Author Topic: Wrestling is fun.  (Read 5204 times)

Offline ViseGrip

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Wrestling is fun.
« on: March 19, 2017, 03:58:08 PM »
We all watched Lion after Lion boast how much fun they have in their wrestling room.

But how many watched that interview with Gable where they asked him about the success of Sanderson's program? He agreed that they were undeniably successful and remarked how that program welcomes styles that deviate from "basic wrestling". There seemed to be both incradulity and contempt in his description. (maybe someone can post it here). Then he makes the statement that seems to sum up the difference in programs and styles when he said "I dont know how you have fun in wrestling". (Or something very close to that).

Then we see Terry practically begging Clark to throw him and Clark dismissively complies.

There is a pardigm change in wrestling mindset going on. But old mindests, especially those that were so sucessful, change slow and sometimes not at all (Gable and Clark) so I was fascinating to watch Terry trying to show the world that "we have fun too" at Iowa.
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Offline buck

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 04:11:11 PM »
Not sure what Terry was trying to do but it was ridiculous.  He hasn't come to grips with not being an active wrestler and having the spotlight on him.  Getting in his low wide stance during matches is just weird.  Should be about the wrestlers not the coaches. 

Sanderson seems to have transitioned fully to being a coach.

P.S.  Clark is by far the best wrestler in that program.
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Offline FalconWrestlingKY

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 05:06:30 PM »
Cael and Penn State's mindset is resonating a lot more with todays young wrestlers then the traditional powers of Oklahoma State and Iowa. The creative approach to wrestling is probably one of the chief reasons behind both the desire of top recruits to attend Penn State and their success.

Creativity on the mat is something I feel I've been chugging up hill to get going in Kentucky and I feel Kentucky is similar to the whole country in the attitude of orthodox wrestling. People still believe wrestling should be adherence to a particular set of moves that need to be perfected rather than teaching an understanding of how wrestling organically works.
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Offline RYou

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2017, 05:20:38 PM »

Creativity on the mat is something I feel I've been chugging up hill to get going in Kentucky


Don't waste your time, mat sense can't be taught. With Ben Askren they called it funk.  Retherford, Nolf and Nickal have incredible understanding of position which allows them to take risk for the reward.

Iowa teaches a specific style of wrestling, from Gable on up.  At Penn State it's a "free" style.

Offline FalconWrestlingKY

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2017, 05:29:24 PM »

Creativity on the mat is something I feel I've been chugging up hill to get going in Kentucky


Don't waste your time, mat sense can't be taught.

I couldn't disagree more, but it does take time whereas a double leg can be taught relatively quickly
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Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2017, 05:48:06 PM »
Don't waste your time, mat sense can't be taught.

Why not?

Offline RYou

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2017, 06:38:52 PM »
Innate sense of position.  Technical ability can be taught, but not strength ability.

Offline FalconWrestlingKY

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2017, 07:15:54 PM »
Innate sense of position.  Technical ability can be taught, but not strength ability.

When I started wrestling I had no innate sense of position, through years of practice I have learned sense of position to the point that I can creatively design and execute defenses and attacks in a live wrestling situation.

Thus by definition I "learned" innate sense of position, I just wish it had been taught to me
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Offline Ray Brinzer

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 07:25:18 PM »
Innate sense of position.  Technical ability can be taught, but not strength ability.

I'm not sure what "strength ability" means, but why should we think "sense of position" is both innate and fixed, such that it can't be enhanced through experience?

This reminds me of catching the Big 12 finals on TV a few years ago.  Gelogaev baited the guy to underhook him, hooked the guy's leg and used it to elevate for something like a lateral drop.  "You can't teach that!" the announcer shouted, and went on to say something about God-given talent.  This struck me as odd, because I'd seen Sanshiro Abe do something much like it years ago.

A few days later I was in the NYAC room, and found there was a Russian team working out there.  Someone asked about the move, and one of the coaches pantomimed an explanation; then one of the athletes helpfully demonstrated it.  He got a lot more elevation on it, though, and treated it as a souplesse.  It looked like this.  Apparently, not only can you teach it, but it's a standard move in another culture's repertoire.

Why wouldn't you have a better sense of the positions you've been in than the positions you haven't?  Should we believe that people like Askren, Retherford, Nolf, and Nickal would have just as good an understanding of position had they never wrestled?  If not, then it's something they learned.  Some people start at a higher base, some learn faster, some may have a higher ceiling, but this isn't magic.  If you want to develop your intuition about positions, you work on it.

Offline Cruocified

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 07:41:44 PM »
We all watched Lion after Lion boast how much fun they have in their wrestling room.

It started to become a joke after a while the way the crew was talking about it on ESPN.  The wrestlers' fun talk sounded forced and cultish.  Nolf felt like the most natural post-match interview and his message was more along the lines of fun = winning.

Cael and Penn State's mindset is resonating a lot more with todays young wrestlers then the traditional powers of Oklahoma State and Iowa. The creative approach to wrestling is probably one of the chief reasons behind both the desire of top recruits to attend Penn State and their success.

I disagree to an extent.  I don't think Penn State has a "creative" approach.  I think Penn State has a "recruit the best and let them wrestle" approach.  Half of PSU's roster isn't creative.  Nolf and Nickal wrestle like they did in high school.  It isn't a culture of creativity; it is a culture of do what you do and do it well.

Iowa's 4 best wrestlers are Clark, Gilman, Kemerer, and Brooks.  Each one has a different style.  I think PSU and Iowa are more similar than they are different.  They both preach domination.  Both schools want to push the action and control the center.  Okie State on the other hand preaches opportunity - capitalize on mistakes and play the edge of the mat.

