First Day of School

Let the fun begin. 2013-14 school year has begun. It has been fun to see the old guys and exciting to see the new guys finally on campus. We have a bunch of incoming guys, so our roster has grown significantly. We will have more competition in the room which I hope will help the guys grow.

I spent the past two weeks helping coach our 2013 USA World Cadet team at the Cadet World Championships. The tournament was held in Serbia. I enjoyed seeing a part of the world I had never seen before. It was an interesting place. Most of all I enjoyed interacting with a great USA team and meeting wrestlers from all over the world.

We were blessed as a coaching staff to have great support from USA Wrestling and other support staff. More importantly, we were blessed to work with high character athletes. They made our job easy and fun. The team performed well at the tournament, which was a bonus for the coaches. It makes you feel like you did something right.

I had some unique experiences. Such as, I sat in a pre-tournament coaches meeting between the head coach from Iran and Belarus. The meeting was conducted mostly by a Russian official and a Serbian FILA representative. They conducted most of the meeting in broken English which was a plus for me. After the meeting, the Iranian coach had me try to explain the rules interpretation to the other Iranian coaches. I remember thinking, “Man, I hope I heard the Russian Official correctly. I don’t want to further hurt relations between Iran and the USA.” Fortunately, I think I told them the correct things.

Another unique experience was during our lay-over in Rome. One of the other coaches and I decided it would be a good idea to take 10 under age Americans who were cutting weight on a quick sightseeing tour. It was a comedy of errors, mostly due to my mistakes, but we were able to take a few pictures outside the Ancient Roman Coliseum.

It was a great trip. I know I have grown as a person and as a coach as a result of the experiences and the people I spent time with during the adventure. I feel blessed.

We will spend the first week of school trying to help get the guys ready for the school year and for training. To be a division 1 athlete is a daunting endeavor. The guys will have to pass physicals, take medical tests, base line tests, compete compliance forms, eligibility forms, amateurism forms, pass the NCAA Eligibility Center, attend compliance meetings, academic meetings, meet with trainer, and get equipment. Once all of that is complete, I think I missed a few steps, and then we can start thinking about our team obligations and training.

The plan is to start team strength and conditioning workouts on September 2. We will also host the Paul Maltagliati Memorial Golf outing on September 9. The golf outing is an important fundraiser for our club program. Paul Maltagliati started the club for us.

Much of our effort this fall will also be put into helping host the NWCA All-Star Classic. This prestigious event will take place on campus on November 2.

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August Update

Our camp season has come to an end. Although our numbers were still way too low, I did feel like the campers that did attend had a meaningful and positive experience. It was great having John Owen at our last two camps. He had lots of knowledge to share. Once again, my favorite camp of the summer was our father/son camp. I love having the family learning together. It seemed like a special bonding time for the fathers and their sons.

This past weekend, Tom Carr and I were able to attend the National Wrestling Coaches Association Convention. I am glad I went. There is no doubt I learned some things that will help our program. The key will be implementing what I learned. A couple of cool quotes Dr. Gould shared in his talk to us about the psychology of winning were a Vince Lombardi quote “Winning isn’t everything but the will to win is,” and a John Wooden quote “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of being.” Good lessons from legendary coaches.

I am excited for school to start. I am excited for the season. The guys have a few more weeks to enjoy time away from school work. My hope is they come to campus ready to learn, excited to work hard, and chasing excellence in every aspect of their lives.

I am honored to be a participant at USA Wrestling’s board of directors meeting later this week. With the International Olympic Committee vote on wrestling’s inclusion in the Olympics about one month away, this is an important time for us to work hard at saving the world’s oldest sport’s place at the Olympic Games.

After the board meeting, I will head to the Cadet Greco-Roman World Team Training Camp and then to the Cadet Greco-Roman World Championships. I was blessed to be chosen one of the coaches for the USA team. My job will be to assist the athletes in representing themselves and our country to the best of their ability. It is a privilege for me to serve them in this roll. I am honored to be part of the USA delegation.

Some important upcoming dates for George Mason University Wrestling are:
Wednesday, August 7 – the GWWBN will host a mixer at the Mason Inn.           Wednesday, August 14 – Sahid Kargbo Competes at the Junior World Championships
Monday, August 26 – School Starts for the 2013-14 season
Tuesday, August 27 – We will hold our first team meeting of the year.
Monday, September 9 – the Paul Maltagliati Memorial Golf Tournament will be held as a fundraiser for our club – the Patriot Elite Wrestling Club.
Saturday, November 2 – The NWCA All-Star Classic will take place on campus at the Patriot Center.