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Valencia Progress vs Pico Progress

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Over the past 6 months to a year it seems Anthony Valencia's progress has been amazing. It seems he has progressed by leaps and bounds given his win over Mark Hall to narrowly beating IMAR to teching IMAR twice to make the world team and then his performance at the worlds. His takedowns from upper and lower levels have gotten sharper and his gut wrenches have gotten much better. Starting to feel the choice at ASU and access to Sunkist will give him the coaching he needs to develop well. 

 

Pico, not knocking him as i am a big fan but since his cadet world championship run seems to have progressed not as much. He has gotten better at what he does snap, high single, chase the hip but i suspect more and more are going to figure out what the Iranian has already, snap Pico to keep him from using his, stay in good position and low level shots which the Turk and the Iranian have both shown as his weak area. Also, Aaron's takedown arsenal has not shown to have progressed as much as i thought it might have up till this point. Kind of feel he would really benefit from time with Nittany Lion or OSU room. More Nittany Lion for their guys do a great job of controling ties and creating movement with one hand and  low level attacks with the other. Iowa room of course would give him more of what he is use to but Penn State and OSU room have shown better results on the international level. 

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Didn't Pico beat out the Nittany Lion Retherford 3 times to make the team?  The PSU and OSU rooms produced zero junior world team members.  Pico is just fine.  He made the move from cadets to juniors and still placed 2nd in the world.  

 

I'd be more concerned with him getting too much varied coaching and not focusing on doing what he does best.  It seems Valentin Kalika brought him to this level.  I was kind of annoyed hearing how vocal Brandon Slay was from Pico's corner.  Let his coach coach him. 

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Two guys from the same team making excellent strides and progress on the international scene.   Just wait till Zahid turns the corner and Olivas arrives.   Whatever they have going on over there in Southern California, bottle it and get the entire US team on it.    I don't see how anyone can nit pick.  

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Over the past 6 months to a year it seems Anthony Valencia's progress has been amazing. It seems he has progressed by leaps and bounds given his win over Mark Hall to narrowly beating IMAR to teching IMAR twice to make the world team and then his performance at the worlds. His takedowns from upper and lower levels have gotten sharper and his gut wrenches have gotten much better. Starting to feel the choice at ASU and access to Sunkist will give him the coaching he needs to develop well. 

 

Pico, not knocking him as i am a big fan but since his cadet world championship run seems to have progressed not as much. He has gotten better at what he does snap, high single, chase the hip but i suspect more and more are going to figure out what the Iranian has already, snap Pico to keep him from using his, stay in good position and low level shots which the Turk and the Iranian have both shown as his weak area. Also, Aaron's takedown arsenal has not shown to have progressed as much as i thought it might have up till this point. Kind of feel he would really benefit from time with Nittany Lion or OSU room. More Nittany Lion for their guys do a great job of controling ties and creating movement with one hand and  low level attacks with the other. Iowa room of course would give him more of what he is use to but Penn State and OSU room have shown better results on the international level. 

 

Just curious as to what you are referring to as far as PSU's "better results" on international level.  Other than ISU graduate Varner (training with NLWC) have there been any other results on the international level to support that claim? 

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Didn't Pico beat out the Nittany Lion Retherford 3 times to make the team?  The PSU and OSU rooms produced zero junior world team members.  Pico is just fine.  He made the move from cadets to juniors and still placed 2nd in the world.  

 

I'd be more concerned with him getting too much varied coaching and not focusing on doing what he does best.  It seems Valentin Kalika brought him to this level.  I was kind of annoyed hearing how vocal Brandon Slay was from Pico's corner.  Let his coach coach him. 

Pico has been wrestling/competing against boys.He is growing.   I am sure Mr. Kalika is a fine coach, but in order to up his game, Pico needs time at the OTC, spending time with Bill Zadick, Brandon Slay, Bruce Burnett and others.  Contrary to what many of you may think, I wish him all the best.   

