Thoughts on Wrestling, Business, and Life

Category: Training

Grab Opportunity and Don’t Let Go

Making the transition from high school wrestling to college wrestling is hard. One of the biggest challenges was adapting to how hard everyone fights in every position. 
One thing I learned is that when you grab the leg, you have to hold on tight and not let go. The same goes for any opportunity. When presented an opportunity, you need to grab it and not let go. Keep in mind that the harder you work at something the greater the reward wil be. 

Don’t let go!

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Show Up

If you want to compete at a high level, you have to train at a high level. You need to make sure that you show up to every practice every day. There are no shortcuts on the path to success. 

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Wear Sunscreen

I spent 13 hours working on the yard today. I didn’t wear sunscreen. If you’re going to spend time in the sun, cover up. 

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Push Through

Some days you won’t want to do what is required to achieve your goal. When you feel like this is when you most need to push through and do it!

Try telling yourself that if you do that thing for 30 seconds, you can quit after that. You will notice that you will probably get past the 30 seconds and even much longer. The action of doing something will keep you moving toward your goals. 

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How To Win

Today I got to take a trip to the Olympic Training Center to watch a practice and share a short message afterwards. Below are a few points I shared with the team:

  1. Write your goals down. When you write down your goals and start working toward them, magic happens, and you achieve them. 
  2. If you want to be the best ok the world, you have to outwork everybody else in your room. Make things a competition to push yourself and others to new levels of performance. 
  3. Listen to your coach. They’ve been there and done that. You haven’t so you should listen to them. 
  4. Enjoy the journey. Love every minute of your journey because one day it will be over. 

There are plenty of other things that go into winning, but this list definitely can help along the way. 

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Everyone has an opinion, but the most important one is yours and what you think about yourself. 

The opinions of others have little effect on what you can do. Every great breakthrough in history faced vehement opposition prior to succeeding. 

Believe in yourself and take action. 

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Keep It Simple

In this hectic life, it is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the tasks and responsibilities that are required of us on a daily basis. Instead of thinking about everything that needs to be done, try to focus on the task directly in front of you. 

I remember that one of my main focuses in college wrestling was to get to the leg. If I could make one good leg attack and get to the leg, there was a very good chance that I would score. Then, I would focus on keeping my opponent down and work to score more points. The best matches that I wrestled were the ones that I was able to keep my focus and not get ahead of myself by thinking of winning the match or winning the tournament. Some of the worst matches were the ones where I played out too many scenarios in my head and complicated things. If I could focus on doing one thing well and executing with intensity, things always seemed to work out for me. 

The next time you feel overwhelmed by all of the things you need to do, stop for a minute and do the following: prioritize your tasks, do the task directly in front of you, move on to the next task, and execute. If you follow through on this formula, you will be glad that you did, and you’ll get more done. 

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The Law of The Harvest

If a farmer wants to grow corn, he knows he is going to need to plant the seeds, water the corn, weed it, protect it from pests, and finally harvest it. If the farmer neglects any of these steps, he won’t be surprised to not have a plentiful harvest. He knows that to get the results that he wants he is going to have to do the work that is required to get them.

In today’s culture, it seems that some people have forgotten about the importance of this law. They want immediate results, but they don’t want to put forth the sustained effort that is required to attain those results. This is a recipe for disaster. There are processes involved with the attainment and achievement of any goal, and there is always a price to be paid.

Pay the price, get the result. It’s not easy. It will require work. It will be difficult, but it is the only way.

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Use What You’ve Got

One of the most humbling experiences that I had during my wrestling career was taking trips to the small island country of Cuba. From looking at the capital today, it is easy to see why it was such a vacation hotspot in it’s heyday. The effects of communism are clearly visible, and I couldn’t help but wonder what the country looked like 50 years prior to my visits there.

Taking a trip to the Olympic Training Center there, you won’t see a bunch of fancy training equipment. In fact, the toilets don’t even work, and you would be hard pressed to find a complete set of weights onsite. However, they consistently produce Olympic and World champions. Their athletes are always well prepared for competition, and I still regard the training camps that I participated in there very helpful in my personal development as an athlete.

The take away is that your current environment and resources doesn’t matter nearly as much as your will to train and your will to win. Even though you may feel limited in your current abilities, there is always a way to do the best that you can with what you have. These efforts help you to take steps forward in your personal journey, and progress ultimately leads to completion and attainment of the goals that you have for yourself.

So if today you feel you are at a disadvantage, re-evaluate your current situation. Perhaps what you see as your biggest handicap may be the thing that will actually help you to succeed in the end.

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Choose The Right Environment

When I was deciding where I wanted to go to college, I knew that wherever I went, it needed to be somewhere that would help me to achieve my goal of becoming an NCAA champion. I knew that a key factor in making that happen would be making sure that I chose the environment that would help me accomplish that. At the time there were some monster coaches and training partners there. I really liked the head coach, Tim Neuman, but it was the staff and training partners that really stood out to me. Mark Cody, now head coach at Oklahoma University, was there, and he was one of the best big guy coaches around. He was an NCAA All American and Olympic Alternate. He loved coaching and working with the athletes. Matt Lindland, Olympic and World Silver medalist was also there. He was also 36-1 his senior year at Nebraska. Tolly Thompson, NCAA Champion, 3x All American, and World Bronze medalist was there. Ryan Tobin, 3x All American was there. Brad Vering NCAA Champion, 3x All American, 2x Olympian, and World Silver medalist was there. Not to mention all of the other guys that were on the team that were tough as nails.

I knew that by being in that environment that I would have no choice but to improve. I felt it was the toughest room in the country for my weight class, and I was right. I took some severe beatings after I started training there, but those beatings served as important lessons when matches got tough. I knew that my competitors that I was facing in competition weren’t any tougher than what I was up against in the practice room every single day.

This principle applies to life. Who are you surrounding yourself with? What are your closest friends goals and dreams? Are they reaching for the clouds or are they reaching for the gutter? The people that you routinely surround yourself with will affect you more than you could ever imagine. If you want to succeed, then you need to go out and surround yourself with those people who are accomplishing what you want to accomplish. By doing this, you will be learning not only the skills that you need to succeed, you will also be learning the even more important mindset that you need in order to succeed.

Think about what you want to do, and go be around others who are making that happen. You will be glad that you did.


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