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HokieHWT

Pre-Season “Practice” Memory

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The topic about college practice reminded me of one of the funniest things I ever saw while at VT. For context we weren’t anywhere near the program it is now BUT Keith Mourlam did the best with what he had multiple All-Americans by this time and we had been in the top 20 at NCAAs three years in a row. Most of our roster came from VA, even though, after an asswhipping received at the hands of Minnesota, he swore he would “never recruit anymore Virginia “d*ckslingers”. That dual was highlighted by Scott Justus beating Hahn for the second or third time and another Hokie being recently ranked #1 at 141 and coming out to the mat while Nelly’s “Number One” blared in Cassell Coliseum then getting smacked by a Gopher but I digress....

Anyway, I had all the freshman over to my apartment for dinner the Sunday of move-in weekend and we were talking about the program, practice, training schedules, and whatnot. One of the recruits, a upper middleweight VA AAA state champs, mentioned that he “couldn’t wait to get his hands on a recently graduated guy, who was our team GA, and see how good he really was”.
 

The next morning I hit the weight room and the GA was in there getting a lift in as well. I thought what the freshman had said was hilarious so I mentioned it to the GA, thinking he would feel the same way....

Well I was sort of right, he told me to go tell all the freshman to come in at 330PM for some “light drilling”. I did and they all showed up. The GA, privately, asked me “which one” and I pointed him out. He then asked me to “keep time”, which meant get on the airdyne for an hour and observe.

After 5 minutes of warm-up and light drilling, the GA said “let’s get the  rust out, *pointing at the freshman* wanna roll?” The color of the kids face went from tan to white in less than a second but, he didn’t want to look like a punk so he said “yeah...sure”.

What I saw next was the most vicious, legal, beating I have ever seen in my life! Around 30 minutes in the freshman was literally crawling and trying to pull himself off the mat by grabbing the edge with a grip that would have crushed concrete. The GA grabbed him by the ankle, DRAGGING him back to the  middle of the mat to keep working on him. It. Was. Brutal.

The airdyne timer went off and I yelled “time”! The GA got up, calmly, went to the locker room and hopped in the shower. The rest of us followed...except for the freshman. No one said anything, no one. After I showered and got dressed I didn’t see the freshman so I figured he just ran off to his dorm room. Nope! I went into the wrestling room to turn off the stereo and there he was. Still laying on the mat, sweaty, bloody, and in “shock”.

Needless to say he didn’t make it through the pre-season but is actually a really good guy.

Pro Tip: Be careful what you say, especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

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Freshman year at WVU I was late to a preseason lift because I had an exam that ran long and there is no easy way for a car-less freshman to get from the downtown campus out to the football stadium facility. Strength coach was very “understanding.” 
 

Rather than go through the lift with the team, I was directed to run the stadium steps of our 65.000 seat stadium. Upon further thought, I was told to do it while carrying our 265 lbs heavyweight (I was 165) I was finishing when the team was done lifting and came out for conditioning. My legs were jello and I could barely run the sprints. Needless to say, I did not make my sprint times so I got to do wheelbarrows around the field. 
 

Overall fantastic afternoon and introduction for a freshman. Definitely no way I could have done anything differently to not have drawn that task.

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I wrestled at little Millersville University in Lancaster County, PA. Shorty Hitchcock was the head coach. Shorty was known for putting together brutal conditioning workouts involving sandbags, buddy carries, and the infamous "Puke Hill" behind our gym. We would do buddy carries up a steep, winding, quarter mile (or longer) hill, when you reached the summit, you did exactly as the name of the hill intended: you puked. But the most interesting pre-season training memory I have was the day Shorty decided to have the team play hide and go seek with him.

Shorty made us give him a twenty minute head start; the object of the game was to run around campus and find where he was hiding. As long as we were running, we were good. If we stopped for some reason, Shorty knew we stopped. I think he had spies hiding all over campus for us. We split up into groups of two or three and looked for Shorty for about an hour. My group ended up near the gym and "Puke Hill" and heard one of our teammates scream, "There he is!". We ran down to the bank of a creek/river that ran along side of the base of "Puke Hill" and found Shorty.

