Journeyman NE Duals and Grapple at the Garden

It was a tough weekend for the George Mason University Patriots.  We wrestled 5 duals in 2 days.  On Saturday we wrestled 3 duals at the NE Journeyman Duals.  Then on Sunday, we wrestled 2 duals at the Grapple at the Garden.  I think the weekend was good in preparing the guys for the National tournament.  You have to be ready to wrestle multiple tough matches on consecutive days.  I hope we will benefit from the experience.  Being in front of big crowds and on the big stage at Madison Square Garden will help the guys visualize wrestling in the National tournament.  The national tournament stage will not appear as grand, since they have already wrestled on a big stage.

Saturday morning we beat a much improved Sacred Heart University team.  We won 8 of the 10 matches in the dual.

In our second round bout we faced the 7th ranked University of Illinois team.  We lost every match in the dual.  We wrestled a talented team and did not do a good job of staying in the matches.  We needed to stay within striking distance in order to give ourselves a shot to win.  Too often we gave up points early in the match which hurt our confidence and only bolstered our opponent’s confidence.  Illinois did a good job of dictating the pace and position of their matches.  We were not very competitive in the dual.

Our last dual of the day we lost to Binghamton University.  I was certainly frustrated by the team loss, because I felt we could have won the dual.  We won 4 of the 10 matches.  I felt we had a chance to win at least one more match and win the dual meet as a result.  The 4 guys that won bouts did a good job.  Rich Lavorato was able to get a takedown in the 3rd period to beat a guy who beat him last season.  Sahid Kargbo was able to get us 2 bonus points which are huge in a dual meet.  Luke Ludke won his bout in overtime.  Shohei Takagi rode his opponent for the entire 3rd period to win his bout 2-0.  It was a frustrating loss for the team.

On Sunday we were able to compete in Madison Square Garden.  The event is run first class and it is an exciting venue.  In our first dual, we lost 8 matches to 2 to Rutgers University.  We struggled with having a sense of urgency when we competed.  We needed to explode more and fight every position with greater resolve.

In our second match we lost to Drexel University.  Once again we were one win away from winning the dual as a team.  I was disappointed we feel short again.  We need to have guys rise to the occasion.  We need to find a way to win the close match or close team dual.  We can do it.  We will do it.

One disappointing thing from the weekend was not seeing what we spend time on in the practice translate on the competition floor.  We spend time teaching technique.  We go over skills to the point of overkill.  Nevertheless, we are not seeing them when we compete.  As coaches we need to figure out how to get the techniques ingrained in our athletes, so they know what to do when it needs to be done.

For example we spend lots of time working on getting off bottom.  Nevertheless, we were ridden quite a bit this weekend.  Worse than being ridden, it was our lack of ability to try things we have been teaching that was frustrating.  Back pressure into our opponents, moving and maintaining good position, turning our opponent’s leg ride into an offense position for us…  There is nothing easy about getting off bottom.  You need to have an attitude that no one can ride you.  You also need to be able to perform multiple skills to get out from under your opponent.

Questions for coaches to answer are what are we doing wrong in teaching the technique and attitude?  I think part of it falls on the athletes to spend more time and effort on developing skills, but certainly some of it falls on us as coaches.  Maybe we should spend less time on Freestyle and Greco-Roman in the spring and summer and do more mat wrestling?  Maybe we should teach a different system for getting off bottom?  Generally we have guys stand or switch their hips.  Maybe we should emphasize sit outs or rolls instead?  It is perplexing problem that we must fix quickly.

I believe if you can defend your opponent’s offense, have a good offense of your own and be able to get away from anyone, you should win most matches.  Right now we are struggling in important areas.

Mark Schwab writes great blogs.  I love reading what he writes.  Yesterday he posted a blog that hits home with me and hopefully with the team.  I usually share what he writes with the team.  I will share his newest blog with the team as well.  Yesterday, Mark Schwab posted the following blog:

 “I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way

Do you have a goal, passion or destination that’s always on your mind? Are you constantly romancing and imagining yourself accomplishing something personal and extraordinary? An effective answer for everything that is involved with your goals and passions is I will, I’ll adjust, and I’ll find a way. Talk about conviction and optimism. Talk about bravery and tilting the scale in your favor. These words, if followed by behavior, will simplify and strengthen your hunt. No standing at the crossroads of indecision. The unyielding response of I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is confidence, direction, and giving yourself the best opportunity to succeed.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find away is being totally immersed in your journey and the feelings of certainty and dedication. God gives the gift of I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find away. So you can abandon comfort and limits as you moil for your potential-This is where you dig your deepest well, in addition to using yourself up. I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is your life at its most boundless moments.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is an influential decision that climbs mountains, runs marathons, writes book, earns degrees, enrolls and completes fitness programs, competes and goes all-out, closes the deal, manages and overcomes adversity, brings family and friends together, battles and beats cancer, accomplish goals in spite of disabilities or obstacles, gains the respect of all, and makes a phenomenon possible.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way does not delay, procrastinate, or doubt.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is movement, potent, and convincing.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find away has no cage, boundaries, limits or rules.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find away is decisive, specific and persuasive-These are necessary ingredients to overcome, go beyond, and shoot ahead. The power of this mindset has invincible written all over it.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find away is sureness and spirit. Determination felt this strongly is more than we could hope for. Life is overflowing with unrestricted possibilities when you’re boundless and brave in imagination-I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is just that.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is persuasive and credible self communication. Understand, words mean little when unattended by behavior but compelling when backed with corresponding behavior.

I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way is an announcement that stops at nothing, does the possible, and provides s what’s necessary to achieve the difficult and impossible.

So, how about it? Achieving what’s important to you will have scores of demands but possible. No more resisting or contemplation. Search yourself, make a decision, and your answers until your passion is achieved is I will, I’ll adjust, I’ll find a way.

Thanks for sharing the wisdom Mark Schwab.

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