We had a tough day at the Navy Classic. Overall the team struggled. As a coach, I have tried to sit back and analyze what went wrong. I also want to make sure to help individuals make changes to obtain different results. 9 of the 17 guys we took to the competition went 0-2. Although we can’t often control the win or loss, we need to find ways to win.
Guys need to prepare properly for competition, some guys did not. It may seem easy to get away with cutting corners in preparation, but often time you get exposed in the competition ring. We did 2 – 3 day hard training cycles before the event, so maybe guys were too worn down? I guess that would be my fault. We were on an emotional high after the upset of Maryland. Maybe the guys did not wrestle with emotion at the Navy Classic, because the well was dry? I need to do a better job getting guys emotionally ready to compete.
Some guys let their discomfort in matches get the better of them. When we wrestled Maryland, guys were able to impose their will. I believe they did a good job of picking up on negative body language in that dual. Guys smelled blood when the Maryland wrestlers showed frustration and fatigue. We were on the wrong side of this mental game too many times at the Navy Classic. If you show a guy fatigue or frustration, it helps your opponent gain energy and belief. We need to do a much better job of hiding emotions. We need to show hustle and resolve no matter how we truly feel inside. It is a battle of will. We need to win this battle. It is within our control.
We lost some matches due to silly mistakes. Every time you step on the mat, guys need to wrestle with as much focus as they can muster. Wrestle like it is the last match of their career. It is hard to beat someone who looks at the bout with life and death ramifications. We made fixable mistakes, which is encouraging. The discouraging thing is some guys dug a hole for themselves that they are now going to have to work hard to overcome.
On the bright side, we did have 3 pins on the day. Jake Kettler had 2. Konbeh Koroma had 1. Koroma’s pin was over a ranked wrestler. Jake Kettler ended the day with a 4-2 record and placed 5th. Greg Flournoy went 5-1 and finished 3rd. Flournoy wrestled well in all positions. I was most pleased with his offense on his feet and his ability to ride. Greg Flournoy raised his stock on Saturday. It was good to see. His effort and attitude in his preparation and during the matches was rewarded.
After the competition, we did another hard 3 day training cycle. My hope is the pain of Saturday will spur on more focused preparation. I have seen it in some, while others have quickly forgotten and are on the same path of cutting corners in their preparation. We will break for a few days for Thanksgiving.
On Saturday, after Thanksgiving, we will host a clinic and a public practice. I hope the clinic and public practice will help grow the program, sport, and the team.