2015 Grapple at the Garden

The Grapple at the Garden was a scary day for the program and my tenure as the head coach. I don’t think anyone expects us to beat a top 10 ranked team, but they do expect us to give our best effort. Today we lacked confidence. Today we put our head down and conceded the fight. It is unacceptable to have the attitude and effort we had today from some of our leaders. As the head coach of this program for 4 years, I should have eliminated what happened today. I was surprised to learn, I have not. The MasonWay in no way reflects what we saw on display in Madison Square Garden.

Wrestling is a tough sport. You step on the mat alone and your skills are on display – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Similarly, coaching is a public way to make a living. Your successes and failures are broadcast for the world to see. I learned today I am not getting the job done. Not a good day for job security and for building a program.

There are standards in place for a reason. Guys have an obligation to themselves, their teammates, and their wrestling program. It is important we hold each other accountable. Our success depends on guys having the correct attitude and giving their best effort.

It is important the guys are ready to go before they compete. We need to do a better job of making sure they are physically and mentally prepared. Whether a different warm up is required or better self-talk we need to find the optimal level for each individual. Some guys need to get their heart rate up more before they compete, others need to stay more relaxed. We need to help the wrestler find what works best for them.

We lost all 10 matches to Rutgers and gave up 17 team bonus points. We went 5-5 against Pitt-Johnstown but lost because of team bonus points. Pitt-Johnstown had 6. We earned 4.

We have purposely had a light competition schedule during fall semester. I had hoped the added training would benefit us. In the short term, I think not. In the long run, we will see. I believe in the system. I believe in the plan. I beg the guys to buy in 100%. I implore them to buy in with their decisions day in day out. The MasonWay done right will produce champions. Doing only part of the MasonWay leads to tough days like today.

We don’t compete next week. I think it will help the team finish well in their fall semester classes. At least that is part of the plan with back loading our season to spring semester. I also believe it will give us time to eliminate mistakes made. Lifestyle is important as is our preparation. If we do things right, we will start our conference season out with a bang on December 13. On that date, we will compete at home in the RAC for the first time this season. We wrestle Clarion at noon and Grand Canyon at 3pm.

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