Iowa Wrestling Solved in 3 steps

vhsalum

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1. STOP DOING LONG GOES. It is so absurd to be doing goes longer than 10 minutes. What does it make you? A great handfighter and someone who conserves energy. Our athletes are a reflection of their training. They're looking for the perfect shot, perfect set up before they shoot that shot - and that's not the reality. It will never be perfect. And guys aren't going to fall over. Especially not at NCAAs. These long goes also contribute to our injury accumulation. No amount of changed in the S&C department will save our guys bodies like not wrestling such long goes and having such long practices.

2. Get better at mat finishes/scrambling. This is absurd that outside of Spencer and Kem, as a whole, Iowa guys cannot finish on the mat. Brands has to spend more time here. Prior to 2020, they spent a ton of time on top/bottom and that has paid off. It will pay off here as well. This also contributes to our guys not shooting/wanting the perfect shot - they are absolutely scared sh*tless of giving up a takedown after taking a shot.

3. Mental training/philosophy. And this has to come from Tom and Terry. They have to commit to a wholesale change in the way they speak to the athletes and how they convey what it means to wrestle for Iowa. My heart literally broke listening to Desanto's interview:

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/7609626-austin-desanto-iowa-changed-my-life

A guy who I thought would be completely bought into Tom and Terry's intense love for the sport literally says that wrestling ISN'T FUN, he DOESN'T LOVE IT, and its the most STRESSFUL PART OF HIS LIFE. How in the heck is he supposed to compete at his best at the most pivotal moments if he's stressed? You can't.

I'm not saying turn into some knockoff of Carl and start saying f*n, f*n, f*n - but if a guy like Desanto doesn't love it - who can? And that's a reflection of Tom and Terry and the way they coach practice and the words they say about competing.
 

rcamp67

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1. STOP DOING LONG GOES. It is so absurd to be doing goes longer than 10 minutes. What does it make you? A great handfighter and someone who conserves energy. Our athletes are a reflection of their training. They're looking for the perfect shot, perfect set up before they shoot that shot - and that's not the reality. It will never be perfect. And guys aren't going to fall over. Especially not at NCAAs. These long goes also contribute to our injury accumulation. No amount of changed in the S&C department will save our guys bodies like not wrestling such long goes and having such long practices.

2. Get better at mat finishes/scrambling. This is absurd that outside of Spencer and Kem, as a whole, Iowa guys cannot finish on the mat. Brands has to spend more time here. Prior to 2020, they spent a ton of time on top/bottom and that has paid off. It will pay off here as well. This also contributes to our guys not shooting/wanting the perfect shot - they are absolutely scared sh*tless of giving up a takedown after taking a shot.

3. Mental training/philosophy. And this has to come from Tom and Terry. They have to commit to a wholesale change in the way they speak to the athletes and how they convey what it means to wrestle for Iowa. My heart literally broke listening to Desanto's interview:

https://www.flowrestling.org/video/7609626-austin-desanto-iowa-changed-my-life

A guy who I thought would be completely bought into Tom and Terry's intense love for the sport literally says that wrestling ISN'T FUN, he DOESN'T LOVE IT, and its the most STRESSFUL PART OF HIS LIFE. How in the heck is he supposed to compete at his best at the most pivotal moments if he's stressed? You can't.

I'm not saying turn into some knockoff of Carl and start saying f*n, f*n, f*n - but if a guy like Desanto doesn't love it - who can? And that's a reflection of Tom and Terry and the way they coach practice and the words they say about competing.
I completely agree with you regarding the desanto interview. I have always just thought that we need the recruits and we will win. I still think we need to close the gap in regards to recruiting but AD talking about how stressful wrestling is was very telling. I do think the mindset difference at PSU is helping some of their athletes improve more so than ours. RBY and Nick Lee were good wrestlers but not great as freshman. Not all that much different than AD, Bull, Warner, Cass, heck even Young and Murin. Any one of our guys could have taken the same leap RBY or NL did but NONE of them did. Heck I don’t remember the last time a hawk wrestler has taken that leap. I wonder if staying relaxed and focusing on having f*n alllows for more improvement versus our hard nosed intense focus on winning. There is no denying there is a mindset difference in the two programs and the results indicate we might need a slight shift in the mental game.
 

dtripp26

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Desanto has plenty of issues not related to TnT that might contribute to things in his life being stressful. We don't know his demons. We don't know his daily struggles to not want to break some guys arm on the mat. Wrestling could cause him stress for many reasons.

