Here’s where I’m at a crossroads with much of the wrestling community.
While a pandemic rages on across the country…
And hospitals are nearing capacity in many places…
Some wrestling trainers have kicked their doors wide open, and they keep packing them in like Covid-19 never happened, with nary a health protocol in place.
Wherever you stand on the Covid issue, there’s a big problem with proceeding in a haphazard, irresponsible way, like many trainers are doing out there.
As the numbers creep higher across the country, we are fast approaching another shutdown – meaning, merely weeks before the start of wrestling practice, the shuttering of the 2020-21 season.
Regardless of your stance on the issue, it won’t be you that makes the decision. It will be health boards and elected officials.
Those who are acting irresponsibly – packing in their gyms with kids from all over, with little to no regard for health protocols, are selfishly contributing to the problem and greatly increasing the likelihood that our wrestling season will be cancelled.
Higher numbers of covid-19 cases mean we all risk suffering through another shutdown, and this next one is likely to rob our young people of the opportunity to compete.
This is why I drastically revamped my training program and packed my training room full of strict health protocols to keep wrestlers and their parents, friends, etc., as safe as possible.
ACE looks a lot different this season as a result.
Groups of 4-7 kids instead of the usual big crowd.
And since I’ve recently received inquiries about available training, I am opening up a few more opportunities – on a very limited basis.
These training opportunities will take place on Monday and Wednesday.
Health protocols will mirror our ACE protocols.
We will have room for groups of 2, 3 or 4 (no solos, and you have to have a partner).
It is, in a sense, personal training.
Your first step is to go here, read the info and email me. I don’t have a form yet and spots will be filled by invitation only, after I receive your email.
Ever heard of Banksy?
He’s a street artist who has sold his works for $ millions upon $ millions…
at times essentially mocking the very industry that he is being enriched by.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds.
For example: in 2018, a framed copy of his painting, Balloon Girl, sold at an auction at Sotheby’s for over $1 million. Shortly after the gavel came down…
The painting began to self destruct.
A shredder hidden inside the frame, triggered remotely, destroyed most of it.
Now, in most areas of life, the buyer of such shredded works would immediately be demanding for a refund.
Not in the art world.
Instead, the buyer decided to go through with the purchase….
The painting was given a new name: Love is in the bin….
And the value skyrocketed.
Banksy’s latest work, which recently sold for just under $10 million, is called, Show me the monet.
There’s some irony for you.
I’m no Banksy, but I have been known to operate counter to the norms of the wrestling world – often utilizing methodologies and techniques that exploit the common, most popular methods used by the masses – all to the benefit of my students.
This includes my approach to teaching a powerful system of wrestling, as opposed to the usual hodgepodge of moves.
My attack system philosophy also differs greatly from the most commonly used approach in the sport – the wait and see what happens method of wrestling.
I will be opening up new training opportunities in the next few days, so keep an eye on your inbox. In the meantime, go here to learn about me, as well as my system, and philosophies, of wrestling that run counter to the norm.
Well its fall now, and the biggest question on every wrestlers mind is:
Will there be a season?
I have no idea.
How’s that for decisiveness?
The truth is, no one knows at this point. All we can do is everything in our power to
- Help make it possible to have a season, and
- Be ready for it when (if) it happens.
The good news: high school football is moving along.
Playoffs are around the corner and so far, all is well.
More good news: wrestling training and competitions are opening up.
Schools are also in session again in many districts across the state and the country.
Now for the worrisome news:
- Covid cases are on the rise again – in Ohio and almost every state in the country (all but 10 states are seeing an increase in positive tests).
- Hospitalizations are up in many locations, and having the space to treat patients is starting to become an issue again in many hospitals
- The mortality rate has been dropping, which is very good news, but as hospitalizations go up, that number will be closely monitored as well.
- Many colleges are seeing a spike in cases, meaning a danger to students as well as threatening the very financial viability of these institutions (many colleges will close within the next two years – some have already).
- Wrestling training and competitions are opening up.
Right now you’re wondering, how can that last item be a positive and a negative?
As we are seeing throughout the country, large gatherings can and often do lead to super-spread situations (just look at the white house – from a distance of course).
And there’s often a couple-week delay between event and wide-spread infection.
Right now, people are starting to relax their standards – in and around our wrestling world as well.
Concerning events taking place such as:
- Big tournaments being held like no Covid ever existed.
- Crowds starting to pour back in with little or no safety protocols in place.
- Wrestling trainings and camps taking place like nothing ever happened – gyms packed, again, tons of wrestlers pouring in, little or no health protocols in place, no regard to health or safety whatsoever, leaving YOUR KIDS EXPOSED to this deadly virus.
Now some of you think the virus is a hoax. Or political in nature.
There are over 210,000 Americans that provide proof that it is no hoax
Some also believe young people can’t get the virus, or if they do, they won’t be affected by it.
