Iowa Wrestling Solved in 3 steps

evashevsky58

HR All-State
Mar 10, 2008
627
732
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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 disagree with point 3 with regards to Austin DeSanto. I am a runner and I would absolutely say most of the time I am running I DONT love it. I love that I do it and the way I feel after, but its really really hard. Maybe Austin is so invested in winning its hard to enjoy the process. Of course he loves wrestling or he wouldn't do it. That doesn't mean he loves every aspect or wishes he could do something else. Maybe his wording doesn't convey that but watching him I would say that kid LOVES wrestling!
 

pumpdog20

HR All-American
Mar 11, 2011
3,735
4,657
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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.)
I'm going to go with you agree with me, that Iowa wasn't doing long gos this year. Which is what I originally said.
 
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Old_wrestling_fan

HR Legend
Mar 2, 2009
10,716
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Iowa City
They still do long goes.
I don't know if they do or they don't, as I haven't been in the room for a practice in years now. But...if they still do, then I would definitely reconsider that strategy, Find another way to build conditioning, if that is the aim, but don't "condition" your athletes to just "survive" a long go. Reward them for scoring, period.

When we coached little kids soccer, admittedly not the same thing as D1 wrestling, we fairly quickly understood that the tendency of almost all kids when executing a sideline throw in was to wait, and wait, and wait, all the while the adults are yelling to throw it in and the other team gets themselves set to defend/intercept, etc. Just telling the kids to throw it did nothing. Their instinct was to hold it.

We solved that by teaching the kids in practice, that they HAD to throw it on a count of three. So, our team would then instinctively release the in bounds throw on a count of, "One, two, three...THROW". Again, not an exact parallel, but we came up with a way to prepare the kids to throw(or shoot in a wrestling sense) on an internal clock.

Anyone that didn't adhere to the "One, two, three...THROW" rule, in a game or in a practice, was made to run laps. If Iowa grapplers are drilling long goes(survival)...then it doesn't come as a big surprise to me that so many of them are cool with 5 or 6, or even 7, minutes worth of hand fighting and head snapping...with few, if any shots.

Find a way to reward the shot takers. You can't solve it just by talking about it IMO.
 

el dub

HR Legend
Nov 2, 2005
10,111
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I'm going to go with you agree with me, that Iowa wasn't doing long gos this year. Which is what I originally said.
I don’t know if they were or not. You might be right. But I’m guessing it’s due to injuries and not a change in philosophy.
 

lives2wrestle

Rookie
Oct 20, 2021
39
145
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In regards to Desanto being stressed…have you ever tried to be great at something? The absolute best you can be at something, but you keep falling just short of your goals? It’s stressful, isn’t it? I try my best to be an average golfer, but there are times I actually have to stop playing because I’m beating myself up too much. And I’m not trying to win an NCAA title against the best of the best, and manage a school and social life amongst other things while I miss an 8 foot putt.

All of these athletes feel the stress. All of them. Every school. Even the guys out east. Some are able to deal with it better than others, but I promise the stress is there.
 

pistachio1999

All-Conference
Nov 29, 2021
487
610
93
With all the interest and fans, this sport should be ripe for NILs amongst the masses and pay for the scholarships to get the top wrestler at each weight. There is no scholarship excuse any more. People need to pay up to get the best here. It’s all legal now to do so.
 

thom67

HR All-American
Jul 4, 2001
3,674
765
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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.)
I don’t think long goes get you into shape. Shorter high intensive training(like a wrestling match) gets you into the best shape. Long goes increases the likelihood of slowing down to save yourself for the long term. Look at track training. A 1500 M runner trains by running 400 M sprints, not by doing 10 mile runs.
 

roeisele

HR All-State
Gold Member
Oct 11, 2009
952
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Bremerton, WA
In regards to Desanto being stressed…have you ever tried to be great at something? The absolute best you can be at something, but you keep falling just short of your goals? It’s stressful, isn’t it? I try my best to be an average golfer, but there are times I actually have to stop playing because I’m beating myself up too much. And I’m not trying to win an NCAA title against the best of the best, and manage a school and social life amongst other things while I miss an 8 foot putt.