I know we were all subjected to 4 hours of psu f** indoctrination Saturday night but let's hold off on the mindless robot crap narrative.
 

vhsalum

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We had the best team in the nation (2) years in a row----there is not a lot that needs solved--stay healthy is the big one. Our coaches are very refelective and willing to look at areas to improve--I suspect they will do just that.

And that crew is gone. Hell, with what Marinelli is at NCAAs - who's to say we would have won 2020? Because its clear that PSU shows up at NCAAs.

And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?

Because this next group of kids are NOT Spencer, Kem, Eierman, Cass, etc. Athletic guys who were scrambling in high school. Finishing on the mat/scrambling is going to have to be addressed. Injury prevention (no more long goes) is going to have to be addressed. And these are mostly Iowa kids. They're already hard-nosed and tough and love wrestling. They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.
 
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vhsalum

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Desanto has plenty of issues not related to TnT that might contribute to things in his life being stressful. We don't know his demons. We don't know his daily struggles to not want to break some guys arm on the mat. Wrestling could cause him stress for many reasons.

I know we were all subjected to 4 hours of psu f** indoctrination Saturday night but let's hold off on the mindless robot crap narrative.

I specifically said not to become F*n-bots. But the pressure is apparent on all of our guys not named Spencer and Kem. Our guys do not wrestle with the mentality that Tom spouts in his interviews. As a whole, we don't attack, attack, attack. We can all agree on that.
 
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Descat1

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Disagree with this perspective and especially using AD as a model to make the point. As soon as I heard his interview I could hear other coaches using that clip in their office with recruits and that will be total BS, but recruiting is not about telling the truth, it's about selling a product and in many cases, putting down other programs to build up another. AD said in the interview that this program saved him. He said this program allowed him to become a functioning human being. These sound bites will not be used, but there will be those that are looking to be critical will note the clip regarding the stress he felt. AD put the stress on himself just like Spencer Lee has said publicly that he puts stress and pressure on himself. They are both very hard on themselves, in practice and in competition and the coaches have done a wonderful job in teaching/mentoring them to better manage this self imposed stress. It's a fine line, in one vein, it helps make them who they are and in another, it can hurt performance, so it is a part of coaching to teach them to manage this dynamic. For Austin to note the stress he felt in his final year chasing a title is normal and not a take way from the program or our coaches. The fact he performed so consistently this year is a testament to our coaches helping him to perform to his best and proof that they were helping him.
 

vhsalum

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Disagree with this perspective and especially using AD as a model to make the point. As soon as I heard his interview I could hear other coaches using that clip in their office with recruits and that will be total BS, but recruiting is not about telling the truth, it's about selling a product and in many cases, putting down other programs to build up another. AD said in the interview that this program saved him. He said this program allowed him to become a functioning human being. These sound bites will not be used, but there will be those that are looking to be critical will note the clip regarding the stress he felt. AD put the stress on himself just like Spencer Lee has said publicly that he puts stress and pressure on himself. They are both very hard on themselves, in practice and in competition and the coaches have done a wonderful job in teaching/mentoring them to better manage this self imposed stress. It's a fine line, in one vein, it helps make them who they are and in another, it can hurt performance, so it is a part of coaching to teach them to manage this dynamic. For Austin to note the stress he felt in his final year chasing a title is normal and not a take way from the program or our coaches. The fact he performed so consistently this year is a testament to our coaches helping him to perform to his best and proof that they were helping him.