And while their young immune systems are certainly better equipped to handle it than mine, or other older people, some have been adversely affected by it.
This quote from a local school administrator puts it in its proper perspective:
We’ve only had one case of Covid among our students. But while he recovered, he also developed a heart issue that has been associated with the disease, and now he has to hope he can get cleared by a cardiologist so he can play sports again. But its possible that he now has a lifelong heart condition due to this virus.
Look, the truth is, I could have done what many other trainers have done – ignored the virus and just swung my doors wide open, just like every other year.
But I feel a deep sense of responsibility, not only to the students who train here, but also to their parents, grandparents, other relatives, and their communities as a whole.
So I bite the bullet, accept smaller, manageable numbers, enact the most stringent and health-minded protocols anywhere in the sport – and do everything I can to protect the young people who entrust their health and training to me.
At this point, ACE signup is closed, although I would accept a student here or there who I could trust to follow health protocols and who would fit in to a group (junior high and high school).
But at this point, I have a self-imposed open date.
I’ve left Mondays open for just this occasion.
I am willing to open up a Monday training for a team, under these non-negotiable terms::
- No more than 6 athletes
- all on the email list (they can join at my website’s home page
- all of whom are willing to follow my health protocols,
- all willing to make an ACE-like commitment (every Monday for 9 weeks, eg).
- the group should prepare to have athletes that match up by size (in other words, don’t plan on 5 115 lbers and one 215 lber who could crush you all like a grape).
The arrival time would likely be 7 pm.
You can view the details at the ACE page – the training setup would be similar to that. I have not created a separate landing page for this yet. If you have an interest, and have a group of 4-6 athletes willing to make the commitment, email me.
PS: Important Note: I’m only taking one group of 4-6 athletes. First accepted, first in the gate – so don’t delay, if you have some athletes who are looking to train hard in a safe environment.
PPS: This Monday training is not limited by age group but all the kids in the group should be similar in age (in other words, it could be 6 high schoolers, or 6 4th-6th graders, etc).
If you haven’t heard of Marcus Lemonis, I behoove you to check out his award-winning television show, The Profit. In it, Marcus personally invests in struggling businesses and utilizes the three P’s as his guiding principle when assessing a business.
His 3 P’s:
The one I am focusing on today is a major guiding principle for my attack system training as well. That is….
Or, as I sometimes refer to it, the Attack System Process.
Our process starts with potential athletes/parents being on the email list. Yes, I’m a tyrant about this step of the process, and here’s why:
- email is my main means of communication. Other sources – Fakebook, instagramm, etc – not so much. I might see the message, I might not. Email, I check constantly.
- every athlete in my training program receives email reminders about sessions, as well as bonuses. And if something changes at the last minute – I can whip out an email to the entire group very quickly.
- You gain a full understanding of my attack system philosophy
- Added bonus if and when the emails are entertaining.
- You understand the entirety of my process.
That last one is more important than ever before, in the age of Covid-19 (which I covered extensively in my book), we have detailed procedures meant to keep you and your family safe, and as well as everyone who enters the room.
And when everyone understands the process – training goes more smoothly.
Athletes are safer and healthier.
The Barn is a much more appealing place to be (all on board, no divas allowed).
That’s why this summer, I made a subtle, but way overdue change in my process.
All signup pages for training programs are hidden behind my deep, dark, nearly impenetrable firewall.
The only way to access them is via invitation from the email list.
Final reminder, we start Sunday. We have a few openings remaining.
The process starts here.
I recently opened up about my son getting released from the hospital after spending basically the entire summer in there.
Here’s the part I didn’t talk about yet.
In the process of shuffling back and forth between three different facilities for tests, blood work and treatment…
He was also tested for Covid-19.
After the 3rd test, the doctor shared this cheerful news: “his Covid test came back negative, but we think there’s a good chance he has it. So we are testing him again.”
To add to the drama, news broke just a few days before our scheduled summer training event, “The Impossible Event” (which, ironically, came close to fulfilling its own prophecy).
I immediately went into self-quarantine (I had just spent the previous evening in the hospital with aforementioned offspring) – and hoped for the best.
I didn’t leave my house or see anyone until the next test result came back. It was a tense couple of hours…
but the next test also came back negative, and the doctor declared that, based on the nature of his pneumonia, he was no longer considered Covid-19 risk.
First thought: “Yeay, my son doesn’t have Covid-19!”
Second thought: Impossible Event: Now Possible!
My third thought: I’m so glad I don’t have to get the Covid test.
It is not a pleasant experience. The test is administered by inserting a 6 inch long “Q-Tip” so far up your nose that it ends up between your nose and your mouth (yes its as bad as it seems, but it gets worse) – then they roll it around up there for about 10-15 seconds.
Then they REPEAT it on the other side – just for good measure, and send it off to the lab for testing.
