UNI Wrestling Blog with Doug and Mark Schwab
Courtesy: UNI Athletics Communications  
Release: Sunday 09/15/2013

University of Northern Iowa assistant coach Mark Schwab and Doug Schwab will scribe a blog throughout the season. Follow along as he takes you into the mind of a Panther wrestling assistant coach.

Schwab's blog will consist of information, updates on the team, a "giving yourself every opportunity to succeed message" and a special UNI wrestling "Thank you" section.

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 Posted Oct. 14, 2013 - Mark Schwab

The team is continuing to work and progress in body and mind. The physical exertion demanded for our sport tends to be the focus in preparation. However, helping athletes manage their thinking is beneficial. It can revolutionize student-athletes’ lives.

I don’t understand why part of our academic curriculum does not involve education on quality thinking or at least making it clear there are options to one’s thinking, and there are interferences, alternatives, and pavement in our thinking that can influence and change our experiences. A lot of our education is spent on memorizing facts, dates, opinions and agendas of others. If we really cared about the student-athletes, wouldn’t it make sense to:

  • sincerely build them up and to let them know they are valuable and worthwhile regardless of their results
  • hold them accountable and push them in their thinking and mentality outside of their comfort zone or what they think is possible
  • encourage them to set goals to give direction and enthusiasm on a daily basis
  • encourage them to discover their purpose and then pursue it
  • educate them or at least remind and encourage them that they have a say over their thoughts

I’m not saying it’s a clean or cut-and-dry situation, but they can certainly turn the volume down on doubts and negativity and increase the volume on hope, confidence, gratitude, humility and optimism. It doesn’t take more time to think to your advantage then it does to your demise. We’re not responsible for what comes into our mind, but we are accountable for how long we entertain thoughts. It’s easier to be negative. We have to work on thinking positive. We have to be watchful because our thoughts are very sneaky and clever, but very misleading. We get certain ideas in our mind, and we’re convinced they are real, true, and we’re right about someone or a situation. The fact is we’re wrong more often than we’re right. If we were in the major leagues of thinking, our batting average would be about .002. We would be sent to the minors and probably encouraged to find a new career. We’re going to think, so let’s have awareness of our own self-talk and words and help the student-athletes manage their thoughts, life and situations with more of an arsenal and preparation than we currently are in the educational and athletic arenas.

Is learning how to cultivate optimistic thoughts easy? Having a mindset that “anything is possible” is way too easily substituted for “I probably can’t do that.” And having dreams with silver linings is simply giving away for a win-some, lose-some thought process and followed with corresponding results. Will it be easy, No! But nothing that will make this much of a difference in your life will be easy. The real payoffs in this world will be trying so you will not be over-crowded. Most of us don’t want to give up the now to receive later in a human and biblical sense. People are fragile. Don’t kid yourself for a second. We’re all delicate. Watch people when they don’t get something they want or don’t get their way. Then you really see people closer to their core. We’re all full of pride. Most of us are clean in our own sights, but if our motives were truly evaluated, we would find most of us are seriously self-serving, not all the time, but a lot of the time.

Additionally, we tend to not want to think about this or we blame it on another. We need to take the log out of our own eye before we consider the speck in another’s. Hula Hoop—Step inside the circle and take care of who’s inside of the circle first. I don’t mean in a selfish way, but get your own life in tune before unveiling your winning recipes for the rest of society. Once these monumental assignments are complete, then judge, gossip and slander those outside your circle; obviously, this is an unending undertaking that will never be complete. So we should probably clean our own side of the street first. It’s said, we notice pride and self-centeredness it in others to the degree we’re guilty ourselves. Ouch!

On Saturday, a student-athlete’s father said, “My son is a better man than I am, and that’s what I always hoped for.” We have solid, young men I can learn a lot from about being a better man.

UNI wrestling is growing and improving from the inside and from the top down. The leadership of Doug has been onward. The facilities have improved with:

  • the room expansion
  • major sound system in the West Gym
  • murals
  • giant glass pictures of UNI wrestlers
  • the team looking and dressing like a team
  • season ticket sales are already at where they were at the end of the last season
  • team’s GPA was most improved GPA in UNI athletics last year
  • 27 student-athletes committed to a 3.0 this fall semester, constant recognition, thank-you’s  and acknowledgements of alumni and supporters
  • the PWC has upped the number of fundraising events
  • contributions are at an all-time high
  • three athletes are in the PWC training and soon to be several more
  • the club opportunities for area youths are solid and grow up to more than 100 in the spring
  • NCAA improvements of 46th, 34th, 15th
  • UNI wrestling had the highest national finish of any other program at UNI last year

So there has been quality expansion. The movement is led by Doug, but there are many people who make this happen, and there is no way to name them all, but people like Sandy Stevens and our PWC board members are the logical place to start.

Thank You

Thanks, Dave Williams, Brent Jennings, Ginger Williams, Steve and Torey Stallsmith, Jeremy and Kim Wilson, Quality Auto, Mike Molstead Motors for the incredible ribs and sides at our wrestling get-together. You knocked it out of the park, and we appreciate your time, effort and service. Thank you, Sandy Stevens, PWC members, especially Larry, Mark, Mike, El, Rick, Allyson, Jon, Bill, etc. It’s so amazing your willingness, time to supporting UNI wrestling. Thanks Joe, KK, Janice, Jacque and Greg for all your support and being there Saturday so we could recognize and thank you. Thanks Allyson, Holli, and Keri for your help Saturday morning. Thanks to all the parents, alum and fans for coming to our workout Saturday morning and the get-together in the afternoon. Thanks, Travis, Trent, Kevin and Brian for the tent, chairs, tables, etc. Thanks to my main man Steve Schofield for stopping by along with Troy Dannen and President Ruud. I’m surely missing many people, but we will do our best to “shore it up” in future blogs.

 

Saturday's open practice

If you were in the West Gym Saturday morning, you watched good wrestling. There were several groups that were seriously battling. This is what we want and train for. I want to point something out to keep in mind. Many of you, especially parents, are likely assessing where you believe your son is at. Don’t place a lot of stock on one workout in early October. Whether you liked what you saw or didn’t, there are multiple factors involved. In my experience, some of the best wrestlers I have been around are not giants in the room. There are so many other factors in real competition that separate results in the practice room. The one absolute that has to be in play in training is effort. This is 100 percent on the athlete. A coach can help draw effort out of the athlete, but it has to come from the athlete. I remember an athlete at Minnesota who was as highly recruited as anyone ever in college wrestling. His first two years were good; he placed 5th both years. His junior year, his father was very upset and contemplated transferring him, because of what he saw as a lack of development and was convinced his son had regressed. Well, the kid won the NCAA tournament that year and the next year. My point is, time will tell.