Shorty was standing in the middle of the creek/river and waved us in to have a quick team meeting. My teammates and I looked at each other, unsure of what to do, hesitated, and then joined him in the middle of the water. I was the most apprehensive of the group because I was the shortest guy on the team- standing 5'2" on a good day. The water was at Shorty's neck, by the time I made it out to the middle, the water was at my nose. Whenever Shorty saw me, he always said the same thing: "Hey Prebish, stand up! Oh wait, you are standing!" and cackle with laughter. I will never forget the Shorty Hitchcock cackle. My teammates had to hold me up by the shoulders so I didn't drown, as the heavy sweats I wore for the workout were completely soaked and weighing me down. He congratulated us for finding him, made some small talk and dismissed us for the day. I remember trudging back to the dorm with a few of my teammates in complete silence, awe struck at what we just did.

My roommate was not a wrestler and was surprised at my appearance when I flung the door of our dorm open and collapsed on the floor. He asked me what happened to me: my once white sweatshirt was stained a light brown from the river, I was covered with dirt and mud. Lying face down on the floor, all I could muster as a reply was, "Shorty"!

Ahhh pre-season conditioning, how I hated you.

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In college I played Soccer and Wrestled.

My preseason experience has to do with Soccer.

Preseason camp started in mid-August.

We got a letter (this was pre-email)  in the beginning of July,reminding us

to show up to camp "in shape".

First day of camp we had a 5 mile, timed run,through the Golf Course,in cleats.

If you didn't finish in the allotted time,you ran it every day until you did.

That was in addition to two a day practices.

We also had a coach who did not believe in weekend partying.

Unless we had a game,we had practice early on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

 

 

 

 

Edited by rpbobcat

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2 hours ago, TLS62pa said:

Freshman year at WVU I was late to a preseason lift because I had an exam that ran long and there is no easy way for a car-less freshman to get from the downtown campus out to the football stadium facility. Strength coach was very “understanding.” 
 

Rather than go through the lift with the team, I was directed to run the stadium steps of our 65.000 seat stadium. Upon further thought, I was told to do it while carrying our 265 lbs heavyweight (I was 165) I was finishing when the team was done lifting and came out for conditioning. My legs were jello and I could barely run the sprints. Needless to say, I did not make my sprint times so I got to do wheelbarrows around the field. 
 

Overall fantastic afternoon and introduction for a freshman. Definitely no way I could have done anything differently to not have drawn that task.

Sounds similar to our strength coach at NDSU at the time. 6 upper classmen showed up late to the first lift after school started, they were all told to leave and come back at 2:00pm the next day. They pushed plates around the indoor track until our scheduled lift at 3:30pm, 4 of them walked out and never came back.

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13 hours ago, HokieHWT said:

The topic about college practice reminded me of one of the funniest things I ever saw while at VT. For context we weren’t anywhere near the program it is now BUT Keith Mourlam did the best with what he had multiple All-Americans by this time and we had been in the top 20 at NCAAs three years in a row. Most of our roster came from VA, even though, after an asswhipping received at the hands of Minnesota, he swore he would “never recruit anymore Virginia “d*ckslingers”. That dual was highlighted by Scott Justus beating Hahn for the second or third time and another Hokie being recently ranked #1 at 141 and coming out to the mat while Nelly’s “Number One” blared in Cassell Coliseum then getting smacked by a Gopher but I digress....

Anyway, I had all the freshman over to my apartment for dinner the Sunday of move-in weekend and we were talking about the program, practice, training schedules, and whatnot. One of the recruits, a upper middleweight VA AAA state champs, mentioned that he “couldn’t wait to get his hands on a recently graduated guy, who was our team GA, and see how good he really was”.
 

The next morning I hit the weight room and the GA was in there getting a lift in as well. I thought what the freshman had said was hilarious so I mentioned it to the GA, thinking he would feel the same way....

Well I was sort of right, he told me to go tell all the freshman to come in at 330PM for some “light drilling”. I did and they all showed up. The GA, privately, asked me “which one” and I pointed him out. He then asked me to “keep time”, which meant get on the airdyne for an hour and observe.

