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What's up with USA Greco?

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Didn't start this post to throw darts at our guys, but c'mon, what is going on with USA Greco? I'm really surprised (and very disappointed) with Team USA results over the past few years. Overall, our guys are taking a beating from the rest of the world.

 

You know, and it's not like our kids never wrestle Greco - just look how many studs wrestle Greco at Fargo. How do we fall so far off the world level from there? And look at countries like North and South Korea, who are now routinely pumping out world medalists in Greco. Never mind Russia, Iran, and AZE.

 

I don't know what's going on here.

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The World Cup was in Iran. I am guessing most of the Army's WCAP guys couldn't go, which make up USA Greco Team for the most part.

 

Forget the World Cup. USA Greco has not captured a single individual medal in 4 straight world and Olympic championships. What's up with USA Greco is a fair question at this point.

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idk man,

 

Mango

Bisek

Holm

Smith

 

there's at least 4 that are our clear #1's.

 

and they went a collective 3-9.

 

in total, the squad went 4-20.

 

the FS team wrestled plenty of non-#1's in LA and did very well.

 

i was pretty disappointed with the World Cup results for GR.

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Talent is a big consideration but not the only one. At the most recent Olympics Lester, Coleman and Byers- the 3 who do have all works talent IMO- didn't wrestle particularly well. Not sure if it's weight, or confidence, or what but the US isn't peaking well in recent years.

 

Frasers recent speech about training so hard your skin hurts and ribs crack didn't inspire much confidence. Being the fitter guy certainly helps to win a close match (ask Joe Warren) but when your guys are getting outclassed it won't be enough. I'm certainly no Greco expert or anything. But from what I've seen the US team isn't particularly comfortable with throws against high level competition.

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Greco, at its core, is a sport for a great 'athlete.' It is no secret that the best athletes are identified and moved to greco in the Russian system.

 

It is the reason for the success of a majority of the medal winners. Its no reason that our best wrestlers/medalists had supreme athleticism (Lester, Byers, Mango). It is clear that we are a step behind technically, and to some extent athletically in some areas.

 

The USOEC, losing Ivan and some/most of its financial support is a BIG reason for the success we had, and the success we no longer have. USA Greco is making a big mistake if they are not bringing Ivan back. It should preferably be at the USOEC, with a significant pay raise.

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Greco, at its core, is a sport for a great 'athlete.' It is no secret that the best athletes are identified and moved to greco in the Russian system.

 

The best athletes in the USA go into revenue sports like football, basketball etc. The great athletes who want to pursue a combat sport go into MMA. Wrestlers in general do not represent the most athletic population of the US. Then to make matters worse for Greco, our top wrestlers who want to compete internationally often see freestyle as the more "legitimate" style, since it resembles folkstyle.

 

TL;DR,

 

The men in the USA Greco-Roman program are 3-4th tier athletes at best.

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I don't entirely agree with that. There may be some very good athletes playing professional sports who could make excellent wrestlers at 98 kg or heavyweight but I challenge you to find an NFL player who could make 59 or 66 kg.

 

Though recruiting the best athletes would certainly always be advantageous I think the greater gap is due to the lack of experience our athletes get in Greco. With the focus on folkstyle freestyle translates better. Success in folk\free doesn't necessarily translate to success in Greco (I.e. Teyon Ware & Cole Konrad). Note: I'm referring to their placement on the Senior Circuit not juniors.

 

 

 

 

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I don't entirely agree with that. There may be some very good athletes playing professional sports who could make excellent wrestlers at 98 kg or heavyweight but I challenge you to find an NFL player who could make 59 or 66 kg.

 

they dont have to make it all the way to the NFL to opt out of the wrestling talent pool. most of the best athletes in high school focus on football or basketball, and never try wrestling whether they make it to the NFL, NBA or just stop after high school.

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Greco, at its core, is a sport for a great 'athlete.' It is no secret that the best athletes are identified and moved to greco in the Russian system.

 

The best athletes in the USA go into revenue sports like football, basketball etc. The great athletes who want to pursue a combat sport go into MMA. Wrestlers in general do not represent the most athletic population of the US. Then to make matters worse for Greco, our top wrestlers who want to compete internationally often see freestyle as the more "legitimate" style, since it resembles folkstyle.

 

TL;DR,

 

The men in the USA Greco-Roman program are 3-4th tier athletes at best.

 

I beg to differ. The top tier athletes in greco are on par with anyone. The issue is Greco isn't 10 guys deep like freestyle or other sports. Ask Sam Hazewinkel if the Greco guys are 3-4th tier.... He wasn't going to make the Olympic team in greco now was he? The issue is, Folkstyle consumes most of our development and freestyle is a more natural transition.

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I beg to differ. The top tier athletes in greco are on par with anyone. The issue is Greco isn't 10 guys deep like freestyle or other sports. Ask Sam Hazewinkel if the Greco guys are 3-4th tier.... He wasn't going to make the Olympic team in greco now was he? The issue is, Folkstyle consumes most of our development and freestyle is a more natural transition.

 

Haze not making the Greco team does not mean that the top athletes in the US go into Greco; it means that Haze was not our best Greco wrestler at 55kg.

 

Imagine if we got "small" NFL guys like Welker or Sproles into Olymic style wrestling instead of football. They would wreck a lot of our "amazing athletes" because they are actually world class athletes. Either of them, at their current football weights (which their teams inflate to make them seem bigger), could make 74kg. If you leaned either of those guys out into wrestling shape, they could make at least 70kg if not 66kg. Goodbye Metcalf. Goodbye Marable.

