Jump to content
gowrestle

Thoughts From an NCAA Champ

Recommended Posts

Recently I was talking  to a former 2 time NCAA champion. He is a decent guy and has had a successful post wrestling career. He said his success was merely a split second of notoriety. At the Nationals he was lauded with attention and clearly felt like a celebrity. “Everyone wanted a piece of me.”

Now he says, except for family and friends, no one knows what he accomplished more than 15 years ago. “The celebrity status is gone!”  

He is okay with the impact that time has had on his life and definitely is not a guy yearning to live in the past. His message is that being a successful wrestler is not nearly as important as some think it is. 

(Our of respect I am not identifying this person.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, jchapman said:

Most people in the "real world" aren't die hard sports fans, and not many even played sports in high school.  Relating to an achievement like 2X NCAA Champ is not even on their radar.

What I find is that people who wrestled in high school and, for whatever reason,either didn't  try to wrestle in college,or decided to quit early on,are, for lack of a better word,"impressed" if you were able to wrestle in college,especially if you were D-1.

What I do find surprising is how many people are still "shocked" that "jocks" like me,get degrees in subjects like engineering.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is true to an extent. In time, only the GOATs are remembered. I consider myself a die hard wrestling fan and there are probably some two time NCAA champs that if you said their name, I wouldn’t recognize it. However, they are remembered in the small circles, for example getting a picture or plaque at their school for all to see. Plus they can always attach that to their name if they are ever doing a camp or clinic. We all know how important that is in wrestling circles

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm pretty much a wrestling nerd so I probably know who the guy is, but yeah the notoriety particularly in a niche sport like wrestling doesn't last that long for most beyond small circles.

but this occurs in the major sports too. I mean stars from NFL, MLB, etc are more likely to be recognized years later, but not nearly as much as in their playing days. 

  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His words prove what all of us should already know. No one should get into sport for the notoriety. You should get into sports, and wrestling in particular, for the life skills and life habits you get from the sport. Those two things pay huge dividends thrughout your life. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A two-time NCAA champ is a phenomenal achievement and receives proper respect among this crowd. Having said that, if I found out someone at work was a 2-time NCAA swimming champ or pole-vaulting champ, I'd be impressed for about 2 seconds and promptly forget about it. That's probably the way others feel about our sport.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An old coach of mine used to tell me something similar in that "No one will remember what you do."

His thought process with this was to shut out outside distractions (social media, fans, etc.,) and just focus on wrestling and living in that moment. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’ve specifically tried to hire teams of former college athletes. They tend to have excellent work ethic and time management skills, at least compared to the average candidate. 

I ended up interviewing some guys who had excellent college results in soccer. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i would probably know the name, but not recognize the face.

 

I always ask wrestlers what do you want to be known for? 

Not known for by fans. Not everyday people. 

But the people you worked with on the mat, in the classroom, in the community, and  the people you competed against, athletes and coaches. How will they remember you? because they will.

Will they see a lazy person? Will they see a hard worker? Will they see integrity? etc etc...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, if I found out one of my coworkers was an AA or NCAA champion in any sport, they would definitely gain immediate respect from me. I wouldn't forget it either. It's just so hard to achieve, that credibility doesn't fade to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, rpbobcat said:

What I find is that people who wrestled in high school and, for whatever reason,either didn't  try to wrestle in college,or decided to quit early on,are, for lack of a better word,"impressed" if you were able to wrestle in college,especially if you were D-1.

What I do find surprising is how many people are still "shocked" that "jocks" like me,get degrees in subjects like engineering.

 

 

 

 

I know, right?

People always seem surprised and impressed that I managed to wrestle at the DI level and still obtain a Phys-Ed degree.

;-)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, jchapman said:

Most people in the "real world" aren't die hard sports fans, and not many even played sports in high school.  Relating to an achievement like 2X NCAA Champ is not even on their radar.

I was standing next to my 60’ish boss at a social event and he told a group of mostly older guys “I was an All-American linebacker my senior year of college.”

Everyone perked-up and nodded in approval. 

I told him, “Fred, I’ve worked with you for seven years; I didn’t know you were an All-American!”

He said, “Listen, if you’ve been out of college for more than 30 years and you weren’t an All-American, you have only yourself to blame!”

Everyone laughed hard at that; we all fell for his joke. 

I’ve used that bit several times since then, and it always gets a good laugh!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, TBar1977 said:

His words prove what all of us should already know. No one should get into sport for the notoriety. You should get into sports, and wrestling in particular, for the life skills and life habits you get from the sport. Those two things pay huge dividends thrughout your life. 