[I’m just now remembering I forgot to include the ‘unpleasant graphic details’ warning at the top of this article,]
Just speaking for myself but, not only do I have no desire to contract Covid-19….
I have even less desire to be tested for it.
And I will do everything in my power to avoid both – for myself, my family, and my wrestlers.
That’s why the standard here is so high when it comes to our health protocols, especially in this, the Covid Age.
These standards include, among other things:
Before each session…..
- every surface that’s been touched since the last session, is cleaned with a strong disinfectant.
- The mats are disinfected with The industry standard-setting Kenshield cleaner
- Every wrestler’s temperature is taken
- Every parent must verify by email that their son passes the state-standard covid-19 questions (I’m sure you know them by heart by now)
- Every wrestler gets a thorough skin check
- Every wrestler showers and changes out of street clothes (clothes that, for all we know, could have just been sneezed on at the grocery by a covid-carrier)
- Every wrestler changes into clothes he did NOT wear in to the building.
And after every session…
- every wrestler showers and changes out of the clothes he wore during the session.
- The cleaning protocol is repeated in between every session.
- All surfaces disinfected.
- All showers disinfected.
- All surfaces (door knobs and handles, etc, disinfected.
A lot of work, yes.
But to take every precaution in preventing you, or me, from having that 6 inch Covid-Q-Tip stuck up my nose so far it touches the back of my throat, then swabbed around for 15 seconds, and then repeated on the other side?
You bet its worth it.
I also think about that unpleasant Covid-Q-Tip every time I:
- Wash hands
- Wear a mask in Speedway
- Read about a super-spreader event somewhere
- Observe big crowds of people not social distancing, wearing masks or taking any precautions whatsoever
Some of these include wrestling venues – open mats, tournaments and camps, that follow close to none of the above protocols as they pack their gyms, providing a breeding ground for Covid-19, along with other less publicized but very unpleasant diseases such as ringworm, impetigo, and even staff, MRSA-staff, and herpes.
For your safety (and to help you avoid the Q-Tip From Hell), I have completely re-imagined Attack Club East, aka, ACE, the area’s longest running wrestling club, which starts at the end of the month. Available spots are strictly limited, and, after opening this up just yesterday, some of the training groups are already near capacity.
Many of them will be filled very soon.
And yes, I’m adamant about you AND me avoiding the Q-Tip From Hell – so once a group is filled, its filled.
To snag your spot before someone else does, go here (please note that the form isn’t included on the first link, only this one.
Here in the Buckeye State, a glimmer of hope among a sea of clouds…
Many counties in Ohio are turning to “orange” from “red” on the Covid scale.
Red being BAD of course.
Orange being Caution.
We are in the middle of a quandary here in the Buckeye State, as are Americans throughout the country.
The number of infections are going down in many places.
Some school systems that have adopted all remote learning, as well as cancelled fall sports (Columbus City comes to mind), have started to reverse course, announce sports re-openings, and adopt hybrid (some in-school, some remote) learning methods.
And colleges, some of which haven’t even approved fall sports (or have cancelled them altogether) rush forth with plans on filling their dorms with students.
Are we out of the woods?
Not even close.
There are troubling signs at many locations, and we may very well be jumping the gun.
Last time we got a little careless (protests and riots, rallies, big events), the numbers spiked back up.
The hard truth: WE HAVEN’T BEATEN THIS THING YET.
I can say without a smidgeon of doubt, that we are about to see another huge resurgence.
Life is NOT about to return to pre-covid normal. Not yet anyway.
Now that we think we have it on the run, and start to venture out to more events, (including, even more political rallies and peaceful? protests), and take fewer precautions along with way, as well as opening up schools and colleges across the country…
We are going to see another spike.
Kids are going to get sick. Large outbreaks will happen in the dorms, and on college football teams, and everywhere there are gatherings.
As a result…
- Schools will shut down again.
- Activities will close again.
- And we may well be seeing a return to a few months ago.
What to do?
In my humble yet often accurate opinion, I think we need to CHILL.
Chill until the end of September. See where the numbers get us then. Right now, they are NOT LOW ENOUGH YET to resume all activities.
And, because I am forward-thinking, and the end of September marks the start of Central Ohio’s longest running wrestling club (the only one to hit the 30 year in a row mark)….
I am already making plans behind the scenes as to what ACE 2020 will look like – keeping athletes’ safety, as well as our own, at the forefront (assuming things aren't so bad that we aren't able to train at all).
The format is definitely going to change.
Opportunities are definitely going to be limited.
And no doubt, some athletes will definitely miss out due to our new numbers limitations, format and very strong health protocols (which top all others I've seen anywhere in the wrestling community)
Get on the ACE Waiting List as soon as it opens.
I will let you know when that is – I’m sure it will be soon.
In the meantime, there will be updates to the ACE page very soon (they haven’t happened yet, so all the info out there is from the previous year. You are welcome to take a peak at it now though, if you’d like)