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  1. Remember when the finals used to be shown tape delayed, and then when they were finally shown live, entire periods of matches would be missed because they would go to commercials? That doesn't seem that long ago, but we have certainly come a long way since then, and I agree the coverage was great.
  2. Pushing the season back probably wouldn't have much of an effect on fan interest or coverage. As others have pointed out, we're not competing for basketball fans and we have no trouble selling out the NCAA tournament. The largest positive effect of pushing the season back is simply that it makes the season much more enjoyable and manageable for the student-athletes. The two semester nature of wrestling is brutal because it negatively affects academic performance in both semesters. Final exams for fall semester are in December, right around the time when the season is picking up speed. And then the heart of the season obviously effects 2nd semester heavily. It's true that spring semester exams aren't directly affected by the season, but for many schools that get out in early May, there is only about a month of classes left right now until the reading period before exams begins. Needless to say, wresting affects both semesters. If the season was pushed back, it would directly impact spring semester exams, but the effect would be limited to that semester rather than covering the entire year. I've heard arguments go either way on which is better, but I think most students would prefer a one semester sport. Not to mention, avoiding cutting weight during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays benefits everyone. As much as guys like to wax nostalgic about their running in plastics on Christmas eve, nobody really likes that and it serves no positive purpose.
  3. Maybe if you are a middle school or high school age boy. Adult men realize that there are in fact far worse things that can happen to you in life than to be falsely called gay. Obviously Mark is upset by the movie, but this is what happens when you sign away rights to a story for a major motion picture. They do what they want with it in exchange for money. Stephen King was (and still is) furious with the movie version of The Shining, even though it was highly acclaimed. He felt it wasn't true to his novel. Such is the way of Hollywood.
  4. I don't think the scarcity of the events has anything to do with it. As quanon pointed out, they are seriously considering expanding to an 18 game season, against the wishes of the players union because of the injury risk associated with this. From a marketing and money making perspective, the NFL would like to play as many games as possible. The limiting factor is really what the athlete's bodies can handle. Also notice how the NFL is no longer just a Sunday only event, but has Monday night and Thursday night games as well. They'd have a game every day of the week if they could, but there's just no way to schedule that. Baseball does it, and although not as popular as the NFL, those 162 games make a lot of money and there is no talk of shortening the baseball season. Or talk of having a World Series only every few years. Scarcity of an event can increase it's prestige, but it can also reduce interest. There are plenty of Olympic sports in which a gold medal is extremely prestigious, yet the sports are not very popular. Prestige and popularity don't go hand in hand.
  5. Somehow it's not surprising that FILA thinks these are good ideas, but it is sad. They provide a classic case study in micro-managing to an extreme and actually causing more harm than good in the process. No world championship every year? What a horrible idea. In many ways, the world championships is about the only thing we have to look forward to every year. It's not like there are that many other high profile tournaments where teams send their A team. Heck, Russia specializes in sending JV teams to events, and having world champs either not compete or look horribly out of shape, only to turn it around and show up at Worlds in peak condition. If we didn't have a world championship every year, can you imagine how boring it would be? If they are looking for an event to raise the prestige value of a title because it only occurs every few years or so......such an event already exists. It is called the OLYMPICS.
  6. But as stated earlier, what did Brands actually say when he was hired at VTech? Did he promise national titles? If he didn't, then he's no different than Nickerson. If he did, then he proved with actions that he didn't actually believe it. And how to explain Cael going to PSU?
  7. I agree with SHP, and I feel like anyone who has actually spent a lot of time around college programs does as well. Thinking that Davidson could contend for an NCAA team title is out of touch with reality. In fantasy land, yes, with Warren Buffett money they could......but in the real world they could not. The reality is that winning NCAA titles in wrestling is not a priority for the Davidson administration, and they will not be willing to reduce admission standards or academic requirements for enrolled wrestlers. Even if you explain to them that with 45 billion dollars they could produce a championship team, they will respond that it simply isn't a goal for their college. That's not the image Davidson wishes to project or cares about. They are a small liberal arts college with different goals than top tier athletic programs. The only way you would turn Davidson into a title contender with money, would be to purchase the entire school, so that you now own it, and then you could turn the school into a glorified wrestling club, with all the best coaches, facilities, low admission standards, scholarships, etc.
