Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

2013 State Team

Posted: January 28, 2013 in Uncategorized
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Last week anyone who has wrestled a varsity match this year received a beanie (modeled in the pic below by the lovely Amara Bordner).  The text reads:

“The Yellow and Black Attack: CV Wrestling 2013 State Team.”

Set your sights high fellas.  We are hoping this is a visual reminder and motivator to do just that.

We are now on the road to state.  For varsity wrestlers, those who place top 3 in league qualify for CIF.  Top 5 in CIF move on to the SS Master’s meet, and top 9 from that meet head to the state meet in Bakersfield.  We are now on the road to state!



A HUGE congratulations goes out to five CV wrestlers for getting PERFECT ATTENDANCE for spring semester: Geoff Mellor, Ian Brault, Michael Logan, Aaron Geria, and Jake Peets.  These fellas were here every minute of every spring practice from March to June 8.

As a reward, they get perfect attendance trophies this week.  Awesome job, fellas, keep up the good work!

In other news, the following wrestlers have amassed 80 merit points in spring and have thus earned their way onto the 2012-13 promotional poster: Ian Brault, Phillip O’shea, Michael Davis, Jason Garcia, Jonny Gutierrez, Michael Logan, and Jake Peets.  They have earned their way onto the poster through wrestling in spring tournaments and scrimmages, going to club practices, having 90% or greater attendance at spring practices, and having a 3.75 GPA or above for spring.  There are plenty more opportunities to earn points in the summer! 

Perfect attendance, spring 2012: Geoff Mellor, Ian Brault, Mike Logan, Aaron Geria, and Jake Peets

CV Wrestling had a bit of a treat yesterday: Capo has had one state champion over the years–Mike Phillips.  Not only did he win state once, but he managed to do it twice back in the late 80’s!  He stopped by to work with the guys and give them some perspective and words of encouragement.  Not only was he a stud wrestler, but he has a first rate intellect as well: he is a phd and works in the biochemistry field.   What’s more, he has a lab in Spain…that’s far out (literally!).  We REALLY appreciate the visit, Mike, and hope to see you around next year.

Kyle Coley is our “tough guy of the week.”  He gutted out an overtime victory over a tough county ranked Laguna Hills wrestler on Tuesday.  He responded to a bit of adversity by turning up the heat on his opponent and getting the job done.  That’s the way to respond: rather than shutting down or responding negatively to adversity, he nailed it.  Good job, Kyle!



The following is in inspirational story about former University of Michigan football coach Bo Shembechler.  Being the loyal Buckeye fan that I am, I hate having to admit that this is a good story (I’m simply amazed that anything good comes out of that cesspool of a state. 🙂 ), but truth is truth.  I find this story very timely, given this week:

In the spring of 1969, Shembechler took over a down-and-out football squad.  Ohio State had dominated Michigan in recent years, and something had to be done.  The previously unknown coach (the day after his hire, newspapers ran the headline, “Bo Who?”) started spring practice with 150 players.  He worked them so hard and so intensely, that by the beginning of the 1969 season he was down to around 75 players.  Even starters were walking off the team.

It was at this time that Shembechler put up a sign in the Michigan locker room that stands to this day:


Who knew that it would prove so propetic.

A little background about the Ohio State-Michigan football game:   Every year, the two teams play for the last game of the regular season.  It is one of the most heated rivalries in all of sports.  It is so heated that either team can have a losing season, but as long as they win the OSU-Michigan game, fans consider the season a success.  Conversely, if either team went undefeated the previous games, won a BCS bowl, but lost the OSU-Michigan game, fans consider the season a wash.  It’s that serious.

Going into the 1969 game, OSU was considered the most dominant D1 football team of all time.  They were coming off a 1968 national title, were undefeated in 1969 going into the game, and they had outscored their opponents by quite a wide margin.  They had more returning all-americans than you could count.  They were the #1 team in the country and were a shoe in for a second title.  Michigan was average.

Well, you can probably predict what I’m about to say.  Michigan upset OSU, pulling off one of the biggest upsets in college football history.