This is a marathon, and you just don’t know when an athlete will turn the corner or the light will come on. The example of David Bonin last year has to let you know that if the athlete and those around them stay the course, the rewards will come. That does not mean it will actually happen in wrestling. It might and it might not, but the rewards will come in some way, shape and form. We all need to remember to stay the course, not too high, not too low. We believe the best is yet to come.

The Kardashians are three sisters that … I don’t know what their talents are. They’re not bad looking. The mom, Kris, might be the best-looking. These ladies are constantly in the news, TV, short films, etc. You don’t have to offer any skill or talent to land a TV series. The Kardashian trio of destruction, drama, scandal, and toxic relationships is the kind of TV that will rank with “Cheers,” “Seinfeld,” “Happy Days” or “Andy Griffith.”

I first thought the name Kardashian was Hindu origin, but Kardashian is Armenian. While we’re on Armenia, it’s coincidental I was there in the capital city of Yerevan in 1987. It was cold, dark, and depressing city, but they loved their wrestling and were very gracious with our team. I remember as we walked into the arena, we couldn’t even get through the crowd of people that couldn’t get in because they didn’t have a ticket. The crowd just parted and stared at us. They were not angry stares but almost sad and envious because they likely figured we were rich Americans and also a look like we were prominent.  A few of the guys on the trip were stars like Kenny Monday, Dave Schultz, the Scheer Brothers, Barry Davis, etc. The three minutes it took to walk through the crowd gave me a moment of clarity. I was a long way from clean, safe and familiar Osage Iowa. Anyway, the Kardashians are on the menu because of their boyfriends, husbands or whatever they are this week. This guy named Kanye West who dubs himself the biggest star in the world and some rapper who calls himself “The Game.” Anyhow, these circus clowns were out partying and came home and bullied Bruce Jenner (the world’s greatest athlete.) Bruce won an Olympic gold medal in the decathlon in the 1976 Olympics. This guy was on the Wheaties breakfast cereal box as a Wheaties Champion. He was even Erik Estrada’s replacement on top-rated TV series chips. Do you remember Eric? He was a macho California Highway Patrol “Ponch.” All the girls in my grade loved him. His hair parted perfectly. I tried to duplicate but never got close. His teeth were perfect; they didn’t even look real. They looked more like a white mouth piece. You couldn’t see where one tooth started and the next began. I tried to duplicate as well but my little green and brown baked bean choppers could not compete with this Latino Adonis Anyway, Kanye and “The Game” better get some personal insurance. You cannot just push Bruce Jenner around like a pinball, scuff him with sandpaper and stuff his head in the toilet with a side of droppings and expect no repercussions.

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 Posted Sept. 29, 2013 - Mark Schwab

Team Pulse September 29

The past two weeks have been busy. Of course, you expect that from a student-athlete. Our guys have been lifting 3x a week in the morning. Honestly, no other sports lifting compares to how a true wrestler lifts. The difference with a wrestler is the elevation of the intensity level and the amount of time the level is maintained. When a wrestler lifts, for the most part, it’s all business, and everything is super or tri-sets. There is very little down time and is necessary to prepare for the college wrestling grind. Our wrestlers have done a superb job investing the time lifting and the continual earnestness that is necessary. We have come a long way in the brute force area. Student-athletes need to fuel and feed their muscles immediately following their lift for the repairing and recovery cycle to ignite. Sleep is also necessary in the cycle of recovery and repair for not only the muscle but the nervous system. Your nervous system will fatigue like your muscles and needs regular hydration, nutrition and sleep. The student-athlete needs a consistent pattern of sleep that gives him the best opportunity to succeed. The athlete needs to pay attention; the body can and will tell you a lot. In simple terms, go to bed early and get up early. By doing this, one will support repair, recover, reduce injury risk, and lend to a much better mood. As for the wrestling room, our guys are learning to wrestle harder through positions and scramble in some. We have to make our opponents work for points; this involves learning to hand fight, basic defense of getting legs back, staying square and forcing hips down and away. One theme we’re ardent about is “one point takedown.” What I mean by that is that we rumble and dispute giving easy points, but if we do give up a takedown or reversal, we continue to confront and get our points back or at least get one point back immediately so their two was really only worth one. This keeps the momentum and pace in our favor. Remember a win is never certain and a loss is never final. Matches are won and lost in the final seconds and edge of the mat all of the time. It’s more a rule than an exception, but we have to train this way to make our case convincing. One other area that needs attention and effort is bottom position, mostly off being taking down. We have some athletes who have a bad habit of going to their belly and being totally extended; this is a total loss of power. Ideally, the athlete keeps shoulder / knee alignment and explodes back to their feet or continues to scramble and leave their opponent feeling discouraged. This is a lot about attitude and hustle, but we also need to teach, promote and enforce. The other area on bottom is giving up ones wrist. On bottom, the athlete has to keep his wrist clear, base build and either short sit or stand up and pressure back into his opponent. We are moving forward as a whole, but there are still miles and miles to go.

There is a lot of Panther Train talk; it’s great marketing for our program, it memorable and fits the assignment we have assigned to athletes, coaches and program. A train can carry a lot of people, is powerful, but has to be on track to advance. We are laboring both hard and hopefully smart to move this train at full force toward Oklahoma City. We have several stops along the way, but I can say with all confidence our athletes are dispensing most everything they have. We’re appreciative of our student-athletes’ efforts and quest to commit in a sport that requires volumes of physical and emotional effort. All athletes should be commended on this a lone.

Beyond athletics

Always have something that drives, motivates or excites you. Until the end of time, have a reason to get up in the morning other than dragging your feet and dreading your existence; this type of mindset is an option we don’t have to choose. This message is for all of us. There are an unlimited amount of interests and influence for us to involve and immerse ourselves. Figure out your passion and get involved and engaged in them. I have observed far too many people who are depressed, unenthused and uninterested in anything that life has to offer. There is an endless buffet of opportunities. Sometimes we cannot control everything and everyone around us. We may have situations people or responsibilities that make things difficult, but it’s never impossible. If we dream with enough conviction and clarity, we will prevail.

