It is NCAA week. This is one of the best, if not, the best wrestling event in the world. It is a great celebration of American wrestling. I am excited to be at the event.
We have two guys competing. Bagana Tovuujav won the conference tournament and received an automatic invitation. Vince Rodriguez finished 2nd in the conference meet and he received an at-large berth on Wednesday. He had a good season and was rewarded for it.
I am excited for both wrestlers. I want them to go in to the tournament with the mindset that they can win it. I want that to be their dream. At the same time I want them to focus small. I want them to focus on every scramble and to be in the moment. Dream big and focus small.
I spoke to the guys about the tournament. I want them to be prepared physically and mentally. Some of the things we talked about were:
-Worry and stress can take a toll this week. I advised the guys to control what they can control and try and let the rest of it go. I told them to give their stress to the coaches.
-I want them wrestling with excitement. If it is not there, fake it. The excitement will come.
-Be aggressive and dominating, always thinking about bonus points. Think about how much you want to do and how little time they give you to do it. Have a sense of urgency. Have a purpose.
-Push the style and pace you have trained. Force the issue. Do not let a guy hang in the match. Force your style.
-Sometimes you will get a bad break during a match, change it. You have the power to get a fresh start. You can do so in the blink of an eye.
-Do not change your style. Finish all periods with intensity. Keep intensity on the edge of the mat.
-Sometimes you will need to make adjustments during a match. Do so. If you are not sure what to do, look to the coaches.
-If you lose your wits, things get out of control. Take a second to center yourself and get refocused.
-Great times to score – second shots, re-shots, go behinds, right after an escape, right after a flurry.
-If you are riding, think how you are breaking the other guy. If you are getting ridden, think about how tired you are getting the other guy. Change your mind set to help you see the positive for you.
-If you scramble hard when a guy shoots on you, think about how you took his best attack and shut it down. Know that you have gained ground by fighting so hard.
-Sometimes the easy route is not the best option. Force what you want. Drive instead of crack down. Lift instead of cutting your opponent.
Thursday can’t get here quick enough.