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wrestlingnerd

Current college wrestlers with highest “wrestling IQ�

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Couldn’t agree more, but my friend’s view is that if Nickal doesn’t have a reputation as a dangerous gunslinger, he doesn’t beat Dean, who he thinks gave Nickal too much respect. His point is the big move threat is a big reason why Nickal can wrestle the way he does, usually dictating the pace and action. Martin just happens to be one of the very few guys who can match his athleticism and variety, so that strategy works less well on him.

 

Re: Nickal I think people are conflating positional understanding with match IQ.  IMO while his understanding of positioning and ability to recognize advantageous situations is top tier, his tactical awareness leaves something to be desired (from his coaches' perspective... not from a neutral point of view).  The obvious examples being his loss to Martin at NCAA's, and close call with Dudley at B10's last year.  

 

 

I would go Snyder and Hall as 1 and 2.  It's no surprise either.  Listen to an interview from either guy and it's obvious how much time they spend thinking about wrestling, positions, tactics, etc., in addition to the countless hours they spend on the mat.  Not that it's limited to those two, but they stand out in that regard. 

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An example of higher IQ?

https://instagram.com/p/BZum6JbFqcZ/

Wrong sport (although a distant cousin!) but that guy (Takanoyama) is a perfect example of what I’m taking about. Look for his highlights on Youtube and you’ll be amazed at what he was able to accomplish with good strategy. People eventually caught on but he had one hell of a run giving up ridiculous amounts of weight.

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Nolf has got to be high on the list.   He is a very smart kid off the mat.  He has creativity, confidence, and a relentless tenacity and will to win.   He ran cross country at least one year in high school (maybe more) and I'm sure that contributes to his "gas tank".  As a long distance runner and former wrestler myself, I'm quite positive his running gives him a big leg up in terms of endurance and mental toughness. 

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He ran cross country at least one year in high school (maybe more) and I'm sure that contributes to his "gas tank".  As a long distance runner and former wrestler myself, I'm quite positive his running gives him a big leg up in terms of endurance and mental toughness. 

 

I'm sure he is a ridiculously hard worker. You don't get that kind of gas tank any other way. That said, it is a fact that certain people have much higher work capacity and VO2Max potential than others. One of my favorite sports books, "The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance" describes in detailed scientific terms why this is the case. I believe Nolf hit the genetic lottery on top of being a tireless worker: a lethal combination. Like any athletic trait, work capacity can be improved through training but some people just have higher ceilings.

 

More than his aerobic capacity, it's Nolf's anaerobic capacity that boggles the mind. From a "lung" perspective, wrestling is more like football than long-distance running in the sense that it is a stop-go sport, although you never really get to a full stop (except for 30 seconds in freestyle). "Metabolic" workouts like some of the Crosffit challenges or any Tabata style interval workout are better preparation for wrestling than running 3+ miles. Of course, you need a strong aerobic base to build off of, so I'm not saying running isn't important. Nolf can hit flurry after flurry after flurry at first period intensity for seven minutes. There is very little drop-off between the intensity of the moves he hits in the sixth minute and those that he hits in the first, even in a high-paced competitive match. He is unique in college wrestling other than Snyder in that way. 

Edited by wrestlingnerd

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I would think Cox is in the same league as Dake and Askren.  Yes, he's very physically gifted, but his adjustments from the first Taylor match to the second were ridiculously effective, for example.  Currently, I'd agree that Nolf is special in this regard.  Mark Hall and Cenzo as well. It is readily apparent that high wrestling IQ correlates with high levels of success much more than sheer physicality or stamina, for instance

Edited by tigerfan9311

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Looking at the current NCAA champions, how about Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State?

He really maxed it out in the tournament and it looked like more than just physical gifts.

 

Appeared he took it to opponents and forced them to play his game.

Nah bro. He's only got one move.. an inside trip. Lol. I loved that video!

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So we have Bo, Hall, Nolf and Joseph. I probably missed Zain. Does having fun directly relate to high wrestling IQ?

Yes

 

So we have Cruz, Clark, Heil, Zain, Nolf, Joseph, Hall, Nickal, Cox, and Snyder. Does being NCAA champ directly relate to high wrestling IQ?

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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