  8. I've found beginning wrestlers (and some older ones) have trouble learning to be relaxed, yet ready to react. When you tell them to loosen up, some will go almost completely limp, and get snapped down and collapse like a soggy loaf of bread, or blown across the mat with a shot, and then when you ask them what the heck that was all about, they say "You told me to relax!" You can only learn by practicing. But you can indeed learn to be very relaxed in your stance, yet ready to respond to anything your opponent does. But when the situation arises, you absolutely need to be ready to forcefully react, whether it be a tie up, setup, shot, or defensive positioning. The key is learning how to stay in good position while using as little unnecessary energy as possible. The reason many kids gas out during matches is that they have spent all their energy in the first several minutes simply staying in their stance and moving around. It's tiring to move around when you are constantly flexing all muscles. Best advice if you want to loosen up while not getting overpowered is what has already been suggested above by others.....find a drill partner that has similar goals, and spend 20-30 minutes every practice "play wrestling", which means you aren't going live, but you aren't doing standard drilling either. You tell your partner to respond realistically but not live, and basically you guys are wrestling around, but sort of letting each other hit things from realistic positions. It should flow like a real match, so don't stop to trade off single legs or anything like that.....just wrestle.....but don't keep score. Somewhat difficult to explain to new guys, so the key is to find a workout partner that is on the same page with you, and you guys can figure it out as you go along.
  9. At least in freestyle, you know that if a wrestler is going to stall, he is going to have to stall in bounds. And if you have to watch stalling, stalling in bounds is more entertaining than going out of bounds. At least the clock continues to run, and boring matches will come to an end. The total elapsed time on many college matches these days is 12+ minutes, which is crazy, and is excruciating to watch with constant restarts.
  10. The only issue with neutral restarts after going out from referees is that if the bottom man has trouble getting out, he can always maneuver close to the edge, then stand up and step out. To be honest I don't have a problem with this, because mat wrestling has become too boring, but just keep in mind that this free escape (with no points) will become a strategy on bottom.
  11. Fight shorts that are well made will not get pulled down. Different brands have different methods of closure, but many have multiple velcro strips with fold over seams and strings, etc, and are basically bombproof. The fabric will rip long before the shorts get pulled down, and under those circumstances singlet material would also rip. Going shirtless would be fine, but will not be an option simply due to the perception of an increase in skin infections. It might not be an issue, but simply the threat of increased skin infection are enough to take it off the table. Currently, the most common areas to see skin infections are the face, head, neck, arms, and regions of the chest that are uncovered. One could make the argument that those are all regions that are uncovered, and if you go shirtless, you will only increase the susceptible areas. And it would be hard to argue against that, even if it isn't true. And if we're talking about kids (high school and below), which many in this thread are.....the kids that don't want to wear singlets probably don't want to go shirtless either. So that leaves the main option which would likely be most popular being fight shorts and a compression top. Many guys like compression shorts, and if they prefer those they could wear them, but looser fitting fight shorts don't get in the way of wrestling. Thousands of wrestlers train in those type of shorts, and i've never seen the shorts get in the way of any wrestling moves.
  12. Under current rules, whenever a guy takes a shot, even when in the center of the mat, I find myself wondering if he'll be able to score before going out of bounds. It's like the edge of the mat is a giant magnet, and the wrestlers are wearing steel singlets. Action always ends up on the edge, and the classic scene in which one wrestler is trying to drag the other back in, while the defensive wrestler is pretending to wrestle but is really just trying to get out, doesn't excite me. At least the push out rule forces the wrestlers to do something on the edge other than just go out. At lower levels of wrestling (high school and below), this is not necessary and could maybe lead to sloppy pushing sumo matches. But this doesn't happen in freestyle, and there's no reason it would happen in college. If a wrestler physically can't stay in bounds, then he's not ready for college wrestling. What we see now in college wrestling is not an inability to stay in bounds, but rather a strategic decision to go out of bounds because the reward (no points) is greater than the penalty (theoretically stalling or fleeing, but often none).