No one is denying that the Iowa program makes it's wrestlers better men. So does your local high school team. But is Iowa trying to win team and individual national titles or not?

This is endemic. AD isn't the first wrestler to say the same thing, and its clearly hampering our performance at NATIONALS. Because if our barometer is regular season - sure - we're great.
 
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Novakht

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<<They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.>>

I have been around many,many of our athletes for years--most all of them LOVED the sport,loved being at Iowa and wouldnt trade it for a thing.

<<And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?>>

Last time we were in contention?/ uhhmm...last year? the year before.

I have a feeling if you were a PSU fan you would have been complaining about their last two years and calling for major changes :)
 
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This is endemic. AD isn't the first wrestler to say the same thing, and its clearly hampering our performance at NATIONALS. Because if our barometer is regular season - sure - we're great.
It's endemic to the SPORT. Not sure if you competed but nerves never go away. Pretty natural that the most important thing in somebody's life is also the most stressful. Check out any of the post NCAA interviews. Most every senior who didnt win mentioned this or the grind in some shape or form. Can we be better sure but to characterize this as an Iowa thing or a coaching problem is disingenuous.
 

vhsalum

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<<They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.>>

I have been around many,many of our athletes for years--most all of them LOVED the sport,loved being at Iowa and wouldnt trade it for a thing.

<<And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?>>

Last time we were in contention?/ uhhmm...last year? the year before.

I have a feeling if you were a PSU fan you would have been complaining about their last two years and calling for major changes :)

No. I wouldn't. But it's a broken record. And no Spencer Lee-level recruits on the horizon. If we were winning individual titles, I'd be off the mark. But we're not.

Parse words I guess, but outside of 2020 and 2021 we've finished second just ONCE. That's not exactly a ringing endorsement of being the team that's chasing PSU.

i know how close you are to the program and I know that Brands is just a lovable guy if you spend any amount of time around them (I'm one of them) - but we have to stop acting like the issues aren't real. And that we can just keep doing the same stuff.
 

LIV4GOD

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This is endemic. AD isn't the first wrestler to say the same thing, . . .
If it's endemic, then it's a regular and common manifestation among the wrestlers.

Please prove this regularity. The regularity to me is how much the wrestlers love Iowa and the coaches
 
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vhsalum

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If it's endemic, then it's a regular and common manifestation among the wrestlers.

Please prove this regularity. The regularity to me is how much the wrestlers love Iowa and the coaches

It's endemic that our guys wrestle with a pressure that hurts them at nationals. Look no further than NCAAs last year - which we won as a team. Eierman, Kem - they looked tired in the finals. That isn't S&C - that's pressure. Bull will be one of the greatest to never win an NCAA title.

An even easier comparison - Contrast that with PSU and their performance in the semis and finals. Our guys endemically falter as individuals at NCAAs. And we've earned the seeds we show up with.
 

LIV4GOD

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It's endemic that our guys wrestle with a pressure that hurts them at nationals. Look no further than NCAAs last year - which we won as a team. Eierman, Kem - they looked tired in the finals. That isn't S&C - that's pressure.
Yeah, you'd have to prove it's a Desanto like "It's no fun because I feel pressure" scenario with those guys (the rest of the team). I just don't see that. It's conjecture.

The more likely reason is that Cael and Casey prepare them better technically after getting beat at Big Ten's. Our guys attempted more during those matches, and that's why they seemed more tired.
 
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eb05

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Texas
It's endemic that our guys wrestle with a pressure that hurts them at nationals. Look no further than NCAAs last year - which we won as a team. Eierman, Kem - they looked tired in the finals. That isn't S&C - that's pressure. Bull will be one of the greatest to never win an NCAA title.

