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gowrestle

So you’re an All American

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I know lots of guys that placed in the Nationals. Most were hard workers but what separated them from the rest is that they were just better. I was recently talking to a guy who mentioned someone I know, “Yeah, he was a 4 time AA!” Basically he felt I should pay homage to this guy for something he did 25 years ago. I knew the fellow that was a 4X AA. Since his wrestling days he hasn’t done much with his life.

 

Some of the most outstanding men that I coached were average wrestlers. They worked hard and learned the valuable lessons wrestling offers. They lost to guys that were just better wrestlers. Not guys that worked harder, or had more character, guys that were just better.

 

This is something that society does to successful athletes; holding them up to some sacred pedestal.

 

I guess if there is any point to this post is that we should all focus on the lifelong lessons that wrestling can offer. Those that learn those lessons and become outstanding people, are the REAL ALL AMERICANS.

Edited by gowrestle

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One thing I learn in a hurry playing D3 college football, there is always someone better than you.  There were guys who partied and never trained that would just dominate on their natural talent alone. These were guys that had offers for D2 or D1-AA.  The talent gap was too much to be able to just out-work them.

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Although I understand what you are saying and agree that it is more than just winning, I have to disagree that the guys who work hard are the real All Americans, they are not.  The guys who are in the top 8 are All Americans whether we like it or not.  That is what life is all about.  It is the same argument I have with hire coaches at the D1 level.  If you weren't a national champ or at least AA you will probably not be a head coach D1.  Why? If what you say is true there probably are better coaches that never AA?

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Although I understand what you are saying and agree that it is more than just winning, I have to disagree that the guys who work hard are the real All Americans, they are not.  The guys who are in the top 8 are All Americans whether we like it or not.  That is what life is all about.  It is the same argument I have with hire coaches at the D1 level.  If you weren't a national champ or at least AA you will probably not be a head coach D1.  Why? If what you say is true there probably are better coaches that never AA?

 

 

That would be true within the confines of D1 coaching, but not true in the wider spectrum of life. I agree with GoWrestle - There are guys that take to heart what wrestling teaches and it carries over to life where they become very successful people. Whereas with successful AA wrestlers, some never take to heart the lessons and rely on talent which doesn't get you as far as the lessons in real life. Sure, D1 coaches are AA, national champs, so on - but there are only so many positions out there for that - but life carries on for everyone. 

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 Why? If what you say is true there probably are better coaches that never AA?

I know many great high school coaches who weren't state placers and some who were never on varsity

 

most guys in college who aren't big names aren't going to be given the chance...

Edited by GockeS

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I know many great high school coaches who weren't state placers and some who were never on varsity

 

most guys in college who aren't big names aren't going to be given the chance...

 

 

Not too uncommon to have great high school coaches who were not stellar wrestlers - but know how to work with kids, manage kids and parents, and teach skills. My high school coach is a HOF and did not wrestle in high school. He learned technique along the way but had everything else it took - and became a legend.  College wrestling is a much different story. 

Edited by Idaho

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I know lots of guys that placed in the Nationals. Most were hard workers but what separated them from the rest is that they were just better. I was recently talking to a guy who mentioned someone I know, “Yeah, he was a 4 time AA!” Basically he felt I should pay homage to this guy for something he did 25 years ago. I knew the fellow that was a 4X AA. Since his wrestling days he hasn’t done much with his life.

 

Some of the most outstanding men that I coached were average wrestlers. They worked hard and learned the valuable lessons wrestling offers. They lost to guys that were just better wrestlers. Not guys that worked harder, or had more character, guys that were just better.

 

This is something that society does to successful athletes; holding them up to some sacred pedestal.

 

I guess if there is any point to this post is that we should all focus on the lifelong lessons that wrestling can offer. Those that learn those lessons and become outstanding people, are the REAL ALL AMERICANS.

Actually the real All-Americans are the ones who earn All-American status in their respective divisions.

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Not too uncommon to have great high school coaches who were not stellar wrestlers - but know how to work with kids, manage kids and parents, and teach skills. My high school coach is a HOF and did not wrestle in high school. He learned technique along the way but had everything else it took - and became a legend.  College wrestling is a much different story. 

I dont disagree. but what im saying is that in college, those guys aren't even going to get much of a look without spending several years on the asst circuit and by that time the lastest stud is already on the hiring block.

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Literally yes, figuratively, maybe.

Literally and figuratively.  

 

I am all for celebrating guys who don't achieve at the highest level of our sport as competitors but still represent the best of what wrestling is.  The truth is those guys will come out ahead in plenty of areas that have nothing to do with winning wrestling matches.  I am one of those guys.  I was a pretty good club level guy, and I'd like to think I learned as much from this sport as anyone ever has.  It made me who I am in my adult life.  But it absolutely didn't make me an All-American and that's ok.

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I dont disagree. but what im saying is that in college, those guys aren't even going to get much of a look without spending several years on the asst circuit and by that time the lastest stud is already on the hiring block.

 

Yes - agreed, hence my last sentence "College wrestling is a much different story."

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Literally and figuratively.

