What can I say about a home loss where we were shut out? The first thing that comes to mind is embarrassing. We were beat handily at most weight classes. After a loss like that one it calls for some self-reflection. It was time to look in the mirror and see what I did wrong and what I can do better. I hope the team is doing the same thing.
After a few days of reflection, I do know I will do some things differently next year. I think the team was at a disadvantage by not having a holiday tournament. I also think we had too much time off between competitions. Nevertheless, I do believe I have a good plan in place to move the program forward. I will not panic. I will stay the course.
I was definitely disappointed in what I saw from the team in preparation for the competition. I asked the guys to keep a training log over finals and break. Some did, some didn’t. I asked them to complete 20 predetermined workouts on their own. Most did not do them. I was very discouraged by their lack of commitment. Having been around the sport for quite a while, I have a decent idea of what it takes to be successful. I need them to believe in the program. I need them to trust me. My mistake was believing most understood my expectations and could execute them. I hope they will soon be able to, but they are not there yet.
One of the tough things about athletics is that it is public. We found out in a very public way that we were not prepared. There is no way too hide. I hope we are better prepared in the future.
Before we competed this week, I thought the lineup was set. By Thursday’s match time 6 of the guys that were starters were out. It was hard for me to fathom this many being out. I need to do a better job of making sure our best line up is on the mat. We got 2 of the starters back for Saturday. Hopefully, we will get all of them back in the near future.
Because we were missing so many starters, guys got matches they were not expecting to get. Everyone needs to train like they are the guy. Often time, you are one injury or mistake by a starter from being bumped into action. Some guys had prepared and gave us great effort. Some guys did a good job preparing mentally and physically on short notice.
One nice thing about our schedule was we were able to get right back on the mat. Saturday we wrestled 4 duals at North Carolina State. We lost our first dual to NC State. We won our next 2 duals against Shippensburg University and Anderson University. We lost our last dual against Campbell University. I was happy with some of the individual performances. We had 3 guys win their first college matches. I was happy for them.
Hopefully, now that we are humbled, guys will be more coachable this week. We can make significant gains by March. One of our team goals is to improve 1% per day. If we accomplish this goal, we will be a much better team by tournament time.
I thought we had a great practice before we left for NC State. Dr. Wilson spoke to the team about recovering mentally during competition and how to practice mental skills. I thought she was right on with what would help these guys.
We are home again this weekend. We host the Patriot duals on Saturday starting at 9am in the RAC. We will wrestle Davidson, VMI and Cleveland State. We will wrestle the duals with no break in between.
9:00am – Davidson vs. GMU and VMI vs. Cleveland State
Approximately 10:30am – VMI vs. GMU and Davidson vs. Cleveland State
Approximately Noon – Cleveland State vs. GMU (VMI and Davidson will not wrestle this round).