An even easier comparison - Contrast that with PSU and their performance in the semis and finals. Our guys endemically falter as individuals at NCAAs. And we've earned the seeds we show up with.

i do think there is something to this and some guys have a mental barrier as a result of that pressure.

kind of related but i have heard it directly from a former psu guy that they have a sports psychologist who helps with the team.
 

vhsalum

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Yeah, you'd have to prove it's a Desanto like "It's no fun because I feel pressure" scenario with those guys. I just don't see that. It's conjecture.

The more likely reason is that Cael and Casey prepare them better technically after getting beat at Big Ten's. Our guys attempted more during those matches, and that's why they seemed more tired.

That's literally exactly what he said in the interview
 

vhsalum

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i do think there is something to this and some guys have a mental barrier as a result of that pressure.

kind of related but i have heard it directly from a former psu guy that they have a sports psychologist who helps with the team.

iowa guys have access to a sports psychologist. And they use them. Terry has said as much. But it has to be backed up by the coaches and the practice structure.
 
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Is_there_vodka_in_heaven

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It's endemic to the SPORT. Not sure if you competed but nerves never go away. Pretty natural that the most important thing in somebody's life is also the most stressful. Check out any of the post NCAA interviews. Most every senior who didnt win mentioned this or the grind in some shape or form. Can we be better sure but to characterize this as an Iowa thing or a coaching problem is disingenuous.

Agreed.

This just in. Wrestler who wins championship had fun. Wrestler who lost and didn't achieve their goals was disappointed and stressed.
 

23 so far

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And that crew is gone. Hell, with what Marinelli is at NCAAs - who's to say we would have won 2020? Because its clear that PSU shows up at NCAAs.

And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?

Because this next group of kids are NOT Spencer, Kem, Eierman, Cass, etc. Athletic guys who were scrambling in high school. Finishing on the mat/scrambling is going to have to be addressed. Injury prevention (no more long goes) is going to have to be addressed. And these are mostly Iowa kids. They're already hard-nosed and tough and love wrestling. They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.
I love Austin DeSanto, but I don't think his interview should be used as a poster child for how "stressful" Iowa Wrestling may or may not be. He has issues many don't and works on them every day it appears. At the end of the day he says "there is no place I'd rather be", so I think context is key here.

He's also entering the HWC apparently, and I'm sure there is some stress and pressure when you're trying to be the best of the best, regardless of what school you attend or your mental makeup. He can go anywhere he wants to after he graduates, appears he's not doing too bad if he's staying in Iowa City. You're off base IMO.
 

Titanhawk2

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And that crew is gone. Hell, with what Marinelli is at NCAAs - who's to say we would have won 2020? Because its clear that PSU shows up at NCAAs.

And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?

Because this next group of kids are NOT Spencer, Kem, Eierman, Cass, etc. Athletic guys who were scrambling in high school. Finishing on the mat/scrambling is going to have to be addressed. Injury prevention (no more long goes) is going to have to be addressed. And these are mostly Iowa kids. They're already hard-nosed and tough and love wrestling. They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.
12 months ago?
 
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LIV4GOD

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That's literally exactly what he said in the interview
Of course. My point is that you would have to prove that Desanto's comment are endemic with the rest of the team, and Brands' teams over the years.
 

BBptg5

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Desanto has plenty of issues not related to TnT that might contribute to things in his life being stressful. We don't know his demons. We don't know his daily struggles to not want to break some guys arm on the mat. Wrestling could cause him stress for many reasons.

I know we were all subjected to 4 hours of psu f** indoctrination Saturday night but let's hold off on the mindless robot crap narrative.
that “mindless robot crap” has been prevalent throughout the wrestling world for a very long time. might be time to change the narative.
 

Chips28

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The answer is to do less wrestling? Maybe start with scheduling smarter. Look at PSU for example, they had exactly one dual the month leading up to big tens and that was against Rider. Conversely Iowa had Oklahoma St and Nebraska. Maybe schedule to ramp down the last month of the season
 
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natchrlman

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I love Austin DeSanto, but I don't think his interview should be used as a poster child for how "stressful" Iowa Wrestling may or may not be. He has issues many don't and works on them every day it appears. At the end of the day he says "there is no place I'd rather be", so I think context is key here.