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Pico has clearly improved since he won cadet worlds.  Juniors is a different ballgame, and it's not as if he is losing to people he previously had beaten.  2nd place as a first year junior wrestler is a very strong performance, and I don't doubt we will see him adjust his style now that he is against more physical competition that he can't simply push around.

 

Also, you can't compare Pico to Valancia, since Valencia essentially became a completely different wrestler once he grew into his body.  His athleticism and explosiveness are off the charts, which is what we really have seen develop over the past 12 months. 

 

As for who will develop more in the future...Valencia is in a great position with Zeke and Sunkist as you point out, but Pico has access to essentially whomever he wants.  I don't think he's any worse off from a training standpoint.  You can argue that he may be worse off down the road due to forgoing college, but that is a whole other can of worms and unrelated to his wrestling career. 

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I think there is no denying Ruth and Taylors success as well as Varner and don't leave out the grand daddy of the them all Cael is still in that room. That being said I think Pico could have developed equally as well in either program I personally don't feel him focusing fully on freestyle will give him greater success but time will tell.

 

As with any young talent the odds are against Pico making a world team and then winning a world title or gold medal or even placing for that matter I wish him the best in his venture but think the college experience has a lot to add to anyones life. In todays world these college kids are wrestling full time freestyle at the OTC and club all year other than their college season anyway.

Edited by tech_fall

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Who would Pico roll with in the PSU room? Molinaro and Fanthorpe? Retherford who he has put a beating on multiple times now? Seems to me he would be better off training with 3x world team member Brent Metcalf who is also at his weight. The same Metcalf who went 5-0 at the World Cup, won the GGP, and beat world #1 Kurbanaliev this year (and has in past years as well). He'd be coached by Terry Brands who has coached our only real freestyle specific athlete to a gold medal (Cejudo). Not too mention that the HWC already has two world bronze medals this year with two shots left at the senior level.

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Pico has been wrestling/competing against boys.He is growing.   I am sure Mr. Kalika is a fine coach, but in order to up his game, Pico needs time at the OTC, spending time with Bill Zadick, Brandon Slay, Bruce Burnett and others.  Contrary to what many of you may think, I wish him all the best.   

 

 

This.  Is what's wrong on so many levels. 

 

A) Valentin Kalika is not just a "fine coach."  Feel free to read his bio some time.  He has a Masters from Kiev University in professional coaching and sports education.  What does that mean?  It means he has studied under the most impressive sports program on this planet.  The USSR/Russian of wrestling has produced more medals in Olympic History than in any other sport, ever.  He knows what he's doing.

 

B) Pico "needs time at the OTC."  I'm sorry, but Bill Zadick, Brandon Slay and Bruce Burnett do not have a choke hold on the development of US Freestyle athletes.  You might want to take a look around, but it is THAT PARTICULAR thinking that put us in the "dark ages" of World/Olympic medals.  It is the Regional Training Centers, the trust and relationship that coaches have with their athletes and staying with their coach that has led to our recent success.  

 

C) Your implication that Pico has in some way, regressed, is short-sighted at best.  He is beating Senior Level athletes (Silver at Grand Prix of Spain, beat Japanese World Team Member at Jr. Worlds) and just took a Silver Medal as a FIRST YEAR JUNIOR.  Is he Sadulaev?  Nope.  But it is disingenuous to say that Pico has not "upped his level" in the past year.  He's getting better, and other athletes are getting better at game planning for him.  

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theyre both still progressing. they're also not progressing in opposition of each other. excited about both of their future wrestling careers.

 

also might be worth keeping in mind that most world champions dont train in college rooms or RTCs as most world champions aren't americans. 

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No one said Valentine was a bad coach. He has brought aaron along just fine. But can you say Aaron has progressed in his takedowns? What low level takedowns has he developed? You need these types of attacks to win at the senior level.

I would just hate to see Aaron slow his progress down by having to feel loyal to 1 coach. How many Olympic champs start out as an age group athlete all the way through.