Some days we may not feel as passionate. Give your passions focused thought, and write down what you reveal. Review your notes and distinguish what themes continue to show up. Most people spend 10 times more time preparing their wedding or what they’re going to wear than they do their lives. As we exist day to day, most of us really don’t live like we understand we have a limited number of days. We don’t know what the number is. We gamble and often are not vigilant moving forward. Although in hindsight, we can see clearly how we waste uncounted days being lethargic and uninspired. What are we doing? Many of us take better care of our lawn and button-up shirts than we do our lives and existence. Our days, weeks, months, and years come and go very subtle and sneaky.  We often don’t come to the realization until something major happens in our lives or we have some awakening or moment of clarity. How about we figure out what it is that excites, motivates or drives us and take advantage of our days and seasons as they unravel. There is no need to miss opportunities, waste years and live reckless and thoughtlessly, although, sometimes we may need to go through carelessness as part of our awakening.

Have you knowingly or unknowingly abandon or given up on your passions and dreams? I know people have heavily weighted lives that leave little or no time to fit in dreams and enthusiasms. However, I feel periodically sitting down with pen / paper and honestly and thoroughly examining our lives, we will find that we can still pursue our dreams. We may just have to do it at a slower pace but don’t give it up! Keep it alive or at least uncover what it is! The turtle can and often will catch the rabbit. Never underestimate how much ground you can cover a little at a time. My thought is “If we’re going to be here anyway” let’s get involved in life, our passions, excitements and drives. Always remember your dreams only have to make sense to you. You don’t have to have the approval of others or society; even Mother Teresa took heat and ridicule.  Your dreams, goals, and ideally your purpose, are your imaginations and destinations, not others. I see too many people, and have myself, strived to accomplish something I didn’t really want but wanted the approval of others. If anyone knows the language I’m speaking, you understand how difficult this can be. Please respect others, but short of failing your responsibilities. Be true to yourself.

Our days and lives come, pass and go so fast. What is it that we envision or have buried? What do we fool ourselves about that we will one day get to it when the time is right or we feel overwhelmed with power to take action? With absolute clarity, what do you really want? Regardless of your age, continue to dream. I often hear people talk about their age as if it’s something to be ashamed of. People say “I’m too old for that.” There are some things we may be too old for. However, dreaming, passions, goals, and striving to achieve has no age limit. Our goals and passions may change as we age and mature, but we never have to give this gold-mine up. And these young punks that think we’re old, they better pray they live to be “old.”

In closing, investigate what it is that drives, motivates or excites you and regardless what little you can do at the present time, do something. Don’t give up on or discover the fire that burns within; although it may be extinguished or burning low, its there. We don’t have to live in the dark and by bringing our goals, dreams, and purpose to the surface, we illuminate our entire existence and very likely those around us. The most effective way we can live is by example. Our example is convincing, our words are not. Five years are going to pass regardless of what you do. It makes sense to do something worthy, exciting, challenging and pleasing.

Honey Boo Boo

Recently, I was delivered a blow that I may not ever recover. I saw a video of Honey Boo Boo twerking. I wasn’t sure whether to cry or cry hard. I have to say I was speechless and haven’t slept since. Although I have seen only minutes of Honey Boo Boo because your IQ drops by the second, me and Boo Boo have one thing in common; we’re both white trash. As a kid, I may have had popsicle juice on my face. As an adult, mustard and ketchup stains are on my white T-shirt but not like Boo Boo’s. HBB is not funny. I don’t see what’s funny about glorifying filthy, unschooled, doltish riffraff. Boo Boo has got to go! Mom and Dad have to be relocated or deported. The entire cast needs a Sanbon Tsuki! For those of you who don’t know the language, Sanbon Tsuki is a series of three punches to the same target, then an Ashi Barai which is a leg sweep followed by a Yoko Geri Keage, which obviously is a side snap kick. I will finish with a Hiji Ate, which as you all know is an elbow strike. What shames me the deepest is the Boo twerking had 7 million views and the rock group Heart performing their acoustic version of Dog and Butterfly has only 200,000 views. If you want to see true earned talent that actually brings joy, emotions and depth, watch and listen to this particular video. How can I live in a world with Honey Boo Boo’s? What’s troublesome is that Boo is a show at all. What happened to TV? How did we wind up here? The show is more awful than it is entertaining. HBB is an annoying little kid saying things like, “A dollar make me wanna holler.” Boo’s all about money and panders to the camera. She’s actually making a fool out of us. She has taking her white trash life, one that most people laugh at, and is turning it into money. Boo gonna make you holla! At first it was her being oppressed but now it’s you and me. This show is the underbelly of America. I will not be an accomplice in the success of Boo Boo. Look, the mom is over 300 pounds with discolored arm pits and her boyfriend, Mike, aka Sugar Bear, couldn’t be more central casting of Deliverance if you did a national search. Mike basically sits there, dumbfounded. That’s his role. In the opening credits to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, Mama farts and laughs about it. In another episode, one of her three overweight daughters (including one who's pregnant, of course), laughs and says: “That crust on my mama’s neck, I don’t know what it is.” Turns out it’s exactly what everyone thinks it is: an egregious amount of filth stuck in the fat rolls of her neck.

“I ain’t trying letting myself go – I just look good when I want to look good,” Mama says, unconvincingly. In one episode she tells the camera she needs to blow her nose, and then pulls up the shirt she has on exposing her overabundance of blubber stew, and does just that, then smiles hmmmmmmm. I implore you to write your congressman. HBB got a pet pig in one episode (irony lost) called Glitzy. HBB says, in apparent seriousness: “I hope Mama don’t eat Glitzy. She eats everything else.” and then Glitzy craps all over the dinner table. One of the daughters yells about Mama: “She was gonna eat it! It looked like a hot dog to her, a burnt hot dog.”

Yes, we’re there. At the depth where no one imagined we’d go, even the most cynical. I’m just beginning to get my eyesight back and my headaches are subsiding after watching HBB twerk. I don’t think my medical insurance covers the side effects of HBB. This show has to be choked out before any more afflictions and wreckage is rained upon society.

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 Posted Sept. 14, 2013 - Mark Schwab

 

I will attempt to blog biweekly September through October and weekly from November to March. The blogs will be posted on Sunday night or Monday morning. The blogs may shift to the Panther Wrestling Club site pending on how blogs are received.

 

Summer training reflection

The summer is over, wrestling training continues, and the season will be here soon. Our summer training was about a B- wrestling-wise and a B+ lifting. When we get our live wrestling effort extended, consistent and meaner, we will take another step forward. With that being said, we have improved tremendously in our live wrestling and drilling from three summers ago when Doug took over as head coach. We’re not “there” yet and actually will never arrive. There is no finish line if we’re doing it right. The line will continue to move. If we’re really serious about our pursuit of excellence, then our objective will be to not only get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselves and continue to advance in effort, expectations and results.

