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gg121and2

Great post from HR

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Yeah, this probably ought to be on the High School board, but this one gets the most readers. This was posted on Hawkeye Report today and goes out to everyone whose kid ever wrestled.

 

"My son started wrestling when he was seven years old. This weekend he wrestled his last high school match, and although he had a very nice career he ended-up just short of his goals. He ended with 98 career varsity wins -- two short of what it takes to get his name on the wall in our gym -- and missed qualifying for states thanks to two excruciatingly close matches. It was even more painful because we had four meets that were snowed-out this year, otherwise his 100 wins would have been assured. And his bracket was loaded with returning state qualifiers, so he knew from the start that qualifying at his weight was going to be a big challenge. But nonetheless he came tantalizingly close to beating a couple of extremely high caliber wrestlers, only to see the matches slip away; which really only added to the pain. After his last match he ran outside and cried for about an hour. When he finally came back, and I saw him for the first time, the pain in his face was indescribable, and something I will never be able to erase from my mind.

 

It can be a brutal sport. And I won't lie, for the better part of the weekend I wondered if it might have been a mistake to get him involved in wrestling -- because I suspect this last day of his career will haunt him for the rest of his life. I wondered if anything is worth going through the pain he has gone through. You have to understand that he worked unbelievably hard to try to meet the goals he had set for himself. He wrestled 12 months out of the year, and between lifting, running, and wrestling he did some kind of training 365 days out of the year. I could see in his eyes a sense that life had betrayed him; that if you work that hard towards a goal, you ought to be rewarded.

 

However, I've also watched him gain confidence through the sport that I don't believe he could have ever achieved without wrestling. He carries himself with self-assurance that absolutely came from testing himself repeatedly, and from the many accomplishments that he did achieve. The last couple of years he helped coach the junior program, and by doing so he learned leadership skills and learned how to speak confidently in front of groups. To the young kids he is a rock star! I have truly been amazed at what a fine young man he has become, and I know to a large extent wrestling is responsible. And, yes, even the pain of failure has built his character and made him stronger.

 

I know this has nothing to do with Iowa wresting, but I can't say these words out loud to my wife and friends without breaking into tears. And yet I need to get the words out -- preferably to people who know exactly what I'm talking about -- because there is no pain more exquisite than watching your child hurting. In the end, I take solace that he will heal from the pain more quickly and more completely than I ever will.

 

I'm glad he wrestled. I've never been sadder in my life. But I am glad he wrestled."

 

Have you seen this expressed better many times?

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If he can give all he has on the practice and competition mats, he will have learned that he can give what he needs to give when the outcomes of live give reverse to his wishes. There is little finer training in the competition of life than wrestling at the age we do it. Best wishes!

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I'm pretty sure the majority of us who have actually wrestled ended our careers on sour notes, and have all had that long, hard cry after our last match. Sure, it stings here and there when mentioned, but eventually, you start to find the good in it all. Wrestling is a beautiful sport in and of itself, and it takes all you got, it definitely makes you a better person overall.

 

Best of luck to your son.

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Great post, very well put to say the least. I've been around the sport for over 35 years and currently coach a high school team. My 10 year old son shows very little interest in the sport and it's very sad. Not because I had plans for him to be an undefeated 4 timer who would go on to wrestle and win 4 titles for my beloved Hawkeyes but because I feel he's going to miss out on all the life lessons the sport would teach him. I"ve not "pushed" him at all, just subtle "brain washing" attempts when given the opportunity. I just know I'd be more than proud of him no matter the outcome if he'd just go out and give his best effort, seems to me your son did just that and will enjoy the rewards of that in the long run. Congrats dad, sounds like you raised a fine young man.

 

Coach P, 100 wins isn't what it used to be I suppose but then again I think it depends on a lot of factors. 100 wins at a good program, where not every above average freshman starts is a heck of an accomplishment. Maybe the kid started the sport as a freshman. Maybe he was injured, a lot of factors could make a 100 wins a big accomplishment.

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Anymore, 100 wins is pretty easy in highschool.

 

I wondered how long it would take for someone to belittle the goal that was barely missed. Pretty dickish and fairly inaccurate. The majority of posters on here follow only the super high end and take for granted and overestimate what above average ACTUALLY is. Not everyone starts 4 years and gets 50 matches per season. That type of wrestler is in a MUCH smaller category than most realize. Hell, due to transfer reasons, I only wrestled 3 years and got in 97 total matches. Now that was 20 years ago but the amount of bouts has not changed that much from then til now. 100 wins is still a pretty big deal.

