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Eleventh? Eleventh you say?

A lot has been said about the now infamous ranking….

Dabo Swinney, Clemson's head football coach, ranking the Ohio State Buckeyes #11 in the last coaches poll….then by not really a coincidence, the two teams drawing each other for the college football playoff semifinals.

And of course, the residual beatdown by said #11 team over the hapless Tigers.

For Ohio State, you can bet they plastered that #11 all over their locker room as motivation.

The truth is, there are a lot of #11’s out there with the skill level to topple even the top-ranked athletes.

Its never more true anywhere than in wrestling.

Especially in the current Covid-era rankings.

Its always amazing how many wrestlers, and parents, and coaches – get caught up in rankings, seedings, and what-not.  

I’ve even heard coaches try to console their wrestler after a loss with, “its okay – he’s ranked #3!”  

Like the rankings themselves were responsible for any of the points whatsoever.  

A better approach:  Look at how you can impose your will on opponents – sharpening your skills in your system of wrestling – being as unstoppable at what you do, as possible.

Hence, this to a leg wrestler:  If you get the legs in, and your opponent can’t counter it…it won’t matter what his ranking is.   

Or put another way:  you can beat all the kids who can’t counter what you’re good at.  All you have to do is impose Your will on Every opponent.

Murphy’s law of Wrestling Partners

Murphy's law of Wrestling Partners

The law works like this:  If there are only two kids around the same size, and nobody anywhere close to their size….those two kids won't get along.

This tends to happen at the extreme ends – the smallest kids and the biggest kids.

Case in point:  12 year old boys in the 5th percentile are around 60 lbs.  12 year old boys in the 95th percentile are around 130 lbs.

Sooooo, if you have two 12 year old boys who happen to weigh about 50-55 lbs (yes, I've had them in my room)…they would represent the small side extreme.

On the other end, if you have two 12 year old boys who happen to weigh 150….you have the other end of the extreme.

Kids at those sizes are very hard to find partners for.  And, way too often, don't get along with the other kid that's his size.

I recently had a youngster on one end of the extreme tell me, “I don't like my partner.  I want to go with someone else.”

I looked at him and said, “Look around.  Do you see anyone else within 30 lbs of you?  That kid is your partner.  Learn to get along.”

My best advice for coaches in these situations:  Encourage your kids on the extremes, to introduce a buddy that is his size, to wrestling.  If every kid on the extreme end would do that, you'd have 4 instead of two.  Much better odds of having a partner.

R.I.P. to Dan Hodge

Legendary wrestling great, Danny Hodge

On the day before Christmas, one of our greatest wrestlers of all time, the unmatchable Dan Hodge, passed away.

Hodge was a 3X National Champion…

an Olympic Silver Medalist…

and a Professional Wrestling champion.

Hodge amassed a record of 46-0 while competing at Oklahoma.

 While 46-0 may not seem like a lot of matches today, when Hodge competed in the 1950’s, that’s what they ended up with.

He pinned an astounding  36 of them.

There were also reports that he was never taken down his entire college career (apparently record keeping wasn’t a big thing back then).

That’s a win percentage of 100% (duh)…and a pin percentage of 78%.

Seventy-Eight Percent.

To put it in perspective, the great Wade Schalles, the all-time pinningest wrestler (yes – pinningest is now a word, thanks to me),  pinned 106 opponents in 159 matches.  

Simply incredible – a pin percentage of 67%.

Hodge was well known for his feat of being able to crush an apple with one hand – a stunt he performed in 2013 in front of the Oklahoma State Legislature – at 80 years old. 

Wrestling’s most prestigious award is named after him – the Dan Hodge trophy.

Rest In Peace to a one of the greatest wrestlers ever, and a great man to boot.

The safest place you can be

Recently I scheduled a visit with my very fine dentist, Dr. Dean Gladura.

I told him upfront, “I’ve put things off during this pandemic – and let a lot of things go.”

He paused, and thoughtfully replied, “you don’t ever need to be afraid to come in here.  This is the safest place you can be.”

That stuck with me.

In today’s challenging times, many of you undoubtedly worry about the health of your athlete, your relatives, your friends – and yourself, and how to navigate through this and give your kids the training they yearn for, while protecting your family from the illness.

I know there are athletes who have opted out of the entire season.

Many others have put off extra training.

I understand and respect both of those decisions completely.

I remain as committed to providing an extremely safe environment here, as I was at the beginning of this pandemic.  Its the big picture that outweighs everything else.

So, to quote my very fine dentist…

You don’t need to be afraid to come in here.  This is the safest training you can partake in.

If you want to schedule a short session and fix just one issue, you can do so through the 30 minute solution.