 

I am all for celebrating guys who don't achieve at the highest level of our sport as competitors but still represent the best of what wrestling is. The truth is those guys will come out ahead in plenty of areas that have nothing to do with winning wrestling matches. I am one of those guys. I was a pretty good club level guy, and I'd like to think I learned as much from this sport as anyone ever has. It made me who I am in my adult life. But it absolutely didn't make me an All-American and that's ok.

Could not have said it better. Excellent post.

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I will probably get flamed for this, but this is a cop out and its ignorant.  What happens is the guys who arent finding the top level of success, they cannot see the intangibles, so they say "they are just more talented."  They see these guys doing the same workouts, learning the same things, cutting weight the same way, and they just chalk it up to them having some kind of superior genetics or some kind of god given ability.  Its not.

 

What the guys are blaming on superior talent levels are almost always intangible things that have become habit for so long that it allowed them to rise above the other guys.  Not being scared of guys who are really good.  Not being scared of a tournament where they know every match will be extremely tough.  Having the will to tax their system a few seconds longer in every single scramble, in every single live go, in every single practice.  Telling yourself you are better than the other guys and actually making yourself believe it.  Not accepting in your mind any reason why a point got scored on you.  These things get developed very early on, and they become ingrained in everything in their mind, and it adds up over thousands and thousands of hours of training. 

 

The problem is, the other guys cant see this, they cant feel it like the other guys, so it must be something that couldnt possibly be in their control.  Thats an ignorant path to go down.  Should these All Americans be put on some pedestal? No, I 100% agree with you there.  However, saying the "real All Americans" are the guys who couldnt figure out a way to put it together in competition isnt fair, and is corny as hell.  "The guys who were good high school football players but quit and became great family men and assets to the comminity, these are the real Super Bowl Champions."  Our society has really switched where we absolutely refuse to make a distinction between those who win and those who try hard, but their error in preparation caused them to not win.

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I pretty much agree with Olddirty on this. We use not being talented as a cop out too much. What makes the sport of wrestling great is that you can use a wide range of talents for success... Quick people use their speed, Strong people use their strength, tall people use their leverage, smart people use their brain, etc. Your job is to find what your strengths are and work as hard as you can to make them work. I wasn't as quick as most wrestlers so I had to learn how to scramble when guys got in on my legs. That said, I do agree with the OP that we (myself included) place too much emphasis on finishing top 8 at NCAAs. And yes talent does have an impact. For example I had a teammate who I know did not work nearly as hard as me but was blessed with incredible quickness and explosiveness. He became an AA and I fell a little short. It does sometimes bother me that I fell short of the honor everyone remembers, but the point is that I never used talent as an excuse and beat a lot of guys who were more athletic than me.

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Nobody knows why some guys make it to AA and some don't. There have been multiple guys who never placed high in HS state who have won D1 NCAA titles. There have been unbeatable HS guys who never made it past R12. There have been guys that snuck onto the podium that were average (or worse than average in the case of Matt Lester at OU). It comes down to this: 1) talent/coaching 2) how hard you are willing to work 3) fluke luck.

Edited by TobusRex

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Although I understand what you are saying and agree that it is more than just winning, I have to disagree that the guys who work hard are the real All Americans, they are not. The guys who are in the top 8 are All Americans whether we like it or not. That is what life is all about. It is the same argument I have with hire coaches at the D1 level. If you weren't a national champ or at least AA you will probably not be a head coach D1. Why? If what you say is true there probably are better coaches that never AA?

This post is really the subject for a different thread. In fact I’m pretty sure there have been several where many seem to agree that one SHOULDN’T need to be a D1 National Champ to be a good D1 head coach. I think there are NFL head coaches that didn’t even play football in college, why is the on-field accomplishment standard so much higher for college wrestling coaches?

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This post is really the subject for a different thread. In fact I’m pretty sure there have been several where many seem to agree that one SHOULDN’T need to be a D1 National Champ to be a good D1 head coach. I think there are NFL head coaches that didn’t even play football in college, why is the on-field accomplishment standard so much higher for college wrestling coaches?

 

Mike Leach is a very successful D1 football coach and he never played college football. The skillsets required to be a star in a sport and to be a competent coach in a sport are different.  I'm sure it's the same in wrestling. My JH coach wasn't even a starter in HS and he later coached Sperry HS to multiple Oklahoma A state titles.

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I know of a few guys who were AAs in college and were notorious away from the practice room for some of their antics. Some guys do just have that extra ability. One of the guys I mentioned who was an AA in college could have easily been a national champion.  Instead he decided to do other things and was "ONLY" a 2x AA. 

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Literally and figuratively.  

 

I am all for celebrating guys who don't achieve at the highest level of our sport as competitors but still represent the best of what wrestling is.  The truth is those guys will come out ahead in plenty of areas that have nothing to do with winning wrestling matches.  I am one of those guys.  I was a pretty good club level guy, and I'd like to think I learned as much from this sport as anyone ever has.  It made me who I am in my adult life.  But it absolutely didn't make me an All-American and that's ok.

What's funny is most anybody on this message board, having been told you wrestled, would have picked you as somebody who was a hard worker and overachieved. You're one of the few posters on this message board who don't take things personally and always have something intelligent to say. You don't get your jollies off by trying to demean others or as I call it be an internet tough guy

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