 

Then there's Mo Lawal, an world class athlete with world class wrestling skills who left the sport simply because he wanted to earn a living competing. He was our top 84kg in freestyle and left for MMA only because of the money. In an interview with Jason Bryant, Mo said that if he could live comfortably on wrestling (only JB gets the big bucks) that he would still wrestle freestyle. He's still an international wrestling fanatic and follows the sport closely, but sees no future in it. Askren may not have had the best skillset for freestyle, but he's in the same boat.

 

Some countries get their prime athletes to wrestle at the highest level. We don't.

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There is some merit to your argument. It certainly would be interesting to see a Patrick Willis wrestling. I'm not convinced that it's an absolute though. To use your MMA argument let's say Dominick Cruz wrestled Greco his whole life would he be easily the guy? I doubt it. I'm also not sold on your Wes Welker argument. Different sports require different skill sets. Similar to the reason some great folkstyle wrestlers don't succeed in Greco. Lebron James may be one of the greatest athletes in the world but I don't think he ever would have been a world class wrestler.

 

 

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I beg to differ. The top tier athletes in greco are on par with anyone. The issue is Greco isn't 10 guys deep like freestyle or other sports. Ask Sam Hazewinkel if the Greco guys are 3-4th tier.... He wasn't going to make the Olympic team in greco now was he? The issue is, Folkstyle consumes most of our development and freestyle is a more natural transition.

 

Haze not making the Greco team does not mean that the top athletes in the US go into Greco; it means that Haze was not our best Greco wrestler at 55kg.

 

Imagine if we got "small" NFL guys like Welker or Sproles into Olymic style wrestling instead of football. They would wreck a lot of our "amazing athletes" because they are actually world class athletes. Either of them, at their current football weights (which their teams inflate to make them seem bigger), could make 74kg. If you leaned either of those guys out into wrestling shape, they could make at least 70kg if not 66kg. Goodbye Metcalf. Goodbye Marable.

 

Then there's Mo Lawal, an world class athlete with world class wrestling skills who left the sport simply because he wanted to earn a living competing. He was our top 84kg in freestyle and left for MMA only because of the money. In an interview with Jason Bryant, Mo said that if he could live comfortably on wrestling (only JB gets the big bucks) that he would still wrestle freestyle. He's still an international wrestling fanatic and follows the sport closely, but sees no future in it. Askren may not have had the best skillset for freestyle, but he's in the same boat.

 

Some countries get their prime athletes to wrestle at the highest level. We don't.

 

 

it's foolish to call a guy in the nfl a world class athlete and not who guy makes our world team is not. what's your criteria? he can jump higher or run faster, sign him up and send the guys we have home.

 

you reference mo lawal as an example of world class athlete who left wrestling because other sports draw the best athletes. he made 1 world team. bad example.

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You can be a world class athlete and not be fast, shredded, or extremely explosive. Physical specimens get manhandled all the time on the mat by guys with other world class physical attributes like flexibilty and proprioception.

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I'm not convinced that it's an absolute though. To use your MMA argument let's say Dominick Cruz wrestled Greco his whole life would he be easily the guy? I doubt it.

 

The hypothetical situation in which Cruz wrestles Greco his entire life and never makes a 55kg World Team doesn't negate my entire argument. Even if Cruz didn't make the team, if people like Cruz could make the same kind of money through wrestling Greco that Cruz does through MMA, the 55kg field would have more great athletes. More great athletes in the Olympic styles would only lead to greater US success. Maybe there's someone who gave up on wrestling (because there's no money in it) after high school to play Wide Receiver for a D3 team (because there's money in pro football) who never made it to the NFL but could have been the John Smith of Greco-Roman. We'll never know because the Americans with the best athletic ability get funneled into big revenue sports.

 

I'm also not sold on your Wes Welker argument. Different sports require different skill sets. Similar to the reason some great folkstyle wrestlers don't succeed in Greco. Lebron James may be one of the greatest athletes in the world but I don't think he ever would have been a world class wrestler.

 

In general, great folkstyle wrestlers don't succeed in Olympic wrestling because of different skill sets, rather because of lack of training. In an alternate universe in which the USA prides Greco-roman wrestling above folkstyle, I bet Dake and Humphrey training Greco since middle school would have won world medals by now. They have the athleticism to be great Greco wrestlers, just its too late to pick up the style at 23 against a filed that started at 10.

 

Sure there are outliers like Askren who probably could have only been good at folkstyle because the skills that made him great at folkstyle actively hindered him in freestyle. However, by and large, lack of training hurts the USA the most in Olympic wrestling. Give our great athletes the training, and they would dominate our current top tier Senior wrestlers.

 

Everyone posting on this forum has seen at least one freak athlete start wrestling in 9th or 10th grade on the advice of a football coach only to beat life long wrestlers for to win a State champ/place whatever with little to no skills. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying. Why don't we see these guys in college? Because they play sports that have a monetary future because they can.

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You can be a world class athlete and not be fast, shredded, or extremely explosive. Physical specimens get manhandled all the time on the mat by guys with other world class physical attributes like flexibilty and proprioception.

 

I never claimed to only consider beef cakes "wold class athletes." Muggsy Bogues could have been a great 55kg wrestler. Jockeys would make great 55kg wrestlers. Jordan could have been a great 74kg wrestler and he wasn't "shredded" at all.

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it's foolish to call a guy in the nfl a world class athlete and not who guy makes our world team is not. what's your criteria? he can jump higher or run faster, sign him up and send the guys we have home.

 

Yes. That's how the dictionary defines an "athlete."

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