One day our guys had a self-directed workout aimed at wrestling as long as possible without a break. As soon as one of the two tapped out, the workout was over. First we have to learn to wrestle harder for longer periods of time and a sense of urgency to score. I’m saying that as a whole. We have several guys who can wrestle hard for extended periods of time but not as a complete team. We have to develop this area. The struggle for mastery of our effort and fatigue will not go away, and we will be exposed by the best if we don’t. Also, and possibly more important, is our stance and core positioning and hand-fighting the entire match. We have lost crucial matches because of stance and positioning violation. Basics are key. We have to learn to bend our knees, stay mobile and assault the opponents’ attack. I see so many HS and college athletes who don’t want to spend time working on their stance. They think they got it; they don’t. We have to tend to this area and tighten the wrinkles. The key is to feel the attack, instinct, and basic knees bent, mobile, hips down and away, wrestle off the attack and re-attack.

A caution here is the effort and discipline has to come from the athlete. Personal effort and allowing oneself to be influenced and pressed is central. The athlete needs the wakefulness of when fatigue affects strong positioning and the control to maintain and correct. The courage and willingness to operate outside comfort zones have to come from the athlete. In the final analysis, the athlete makes the decision. As coaches, we have to notice this and stay on the athlete in a way that the athletes responds. This is what a good coach is suppose to do: demand, yet encourage the athlete to extend himself to deeper levels of vow and effort. We have to get the athlete to give what he is capable of and spark what lies dormant. What’s important to know is the athlete can give more than he believes. Our objective as coaches are to aid the athletes in arousing what is already inside of them. It’s a lot like the statue of “David” by Michael Angelo. When asked how he was able to chisel David out of such an enormous block of marble (about 17 feet tall and weighs six tons,) he answered “David was already in the marble, all I had to do was chip away the excess.” The objective of a good coach or educator is to help student-athletes chip away the excess. Just because an athlete does not win a national championship, become an all-American, NCAA qualifier or see the varsity line-up, does not mean he has not been a success. Yes, the objective is to experience the highest level of success, but most of us won’t experience this level. So does that mean we suck? Well, it depends who you talk to. What’s ironic about this is the largest group of people who would confirm “we suck” is the people who never laid it on the line but verbally assault those who have. How paradoxical that this is the reality. We at UNI wrestling, respect and encourage our athletes and applaud their effort, yet are firm when we see corners cut. This does not mean the athlete / parents will always agree. We’re all human, which means we will, at time, fail our responsibilities, make mistakes, unpopular decisions and let’s say agree to disagree. What’s pertinent with UNI wrestling right now is there is improved effort from athletes, coaches, and the front page. Doug wrote a nice piece on the meaning of Panther Train; it’s worth five minutes of reading.

Wrestling is a colossal physical and emotional daily task. What goes into this sport can only be known if actually experienced. Nothing compares to the grind of college wrestling. I know people debate which sport is the toughest; it’s wrestling. The exercise of weight cutting and weight management alone is enough to separate from other sports. If you disagree, try training for years at a time and at many points limit your intake and or cut weight when your body fat is already in a narrow group of people. This alone separates wrestling from other sports.

3.0 Club

We have 27 guys who signed up for the 3.0 this semester and two individuals are striving for a 4.0. It’s official, taking care of academics and excelling in the education field is cool! School is cool! UNI wrestling is the most improved team academically the past year. Now skeptics may point out that our GPA was low to start with. However, the wrestling program is moving forward academically and the entire movement is buying in and understands they can excel in the scholastic and athletic arena. Besides, any team that has a higher GPA also has 1/3 or ½ the roster. The bottom line is it’s a very good sign of what Doug and staff are promoting and a huge feather in the cap of the athletes to make academics a priority. I won’t say academics are more important that athletics; they’re both important because these guys learn real life experiences and lessons they cannot get in a classroom.

Team meeting

UNI wrestling had our team meeting Sept. 4. The summit had a consistent theme - Give yourself every opportunity to succeed; the little things make a big difference, extreme commitment, belief, and being ready when it counts, not only ready but laying it on the line. The only way for us to accomplish this is a little at a time. In fact, the wheels are in motion and have been for some time. There is a lot of talk about the Panther Train and what it means. Basically, a train has to be on a track to move, and Doug has done a nice job laying down the track for the athletes, coaches, and front page “all support systems.” Speaking from inside the trench since May 2010, the wrestling-room focus, effort, leadership, commitment, and readiness to improve and inviting to be coached is night and day. One instrumental response from the team is the encouragement between and among them; this support has an enduring affect and really bolsters and sustains the communion of the team. UNI wrestling has very diversified leadership coming from multiple athletes. The UNI wrestling program is restoring, unfolding, and maturing. It really is a great time to be involved and on the Panther Train. I won’t go into the details of program goals this year, but obviously to improve on our 2013 finish of 15th. The program jumping from 15th to the top 10 will be more challenging than our program going from 34th to 15th.

Annual homecoming acknowledgements

UNI wrestling will acknowledge Janice Albrecht, Kevin Kurth, Joe Gribben, Greg Stockdale and Jacques Dubois from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12th at our wrestling get-together west of the Dome. These individuals have gone above and beyond with their support of UNI wrestling. Doug started this acknowledgement at homecoming and this will be the fourth group recognized. There are many people left to thank and appreciate and we will do our best to let people know we value their support, time, interest and sacrifice. We also want to convey a huge thank-you to Ty Kimble for over a decade of leadership, time, expense and effort in his position as president of the PWC. Thanks, Ty!

Message to encourage and provoke thought

 

Persistence - Dance until it rains

A character trait that is a must-have in order to complete any worthwhile endeavor is persistence. Persistence is a dominate trait in most all people who succeed in their pursuit. The beauty of persistence is that anyone can use it or obtain it. Persistence has nothing to do with talent; it can level the playing field and another example of how the turtle can and often does catch the rabbit.

There is a story of a tribe in Africa that baffled anthropologists. It seems for centuries this tribe enjoyed a 100 percent success rate with its rain dance. In comparing this tribe to other tribes who did the rain dance but did not always experience success, the experts couldn’t find anything that differentiated triumphant tribe from others. They performed the same rituals and prayed to the same gods. Like all the tribes, they danced for days and sometimes for weeks on end. Finally, an astute observer noticed something very telling. The successful tribe did one thing and one thing only different than the rest; they always danced until it rained.