Those who stay will be champions.

While waiting for my flight Wednesday to Ohio to see family, I came across the following poem in, of all things, a luxury car ad in USA Today.  By Edgar Guest, it epitomizes rather nicely the attitude we prize on the wrestling team.  So I pass it on to you:

When you’re up against a trouble,

Meet it squarely, face to face;

Lift your chin and set your shoulders,

Plant your feet and take a brace.

When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

Do the best that you can do;

You may fail, but you may conquer,

See it through!

Black may be the clouds about you

And your future may seem grim,

But don’t let your nerve desert you;

Keep yourself in fighting trim.

If the worst is bound to happen,

Spite of all that you can do,

Running from it will not save you,

See it through!

Even hope may seem but futile,

When with troubles you’re beset,

But remember you are facing

Just what other men have met.

You may fail, but fall still fighting;

Don’t give up, whate’er you do;

Eyes front, head high to the finish.

See it through!

Wrestlers, parents, fans, burning this attitude into our heads is priority #1 for this program.  Teaching a better double leg will not bring success to our program; being able to maturely handle adversity and having the mental toughness to stare a huge challenge in the face like it’s no big deal will.  That, in fact, is the sine qua non of our sport.

I think I’ll give this poem to those who contemplate quitting.  This is what men do: they see it through.

This is why we do all that conditioning in our program.  Sure, it’s to get in better shape, but it’s more about what’s between the ears than the size of your biceps.  Get this, folks.  It is what confidence is all about (seriously, click on the link and listen to Rutgers coach Scott Goodale elaborate on this).  The same mindset is captured quite well in this commercial:

This is wrestling, folks.  What separates the champs from the chumps in this sport is that the champs have the willingness to go through any sort of pain and sacrifice to get their hand raised.

In this sport (and in life), you’ll meet “the suck” daily.  Do you have what it takes to set your face, steel  your nerves, and see it through?

I am happy to say that our tryouts went splendidly well, and that it had its intended effect…

First, a little background for those who are new to the scene: our tryout consisted of three very grueling workouts.  Since new wrestlers who do no know much wrestling would be trying out, I felt having a wrestling based tryout might not be the best way to go about it…therefore, it was mainly a conditioning based tryout.  The first, called “The Manmaker,” consisted of 21 squat thrusters (barbell in front rack position.  squat. put barbell overhead by a press), 21 pullups, 15 squat thrusters, 15 pullups, 9 squat thrusters, 9 pullups.  The second, called “the 50’s,” consisted of 50 pullups, 50 kettlebell swings, 50 double unders with a jump rope, and 50 overhead squats (a squat while holding the barbell locked out in the press position overhead).  The third, called “Murph,” was run 1 mile, 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats, run another mile.  Get each workout done as fast as you can.  Yah: I know, crazy stupid.

Each new wrestler to the team must prove his worth by completing all three workouts.  If a wrestler fails at one or more workouts, he may still continue working out with the team and training, but he may not compete in a meet until he passes all three.  For any who missed one or more this time around, they have as many chances as they need to pass.  The next opportunity will be late November, when the fall sport athletes go through it.

Edgar Monroy. This kid's got the eye of the tiger this year.

Here are some of my thoughts about what I saw:

1)  “Isn’t this tryout too hard?”  No.  I wish you were there.  You’d doubt at first, but then your doubts would be put to rest at the end, because you’d see all the guys rising to the occasion and accomplishing something past their conceived abilities.  I’m not one of those guys who will baselessly preach “you can do whatever you put your mind to,” partly because that’s false, but…one thing I have seen is that most people are capable of far more than many of us give them credit for. 

2) These workouts proved to be more than anyone bargained for, but the good thing is that we have a crop of new wrestlers this year who are game and simply won’t quit.  EVERYONE, even those who did not pass one or more workouts, pushed through the workouts and showed that they have the chops.  Six passed all three this time.  For those that didn’t, I have the utmost confidence that they will nail it next time.  They’ve got the right mental toughness.  The rest is just details and training.