Nobody gets into wrestling for that reason.  You get into it because you enjoy doing it and it's fun.  When I decided to continue wrestling into college, I didn't do it for the life skills and habits that it would develop, I did it because I still loved wrestling and competing.  Now I'm not saying that life skills and habits aren't developed in the sport, but that's not why people choose to get into wrestling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, KCMO2 said:

Nobody gets into wrestling for that reason.  You get into it because you enjoy doing it and it's fun.  When I decided to continue wrestling into college, I didn't do it for the life skills and habits that it would develop, I did it because I still loved wrestling and competing.  Now I'm not saying that life skills and habits aren't developed in the sport, but that's not why people choose to get into wrestling.

I agree 100%.

I wrestled in college because I loved the sport.

I do appreciate the "life skills" I developed as a result of the sport, including "time management".

As far as "work ethic",  in my experience,you don't find people going into the sport without a strong "work ethic".

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sports should not be your main focus in life unless it's a sure thing like if you are a Lebron James type talent. Even then, a backup plan is important. However, I have never been in an interview with management, especially after graduating, where my time in college wrestling was not brought up. Time as a college athlete, let alone becoming a 2-time NCAA champ would definitely separate you from the competition in an interview. That says a lot more about what kind of person you are than your ability to answer a bunch of archaic questions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, russelscout said:

Sports should not be your main focus in life unless it's a sure thing like if you are a Lebron James type talent. Even then, a backup plan is important. However, I have never been in an interview with management, especially after graduating, where my time in college wrestling was not brought up. Time as a college athlete, let alone becoming a 2-time NCAA champ would definitely separate you from the competition in an interview. That says a lot more about what kind of person you are than your ability to answer a bunch of archaic questions. 

this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, russelscout said:

Sports should not be your main focus in life unless it's a sure thing like if you are a Lebron James type talent. Even then, a backup plan is important. However, I have never been in an interview with management, especially after graduating, where my time in college wrestling was not brought up. Time as a college athlete, let alone becoming a 2-time NCAA champ would definitely separate you from the competition in an interview. That says a lot more about what kind of person you are than your ability to answer a bunch of archaic questions. 

Agreed. Academics should be at least 25% as important as sports.

Edited by Fletcher

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Old Corps said:

I was standing next to my 60’ish boss at a social event and he told a group of mostly older guys “I was an All-American linebacker my senior year of college.”

Everyone perked-up and nodded in approval. 

I told him, “Fred, I’ve worked with you for seven years; I didn’t know you were an All-American!”

He said, “Listen, if you’ve been out of college for more than 30 years and you weren’t an All-American, you have only yourself to blame!”

Everyone laughed hard at that; we all fell for his joke. 

I’ve used that bit several times since then, and it always gets a good laugh!

Will add this to my bag of tricks. I'm pretty busy though, so may not have time to get that last line in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/10/2019 at 6:14 AM, gowrestle said:

Recently I was talking  to a former 2 time NCAA champion. He is a decent guy and has had a successful post wrestling career. He said his success was merely a split second of notoriety. At the Nationals he was lauded with attention and clearly felt like a celebrity. “Everyone wanted a piece of me.”

Now he says, except for family and friends, no one knows what he accomplished more than 15 years ago. “The celebrity status is gone!”  

He is okay with the impact that time has had on his life and definitely is not a guy yearning to live in the past. His message is that being a successful wrestler is not nearly as important as some think it is. 

(Our of respect I am not identifying this person.)

We wrestlers live in a pretty small world. Guys who are big celebrities to us are nobodies to the rest of the world. Whenever I wax poetic on the great wrestlers to my everyday friends they look at me like I'm stepping out of a flying saucer. Your friend was a National Champion. TWICE. I guarantee I know his name. I guarantee his accomplishments will be appreciated by those of us who still love college wrestling.

Ultimately the fact of the matter is this: we all grow old. Our wrestling careers, except for those masochists who go into coaching, generally end by the time we reach 25 years old. The very talented guys may be able to squeeze out a few more years trying to win World/Olympic titles. I'm 54 years old, the last time I stepped on a mat was 1993. The only things that remain of my wrestling career are the memories. Mostly good, some bad, and a whole lot of stupid ones :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, TobusRex said:

 The only things that remain of my wrestling career are the memories. Mostly good, some bad, and a whole lot of stupid ones :D

In addition to memories I have a knee and shoulder that,while they may not work as well as I would like,are really 

great at predicting changes in the weather.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×