Read about it here

Thank you to veterans everywhere

 

Today is a  day to give thanks to those in this country who kept us all safe and continue to do so.

Thank you to your service to our country, and for defending us both far and near.

My dad was a veteran – he served in the Korean War.

 

He ended up training sentry dogs even though his education was in chemical engineering.  A few years before he passed, he and my brother went out west to meet with the Canine Unit that served over 50 years ago.  He met up with some folks he hadn’t seen since the war ended.

Lets all take a moment to thank our Veterans.  Without them we wouldn’t have our freedom.

Randy

Dear America: FIX the election process
Dear America:   FIX the election process

Well here we are, another election year, and another batch of states results lingered until days after the votes have been cast.  This time around, however, the states in question, weighed heavily in the outcome.

When this happens, it leads to the biggest issue of all – far bigger than who actually wins:

People start to distrust the elections

Our country was built our every-citizen’s-vote-counts democracy.  It is the glue that holds our union together.

Regardless of who wins…

The belief that the results are accurate, is far more important.  Once that erodes, doubt ensues, and cracks emerge in our democracy – and that is happening now.

If people think the election is being stolen, they question whether our democracy is real.

And many may consider taking matters into their own hands.

Protests resulting from presidential elections have been rare in this country, no matter how hotly contested the race – until NOW.

This MUST be fixed – and fixed immediately.

There is simply no excuse for anyone to doubt our election results again.

Today, I implore the leaders of this country to FIX the election process, once and for all.

Here’s how:

  1. ALL ballots – Mail-in, overseas, provisional, etc.  need to arrive by election day.   There’s no excuse for this not happening. People can plan ahead and mail them in with enough time for them to arrive by Election Day.  To make it even easier for poll workers, an early voting postmark deadline, such as 3 or 4 weeks before the election, could be mandated.
  2. All States should start counting mail in ballots prior to election day.   This is what Ohio does, and Florida, and a ton of other states that were not in the spotlight after Election Day.  This should be universal.
  3. Every state should get its act together and complete the counting of all ballots on Election Day.   Its not unreasonable to expect the counting of ballots to be completed within a few hours of the polls closing.  Many states already accomplish this without issue.
  4. No dead people can vote (Yes, I'm talking to you, Chicago).    Each state should have its voter rolls updated prior to elections, and the verification process should ensure that people who vote, are who they say they are.
  5. Committing voter fraud, hacking the system, etc, should be an impossibility.  A study uncovered a startling fact:  a number of voting machines were connected to the internet leaving the opportunity open for fraud.
  6. Voters should have 100% confidence that votes are being counted correctly, and that fraud is not present.  In 2020, poll watchers are permitted to have access to ensure a fair election.  However, issues arose and some poll watchers have claimed they were denied access. to the counting of ballots.  The Pandemic was a factor – the 6 feet rule made this more challenging…but it shouldn't have.  In this, the 21st century, cameras are everywhere, for crying out loud.  There's no excuse to not have the process be recorded so all sides can see the proof with their own eyes (cameras would not be on people while they are voting, of course).

The biggest obstacle to making the above a reality

Here's the rub:  each state has the authority to set its own rules about elections.

Some allow mail-in votes to be counted ahead of the election, some require they be counted on Election Day.

Some vary on how electoral votes are earned. Two states – Maine and Nebraska – award one electoral vote each to a single precinct.

The voting machines, write in process, etc can all differ from state to state, and sometimes even precinct to precinct.

I'm certainly not advocating a loss of states' rights….'

But a leader would be able to bring the powers that be in the states, to set standards of operations that would benefit the nation as a whole, and solve some of the big issues we currently face with our election process.

In my opinion, it is vitally important that this happens.

Time will tell whether or not we have leaders in office who will take up the challenge of fixing this mess.

Randy

Who I voted for and why it doesn’t matter
Who I voted for and why it doesn’t matter

Last night in the room, a few wrestlers asked me who I voted for in the Presidential Election.

Several of them had major concerns if the wrong candidate won, such as:

  • Our rights will be taken away
  • Our property will be taken away
  • Our country will be in ruins!

My response:

Whoever wins is not likely to greatly affect your life.  Certainly, one's policies can and do affect people’s lives (case in point, me having to install 3 different ADA-approved showers in my locker room due to over-reaching regulations.  Yeah, that was fun.)

For the most part, though, the person who has the greatest impact on your life, and on your successes or failures – is you.

A politician can do little to stop you, if you are bent on success.

So, sit back, root for your favorite candidate – and relax.

And, prepare to continue to do your thing – most of the time they really can't stop your path to success.

I’m opening up new training – its a short-term program, but you can read all about it here.

Randy