He's also entering the HWC apparently, and I'm sure there is some stress and pressure when you're trying to be the best of the best, regardless of what school you attend or your mental makeup. He can go anywhere he wants to after he graduates, appears he's not doing too bad if he's staying in Iowa City. You're off base IMO.
this sums it up.... I’m trying not to just go off on the OP...... the entire premise of this thread pisses me off to no end and the fact he’s basing it on a ****ing Flo interview that I have no doubt was probably edited and presented out of context pisses me off more

**** flo.....
 

BBptg5

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<<They're going to need to not carry the weight of an, apparently, unlovable sport.>>

I have been around many,many of our athletes for years--most all of them LOVED the sport,loved being at Iowa and wouldnt trade it for a thing.

<<And that's 2 years. How long has Brands been here? When was the last time we were in contention? When does it look like we will be in contention again?>>

Last time we were in contention?/ uhhmm...last year? the year before.

I have a feeling if you were a PSU fan you would have been complaining about their last two years and calling for major changes :)
the “going to war” philosophy may have worked for tom 25 years ago but wrestling has changed. officiating has changed. rules have changed. athletes have changed. there’s a reason so many of the top tier recruits go elsewhere. spencer came in with his own skill set as other of our lighter weight guys have. the upper weights, not so much.
 
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Fair Child

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i do think there is something to this and some guys have a mental barrier as a result of that pressure.

kind of related but i have heard it directly from a former psu guy that they have a sports psychologist who helps with the team.
I have said this for years...the whole athletic dept. Needs the services of a good sports psychologist. would be worth every penny of their salary.
 
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BBptg5

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Disagree with this perspective and especially using AD as a model to make the point. As soon as I heard his interview I could hear other coaches using that clip in their office with recruits and that will be total BS, but recruiting is not about telling the truth, it's about selling a product and in many cases, putting down other programs to build up another. AD said in the interview that this program saved him. He said this program allowed him to become a functioning human being. These sound bites will not be used, but there will be those that are looking to be critical will note the clip regarding the stress he felt. AD put the stress on himself just like Spencer Lee has said publicly that he puts stress and pressure on himself. They are both very hard on themselves, in practice and in competition and the coaches have done a wonderful job in teaching/mentoring them to better manage this self imposed stress. It's a fine line, in one vein, it helps make them who they are and in another, it can hurt performance, so it is a part of coaching to teach them to manage this dynamic. For Austin to note the stress he felt in his final year chasing a title is normal and not a take way from the program or our coaches. The fact he performed so consistently this year is a testament to our coaches helping him to perform to his best and proof that they were helping him.
I could care less about the stress aspect. Of course there’s stress that’s what it’s about when you strive not to just compete but to be the BEST. What is concerning is how little improvement there has been from year to year, match to match. How little concern there has been given to what opponents do and the only emphasis being on what we do. Technique and strategy seem to have taken a back seat to “we will physically beat you”. Maybe 25 years ago…not so much anymore.
 
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MilleGinja

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this sums it up.... I’m trying not to just go off on the OP...... the entire premise of this thread pisses me off to no end and the fact he’s basing it on a ****ing Flo interview that I have no doubt was probably edited and presented out of context pisses me off more

**** flo.....
The video itself doesn’t appear heavily edited. But OP is definitely taking parts out of context (whether intentional or not). With major underlying context of the dude just failed to achieve his goal of being an individual champ less than 24 hours prior. He’s gutted.
 