To act like Varner is who he is because of ISU and not the college coach he followed is funny. But let's see here Franklin Gomez trains with Nittany Lion as do Varner, and several other successful international wrestlers.

I should make it clear I'm not just talking wins and losses. I'm talking development. From 1 yr to the next I see him doing the same thing which obviously he is great at but it gives the opposition something to figure out.

Look at Burroughs between his first world title and his next world title he went from just a double legger to a single leg and now good lord. He progressed on his takedowns despite already being the best at the takedown of his choice.

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Don't forget that these guys attend the same high school.  Same high school Zahid Valencia goes to and the other rising star is attending (Cade Olivas).  Whatever their coaches are doing is pretty impressive.  These kids aren't peaking either.  They used to win by a small margin, now they are winning state and national championships by major decisions and technical falls.  They still have a huge upside, which is pretty scary. 

 

 

 

 

 

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No one said Valentine was a bad coach. He has brought aaron along just fine. But can you say Aaron has progressed in his takedowns? What low level takedowns has he developed? You need these types of attacks to win at the senior level.

I would just hate to see Aaron slow his progress down by having to feel loyal to 1 coach. How many Olympic champs start out as an age group athlete all the way through.

To act like Varner is who he is because of ISU and not the college coach he followed is funny. But let's see here Franklin Gomez trains with Nittany Lion as do Varner, and several other successful international wrestlers.

I should make it clear I'm not just talking wins and losses. I'm talking development. From 1 yr to the next I see him doing the same thing which obviously he is great at but it gives the opposition something to figure out.

Look at Burroughs between his first world title and his next world title he went from just a double legger to a single leg and now good lord. He progressed on his takedowns despite already being the best at the takedown of his choice.

 

Yikes.  Wrong, wrong and some more wrong.

 

A) You need Low Level attacks to win at the senior level.  No, you don't.  You NEED a mid-level attack.  Might want to look at the scoring breakdown of the World Championships and Olympics that can be found.  It's single leg (specifically categorized is "low-level attacks" - low single, ankle pick, etc.)

 

B) Aaron hasn't progressed in his takedowns.  UMMM.... Yes. Yes, he has.  He debuted a misdirection/outside snatch single at Jr. Worlds.

 

C) "How many Olympic champs start out as an age group athlete all the way through."   Ummm.... a MAJORITY of them.  The Russian system is based SOLELY on the relationship of a coach staying with ONE ATHLETE his entire career, from youth up.

 

D) I understand your bias towards what the NLWC is doing CURRENTLY, but it's all cyclical.  There was a time here, just recently, I might add, that Oklahoma State was the place to train; a year ago which club had the most World Team Members?  That would be the Ohio RTC!

 

E) " I'm talking development. From 1 yr to the next I see him doing the same thing which obviously he is great at but it gives the opposition something to figure out."  This tells me just how much wrestling you actually watch at the world level.  The best wrestlers in the world do ONE THING great (offensively) and combine that with great defense.  The second best wrestler in the world? Reza Yazdani.  Has a step on your foot single that he has mastered.  All of his offense starts from there.

 

F) You might want to take a look at Burroughs FIRST World Championships.  He scored more often, and initiated more attacks with his single than his double.  This dude is an all-time great, RIGHT NOW.  You can't use him as a comparison to what EVERYONE else should be doing.  Pico is progressing and it's clear you are not seeing that.  He won a Cadet World Title last year. Won a Junior Silver as a first year Junior... a tournament that can be as tough as the Senior tournament on occasion.  And, I know that he is beating US Senior level athletes RIGHT NOW.  He is progressing just fine. 

 

The point is, your claims that Pico will not reach his potential because of his coaching/training situation could not be further from the truth.

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You list a Russian system with U.S. Athletes but then get upset when u mention Burroughs progression over other wrestlers. Weak arguments.Then you list a heavyweight wrestlers use of a foot stomp as his takedowns as an example of general success in the sport.

