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Thread: Wtf

  1. #37

    Default Re: Wtf

    I know I'll most likely get ostracized from this board forever for posting this, but I feel it is true.

    The problem with USA Wresting is twofold. The folkstyle vs. freestyle debate has been discussed at length here so I won't get into it though I believe it is a huge part of the problem. Wrestling is NOT wrestling. Folkstyle and Freestyle are vastly different and expecting wrestlers to switch techniques after 15 or more years and compete against people who have been doing the same technique for their entire lives is ridiculous.

    The second problem is just two words: Dan Gable.

    You hear every wrestling dad, youth coach, and casual fan rant and rave about what an ispiration he is and how he is everything that is right with wrestling. They assume he is the wrestling bible and everything he says is the Word.

    The problem is, Gable's philosophy of out-working, out-lasting and out-hustling your opponent only works for so long. The most finely tuned athlete in the best possible shape with the most time spent doing cardio will still lose to a fat, out of shape Georgian who's muscle memory is finely tuned and experienced.

    When a kid loses in the States, parents and coaches often say he or she didn't work hard enough beforehand and should run more sprints and lift more weights in practice leading up to the next tournament. Why? Because Gable did it. Because Gable out-worked his opponents. Because Gable and the Brands out-trained and out-grueled themselves for hours in the gym. So instead of improving technique, strategy, mental preperation, etc, a lot of kids just run for longer in the mornings, wrestle through more injuries in practice or lift more weights after practice hoping to improve.

    But not everybody is built that way. The Gables, Brands and Slays of the world are few. Only a minority respond well to that type of abuse on their bodies, yet wrestling culture in North America respects and reveres those traits. For example, would your coach growing up allow a teammate to spend 2 hours of a practice leading up to a State Championship drill a duck-under over and over and over again? Drilling at low-speed, focusing on hand position and body position? Most likely not. But would yoor coach allow a teammate to run wind sprints until he puked and do rope climbs until his hands were bare for 2 hours in practice leading up to a State Championship? I'd assume yes and your coach would most likely praise your teammate for having heart and wanting it more than anybody else.

    The philosophy, "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard" is a rally cry for North American wrestlers. I think it is false. But, its part of Americana. Rocky, the Miracle on Ice, Brandon Slay, etc. are parts of American culture that worships the underdog with no talent who works harder than their opponents and wins despite all the odds. The problem with this philosopy? They rarely, if ever, win twice. Because they burn out or catch somebody off guard. Talent and skill, though upsetable, wins more often.

    The successful wrestling nations (former Soviet Republics, Middle East, etc) have wrestling as part of their culture. They are taught, watch, and experience wrestling from a ridiculously young age. They know and do complex technique at age 5 better than North American high school kids do. They focus on minute details and develop strategy at an advanced level that North American college wrestlers can't even comprehend. Think about it. An Iranian Olympian has been gut-wrenching since he was 4. A typical American? Didn't do a gut-wrench in practice until his senior year of college. No amount of weight lifting or wind sprints can even that out.

    I'm not saying that wrestlers don't need to work harder. They just need to work smarter.

  2. #38

    Default Re: Wtf

    anklepicker, i could not agree with you more, bravo for saying what i have been trying to put into words for a long time now. Going against gable is very brave of you because everyone loves him, alot of people think he is better than john smith which in my opinion is just ridiculous. Why doesnt john smith run the national team anyway?

  3. #39

    Default Re: Wtf

    Very good point AP2.
    I will smash your face into a car windshield and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!

    Tell me about it, this morning, I woke up and I shit a squirrel, but what I can't get is the damn thing is still alive. So now, I've got a shit covered squirrel running around my office and I don't know what to name it.

  4. #40

    Default Re: Wtf

    Some largely unrelated thoughts on this topic:

    If wrestling message boards are any indication, the general disdain that American wrestling fans have for fs/greco can't help either. During the world championships, a post on the Canadian wrestling board after some US losses read something like "great... now themat.com will be running threads about why international wrestling sucks." I went over to check on themat.com, and sure enough, the top thread read "why international westling sucks". How can you do well at something you hate?

    In terms of Anklepickers comment, I don't know much about Dan Gable's influence but I do know the US national team guys make some pretty basic technical errors that even I can pick out, and I was an average wrestler from a mediocre wrestling nation. Jake Herbert always shoots to his knees. Metcalf regularly shoots cross-body (and I've commented on both these tendancies in other threads before.) Bergman apparently loves to to throw to his own back. Pretty basic mistakes.

