match!!! That is to say, I was fighting to keep from being pinned for almost the entire 6 min. match! I DID NOT GET PINNED!!! I lost the match, but had my first Victory!!! I developed muscles in my neck that I never even knew existed!
That will, determination to Never get pinned stuck with me. To get pinned, you must completely Give up. Now.... There are always exceptions, BUT... I personally believe that a "Good" wrestler will NEVER get pinned. Get out of bounds, do whatever you have to, but do not get pinned!
Life is tough- Life is not fair- Wrestling "prepares" you for that. More so than team sports... A Football team/Basketball team you can ALWAYS blame someone else. (And they usually do.) When you are one on one, head to head in combat; if you lose there is NO ONE else to blame!!! You learn to take your medicine and LEARN from it!!! There is no failure in losing- the only way you fail is by giving up completely or by choosing not to participate at all! Now; when you win... "You" receive ALL the glory... It's not by luck or happenstance. You MUST learn to win graciously. In Life you will have many wins. Nobody likes or respects the guy that is Cocky/Arrogant. It teaches you to win as though winning was THE expected result... Nothing more, nothing less. My experience in life is that you get what you expect. You want to be happy? Expect it! You want Financial Freedom? Expect It!!!
No matter how good you are there is ALWAYS somebody better... This helps you prepare to NEVER underestimate your opponent, or your circumstance(s) in Life.
CONFIDENCE- Pure confidence. Confidence is earned... Wrestling gives you the confidence that "YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!" Boot camp in the Marine Core is extremely demanding- Wrestlers that enlist in the Marine Core have no problem with Boot camp- It's a typical, daily workout... Look into a Marine's eye- They have confidence that they can take a life in seconds. They don't brag about it, they just know... Wrestlers do not start fights- (they have had to finish some...) When you have that confidence trouble avoids you and you avoid it. Knowing the damage you can wreck, you choose to walk away... Having the Confidence to "know" is Priceless...
Belief- Most athletes wouldn't make it through the 1st day of wrestling practice... Your coaches and team captains believe in you and what you are capable of doing. Before long, you start to believe them! I often wonder what comes first, Desire, or Belief??? An argument can be had for both to be sure. Anthony Robbins explains it as Motivation... OR Desperation!!! Meaning, you watch an athelte win a Gold medal... Win a Superbowl, World Series, World Cup, NBA Championship etc. etc. and get so fired up and so motivated that achieving similar success becomes your life's mission and Goal! On the other side it could be that you are so sick and tired of "your life/circumstance" that not wanting what you've had or experienced becomes the Driving force! Remember the movie "Pursuit of Happiness?" Was it his motivation to be wealthly??? OR was it his Desperation to NOT live at a homeless shelter ever again?!
Once you can "Believe" that "WHAT ONE MAN CAN DO; SO CAN ANOTHER." You now have a base to build on. Several books have been written and studies done that proves SKILLS are LEARNED and not just something you are "Born with." The premise is that it takes around 10,000 hours or 10 years to become an Expert. "Here's the good news. If you want to become an expert in your field, be that art, sport or business - you can. Contrary to popular belief, it's not always innate genius or talent that will make you a success, it's the hours that you put in, which means that ANYONE can do it!" The link has the article that the paragraph was taken from. http://www.squidoo.com/10000-hour-rule
I have no idea where I would be in my life without wrestling... It is a part of "Who I am..." I was blessed to have Coach Rob Ward as my Wrestling Coach. Some kids and parents thought he was too tough- Fact is that he wanted them to suceed more than they wanted to succeed. In another city with more school and parental support he would have been hailed a Hero!!! He would have been competing for a State Championship every year!!! I was blessed and Lucky enough to have him instuct, lead, and guide me... I also had a close friend that had been wrestling since he was a little kid, he taught me more things than I can recount. Russ Brown, Tyler Wilkinson, Josh Suwyn were my Hero's and the guys that I was able to learn from. I tried to be just like Suwyn... He showed me little "details" like how to use the sharp bone in your forearm to Crush your opponets head! His outside single became my take-down!
Yes, I am a better person beacuse of Wrestling and the people I met from it...