Really, what is persistence other than making up your mind and not being deterred? Not only are you decisive but you also lay it on the line. You make a concrete decision to see whatever you have decided-on through. A mindset like this cannot be defeated. There is actually peace in making a decision. At least with making up your mind, you have direction and functional emotion vs. not knowing or having clear conviction is torture; indecision scatters our efforts and effectiveness. Persistence is about longevity. You’re in it for the long haul; it may not happen on your time frame, but we would never know the pure gold of persistence if we are able to achieve on our schedule or without resistance and disappointment. Persistence on many days is just taking one step in the right direction – even half a step on some days. Persistence is being knocked down 26 times, struggling back to your feet saying “Here goes number 27.”

There are few guarantees in our world and sometimes we have to change or plan. Nevertheless, the one way you can ensure that you will meet with your aspiration, and it’s a guarantee if you “Dance until it rains.”

This is a message will all need to read and remember. The message encompasses so much for all of us. Dancing until it rains is something that holds meaning and pertinent in all our lives. It’s easy to be persistent when life is going well or when we know we’re going to succeed but most of the time our results are ambivalent and we go through stages of fear, doubt, frustration, hopelessness, etc. I can’t think of a better way of staying unrelenting than dancing until it rains.

Any feedback or comments can be sent to mark.schwab@uni.edu

 

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 Posted Sept. 6, 2013 - Doug Schwab

What does Panther Train mean?

Panther Train is about being on board a movement that’s progressing. You can board anytime, but there’s nothing better than embarking early. (You might have to stand, but there’s still room!) The steam trains of the past represent our core. They are powerful, labor-intensive and destroy anything in their way. However, the train has to be on track to gain ground and further its purpose.

The Team Track

UNI wrestlers cannot just be involved; they must be committed. Our student-athletes must give themselves the best opportunity to succeed by listening and following up with appropriate behavior. They function effectively when fatigued, set specific goals, improve daily, perform like a pro in all situations and consistently show extreme effort and an optimistic attitude of “I will; I’ll adjust; I’ll find a way.” Our wrestlers allow, expect and embrace discomfort and keep their dreams alive in all circumstances. They live by a faith: A win is never certain, and a loss is never final. They sprint through every finish line, respect themselves and others and know in their heart they’re valuable and loved regardless of their results. UNI wrestlers are responsible for their efforts, progress, commitment and academic standing. Our athletes may have fear and doubt but never let the bat sit on their shoulder as a fastball whizzes by. They take intelligent action and dream until the end.

The Coach Track

UNI wrestling coaches build up student-athletes and promote with encouragement and hope. We’re compelled to set high standards for the student-athletes and ourselves and to assist them in their pursuit of excellence and achievement. We press the athletes out of their comfort zone and assist in capitalizing on their potential and capabilities. We’re obligated to hold student-athletes accountable, but we continue to believe in them and their possibilities. Effective coaches are committed to the program and the movement. A coach is not above any duty or task. Effective coaches teach and improve athletes one-on-one outside regular training. This being said, coaches cannot be with student-athletes all the time, nor would it benefit them. The student-athletes sign up for responsibilities only they can fulfill. It’s a disservice for the coach to do for the student-athlete what he must do for himself. As coaches, we also must be “keepers of the flame” -- the fire of the student-athletes, coaches, fans, alumni and parents.

The Front Page

The Front Page (FP) is made up of alumni, parents, fans, PWC and the university. It’s crucial, influential and efficient, but the P-Train cannot budge without it. It may sound glamorous, but it is demanding. Typically 20 percent of the people pull 80 percent of the load. We can’t make it without the 20 percent, but let’s revise this, get more people off the sideline and lighten the assignment for all. The FP is supportive with time, effort and/or finances for the betterment of the program and athletes. Those on the FP don’t care about recognition but enjoy supporting something they believe in that makes a difference in others’ lives. The FP does not wait or rely on others to take action. It gets things done, always asking “How?” No contribution is too meager. Everything counts! Although the FP is paramount, it does not view itself as significant. It gives more than it takes and in return gets more than it gives. The FP understands the paradox that if they help enough people get what they want, they get more than they desire. It’s a thankless pursuit, but we will rarely miss the opportunity to appreciate you.

 

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As I watched our team warm-up the other day, I observed a familiar occurrence of athletes getting their weight down. I'm obviously bias, but no other sports training is as demanding as college wrestling. The physical-ness, intensity, strength, discomfort, mentality, delayed gratification, and discipline involved is not experienced by most people period. The most difficult restraint is weight loss and weight management. When you're in the weight loss phase like these guys are, nothing is more daunting. Weight loss and management come with the sport and it's certainly not a bad thing; there is no downside to having to endure temporary discomfort, and each individual has a say in the degree of discomfort. What I'm trying to say is what college wrestlers undergo on a daily basis for a minimum of six months at a time is amazing and deserves all the respect under the sun. College wrestlers are a rare, extreme, and highly revered by those that really understand the degree of fortitude that's called for in this arena.

I'm sure I will be disagreed with and am certain that all sports are demanding to a degree, but not like college wrestling. As an athlete, I never thought about what I or my teammates were doing because we didn't know anything else. However, now as a coach, I have moments of clarity like I had on Thursday of last week.

This sport is so fanatical on how corporal it is. This sport certainly takes a "different" type of person. Different can mean a lot of things, but I will use internally driven. You also need to understand there are levels of "driven" on all teams from minimally driven to fanatically driven.

There is a feeling you get with extreme fatigue and the giving of your body and mind to exhaustion in pursuit of a reward. There is a return in the quest and giving everything you are and have to this challenge. I know the athletes may feel nothing but frustration and tiredness on some days, but they will never be sorry for the effort and investment. There are no guarantees, and life in and out of wrestling will not be fair. In fact, take "just" out of it.

As an athlete the recipe is simple: basic skills, strong and mobile stance, incredible defense, one go-to leg attack that scores on everyone, you can ride your opponent, you can escape from your opponent, and at the end of 7 minutes you have more points. Now, the formula is simple but carrying it out is not. You also have to be incredibly strong, fanatically conditioned, disciplined to manage your weight and energy management, and an unshakable belief system that weathers all the doubts and concerns that are continuously banging on your door; don't answer the door of doubt. Yes, the knock will get your attention, and it would be easier to answer the door than not answer. Nevertheless, take my word on this particular suggestion.

As I watched wrestling in Ames Saturday, how closely contested so many matches are is incredible. UNI could have won many matches we lost and equally could have lost matches we won. The line is so thin. The biggest factors in our losses are starting to leisure in matches, not enough offensive leg attacks, Defense / stance, and points on the edge of the mat. The other factor is it's very difficult to give up back points in college and win the match.