23 so far

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I have said this for years...the whole athletic dept. Needs the services of a good sports psychologist. would be worth every penny of their salary.
Iowa Football alone generates $100 Million dollars a year (pulling a number out of my ass, but it's a lot). I assure you University of Iowa Athletes have access to whatever it is they need physically or mentally. All of them, Rowers, Field Hockey, Wrestling, etc.
 

natchrlman

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The video itself doesn’t appear heavily edited. But OP is definitely taking parts out of context (whether intentional or not). With major underlying context of the dude just failed to achieve his goal of being an individual champ less than 24 hours prior. He’s gutted.
exactly
 
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pumpdog20

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I'm curious why people think our guys just do long gos. I'd say the problem this year was a lack of gos due to injury management. Unless you're saying that the cause of this years injuries are long gos in the past.
This is all based on the fact that Iowa's conditioning sucked this year.
 

el dub

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I have said this for years...the whole athletic dept. Needs the services of a good sports psychologist. would be worth every penny of their salary.
Dude… The athletic department needs a sports psychologist TEAM. Lol
 

el dub

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I'm curious why people think our guys just do long gos. I'd say the problem this year was a lack of gos due to injury management. Unless you're saying that the cause of this years injuries are long gos in the past.
This is all based on the fact that Iowa's conditioning sucked this year.
So, the team doesn’t practice long goes regularly? Urgency was what I’m thinking may be lacking due to long goes, not injuries. But that might be an issue too, now that you mention it.
 

natchrlman

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Not sure if any of you listen to Washed up Walkons..... they had an episode a while back entirely devoted to mental health

the athletic department is keenly aware of the importance of mental health and give it the same consideration they fo physical health..... there’s no doubt in my mind Iowa athletes have all the mental health resources available they need and are encouraged to take advantage of them
 
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blcoach80

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I completely agree with you regarding the desanto interview. I have always just thought that we need the recruits and we will win. I still think we need to close the gap in regards to recruiting but AD talking about how stressful wrestling is was very telling. I do think the mindset difference at PSU is helping some of their athletes improve more so than ours. RBY and Nick Lee were good wrestlers but not great as freshman. Not all that much different than AD, Bull, Warner, Cass, heck even Young and Murin. Any one of our guys could have taken the same leap RBY or NL did but NONE of them did. Heck I don’t remember the last time a hawk wrestler has taken that leap. I wonder if staying relaxed and focusing on having f*n alllows for more improvement versus our hard nosed intense focus on winning. There is no denying there is a mindset difference in the two programs and the results indicate we might need a slight shift in the mental game.
It is 100% a mindset issue. As in all sports, mentality is a huge part of success or failure. The reason PSU keeps winning their semi and finals matches is because they truly believe they are the best at their weight and they are going to win. They wrestle with confidence and aren't afraid to try to score because the thought doesn't cross their mind that they could lose or not finish on their shot. Combine that with a good game plan for your opponent and good coaching and you are left with a very formidable opponent to wrestle. Other than Spencer (who has that same attitude of I'm the best and I'm going to prove it), the Hawks as of late are afraid of losing or getting countered instead of confident they will win. Listen to the PSU champ interviews. It is always I know I'm the best and I trust my coaches and my abilities blah blah. They have bought in. It makes them sound arrogant and dickish, but they believe it. Look at Yanni's last two interviews. If you go into a match thinking you are the superior wrestler and get after it you will probably end up the better wrestler. If you are not sure and afraid you could lose, guess what will probably happen. This has to be changed for the Hawks to start winning matches they are not favored in. We also have to wrestle smarter. Don't go under a rider. Why voluntarily give him his best position? Make him pick top and give up his escape point and then you aren't out anything if he gets riding time. Just my 1 cents worth anyway.
 

pumpdog20

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So, the team doesn’t practice long goes regularly? Urgency was what I’m thinking may be lacking due to long goes, not injuries. But that might be an issue too, now that you mention it.
Obviously I wouldn't know how they practice, but long goes would be one indication that a team is well conditioned. And Iowa was not a well conditioned team this year.
 

el dub

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Obviously I wouldn't know how they practice, but long goes would be one indication that a team is well conditioned. And Iowa was not a well conditioned team this year.
Long goes are one way to get into wrestling shape. Injuries make long live goes difficult and other conditioning techniques would be needed for those falling into that category. (Injured.)