Photo by Victor Suarez.
USA Wrestling’s “Wrestler for Life” program is accepting submissions for “The Story of the Week”. It can be about anything wrestling related, whether it’s a particular wrestling match you’ll never forget, or a life lesson that the sport taught you. If your story is chosen, it will be featured on TheMat.com, and winners will receive a USA Wrestling t-shirt.
Send your submissions to: Wrestlerforlife@usawrestling.org
This week's submission is by Bob Morris.
As a wrestler, we learn holds and techniques, how to train, and how to win. And later in life we come to appreciate that we were a wrestler and how the sport shaped who we are. As a coach, we come to realize the life lessons we’ve learned in the sport, and to share those with the youngsters we work with. The sport of wrestling has taught me many lessons, which still impact me on a daily basis. Some I can identify with specific quotes- some from private conversations, some I merely read. Here are nine favorites.
1. "Wrestling is not a recreational sport." - Werner Holzer, Olympian
Nobody ever got up from Thanksgiving dinner and said, “Let’s go shoot some takedowns.”
2. “Strength is to wrestling what height is to basketball.” - Doug Blubaugh, Olympic Gold Medalist
Every human endeavor encompasses certain Key Factors for Success. Identify them, leverage them, exploit them.
3. “If you can’t slick ‘em, hurt ‘em.” - Ron Bessemer
A few years ago I went to see my old club coach. He was in his mid 70’s. All through dinner, his cell phone was blowing up with kids calling to work out under his tutelage. Always have a Plan B.
4. “Pressure is a privilege.” - John Smith, Olympic Gold Medalist and champion coach
If you suddenly find yourself ranked #1 embrace the situation. I can’t remember which famous college hoops coach said it, but I remember him telling his team, “This is why you came here, to play in big games like this.”
5. “You know what you need to do. Now do it.” - Mark Schwab, 4x Iowa Champ
If you’ve done the preparation. Believe in yourself. Execute.
6. “I didn’t need to be perfect that day. I didn’t need to be the fastest. I just needed to be enough. And on that day I was enough to win.” - Helen Maroulis, Olympic gold medalist
Don’t make the mistake of getting hung up on perfection. Focus on being enough.
7. “Effort breeds interest.” - Bob Morris (Sr), NCAA Runner-up
These days, most people think the words in this sentence should be reversed. But not so. If you want to get stronger, don’t go searching for inspiration- go lift some darn weights! That’ll spark the interest, which will in turn fan the flames to inspire even greater effort.
8. “Hard work is like brushing your teeth. Do it awhile and you’ll come to like it.” - J Robinson, Olympian & champion Coach
Make it a habit.
9. "There are a lot of things in life where our success is determined by others. It’s political. But in wrestling it really comes down to your own self. It’s got a purity to it. Maybe that’s why we keep coming back to it.” - Don Behm, Olympic silver medalist