There is not a coach in college wrestling at any level who is not thinking the same thing as UNI coaches today-We have a lot of specific work to do to reach our potential. The other side is there are a lot of positives to motivate and propel the athletes to want to make the necessary improvements. One of the rewards of our sport is the feeling of improvement from week to week. Not only feeling the improvement but also getting better results.

The rule of this sport is you will do a lot to feel good for a short period of time. The volume of this sport is the day in and day out preparation and grind. You have to be a bit unusual to embrace this routine of physical and mental pounding. These guys need to be part of this. Others are missing out. There are feelings experienced in this grind that can be found in few places. You will learn a lot about yourself in this sport; some of what you learn will be encouraging and some will not be. The ultimate is to take note and make adjustments. Use yourself up, man. You'll never be sorry. The sting is temporary and will pass. It's really about how we handle the sting. Like I said earlier, these guys need this experience and education. Too many people rust out. I encourage these athletes to wear themselves out and commit to something that reveals over their lifetime. This process is a slow dawning but so worthwhile. Fun? Not really! Rewarding? Absolutely!

No fun continued

You want fun? Join a circus, if there is even a circus to be found. If you want fun, go to Chuck E. Cheese.

Listen, we will have to do many things that are no fun. The boulevard to excellence is not going to be fun. If it was, everyone would do it; it's not, they don't. Any lasting satisfaction will be a demand, and for most fragile beings this equates to no fun.  Merit requires you to undergo restraint and tremendous discipline.

Personally I don't think accomplishment is supposed to be pleasurable. There may be satisfying parts along the way but not much fun. If you think a lot of life is supposed to be fun, you will be disappointment, but we all need disappointment; it's life's course requirement. In all honesty, I have failed this particular course a few times.

"It's no fun!" I hear this statement often used when someone is struggling to have success; they're frustrated and want to walk away saying "it's no fun." This is often a crucial time to stay the course. You will always be glad you did, especially in the end, and there will always be an end. Just come back one more day. The completion of this journey can be you holding your head high, proud that you saw a trying situation through when it would have certainly been easier to walk away but you persevered.  Or the end can be where you gave-in to a temporary adversity and frustration and now you're void of the satisfaction that those who saw it through exemplify and project. I believe life is set up to be thorny; in order to accomplish something of inner satisfaction and fulfillment, it's going to require us to do "things" that are NO FUN. People can and have prevailed through life's most treacherous emotional and physical storms. People can be and are amazing. In fact, we often handle the bigger obstacles in life than we do the smaller irritations and temporary trials that are only brief periods of NO FUN. You want fun, go to the arcade. You want excellence, than figure out your target, get a plan with concrete steps, figure out who can and will help you, look forward and, keep moving until you get there.

Along the way, there will be many times where it's no fun. But I can promise the end result will be better than fun. Fun is necessary at times, but it's temporary satisfaction and an endeavor is lasting. It's no fun; well either are relationships, but we will be in relationships our entire life, probably even walk away from a few. But don't walk away just because "it ain't no fun." There will be plenty of times "it ain't no fun."

You want fun? Go roller skating, play Frisbee, throw the ball on the roof and catch it, throw the football up and dive and roll unnecessarily, play kick the can, build a fort, ride wheelies, peel out, eat some lemon heads, Boston Baked Beans, candy corn, red hots, and pixie sticks. Play Spinning Tops, Battle Ship, or Connect Four, get a slinky, mood ring, or go to the county fair and throw plastic rings on 32 oz bottles of Coke and 7-up. There are plenty of things to do if you want to have fun. Go join the Kiss or Ratboy army. Get out your ktel 8 track of the Bay City Rollers, Sweet, Brownsville Station, Nick Gilder or Shaun Cassidy. Watch re-runs of Barnaby Jones, What's Happening or $10,000 Pyramid. How about drink a case of jolly good soda or go to your local Red Owl Store. Also try giving your buddy a ride on the handle bars of your bicycle. Get out your G-I Joes, Tinker toys, or Play Dough factory. Now you have several ideas on how to have fun.  I don't know if wrestling has ever been fun. Getting your hand raised is as close to fun as you're going to get, but this seems to be more personal satisfaction than fun. It's not a sport for fun. You want fun, go to chucky cheese. Now, if you want to challenge yourself, if you want to experience your real substance, then commit to something that will take time struggle, and extreme effort. Commit yourself to a purpose, a journey where you will be tested, disputed, and confronted. Commit yourself to something that will use-up everything you have to offer, everything that you borrowed, everything that's hidden in you, everything you never knew you possessed, and everything you become in this course. You're final grade is not giving out until the end. This is a course that everyone flunks some of the tests, but in the end, these failed tests actually contribute to your final grade. I said enough!

 

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Thank You Alumni

Bob Boeck, Kevin Kahl, Jay Johnson, Keith Carmen, Bob Hallman, Marty Anderson, Gary Whitmore, Jon Moeller, Pat Hamilton, Scott Engleman, Doug Downs, Tim Ascherl, Jay Llewellyn, Charlie Ettelson, Jim Miller, Scott Hassel, Andrew Showalter, Keith Poolman, Hal Turner, Tom Cornally, Greg Berg, Pat Hogan, C.J. Ettelson, Chris Helgeson, Dave Lott, Brian Moore, Barry Delp, Ken Gallagher, Dennis Goetz, Gene Lybbert, Scott Morningstar, Don Parker, Bob Siddens, Larry Straw, Sam Runyan, Bob Moen, Larry Messerly, Bill Straw, Reid Richardson, Andrew Anderson, Dayton Ericson, Molly Donovan Morreim, Tracy Maloy

Special Shouts

Sarah Harms, Dick Formanak, Jan Albrecht, Kara Park, Larry Hamilton, Mike Mixsell, El Heth, Jacques Dubois, Chris Herbon, Troy Dannen, Steve Schofield, Jerry Grosse (West-side), El chapo, Eugene, and Sandy Stevens is wrestling royalty in our eyes.

 

Homecoming and more

The homecoming get-together was a success, and the wrestling practice on Saturday was well attended. Having our athletes' workout in an environment that resembles dual meet and tournament atmosphere is helpful for our team. We are improving as a group and program. We have some points of emphasis individually and as a team to develop, but we are spending time on these particular areas.

The get-together on the West side of the UNI-Dome was filled and a winner. My speaking was choppy but sincere. Also, in the future we will serve hamburgers and not hot dogs; hot dogs are cheap and a mistake on our part.