 

Yet you did not list any development made by Pico. Like I said I'm a huge Pico fan, he resides in my home town and what he is doing is huge. But given his time training I would have liked to have seen some more versatility in his arsenal.

I just have seen a bigger jump in progression from Anthony. But maybe Aaron is already at that top level are so good you view the amount of progression to be expected as tiny.

I know I'll see Aaron running the hills in Whittier soon and he will continue to do what he does but I can't help but think of who will showore progress in the future Valencia or Pico.

And no one said Aaron has regressed or declined, merely that there wasn't anything new. If you were a little less defensive you would see that.

And finally, being book smart does not mean you are the leader in application or as a practitioner. Are you saying because someone like Smith, Sanderson, Slay, Or Burnett is less prepared to develop an athlete because they don't hold the degree?

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No one said Valentine was a bad coach. He has brought aaron along just fine. But can you say Aaron has progressed in his takedowns? What low level takedowns has he developed? You need these types of attacks to win at the senior level.

I would just hate to see Aaron slow his progress down by having to feel loyal to 1 coach. How many Olympic champs start out as an age group athlete all the way through.

To act like Varner is who he is because of ISU and not the college coach he followed is funny. But let's see here Franklin Gomez trains with Nittany Lion as do Varner, and several other successful international wrestlers.

I should make it clear I'm not just talking wins and losses. I'm talking development. From 1 yr to the next I see him doing the same thing which obviously he is great at but it gives the opposition something to figure out.

Look at Burroughs between his first world title and his next world title he went from just a double legger to a single leg and now good lord. He progressed on his takedowns despite already being the best at the takedown of his choice.

 

----

 

In 2014, Iowa produced two WTT's champions, Metcalf and Ramos. Gilman just won a World Jr bronze. And a month earlier, McDonough won World University bronze. Last year, Brooks and Gilman both qualified for World Jrs.Terry Brands has successfully coached Olympic/World wrestlers, and is a former 2x World gold medalist, plus Olympic bronze, and his brother Tom is a former World gold and Olympic gold medalist.  

 

I know Retherford won a cadet gold a year or two ago and Varner was 2012 Olympic champ. I was just asking for any other PSU results on the international level.

 

I find your statement that "PSU has better results on the international level"  puzzling and not accurate. For production in especially the lighter and middle weights, Iowa has had results second to none. 

 

And I find your criticisms of Pico to be without basis. He's a 17(?) year old who just finished placing higher at JR Worlds than any other American.

Edited by rossel3

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Ay Yi Yi (there's some vernacular for you, bud)

 

I SPECIFICALLY detailed a new move in Pico's arsenal:

A misdirection/outside snatch single.  Which, once again, tells me how little you actually watch and PAY ATTENTION to Pico's matches or wrestling in general. 

 

The fact is, you, like a LOT of uneducated wrestling people, want to put Pico in a box, and have him wrestle in a way that you LIKE.  Pico is great at snaps, and what he is going to do is develop FROM THERE.  If you said his low-level and outside defense is suspect I would have agreed with you.  But you didn't, because again, you don't know as much as you think.

Jordan Burroughs HAS gotten better/progressed each year, but he is the same facsimile of the wrestler he was when he won his first World Championship. Great Double, even better single.  I'm not upset nor do I have "weak arguments."  Listing one of the All-Time GREATS as a case example/evidence of progression is ignorant at best, and farcical at worst.

 

My "general success" of the sport reads as such:  every single world champion, EVER, had ONE thing that they do better than anyone else, and all of their offense spreads from there.  That includes the greatest of all time - Saitiev (overhook/2-on-1), Smith (low single/HI-C).  Your argument is that Pico needs to develop more "low-level" attacks is moot and not true.  Because winning world titles is done at the mid-level. 

 

Your argument that Valencia has "progressed more than Pico" may hold some water, but Pico just won a Silver medal at a tournament Valencia did not medal at.  And I can promise you that Valencia's "progress" had very little to do with what happened technique-wise, and more to do with one happened between his ears.