All of these athletes feel the stress. All of them. Every school. Even the guys out east. Some are able to deal with it better than others, but I promise the stress is there.
Wrt stress. Did anyone else watch Logan Massa's post tournament interview on flo? Or Hidlay's post tournament interview? Very similar things to what Iowa guys are saying. It's a grind, it's tough. For everybody. There can only be one winner and everyone else is pretty disappointed and wiped out to some extent at the end. Agree with above and think nobody should consider this an "Iowa" problem or spend too much time micro analyzing post match interviews after people just got done wrestling and wrapping up unbelievable careers and are in the emotion of the moment.
 

Trapper85

HR All-State
Gold Member
Jun 22, 2020
566
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Wrt stress. Did anyone else watch Logan Massa's post tournament interview on flo? Or Hidlay's post tournament interview? Very similar things to what Iowa guys are saying. It's a grind, it's tough. For everybody. There can only be one winner and everyone else is pretty disappointed and wiped out to some extent at the end. Agree with above and think nobody should consider this an "Iowa" problem or spend too much time micro analyzing post match interviews after people just got done wrestling and wrapping up unbelievable careers and are in the emotion of the moment.
And you can even see the emotion/pressure/stress relief valve burst open in those that win it all. For somebody who had none of that, they'd simply walk off with a ho-hum look like they just finished fixing their car. But how that pressure affects training, sleep, in-match mental clarity and energy can vary a lot. It can also be managed if given adequate attention. As someone else noted (somewhere), I also believe that fear of losing (attack on identity) negatively affects performance far more than desire/pressure to win. This can be considered in training and all matches short of the 'big dances' - let it fly, try new things. don't worry about losing. It (wrestler psychology) can also be considered in recruiting, which is still where I think 83% of the challenge lies.
 

Aardvark86

HR MVP
Jan 23, 2018
1,858
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With all the interest and fans, this sport should be ripe for NILs amongst the masses and pay for the scholarships to get the top wrestler at each weight. There is no scholarship excuse any more. People need to pay up to get the best here. It’s all legal now to do so.
I think you wildly overestimate its mass appeal.
 

Grip220

HR Heisman
Mar 23, 2014
5,110
9,121
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Babylonia parts unknown
Quick question to all the geniuses that say we need to change everything one year removed from winning the national championship. How do we do against the rest of the competition?
We took 3rd with our best guy out and two of other top guys with major injuries.
I wonder how many Okie state fans are crying about changing the way they do things!
 
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bourbon n blues

Team MVP
Nov 20, 2019
274
264
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Quick question to all the geniuses that say we need to change everything one year removed from winning the national championship. How do we do against the rest of the competition?
We took 3rd with our best guy out and two of other top guys with major injuries.
I wonder how many Okie state fans are crying about changing the way they do things!
One factor people are forgetting, the Ivies did not compete last year. Cornell had 54.5 points this year, Princeton had 38, and Penn 15.5. 108 points . How would those points have affected the standings if those schools had similar years?
 

blubberhawk

Scout Team
Sep 15, 2009
106
192
43
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.
I’d be interested in hearing your analysis of John Smith and why they are not competitive anymore.
 

blubberhawk

Scout Team
Sep 15, 2009
106
192
43
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
These guys only wrestle about 20 matches over 4 months.
 

Inthecircle

HR MVP
Apr 3, 2018
1,460
2,370
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This may be unpopular.
During the tournament I focused a lot on what PSU did. Many on here believe PSU stall their ass off. I don’t see it that way. They wrestle within the rules. They circle, take calculated shots good enough to keep stall calls away. they know they won’t finish They are very well coached on mat returns especially at the end of the period.
They are hands down the best at re-shots.
When they score on their shots, they finish quickly because they get low on the opponent’s legs or are turning the corner with their hips lower than their opponents.
They don’t get involved with relentless clubs and snap downs. Their stance is perpendicular. They control ties with a strait arm and good hand control on the back of the neck and a blocking forearm, with the other. Their stance is staggered in ties and the weight is on the back leg. It’s difficult to get a good shot off on them. Because of this guys make uncommitted shots, which is why they score on re-shots.
They all have huge thighs, especially ripped on the big side around the hamstrings.
They are patient and wait for mistakes, however when they go, they make quality committed offensive attacks and finish at a very high rate. In high level matches they only take one or two TD attempts in a match.
Don’t confuse this with the shot to keep from getting stall calls.
They have a very specific strategy for high level matches.
Iowa is going have a very difficult time catching them. They are physical specimens and don’t get tired because they control pace and are efficient at not making mistakes.