It isn't a secret why kids want to head to PSU.  Why did the best kids want to go to Iowa after Gable took over?

Gable got his fair share of blue chippers, but not like Cael does.  Cael is a master recruiter (it helps that Pennsylvania wrestling is ridiculously good, historically good...), and Gable was the best at getting the most out of his wrestlers.  The record setting 1997 team had I think 3 blue chip recruits competing (McGinness would have been 4 but he was redshirting) - Mena, Williams, and McIlravy.  Then some kids that were good in high school like Whitmer, Erslund, Fullhart (really good), Gilliss, Uker, Hand, and Ironside.  To take that group and get 170 is phenomenal...
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Offline Brew

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 09:27:43 PM »
I believe the whole "fun" thing is a running joke within the psu program. Obviously other schools have caught onto it as well but it became painfully obvious the lions have branded the program with this word. In a simple way they have managed to uniquely identify what separates them from everyone else in the wrestling community.

I wonder if gulibon was having fun the last 3 weeks though?
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Offline RYou

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 09:31:41 PM »


I'm not sure what "strength ability" means,


Muscle, power  = strength ability


........but why should we think "sense of position" is both innate and fixed, such that it can't be enhanced through experience?

If you want to develop your intuition about positions, you work on it.


That's my point, it can be developed through experience, but it not something that can be taught.

Offline jammen

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 10:24:13 AM »
Penn State wrestler would probably play a lot less Duck Duck Goose if their roster was filled with the #15-25 and lower ranked guys that most coaches have to work with.  It's easy to have fun with 1,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,7,10 on the mat.
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Offline ViseGrip

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 06:08:05 PM »
Penn State wrestler would probably play a lot less Duck Duck Goose if their roster was filled with the #15-25 and lower ranked guys that most coaches have to work with.  It's easy to have fun with 1,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,7,10 on the mat.
Maybe those 1,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,7 & 10 want to wrestle on a team and for a coach that wants to win AND have fun, rather than those schools and coaches who don't think you can have fun and win.


As to the natural ability thing, I think more mat time gives you more comfort in atypical situations.  But I also think there are some who have an innate sense of balance and position that they aren't even consciously aware of. Even slight shifts of weight can make the difference in a contested scramble and those shifts might not even be thought out at the time, but just a reaction. That is not to say that those unconscious reactions arent trained "muscle memory" either. But clearly I think, there are some out there that are just natural scramblers, and Mark Hall may be one of the best I've ever seen.
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Offline regulator130

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Re: Wrestling is fun.
« Reply #14 on: March 21, 2017, 01:16:33 PM »
I guess from my point of view it's not that hard to grasp their idea of fun. It's a percent thing. It's not like all they do is have fun. Let's say all programs do 75% of the same stuff and the other 25% is the difference. They mention fun in two ways. In how they practice they improve in wrestling and also their attitude/philosophy of competing.

The attitude or philosophy is easiest to explain so I'll do that first. Everyone wants to win in wrestling. But saying go out there and have fun is simply a way of saying focus on your performance and trusting your skills and not the result. If you win great, if you lose you can be happy with the battle and your performance. Its not all about fun, But winning is deemphasized a bit. It's realizing wresting doesn't define you and if you lose although it's painful Life will go on.

Again with the improving on wrestling it's a percent thing all programs do 75% the same.  Also " fun" isn't always a good thing. I don't think Penn state's philosophy would have won Cory Clark a title.  That kid is tough, he won bc he has been through hell and refused to give in.  It will be better to use examples here.
I saw on the hawkeye board a bit ago a tough HS kid won state and the next day he was running and doing stadium sprints.  Hopefully we can all agree that won't make him a better wrestler. And unless he has a big competition coming up is probably detrimental to his body. But it will make him tougher, but it sucks and is quite unfun.  The Iowa fans were impressed by this bc the kid is tough an attribute they put great value on. Someone thinking about enjoying wrestling that wanted to work hard on being a better wrestler would be in the room playing with some of the positions he got in to have a better feel for next time he sees them. Both kids are working hard but one is having more fun the other is building toughness to draw on later.

Another example. In college after morning weights we would have to do 100 shots before we could shower and go to class. This was 2/3 times per week all season. Then and more now I think this was the biggest waste. I would have improved so much more if coach said spend time working on technique. Some kids could do 100 shots if they wanted. I would improve more by playing with where I put my hand on my elbow pass or changing my footwork on my hi c. But with these 100 shot drills we couldn't talk or work through positions. It was considered not working hard enough.  I would just shut my brain off just to get through it. I would have worked harder and had more fun if I could have improved technique than being micromanaged.

Another small example is a program I helped out with. Everyday they do "the drills" it takes 1.5 hrs of practice time every day. The kids just shut off their brain and do it. Watching this I couldn't help but think this time could be used so much better and could also keep the kids engaged and excited about practice. A lot of wrestling is taught this way and you can see it in the kids faces it sucks. I think you need to let this kids know their wrestling is theirs. The coaches are there to assist in building the skill set. Wrestling coaching is so micromanaged it's crazy.

I'm sure the whole practice isn't "fun". But certain things they do bring joy to it. Winning in wrestling is the ultimate goal but there are many variables to get there. Some teams want to hang their hat on toughness and spend more of that leftover over 25% of time building toughness others spend time doing more enjoyable things that build wrestling skill sets.  Having coached several kids that have or are competing in college recently (2 at Iowa)you can see how different teams utilize their practice time.
They don't have a monopoly on fun. Other teams do both of these things as well as individuals. They just seem to value it and emphasize it more.