After 5 minutes of warm-up and light drilling, the GA said “let’s get the  rust out, *pointing at the freshman* wanna roll?” The color of the kids face went from tan to white in less than a second but, he didn’t want to look like a punk so he said “yeah...sure”.

What I saw next was the most vicious, legal, beating I have ever seen in my life! Around 30 minutes in the freshman was literally crawling and trying to pull himself off the mat by grabbing the edge with a grip that would have crushed concrete. The GA grabbed him by the ankle, DRAGGING him back to the  middle of the mat to keep working on him. It. Was. Brutal.

The airdyne timer went off and I yelled “time”! The GA got up, calmly, went to the locker room and hopped in the shower. The rest of us followed...except for the freshman. No one said anything, no one. After I showered and got dressed I didn’t see the freshman so I figured he just ran off to his dorm room. Nope! I went into the wrestling room to turn off the stereo and there he was. Still laying on the mat, sweaty, bloody, and in “shock”.

Needless to say he didn’t make it through the pre-season but is actually a really good guy.

Pro Tip: Be careful what you say, especially if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Mourlam coached some HS up here in NJ after VT. Good dude. Story was interesting but seems the GA coach had a bit of an ego issue. 

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21 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

Mourlam coached some HS up here in NJ after VT. Good dude. Story was interesting but seems the GA coach had a bit of an ego issue

This made me chuckle....you hear soooo many stories about coaches/older wrestlers "breaking" young newbies in the Gable era Iowa room (Lewboo talks about it all the time), it was almost considered a right of passage, yet when somebody else does it in another program the coach has an "ego issue".

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40 minutes ago, gromit said:

This made me chuckle....you hear soooo many stories about coaches/older wrestlers "breaking" young newbies in the Gable era Iowa room (Lewboo talks about it all the time), it was almost considered a right of passage, yet when somebody else does it in another program the coach has an "ego issue".

In a wrestling practice sure, happens all the time at every level. But to have an extra drill session just so you can beat a young kid up in front of his peers...not only counterproductive but also screams insecurity. 

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4 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

In a wrestling practice sure, happens all the time at every level. But to have an extra drill session just so you can beat a young kid up in front of his peers...not only counterproductive but also screams insecurity. 

That's some deep psychoanalytical work for the wrestling message board...maybe we can find out what caused that issue if OP can give more detail...

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8 hours ago, AnklePicker said:

In a wrestling practice sure, happens all the time at every level. But to have an extra drill session just so you can beat a young kid up in front of his peers...not only counterproductive but also screams insecurity. 

As a coach, you have to remind everyone there that this is all about you. Coaching 101

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I guess my judgement of the original post has to do with how the young wrestler said that he wanted to get his hands on the grad assistant.  If I were a coach and I knew that a freshman wanted to train right away with a grad assistant as a "measuring stick" to see what areas he needs to improve, I would be impressed with that kid .  On the other hand, if he said it in a condescending way, like, "I don't think he's as tough as everyone is making him out to be"...then that is a different story.

A good friend of mine who was a great high school and college wrestler had an assistant who was on the Senior-level ladder for GR, and my friend would make it a mission to try to learn to stop that coach from gutting/lifting him in little par terre challenges after regular workouts (and didn't have much luck), but that friendly competitiveness raised his level for sure and wasn't looked at as him being cocky or anything.

Edited by Konquest

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On 9/3/2020 at 8:34 AM, Robinson Prebish said:

I wrestled at little Millersville University in Lancaster County, PA. Shorty Hitchcock was the head coach. Shorty was known for putting together brutal conditioning workouts involving sandbags, buddy carries, and the infamous "Puke Hill" behind our gym. We would do buddy carries up a steep, winding, quarter mile (or longer) hill, when you reached the summit, you did exactly as the name of the hill intended: you puked. But the most interesting pre-season training memory I have was the day Shorty decided to have the team play hide and go seek with him.