    I hope the US wrestling program can get back to where it used to be. When I was competing, we always looked up to American wrestlers because they were so strong, so aggressive, and in such good shape. Some of my more talented teammates, both Canadian and South African, went to train at the OTC to get the best competition they could. This year Heinrich Barnes, Matt Gentry and Khetag Pliev, who have wrestled in but don't compete for the US, did better than the United States freestyle team. Strange.

  5. #41

    Default Re: Wtf

    Not sure where you are getting your information from AnklePicker. Russians arent drilling one move for 2 hours at any point in the year. They dont practice like that. Also, they dont start wrestling until 9-10 years old, and even at that age, they are rarely focusing on technique. To think that young Russians are better than Americans in Highschool is absurd. I help out at alot of highschools and do alot of wrestling camps. The majority of time I see is spent on technique, not conditioning. Even in college, most time is spent on technique. This isnt the early 80's anymore. We just spend most of our time in a totally different sport.

  6. #42
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    Default Re: Wtf

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyholt View Post
    Not sure where you are getting your information from AnklePicker. Russians arent drilling one move for 2 hours at any point in the year. They dont practice like that. Also, they dont start wrestling until 9-10 years old, and even at that age, they are rarely focusing on technique. To think that young Russians are better than Americans in Highschool is absurd. I help out at alot of highschools and do alot of wrestling camps. The majority of time I see is spent on technique, not conditioning. Even in college, most time is spent on technique. This isnt the early 80's anymore. We just spend most of our time in a totally different sport.
    Some of Anklepicker's details may be off, but I agree with the general sentiment. The Iowa way of wrestling (constant pressure, out work your oppenent) is the way most US high schools are coached. I also agree with you that the main problem is we are doing a different sport and all of the other reasoning is so secondary is does not really matter.

  7. #43

    Default Re: Wtf

    I beleive the details make a huge difference. FYI, my coach coached in Russia for a very long time, and puts me through practice every day. I think I have a good idea of their system. Simply switching to thier system would be a disaster. They spend much more time doing gymnastics, playing games, and conditioning doing ropes and bands than we do. These are small details that people dont know, yet they claim that they know what is wrong. If we implemented the Russian style of training with wrestlers doing a different sport for 18 years of their life, the same people who dont know what they are talking about would again be calling for someones head. I mean, has anyone who thinks they have the answer even watched a typical Russian practice? How about even an American practice in the last 4 years?

  8. #44

    Default Re: Wtf

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post
    I have pointed out several times on this forum that it is not necessary for the United States to follow the FILA format (best of 3 periods, tie breakers, clinches etc) in order to be become better at freestyle. High school or NCAA wrestlers could wrestle a "hybrid style" in whcih the scoring (back exposures, out of bounds, ect) follows freestyle but which still has the 7 minute matches, stalling warnings, and lack of clinches that folkstyle has. Hell, the US could hold international tournaments with financial rewards in that style.
    Something like the Real Pro Wrestling scoring maybe? I liked their scoring and if I remember correctly they were awarding pushouts before FILA did.
    I will smash your face into a car windshield and then take your mother, Dorothy Mantooth, out to a nice seafood dinner and never call her again!

    Tell me about it, this morning, I woke up and I shit a squirrel, but what I can't get is the damn thing is still alive. So now, I've got a shit covered squirrel running around my office and I don't know what to name it.

  9. #45

    Default Re: Wtf

    Quote Originally Posted by Champ Kind View Post
    Something like the Real Pro Wrestling scoring maybe? I liked their scoring and if I remember correctly they were awarding pushouts before FILA did.
    Probably something like that; I'm not too sure how the RPW worked. I think the major weakness of the current freestyle rules system is that they are overly complicated. Just the tie-breaker criteria is a big headache compared to the "most points wins" found in most other sport.

    If I could reccomend a set of "hybrid" rules, here they are. If USAwrestling or the NCAA could hold one or two tournaments a season with rules like this, who knows what would happen?

    Match setup: 7 minutes (3-2-2) like a folkstyle match. If that's too long, shorten to 6 or 5.
    Scoring: current freestyle scoring including out-of-bounds rules. When both guys roll around in a scramble and it's not clear who the aggressor was, it's always scored 2-2.
    Tie-breakers: none. If the match is tied, you go into sudden death OT, first point scores, no time limit.
    Stalling: not quite sure how this will work. Is the current system in folkstyle (warning, then 1 pt penalties) effective? When I wrestled in South Africa they cautioned people for stalling. Made the matches pretty exciting, but seemed a bit too arbitrary.

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