Bottom line is we don't send our best or consistent guys and our system is hard on our wrestlers bodies. Or maybe its just a problem that has a lot of factors like money, rest or not wrestling enough, or just not popular compared to MMA.
Our really good offensive guys are just too beat up by the time they reach the international circuit. I think our history has shown that our super offensive or funky wrestlers perform better internationally (Smith, Abas, Sanderson, Cejudo, Burroughs, Cross, Jamil Kelly). US wrestlers go through youth, MS, HS, College and then the international scene. That is a lot of years for competition and weight cutting. I think a perfect example of this is Stephen Abas. Poor guy was good for one cycle but was just too beat up by the time 2008 came. Hell he was beat by an 18 year old for the gold in 2004. I had heard Abas tore his ACL in that gold match with Batirov but so did John Smith in the 1992 Olympics. I just don't think that happens to a healthy Abas. He would of been perfect for a couple of cycles, maybe three.
And when they try and make the team during college, their experience is overmatched by the veterans who train freestyle all year long. Just don't get it.
I have heard and was told stories about some JC schools who had foreigners on their teams. They would dog practices and fake injuries all the time but brought their A game once it mattered (Conferences & Nationals). One actually told me he could not understand why we train so hard year around. Maybe we do, maybe we don't.
As to sending our best guys, we just don't have the consistency. Cejudo is my biggest let down. Guy doesn't do college (probably couldn't academically). But his reason is he wants to focus on winning international GOLD. Great, understandable. But he only gives us ONE cycle. Seriously! ONE cycle. Thats not good for USA wrestling. He would of been perfect for the future of USA wrestling giving he's saving his body and health by skipping out on competing in college. Sanderson was another let down. Olympic Gold and done. Another who could of been good for the future of USA wrestling. Then Sanderson gives us some hope in 2011 but waits till the 2012 trials to tell us NO. That doesn't happen in the top wrestling countries.
Where's are other guys. Herbert is commentating during the World Championships. I guess he had an injury but if not what good does that do for USA wrestling. Two well known offensive studs (Dake & Taylor) are stuck watching cause they are at the same weight as our best. Thats understandable but may be a problem later on. Maybe its a money thing that is always coming up in discussion. Kenny Monday told me it wasn't cause they get paid more now then when he wrestled. Though it still maybe an issue with our guys going the MMA or coaching route. Where's Askren who showed some signs in 2008. Oh yea he's fighting instead making good money. Where's our Junior World Champion Bubba Jenkins. Oh yea he's fighting too. You don't see Russian or Iranian Junior World champs going a different route. Where's Simmons who pinned a World Champ (Velikov) and USA wrestling has the match/video footage taken down on youtube. Oh yea, he can't make the team nor did he make it in 2012 when he pinned Velikov. I guess their other factors that played out with our athletes. Not sure what happened to Obe Blanc but it did hurt. Loosing Coleman Scott to injury hurt but did he ever take anytime off from the Olympics to rest his body? I saw him continuously wrestling after the Olympics.
Thank you Smith, Baumgartner, Jones, Cross, Jackson, Monday, Burroughs and others who gave us more then one cycle. Look how much Burroughs is doing for USA wrestling. Guy shows up and performs on a consistent basis. And who knows what happens at the next trials with Dake. Dake may get him but does Dake win gold like Burroughs?
Now I wasn't expecting much from this years worlds. It is after an Olympic year and maybe some of our studs needed a year off like Varner. Azerbaijan is really good but didn't send their best, Russia's team was young and wild, and Japan looked different. Only Iran's team was consistent and it showed. But come next year we need to have the guys who are offensive and consistent. Maybe we need to do what Ukraine and Azerbaijan does when selecting their team. PICK them. You never know it may work. Lets send Jordan Oliver. He's an offensive machine. Lets give Simmons a shot without having to wrestle for it. Guy is funky and scary. Chris Pendleton is slick on his feet. Lets let our Olympic champs and medalists like Varner and Scott go without having to wrestle for it.
I wonder what Cuba does. They seem to send their most explosive and offensive guys. They are very athletic. India must be doing something right.
I don't know the answer but I do think we have the guys to perform and medal on a consistent basis. The problem is they are not there.