Good post Russ.
Good post Russ.
But once you get to college you have to have technique, toughness, everything. Everybody (at least everybody who becomes a decent D1 guy) picks up the mat awareness if they didn't have it already. I think the elite college guys now may be the best they have ever been but I'm not so sure about the rest of the pack for some reason. Don't ask me to explain why because I can't.
I agree that wrestlers are overall better these days, but it's all relative when comparing eras. Back in the 80s, I think the competition was just as tough or tougher. You had more schools competing and therefore more actual wrestlers on the mat. The really good ones weren't 2nd in anyone's lineup and therefore you had to beat all of the good ones to win the tournament. It seems that now-a-days almost every team has one or two guys on their bench that could have made noise in the tourney if they could've just been in the lineup. I'm not saying guys in the 80s or 90s could beat today's wrestlers, but if they had access to what wrestlers of today have access to, I think they would have been just as polished.
I'm kind of on the fence on which was harder, but I'm leaning towards pre-Title IV days just because of MORE competition come tournament time. I may be making a horrible comparison, but I kind of liken it to the California HS state tourney. It may not be the best competition compared to other states, but the grind just to qualify and then go on to win makes it just as tough if not tougher.
I concur with Russ's post, but as opportunities decline to wrestle at the highest level, competition will invetibably weaken. This will also stifle innovation in wrestling top level level wrestling is reduced to essentially the Big Ten. Wrestlers who don't have stellar HS careers and don't fit the traditional mold will have less and less opportunities. Maybe only 1 of 100 of that type of kid can make a big impact of the DI, but in the future that kid will never have a chance.
I've mentioned this before, but in talking to Matt Gentry a few years back he suggested that the modern emphasis on "funk" hurts American wrestlers internationally. He said that people don't focus on basic defense (head/hands, sprawls, hips) as much as they should and just try to funk out of leg attacks.
Wrestling might be more technical nowadays, but didn't people used to wrestle 9 minute matches and cut obscene amounts of weight? Seems "tougher" than now.
I remember seeing GOD the first time I wrestled a 9 minute match ! I was up 4 with RT and just died . The kid turned me with a half ! I couldn't raise my arms to shake the guys hand .
Wow, that's right.
I had forgotten how I felt after my first couple of practices and then my matches. Some parts weren't moving well, the rest I couldn't move at all. Couldn't lift my arm, couldn't move my neck, couldn't hold on to anything.
I haven't experienced that level of fatigue before or after.
And sadly, I only wrestled 6 minutes. I guess I should be happy I wrestled all 6?
Technically of course we grow and assuming negative growth of technique would reflect poorly on modern coaches. Same sort of concept with atheleticism every generation is faster and stronger then the last, as evidenced by the continuing breaking of records in track and swimming events. The major thing to look at here is comparing preparedness and toughness between generations. I think the current generation is far more prepared for high level competation but we aren't nearly as tough as the wrestlers from the 80's and back. Greg Strobel once lecture to me about the "pussification of wrestling" that he sees is the cause for decreasing toughness.