3) This is the first year we’ve had anything like a tryout.  I didn’t want to have an athletically based skills test, where I would take, say, the 15 most athletically gifted young men and cut the rest, but I didn’t just want to let anyone on the team either.  I’m concerned about what’s between the ears.  Everyone says they are “serious” when I talk to them, but how many really mean it?  These workouts were a really good way to gauge who means business.  I just wanted to see who wants it bad, and the tryout made it crystal clear.

4) “Why all the high expectations?  You’re just going to run people off,” some might say.  Yes, it will run some people off–the kind of people you don’t want in the room in the first place.  Having pretenders in the room has been one of the things holding us back in the past.  Plus, see #5 below:

5)Look at how the new and veteran wrestlers have responded to this.  The proof is in the pudding, as they say.  There is no question that it has energized us as a team.  Tate said it all after he finished “‘Murph:’ that was awesome!  I can’t believe I just did that!”  The confidence these guys have gained by going through this process is priceless and will benefit them and the rest of the team the whole season.

The new guys are chompin at the bit and eager.  The older wrestlers are taking the younger ones under their wings.  I really feel like we are starting to gel.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned over my brief career, its that when young men are challenged with high expectations, they consistently rise to the challenge.  There is a desire, an energy, a buzz to this team that I haven’t felt yet, and this mental change is the main aim of all these risen expectations this year.  Even my wife has noticed it…the past few weeks I’ve come home pumped up about the attitude I’m seeing now, and my wife has consistently said, “I’ve never heard you talk like this before about the team.  Usually you’re frustrated.”  Part of that is due to our excellent leadership (the senior class), but part of that, I think, is due to the fact that the guys are really being pushed to accomplish, and are being given the dignity of high expectations just to get on the team in the first place.  No one is entitled to a spot; everyone must earn it, and this is having a HUGE positive effect on the attitude of the individuals who are being pushed.  The kind of attitude you guys are displaying now is infectious, and it will make the right kind of people want to be a part of this team.

6) Everyone had to push through pain and discomfort.  I wanted to see how you would handle adversity.  Get used to it.  Wrestling is a sport of adversity.

7) To the six that passed all three: you guys are beasts.  I’m sure some doubted you, but here you are.  Good job.  Cherish this accomplishment, and when you feel like giving up in mid season when all seems to suck, remember this time.  Remember how awesome you felt.  It was not for nothing.  Remember your teammates who cheered you on, pushed you, encouraged you, and suffered with you.  You are now bonded to all of us and are an integral part of this team. Recalling that will lift you through the difficult time.

8) To those who did not pass one or more: it is no different for you.  You still went through all that.  You are still bonded to this team.  It should make you more hungry for next time, more hungry to excel in wrestling, more hungry to stick with it and not only pass the tryout, but finish the race of your wrestling career.  I do not doubt you.  No one should after seeing your heart and determination this time around.  Over the next month, train hard.  Do stuff on your own.  You WILL get there. Once you pass in November, let those habits carry over into your wrestling.  Even if you don’t pass in November, don’t let up.  As many times as it takes.  Be crazy tenacious.  It will make the accomplishment that much more sweet when you do get there.  I remember I failed six belt tests before I received my black belt in Tae Kwon Do when I was younger.  As powerlifting guru Louie Simmons once said, “to master Kungfu, the training must be severe.”  Well, to master wrestling, you must consistently do absolutely crazy things.

9) To the veterans: first, keep doing what you are doing.  Keep training hard.  Keep mentoring the younger and newer guys.  This is your shot: make the best of it, and make sure you leave a lasting positive legacy when you hang up the high school shoes.

Second, I hope the tryout was energizing for you too, and I hope that this last week put to rest some of the doubts you had about the young’uns ability to get it done.  I also I hope you see the point of all these new things we’re trying on this year.  They are not mere “hoops” to jump through.

The season is now upon us.  We have some good momentum, so let’s keep it going.  It’s gonna be a good year.