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.