We like to acknowledge people who help our program, and this year we recognized Don Frazier, Gary Whitmore, Jon Moeller, Sparky, and an award in memory of the late Keith Young; his grandson accepted the award in his honor. We also recognized Travis Kramer, Kevin Launderville and Trent Ames for all the behind the scenes work they do for all the programs at UNI. The homecoming event continues to grow in numbers present. We had a great parent turnout; this is needed and appreciated. We have to grow the alumni attendance. We understand there are multiple reasons why alumni are unable or don't want to be present. We are going to improve this area. UNI wrestling needs the parents and alumni to not only excel but survive. As an alumnus, I didn't do anything for UNI wrestling either. I don't remember being asked and only received a few sporadic mails, but I knew where the West Gym is and could have helped or supported the program. Shucks, I would have definitely attended an event if asked by certain people and would have donated if asked by particular people. What this tells me is we have to ask and contact people with some type of personal touch and not only when we are asking for something. We have to be aware of human nature. We have to go the extra mile in acknowledging, appreciating, and contacting people to let them know they are more than a donation. Doug believes in showing appreciation to anyone and everyone who even thinks about UNI wrestling. We have a lot of chasms to cross and overcome, but we are definitely laboring to grow and progress the program, not just a team.

We have no results on a national level yet. We know the jury is out on our coaching ability. We know that fans, alumni, and parents are looking for national level results; so are we. I can't promise results, only effort. We believe we will break through and when we do, this will open the door for more individual and program success. We're beating on the door in several weight classes.

Doug has wisely made adjustments the past two years. Our coaching staff has evolved technically and training wise. As a coach, you usually stress technique and styles similar to what works for you. We understand there are core skills that have to be learned and mastered, but we also understand not all athletes will win or compete the exact same way. We have to find the balance of allowing the athletes to keep their strengths, style and creativity while employing core basic skills.

We will be competing soon; this will give us a much more accurate gauge of where we are at as a team and individually. Many of our athletes have put in a lot of time and we're eager to see the improvement. We have the potential to be a solid young team by February; this is exciting for the entire UNI wrestling movement to have young potential. I can tell you from past experience when young athletes have success, the program turns the corner.

Briggs and Patten

UNI wrestling thanks Don Briggs and Chuck Patten for attending our get-together and continuing to support UNI wrestling. Their support is huge for the program and reinforces what class men and a class woman Dianna Briggs are. We do sincerely appreciate their attendance and backing. We see Briggs often and have a great relationship with him. We have also been in contact with Patten several times since arriving at UNI. We cannot thank these former leaders enough. Briggs and Patten are always welcome at UNI wrestling.

Monday's team message

I can't think of anything more satisfying and rewarding than the "off the charts" training you go through as a college wrestler. What else would you really want to do as a college athlete? This road tests you, makes the good times great, and the great times indefinable. When you think about how gratifying it is to scuffle on a strategic and animal-like level, and then be rewarded with personal fulfillment; what could be better? It's almost the ultimate to have to struggle, sacrifice, ache, and remain focused, disciplined, accept and conquer challenges that most people can't. This is preparation for life. This is a winning recipe for success long after your wrestling career. No matter what, you will benefit from the confrontations, disciplines, and bravery of this sport. Listen, have some fun. Chase this feeling of toil and extreme physical-ness and fatigue. See how far you can go. Welcome temporary pain for everlasting satisfaction. One thing, man, relax. Enjoy and have some delight. The reward is coming. This is not life or death. Cancer can be life or death; war can be life or death. Wrestling is not life or death. I wanted to win as much as anybody but never even got close, and I can tell you life goes on and everything is just fine. My point is, loosen up, relax, and enjoy the process because most of this sport is the process. You do a lot to feel good for short periods of time, but man, it's worth it. Keep your head up. Pay attention to what you're thinking and take pleasure in the progression. Dreading this journey is optional. I suggest you embrace the progression and have some enjoyment. You need to be striving for something worthwhile anyway. If you're not mentally where you want to be right now, so what? You're mind and emotions can change with a phone call. What you have to do is keep putting the days together, fight every go tooth and nail, give all of yourself to this pursuit, believe in us, yourself, welcome the process and the results will take care of themselves.

The point of this message is I have seen so many athletes hold on too tight, confuse, complicate, and interrupt their potential. This sport does matter and results do matter. I'm not minimizing the importance of success for these athletes. However, when the athletes are mentally and physically wound too tight, they cannot perform to their potential. I have seen this time and time again. This is the first time I have ever mentioned wrestling and fun in the same sentence. I don't think wrestling is fun, but it is rewarding. We see the look on the faces of these athletes' daily and it often looks like dread; this is optional. We have to do our best to keep the athletes in balance. Maybe having fun, or at least the suggestion of fun, will open some closed doors for some of our athletes.

 

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Thank you

Thanks to everyone who came to Doughy Joey's Wednesday night. The attendance to hear Doug talk about UNI wrestling was tremendous. Doug's outlook is positive on where UNI wrestling is going. If you want a very well written synopsis of the meeting, go to Panther Nation Forum and read Larry Hamilton's notes on schedule and events. He captures the meeting contents flawlessly. The PWC board is remarkable and we appreciate all PWC past and present members. Thank you to Jacque Dubois, Don Frazier, El Heth, Larry Hamilton, Hal Turner and Jon Moeller for stopping by the room this week. Thank you TPI in Des Moines, Bill Benskin, Linda Dean, Ron and Shelly Krumwiede, Randy Dodd, Steve St John, Gene Doyle, Gene Lybbert, Kevin Evans, and Georgia Reiter, Mindy Noble and Sparky. Thanks, Fahr Beverage, for the Koozie idea, hopefully next year. Herb, El, and Showalter, it's gonna be a convoy.

Jon Moeller

Jon was an NCAA all-American for UNI 1972. Jon goes above and beyond in his support for UNI wrestling. In just over the past two years, Jon has hosted a meet and greet at his home near Des Moines, drives to every PWC board meeting once a month, attends every PWC and UNI wrestling function, donates his time, effort, and capital to the program and anything that will benefit or support UNI wrestling. Jon does not miss anything. Not only this, but he also volunteers once he does arrive to be on committees, set up, tear down, carry out, etc. I mean this guy is a special alumnus and encourages or assists any way possible. We actually have a several members with who put themselves out for the wrestling program. We know not everyone can back UNI wrestling to this level for many reasons and we sincerely appreciate any and all backing to the alliance. However, we want and feel it necessary to acknowledge people who are extraordinary in their service to UNI wrestling. Thanks, Jon.