Shorty made us give him a twenty minute head start; the object of the game was to run around campus and find where he was hiding. As long as we were running, we were good. If we stopped for some reason, Shorty knew we stopped. I think he had spies hiding all over campus for us. We split up into groups of two or three and looked for Shorty for about an hour. My group ended up near the gym and "Puke Hill" and heard one of our teammates scream, "There he is!". We ran down to the bank of a creek/river that ran along side of the base of "Puke Hill" and found Shorty.

Shorty was standing in the middle of the creek/river and waved us in to have a quick team meeting. My teammates and I looked at each other, unsure of what to do, hesitated, and then joined him in the middle of the water. I was the most apprehensive of the group because I was the shortest guy on the team- standing 5'2" on a good day. The water was at Shorty's neck, by the time I made it out to the middle, the water was at my nose. Whenever Shorty saw me, he always said the same thing: "Hey Prebish, stand up! Oh wait, you are standing!" and cackle with laughter. I will never forget the Shorty Hitchcock cackle. My teammates had to hold me up by the shoulders so I didn't drown, as the heavy sweats I wore for the workout were completely soaked and weighing me down. He congratulated us for finding him, made some small talk and dismissed us for the day. I remember trudging back to the dorm with a few of my teammates in complete silence, awe struck at what we just did.

My roommate was not a wrestler and was surprised at my appearance when I flung the door of our dorm open and collapsed on the floor. He asked me what happened to me: my once white sweatshirt was stained a light brown from the river, I was covered with dirt and mud. Lying face down on the floor, all I could muster as a reply was, "Shorty"!

Ahhh pre-season conditioning, how I hated you.

My first day of practice wrestling for Shorty at Millersville went like this:

Shorty: "Alright, everyone to the top of the football stadium bleachers." 

We all lined up at the top of the stadium bleachers.

Shorty: "Now forward rolls down the bleachers till bottom. It teaches body control."

As a freshman walk on, I looked around dumb-founded. Everyone else started, though. Falling and flailing all over as they rolled down the bleachers - ass over teakettle. So, I shrugged my shoulders and started painfully forward-rolling all the way down. 

He laughed his Shorty laugh the entire time. 

That was followed by log rolls the length of the field and back, chest passes with sand bags while side-to-side stance movement around the track, and 5 mile runs with sandbags. That was just day one.

Over my next 4 years there you could always spot a wrestler across the pond during preseason training...limping around, barely able to walk. 

We loved/hated every minute of it. Shorty was superhuman, and couldn't wrap his head around that the rest of us weren't. Shorty was an inspiration. 

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52 minutes ago, DIWalkOn said:

My first day of practice wrestling for Shorty at Millersville went like this:

Shorty: "Alright, everyone to the top of the football stadium bleachers." 

We all lined up at the top of the stadium bleachers.

Shorty: "Now forward rolls down the bleachers till bottom. It teaches body control."

As a freshman walk on, I looked around dumb-founded. Everyone else started, though. Falling and flailing all over as they rolled down the bleachers - ass over teakettle. So, I shrugged my shoulders and started painfully forward-rolling all the way down. 

He laughed his Shorty laugh the entire time. 

That was followed by log rolls the length of the field and back, chest passes with sand bags while side-to-side stance movement around the track, and 5 mile runs with sandbags. That was just day one.

Over my next 4 years there you could always spot a wrestler across the pond during preseason training...limping around, barely able to walk. 

We loved/hated every minute of it. Shorty was superhuman, and couldn't wrap his head around that the rest of us weren't. Shorty was an inspiration. 

Shorty loved his sandbags...I could not stop laughing when the head coach I worked for bought sandbags for our high school team. The kids wanted to know why I was laughing so I told them stories about Shorty's sandbag workouts...bleacher box jumps with the bags, lunges, sprints, rolls on the football field with the bags...but the long runs with the bags were the worst. Being a lightweight, that damn sandbag was nearly 1/3 of my body weight. 

Now I make my wrestlers do all kinds of crazy sandbag exercises in honor of Shorty. He'd get a kick out of watching my wrestlers throw the sandbag over their heads like they were throwing in a soccer ball...or hiking the sandbag between their legs like it was a football...or tossing the bag to the side like it was a rugby ball...Good stuff!

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