 

What kind of person reads that type of post, focuses on that part only, and feels the need to respond in such a way?

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Anymore, 100 wins is pretty easy in highschool.

 

I wondered how long it would take for someone to belittle the goal that was barely missed. Pretty dickish and fairly inaccurate. The majority of posters on here follow only the super high end and take for granted and overestimate what above average ACTUALLY is. Not everyone starts 4 years and gets 50 matches per season. That type of wrestler is in a MUCH smaller category than most realize. Hell, due to transfer reasons, I only wrestled 3 years and got in 97 total matches. Now that was 20 years ago but the amount of bouts has not changed that much from then til now. 100 wins is still a pretty big deal.

 

What kind of person reads that type of post, focuses on that part only, and feels the need to respond in such a way?

 

I'll tell you what kind ... a dickhead. No thought to how many matches his coach scheduled, 4 year starter or not, etc. I love the sport but this message board has hands down more losers and assholes than all other sports message boards combined. A ton of the idiots on this board think the best way to make themselves feel better about their pathetic lives is degrade someone else. I just pray that my son and I never have to deal with people like this.

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Anymore, 100 wins is pretty easy in highschool.

 

Way to rain on this guy's parade. 100 wins is not easy, and most kids who walk on the mat never come close. You might think it is easy because we only read about when it happens, but 90% of the kids who take to the mat won't come close to 100 wins. We also don't know what the factors were that contributed to "only" 98 career wins. Did he start as a Freshman? Was he injured? Did he have a stud in front of him for a year? Does the coach only schedule 30-35 matches per year? It sounds like he missed two tournaments that would have allowed him to reach that goal. I can certainly understand how painful that would be if it was your goal to get your name on the school's wrestling wall, and qualify for your state tournament.

 

With that said, here is the reality of this young man's wrestling career:

 

- He won 98 matches in Iowa (I'm assuming this), which is one of best states in the country.

- He persisted in the toughest sport on the planet and succeeded in winning most of the time.

- He wrestled year round in an effort to help him reach his personal goals on the mat.

- He felt the pain of not reaching his goals.

- He is a hero to the young wrestlers that he helps coach!

- The lessons he learned on/off the mat will carry on with him forever.

 

This father should be beaming with pride! My son is currently an average middle school wrestler. I would feel tremendous pride if he were to end his high school career with 98 wins. This coming from a former state champ who competed at the D1 level. We tend to only focus on the elite athletes in this sport, and fail to realize that 90% of the kids will never qualify for a state tournament or win 100 matches in their career. This doesn't diminish who these kids are.

 

As I tell my youth wrestlers, "just stepping onto the mat" makes you a hero to me. Most kids don't have the courage to go mano y mano in front of a crowd. 250,000 kids wrestle annually at the high school level. Only a few hundred each year will go on to compete at the collegiate level, and only a small % of those will actually reach the elite status. We only talk about that small % of elite kids and forget about the tens of thousands of others who have shared in the sacrifice of being called a wrestler. We should celebrate those kids!

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gg121and2: Thanks for posting that great story.

 

That young man will do well in life, given that he defined a goal, and then he worked like the devil to try to achieve it.

 

Is that glass half empty or half full?. To me, he didn't fail to reach 100 wins- he got his arm raised 98 times.

 

I'm betting he'll have that goal-oriented approach his whole life, and that he'll be successful as a result.

 

His efforts remind me of this quote:

 

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

 

Calvin Coolidge

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gg121and2: Thanks for posting that great story.

 

That young man will do well in life, given that he defined a goal, and then he worked like the devil to try to achieve it.

 

Is that glass half empty or half full?. To me, he didn't fail to reach 100 wins- he got his arm raised 98 times.

 

I'm betting he'll have that goal-oriented approach his whole life, and that he'll be successful as a result.

 

His efforts remind me of this quote:

 

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

 

Calvin Coolidge

 

+1 that quote says it all

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Reminds me of a wrestler on my sons team. My son was a Freshman and a Senior on the team who did not crack the lineup until his senior year(got about 15 matches as a junior) got upset in the District semi finals and was crying and very upset(never seen him have that much emotion). I went up to talk to his Dad and he said his son's goal was to be a District Champ--so he would get his Picture on the Wall in the wrestling room. That was what he was striving for!! Everyone has different talent levels and different goals. He did finish 3rd and went to Regions but man I wish he won Districts.