  13. 9 minutes is way too long. The 1 minute rest between periods indicates a desire to keep the quality of wrestling high and not turn things into a conditioning match, which then makes the 9 minute match seem even stranger. Three 2 minute periods would be better. Also, 30 seconds on top is an eternity if you are allowed to lock hands. Anyone who has been on the receiving end of a good gut wrench knows that ribs can't handle 30 seconds of torque. You might be able to break a lock once and defend a gut for 10 seconds, but in 30 seconds it will be nearly impossible to stop a monster on top. Maybe that's the goal, but even back in the day when they gave you more time on top in freestyle, it still wasn't an open ended 30 seconds.
  14. And this focus on winning over skill development is perhaps a result of the structure of the school year and sports seasons. A middle school or high school wrestling season only lasts for a few months worth of competition, and with many kids entering the season out of shape, there's very little time to develop skills when you can get quicker results by focusing on a few simple moves, plus conditioning. It's of greater benefit to the coach and the program to field a team that wins (perhaps with average technique), rather than achieve a high level of skill development in a handful of individuals. However, the focus on winning in present in all sports, not just wrestling. Yet American kids reach high levels of performance and skill development in these other sports, especially in the most popular ones such as football, basketball, and baseball.
  15. I see it as a complex problem that is composed of multiple issues that are all interrelated. If we ignore scrambling for a moment, then theoretically, the takedown game should be very similar in folkstyle and freestyle. Sort of like your "single legs are single legs" argument and the observation (which is quite correct) that we struggle at tie ups and setups, which are not freestyle specific and would no doubt be very useful to have in folkstyle wrestling. I see a major problem being that kids start wrestling very early here, but often do not encounter good coaching until college. Obviously this isn't true for all kids, but many kids are trained under highly mediocre coaches even in high school, whose only goal (understandably) is to win matches, make the school look good, and provide a fun environment for the kids (all admirable goals). But these coaches aren't equipped, either with time or expertise, to focus on the personal development of each athlete. It gets to the heart of what the purpose of amateur athletics is in America. In large part, it's purpose is for the fun and enrichment of kids, and not to develop Olympic champions. So coaches use formulas that give the biggest bang for the buck. Preach mental toughness, tenacity, heart, and conditioning, and you can take almost any group of kids and have some success in folkstyle wrestling. Not a championship team, but a decent team that wins a fair share of matches. Up through the high school level, technique is so poor that a team that is well conditioned and grinds out matches can win quite a lot. But while these skills (conditioning, mental toughness, heart) are beneficial, they aren't enough to win World Titles if you have mediocre technique. As others have pointed out, kids in the U.S. start very early, but they focus so much on competition and winning that they don't focus on skill development as much. Add to this the fact that even if they did wish to focus on skill development, most kids only have access to mediocre coaches and training partners at best. And then even the kids that are exposed to good coaching are still handicapped by the fact that they spend at least 6 months of the year training and competing in folkstyle, in which all the mat skills and many of the scrambling skills prove worthless for freestyle. Look at Cael Sanderson. The dude was awesome and had the ability to be a World Champ by about age 20, but even at age 23 when he graduated from college he was making freestyle mistakes and getting exposed by crotch lifts and tilts and gut wrenches and losing close matches against elite opponents (Gatsalov and Sajidov, for example). But he was right there with them minus a few mistakes. And he never learned any par terre. Heck, look at Cael's match against Les Gutches when Cael was 19 or 20. He was destroying Gutches with takedowns making him look silly but lost the match on a few exposures and a throw. Yet nonetheless Cael wins the Olympcis at age 25, having never really adjusted to freestyle, and then he retires. Now how good would Cael have been at 25 if he had spent all of high school and college living and breathing freestyle wrestling? If Cael had grown up in Russia, he probably would have been one of those guys that wins Worlds at age 19 and then goes on a streak of 6-8 titles. Instead, he's a legend in the U.S. but just another guy on the World stage.
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