The one obvious statement is that our guys don’t make leaps like RBY and NL did.
Our guys aren’t getting significantly better. Ramos and Clark were the last and they weren’t multiple time Champs.
PSU has a multiple NCAA champion mentality.
I love the Hawks but the good old days are gone. I will continue to wait for them to prove me wrong. After Lee was recruited we learned some things. Hopefully the program remains teachable.
Change is inevitable, growth is optional.
 

PD4thespawn

All-Conference
Dec 27, 2016
419
439
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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.
Exactly, you guys need a good middle weight coach too. Alot of it was the burnout the older guys felt. You have some good guys just tweak their strengths. Make terry take over the hwc .2 brands intensity is too much. Overload.

Watch the coaches before the matches. Calm cool and collected?
 

IAChief32

HR Heisman
Apr 21, 2017
7,579
31,983
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And you can even see the emotion/pressure/stress relief valve burst open in those that win it all. For somebody who had none of that, they'd simply walk off with a ho-hum look like they just finished fixing their car. But how that pressure affects training, sleep, in-match mental clarity and energy can vary a lot. It can also be managed if given adequate attention. As someone else noted (somewhere), I also believe that fear of losing (attack on identity) negatively affects performance far more than desire/pressure to win. This can be considered in training and all matches short of the 'big dances' - let it fly, try new things. don't worry about losing. It (wrestler psychology) can also be considered in recruiting, which is still where I think 83% of the challenge lies.

This just popped up on my Twitter timeline. It is about tOSU's center who made some serious attempts to kill himself due to pressure he put on himself and external expectations (fans, coaches, family). After watching a bit, I was struck by how much this guy had his sh*t together. A starter, Academic AA, 4.0 in engineering, Valedictorian of his high school class, does mission work in foreign countries, well spoken...etc.


Now, compare him with a guy like Desanto who has dealt with on the mat issues since entering college..Lack of impulse control etc along with what have appeared to be mental or emotional issues...all of it is well documented. For the past 4 years, he has walked a tightrope on and off the mat trying to get a better handle on himself. I know there has been immense work there but I imagine there are a lot of people he worries about letting down...and we are not even talking wrestling. When asked about if he'll missed getting interviewed, he emphatically said no but then walked it back to say that he will because its something out of his comfort zone he needs to work on. Desanto loves wrestling...you can see it every time he goes out...he is not comfortable with all the hoopla that goes with it.
 

PD4thespawn

All-Conference
Dec 27, 2016
419
439
63
This just popped up on my Twitter timeline. It is about tOSU's center who made some serious attempts to kill himself due to pressure he put on himself and external expectations (fans, coaches, family). After watching a bit, I was struck by how much this guy had his sh*t together. A starter, Academic AA, 4.0 in engineering, Valedictorian of his high school class, does mission work in foreign countries, well spoken...etc.



Now, compare him with a guy like Desanto who has dealt with on the mat issues since entering college..Lack of impulse control etc along with what have appeared to be mental or emotional issues...all of it is well documented. For the past 4 years, he has walked a tightrope on and off the mat trying to get a better handle on himself. I know there has been immense work there but I imagine there are a lot of people he worries about letting down...and we are not even talking wrestling. When asked about if he'll missed getting interviewed, he emphatically said no but then walked it back to say that he will because its something out of his comfort zone he needs to work on. Desanto loves wrestling...you can see it every time he goes out...he is not comfortable with all the hoopla that goes with it.
Ad's pressure starts from the top. Imagine looking over at terry before a match? No pressure to win, just go out there and do your best. Not.
 
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