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I think this post epitomizes the passion, heartbreak, drive, perseverance, and dedication that most of us on this forum feel towards wrestling. And the reality is, the vast majority of us have a similar story - because there is only one person in each weight class each year that doesn't have a heartbreak story. When I was about 10, my dad took me to the state tournament and I watched the parade of champions before the finals, and then watched the state champs get their arms raised at the end of each match - and I decided right then that I wanted to be a state champ. I worked really hard, and dedicated my life, and my summers to that goal. By the time I entered high school, I was one of the top wrestlers in the state. But, long story short, I never won a state championship. After losing in the semifinals my senior year for the third year in a row, and realizing my life-long goals and dreams were shattered - I picked myself up and came back for third - again.

 

Fast forward fifteen years, and I can still feel the heartbreak of losing in the semifinals, but that third place medal means more to me than any of the golds or MOWs or any other medal because it signifies who I have become as a result of continuing to work hard despite missing my goals.

 

That is what this story is about, and once that boy is able to focus his energy, passion, and perseverance towards his next goal - he will probably look back at that moment as one of the quintessential, defining moments of his life - and will be able to accomplish nearly anything he puts his mind to.

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I was moved to respond. This is not a story of near misses, or lost dreams. But it is my story, and then again, it is not.

 

I wrestled in HS and college, so I gained a great appreciation for the sport. Knowing what it did for me, I wanted to pass that on to my son. So we started down that path. Yes, the first stop at his young age was club wrestling. I signed on as a coach, and my son seemed willing to go along.

 

So we spent night after night training with the other guys, going through the usual steps of learning, drilling, and wrestling. My son got his first bloody lip, but I brushed it aside when he came to me almost in tears. Inside I knew he was taking his lumps and he was learning the lessons. But little did I know at the time that I was the one that was learning as well.

 

To say that my son is on the small side is an understatement, so he was often matched up with younger boys. At tournaments he wrestled down to get other kids in his weight class. It was always a struggle to get him in the right class because of his size, yet we were able to get matches.

 

We never missed a tournament, and we never missed a practice. I was proud of how he was sticking to it. But the results were not impressive. But he rarely complained and he never gave up, despite still searching for that elusive first win. Still, the day came where he seemed to put it all together and eked out a victory. I was so proud, and I could see the joy on his face. I took him for a walk outside, and asked him, “So, for 2 years you have had sore muscles, bumps and bruises, bloody lips, and even lost a tooth in a match. Was it all worth it?” He looked at me and responded, “Yeah, Dad, yeah, it was.”

 

I replied to him, “Well, just remember this later in life. When things get tough, or someone is challenging you, and you face that adversary, you just have to say. ‘Well I lost 44 matches in a row, and I kept coming back. Do you have what it takes to go the distance with me?’” He smiled at me, and seemed to understand. He won another match that same day, going 2-2. He never won again. After 3 years of club wrestling, his final record was 2-66. He hung up his wrestling shoes.

 

Through all of this we wondered why he was so small. We were having him tested for a few things but no answers. “He is a late bloomer.” Finally after he became very sick, we went down a different path. Long story short, after his first endoscopy and colonoscopy, we found that he has Crohn’s disease – An insidious auto-immune disease where the intestines will not absorb nutrients. The body is starving itself, and will not allow itself to grow, to provide energy, and in its wake are stabbing pains, diarrhea, and vomiting.

 

I cried when I thought of how he had endured the tough workouts in the wrestling room, knowing now how he had no energy to perform, yet enduring the challenge of the sport all the same. He was learning the limits of his body, how to deal with pain, and just how far he could push himself.

 

I even got the courage to ask him why he endured it. He coolly responded, “I didn’t want to disappoint you.”

 

I told my son that I wished that I could wave a magic wand and make this disease go away. He only responded, “Dad, this is my cross to bear, and besides, I lost 44 matches in a row and I kept coming back. Think this disease has what it takes to deal with me?”

 

Today my son is in High School. He is a 55 pound 15 year old sophomore. He is being treated for his disease, but each day can present new challenges. He is more susceptible to flu and colds, often has severe gas pain, is anemic, and requires frequent testing for TB and other diseases. He has vomited so hard that he tore his esophagus, and he has been poked and probed in ways that are well beyond his years.

 

Still, he says that he is proud of his wrestling days, as it taught him that he can go far beyond what he thought his limits were, and he knows that he can stand up to the challenge.

 

He won’t get his picture on the wall of the wrestling room, but I have a picture of him in my home, and in my heart, and that is enough.

