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Should you attack an opponent’s injury?

Way back in high school, aka the dark ages, I remember facing an opponent who had his shoulder bandaged up, and people told me:  

Attack his injured side!

Personally, ethical or not, I’ve never really seen the advantage of doing so.  

 Fast forward to college, and I’m wrestling in the All-American round. 

 The opponent was – you guessed it.  A wrestler who was similarly all bandaged up.

This was the biggest match of my career….

and the thought of attacking his injury never crossed my mind.

By then, I was so deep into imposing my systematic will over my opponent..

  • Regardless of record…
  • regardless of seed.  Regardless of rank….
  • regardless of physical advantages, or in his case, disadvantages

that I wasn’t about to alter my highly successful, attacking system of wrestling, for any reason.   

My system, the same one I train athletes to embrace to this day, was already propelling me to all-new heights – forcing every opponent onto defense and effectively keeping them there…resulting in me imposing my will with relative ease.   

I applied that same system in the All-American match, and the 3 subsequent matches after that – winning each of them and snagging my 3rd place spot on the podium.

While there are advantages to knowing your opponents strengths and weaknesses… 

there are MORE advantages to internalizing your OWN strengths and IMPOSING your will on every opponent you face off with.

Spring is around the corner – hop onto the brand new Priority List now to get the most out of your training.


The best Valentines gift a wrestling mom can get

This is a personal message to all the wrestlers out there….

Do you really think your mom wants flowers and candy this Valentines?  Then you haven’t been paying attention.  

Have you noticed, young wrestler, that:

  • She frets when you can’t eat because you are overweight?
  • Faithfully attends every match?
  • Gets so nervous before you wrestle that she nearly throws up?
  • Hangs on every minute of every match while you put her through horrible suspense and fear?
  • Worries when your shoulder gets torqued out of place by a mean opponent (and sometimes offers to storm the mat and kick his butt for you)?
  • Is drenched in sweat throughout your match?
  • And drenched in tears when you lose?

Your mom sacrifices so much during a wrestling season – all because of you.

And after all that…

Do you really think she just wants some candy and flowers?

If that’s what you think, you haven’t been paying attention.

Here’s what she really wants…

  • You don’t starve yourself to make weight.
  • You win more matches with more ease
  • You shut down those leg riders immediately (and preserve your shoulder as a result)
  • You start surpassing rivals

Right now, through this Saturday, I am offering a special 3 week blast to address the above, and give your mom exactly what she really wants for Valentines Day.

Look for the link in the email (or join the list to get the link).

A clarification comes flying in

Well I stirred up a hornets nest.

Within minutes of posting my recent blog, I received a tweet and an email from Keith Carter, the fine USA Wrestling Coaches Council director.

“This is simply not true.  Team selection process hasn’t been finalized.”

The meeting notes that I referenced are unclear.  This was the source of my article and here’s what they say:

2021 Fargo team selection – each state will decide on which athletes to send to Fargo (6 athletes/ weight class).  Regionals will change.  No wrestler will automatically qualify for Fargo for 2021.

I understand that Keith and members of USA Wrestling-Ohio are working on updating the minutes now to clarify things.


PS  In a perfect world, every spot on the national team would be earned through the State and the Regionals with no wildcards and no petitions.  Of course, our world is far from perfect.

A disappointing direction

***NOTE:  Within minutes of me posting this controversial blog, I received messages from USA Wrestling, clarifying their position.


Be sure to read the followup blog to see USA Wrestling’s response and clarification of their notes.

Recently I read the meeting notes for USA Wrestling-Ohio, the main governing body for freestyle/greco wrestling in Ohio – an organization that I respect and have partaken in for many years.

One prominent detail left me disappointed.

According to the meeting notes, This year there will be No automatic qualifiers for the Cadet (U16) and Junior nationals that take place in Fargo, ND in July.

Instead, the organization will select the 6 participants to represent Ohio in Fargo in each weight class this summer.

In the past, wrestlers could qualify by winning (or placing high in) the state freestyle/greco championships.  

Athletes could also qualify through the Central Regionals.

Many wrestlers through the years – guys who were “no-names” – have trained hard in my building, developed critical skills, and defeated top level athletes, earning their way onto the Ohio National team.

How do I tell hard-working wrestlers that they can not longer “earn their way” onto the team this year?

That the fate of their Fargo dreams lies in a selection committee’s hands?

Wrestling has always been the unique sport where you EARN your way.  

  • You earn your spot in the starting lineup by winning your wrestle-off (no matter who the coach thinks is better).
  • You earn your spot in districts by winning matches and placing in the top 4 in sectionals.
  • You earn your spot in state by winning matches and placing in the top 4 in districts (no matter what the rankings say).
  • And you earn your spot on the podium by winning matches and placing in the top 8 in state.

Any other method just doesn’t seem right.

This goes against the nature of our unique sport.

And it opens the possibility of kids who earned their spot, having it taken away by someone else’s decision.

I realize the pandemic has changed a lot of things, and undoubtedly has led to the capping of 6 wrestlers per weight class per state.  However, those 6 spots should be earned on the mat.

I hope this fine organization will change their approach and adopt a method for letting the wrestlers punch their ticket to this prestigious event the old fashioned way.