 

Are you saying because someone like Smith, Sanderson, Slay, Or Burnett is less prepared to develop an athlete because they don't hold the degree? 

 

 

Come on man!  That is not what I said, and you are turning around your OWN ARGUMENT.  Clearly, Smith, Sanderson and Burnett are "prepared to develop an athlete."  I am simply refuting your beliefs that Valentin Kalika lacks the ability to do the same, which you have insinuated.  You are free to disagree, but don't be so upset I provide you with facts that prove you wrong.

 

also, another area Pico has progressed/developed/its new is in his scrambling.  Might want to watch his 1st round match at Jr Worlds against the Japanese to see what i'm talking about.

Edited by vhsalum

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Total hijack... What would you say Gatsalovs go to technique is? I guess maybe his high crotch to double, but really he's one if the few guys who can shoot an ankle, go hit throws, and anything in between.

 

Also great post vhasalum. IMO placing second at jr worlds in your first year is cause for celebration, not alarm.

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 Seems to me he would be better off training with 3x world team member Brent Metcalf who is also at his weight. He'd be coached by Terry Brands who has coached our only real freestyle specific athlete to a gold medal (Cejudo). Not too mention that the HWC already has two world bronze medals this year with two shots left at the senior level.

 

Terry would be great a great coach for Pico. However, If Pico wants to make the 2016 Olympic team, then he won't train with Metcalf who is the clear favorite for the 2016 spot right now. Two things would have to happen for Pico to train with Metcalf:

 

1) Metcalf bows out of the 2016 Olympic team race

2) Pico/Metcalf bump up to 74kg

 

Neither seems likely IMO. 

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Definitely Gatsalov's lefty HI-C.

 

What's funny is, and is indicative of the Russian system in general, Gatsalov will shoot just to create action.  He'll literally shoot "just to shoot" and score from there.

 

Now, how wise are the Russians/Gatsalov?  He was pretty much a head-inside single attacker at 120kg.  Shooting a HI-C against guys bigger than you just isn't that smart (see: Kyle Snyder v. Gergii Gogaev) 

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Pico has been hitting that takedown for some time now. I ignored it because I don't feel a need to point out the obvious. Talk about not watching wrestling.

 

We shall see he his progress goes with sticking with the same old same old. U.S. athletes has a tendency of dominating their country with one thing and then faultering against the world. I just don't want to see Pico do the same. I want him to be above the hype.

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My "general success" of the sport reads as such:  every single world champion, EVER, had ONE thing that they do better than anyone else, and all of their offense spreads from there.  That includes the greatest of all time - Saitiev (overhook/2-on-1), Smith (low single/HI-C).  Your argument is that Pico needs to develop more "low-level" attacks is moot and not true.  Because winning world titles is done at the mid-level. 

You're saying that these guys did one thing better than everyone else, and that world titles are won at the mid-level.  But you also say two things for each guy, and I think only one of those is at the mid-level (Smith's Hi-C).

 

Anyway, I think both of these ideas are interesting.  Did every world champ use a single dominant move/tie to open up the rest of their game?  Are championships won at the mid-level (that is, single and double legs)?

 

For example, Asgarov and Goigereev both dominated with shrugs the last few years -- and I think you could argue that those attacks allowed everything else they did to work.  But I don't think the shrug is a mid-level attack.  

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I'd be willing to bet that Retherford would have beaten Pico in the spring of 2013. Let's not forget, Retherford was a Cadet world champ as well. 

 

Pico has come a long way since losing in the Super 32 in the fall of 2012. Let the kid keep improving. 

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I started this topic to show to people that even if you are not criticizing someone, to even ask a question is sac religious in the wrestling community. If you go back and read my post, no where did i say Pico was slipping, lost a step, or anything negative, nor did i say one was better then the other.

On the other side i never said anything negative about Valentine and his coaching.

I merely stated an observation about the improvements made by Anthony vs the improvements made by Pico 

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