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I think a lot of people take wrestling too seriously sometimes. Part of the reason I think wrestling cant grow is because we have the "if you aint first your last" mentality. Never won a ncaa title? State Title? never placed? well youre a failure in wrestling. If we really want to grow our sport, lets start celebrating the guys who went 22-10. Heck in football and you go 6-6 GREAT SEASON!!! YOU MADE A BOWL! What are you if youre 6-6 in wrestling? chopped liver.

Ive been thinking about the ups and downs I went through wrestling in college and in high school. I was absolutely crushed whenever I lost, even though I always had a winning record. People don't celebrate you if you aren't first. Personally I think the mindset of winning everything is great, but it also prevents us from being a mainstream sport.

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I was moved to respond. This is not a story of near misses, or lost dreams. But it is my story, and then again, it is not.

 

I wrestled in HS and college, so I gained a great appreciation for the sport. Knowing what it did for me, I wanted to pass that on to my son. So we started down that path. Yes, the first stop at his young age was club wrestling. I signed on as a coach, and my son seemed willing to go along.

 

So we spent night after night training with the other guys, going through the usual steps of learning, drilling, and wrestling. My son got his first bloody lip, but I brushed it aside when he came to me almost in tears. Inside I knew he was taking his lumps and he was learning the lessons. But little did I know at the time that I was the one that was learning as well.

 

To say that my son is on the small side is an understatement, so he was often matched up with younger boys. At tournaments he wrestled down to get other kids in his weight class. It was always a struggle to get him in the right class because of his size, yet we were able to get matches.

 

We never missed a tournament, and we never missed a practice. I was proud of how he was sticking to it. But the results were not impressive. But he rarely complained and he never gave up, despite still searching for that elusive first win. Still, the day came where he seemed to put it all together and eked out a victory. I was so proud, and I could see the joy on his face. I took him for a walk outside, and asked him, “So, for 2 years you have had sore muscles, bumps and bruises, bloody lips, and even lost a tooth in a match. Was it all worth it?” He looked at me and responded, “Yeah, Dad, yeah, it was.”

 

I replied to him, “Well, just remember this later in life. When things get tough, or someone is challenging you, and you face that adversary, you just have to say. ‘Well I lost 44 matches in a row, and I kept coming back. Do you have what it takes to go the distance with me?’” He smiled at me, and seemed to understand. He won another match that same day, going 2-2. He never won again. After 3 years of club wrestling, his final record was 2-66. He hung up his wrestling shoes.

 

Through all of this we wondered why he was so small. We were having him tested for a few things but no answers. “He is a late bloomer.” Finally after he became very sick, we went down a different path. Long story short, after his first endoscopy and colonoscopy, we found that he has Crohn’s disease – An insidious auto-immune disease where the intestines will not absorb nutrients. The body is starving itself, and will not allow itself to grow, to provide energy, and in its wake are stabbing pains, diarrhea, and vomiting.

 

I cried when I thought of how he had endured the tough workouts in the wrestling room, knowing now how he had no energy to perform, yet enduring the challenge of the sport all the same. He was learning the limits of his body, how to deal with pain, and just how far he could push himself.

 

I even got the courage to ask him why he endured it. He coolly responded, “I didn’t want to disappoint you.”

 

I told my son that I wished that I could wave a magic wand and make this disease go away. He only responded, “Dad, this is my cross to bear, and besides, I lost 44 matches in a row and I kept coming back. Think this disease has what it takes to deal with me?”

 

Today my son is in High School. He is a 55 pound 15 year old sophomore. He is being treated for his disease, but each day can present new challenges. He is more susceptible to flu and colds, often has severe gas pain, is anemic, and requires frequent testing for TB and other diseases. He has vomited so hard that he tore his esophagus, and he has been poked and probed in ways that are well beyond his years.

 

Still, he says that he is proud of his wrestling days, as it taught him that he can go far beyond what he thought his limits were, and he knows that he can stand up to the challenge.

 

He won’t get his picture on the wall of the wrestling room, but I have a picture of him in my home, and in my heart, and that is enough.

 

This may be the best post I have ever read on this forum. vacyclone, thank you, and God bless that wonderful son of yours. He is an inspiring young man, and I wish him the very best in life.

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He's upset because he's still in HS and hasn't experienced the full brunt of the real world yet, so losing a wrestling match is a big deal in his world.

 

Wait until he's sitting in a lawyer's office across from the woman he thought loved him but who is now coldly demanding half of his assets. Wait until he's middle aged and it finally dawns upon him that it's all a big hoax. Wait until he finally understands the meaning of the saying "A man stares into the abyss and there's nothing staring back."

 

Then he will realize how banal a win or loss during a high school wrestling match was. In fact he will wish he could go back to the time in his life where he could lose that match again.

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