October 10

We have finished our preseason training. The guys made progress. I was pleased to see their ability to learn from each other. It is a sign of a good team. They are sharpening each other. Our upperclassmen are doing a good job of mentoring the new guys.

It is important for the guys to model the type of men outlined in our team #Masonway team document. I want them to give more than they take from the program. I want them to be servant leaders. I want them to build each other up. From what I have seen from the outside, I think we are making progress in this area.

My hope is they continue to grow and continue to build each other up. It is so much easier to bring someone down. It is easier to tease a teammate, than to praise them. It is easier to get a peer to do the wrong thing as opposed to holding each other accountable to do the right thing. It is a constant battle to make the small decisions correctly. My hope is this team will continue to press forward making as many correct choices as possible. I also hope when they stumble, we all do, they follow the team rule of admitting the mistake, fixing the mistake, then forgetting the mistake and not repeating it.

So many times we see how quickly and far we can fall down by making mistakes. The margin for error is small as a college wrestler. We need to do as many things as we possibly can correctly so we do not put our self in a hole. Just as core strength is important on the wrestling mat, so is our core as a person. We constantly need to evaluate decisions we are making and try to make the correct decision as opposed to the decision that is easier, more fun, satisfies short term desires over what is best. We are pulled in many directions. It is a fight. I pray the guys continue to build toward excellence in everything they do.

October 10 is the official start date for NCAA wrestling. I am excited to get going. I want the team excited as well. The guys have been given a few days to do what they need to do to prepare for the season and to get mentally and physically rested. I hope this time has produced some excitement to get going. We will do some out of the box things to help them get excited. Training and wrestling with enthusiasm pays dividends.

If anyone is interested in seeing the team train, we will have an open to the public practice on Saturday, October 10 at Noon. I want you to be able to see the work the guys have put in already and see them start their preparation for the season. We will have the mats rolled out on the Field House floor, so there will be plenty of room to walk around and watch the guys wrestle.

I also want to remind everyone of our upcoming Coaches clinic on Friday, October 23 featuring Sam Barber the head wrestling coach at the US Air Force Academy and GMU staff. Furthermore, we will host a wrestling clinic for youth and high school wrestlers the following morning Saturday, October 24 featuring Sam Barber and the entire GMU wrestling team. For those attending the Saturday clinic they will also be able to watch our guys wrestle matches against each other. For more information, go to http://www.patriotelitewrestlng.com or contact me directly at jrusse13@gmu.edu.

We have also learned we will have two matches at the Grapple at the Garden on Sunday, November 29 as opposed to the one match we announced earlier. We will wrestle Rutgers University at 10am and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown at noon. As we did last year, we will have tickets available for purchase in the GMU section of Madison Square Garden through the GMU ticket office. I hope you buy your tickets through our ticket office so we have a large section cheering for the team together.

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