As I look through the rich Northern Iowa wrestling history I see names like Randy Omvig, the only four-time NCC champion, four time NCAA all American, NCAA champion and part of the 1975 National Championship team. Dan Mashek, a West Waterloo native who wrestled for one of the best men in and out of wrestling, alumnus Bob Siddens. Dan is the winningest wrestling coach in Iowa high school history with 30 years at legendary Don Bosco (four team state championships) and seven years at North Scott. Dan was Coach of the year, inducted into Iowa Wrestling HOF, Iowa High School HOF, and Glen Brand Wrestling HOF. I have spoken with Dan several times through the years, and he is a guy who makes an impact. You know you're in the presence of a great man when Dan is present. You want to be at your best in his company. Everyone respects this man immensely. There are so many great wrestlers and coaches from UNI. I will certainly cover more UNI legends in the future.

UNI wrestling giving back

Less than two weeks ago the UNI wrestling team gave back to the community. The entire team attended the Boys and Girls Club of Waterloo for two hours talking and playing with the kids at the club. Even with the demanding schedule of the UNI wrestlers, the coaches feel the importance and necessity of being philanthropic to the community. The UNI wrestling program has also been benevolent recently with UNI women's soccer, softball, ROTC, and an Iowa wrestling newspaper that benefits high school wrestlers. Blayne Beale is working on a project called "Takedown Bullying." This is a great idea and a winning design. UNI wrestling feels it's significant to support other programs and movements that we believe in and share our challenges. I'm biased, but we have a great group of young men on our team. There is a lot of good in each one of these young men. We're rarely sorry for giving back. In fact we should and need to give back. I believe it's our obligation since others have certainly giving to us.

Question your doubts

In our sport or any existence, confidence is always an issue. In fact, confidence is as necessary in wrestling as food and water to our daily needs. Our minds are cunning and inconsistent. You have to work at thinking to your benefit. Otherwise, left to ourselves, our minds will and do drift into psychological traffic. Questioning your doubts has potential to be a fruitful apparatus.

You can turn doubt on itself by creating doubts about your doubts.  Are you confused? So am I. Let me try again. Doesn't it make sense that if we question our readiness, worth, or whether we're good enough, etc, that we can question our doubts as well?

Whenever we feel doubtful or uncertain about something, we can spin doubt on itself by using question's to create doubt. By nature, questions break up certainty; questions create doubt. Why not create doubt in our uncertainties? Why not start to question our doubts?

If we begin to question our abilities and feel doubtful, why not wonder if we can actually do it? Instead of doubts about our ability, why not doubt about our inability? What if we try and turnout to be excellent at "it"? What if everyone is wrong about you? What if you're wrong about you?

We can turn hesitation on itself through the use of questions. We know all fears are created in our minds; thinking is a process of constructing and ordering ideas. We simply need to change how we construct our ideas.

Questions are very powerful as a directional device for our minds; it's the process where we tap into real power. Whatever we ask of our mind, we will get an answer. Seek and we shall find. Ask and we will receive. We will always get an answer; we just need to be aware of it. If it's not an answer we can profit from, then we ask questions until we get an answer that will assist us in our pursuit. As many challenges we have, it's easier said than done but something as significant as our confidence requires all mental hands on deck.

Put the phone down

During my morning routine at a local coffee house, I hear and see a lot of things. I mind my dealings, but my eyes are on the front of my head, my neck turns, and my ears are on the side of my head. The point is, I can't help but see and hear. Anyway, there is this lady I have seen five or six times over a six month time frame. She is talking on her phone every time. I have never seen her phone absent from her ear. She enters on the phone, stands in line on the phone, and exits on the phone. She even drives away on the phone. Has it been one continuous conversation the past six months? It must be one vital conversation. Many she is figuring out an anti deficit plan. Maybe no one is on the other line. I don't believe she has that much to talk about. Maybe it's a clever offense against people trying to talk to her. It's seems like an unnecessary production. Try my amusement, wear plain T-shirts. With a plain t-shirt, there are no questions and nothing to talk about; it's perfect. Also, never ever smile under any circumstance; this is another fool proof offense to keep human intruders from talking to you while you order your venti, sugar-free, non-fat, vanilla soy, double shot, decaf, no foam, extra hot, Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with light whip and extra syrup. Put your phone down!

 

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Special thanks

Thank you Brian Kittleson and Greg Stockdale for all of their efforts with the clay shoot.
Also thanks to Rick Caldwell, Tolly Thompson, Mark Showalter, Chris Herbon, Fahr
Beverage, Krista Pugh, Allyson Schwab, Penny K, Holli Rutherford, Sheila Kittleson, Jenna
Eidness, Riley Schreder and anyone else who was involved in the clay shoot.

Visitors in the UNI wrestling room

Last week several people stopped by the wrestling room. UNI all-American Mike
Schwab, 3x NCAA all-American from the University of Minnesota Mack Reiter, 2x all-
American Mark Kist from Wartburg, Legendary Waterloo native and all-American at
ISU Jim Duschen, all American and the Coach of nine state championships at Waverly-
Rick Caldwell; Lifetime Achievement Award Winner and author of over 25 books,
motivational speaker, and wrestling historian Mike Chapman; Doug Reiter, the father
of two four-time state champions Mack and Bart Reiter; friends of UNI wrestling Mark
Showalter and Chris Herbon; National Champion and UNI alum Jim Sanford was in
town on Monday , and Lee Roper from Georgia who is a fabulous technician. There
are so many people who think you have to have world class credentials to be a great
coach, wrong! It's my experience and opinion that being an effective coach is about
communication with the athlete. Initially, credentials may capture your attention, but
after a short period of time the athlete knows who is for them, believes in them and
credentials mean nothing at this point. Lee explained technique perfectly and is very
concise in his delivery. The athletes seem to understand his message clearly. I have only
seen one other coach who was as effective and brief as Lee and that is Marty Morgan.
We enjoy people coming into the room and watching. The doors of UNI wrestling are
always open to alumni, fans and friends.

Good action

The voluntary workouts are going well. There is a lot of action. We have definitely
improved our practice room habits the last two years. The scrambles and continuous
wrestling has really progressed; this is crucial because it simulates realistic college
wrestling. Our athletes are spending more time than in the past on the mat. We're

confident that UNI fans will see a program improvement. The next domino's to knock
over are strong stance and squaring hips and an offensive leg attack that can be
executed on the best competition. As always we will not guarantee victory, only effort.

Below are the practice room habits we promote in UNI wrestling room

Practice room habits

  • Toughness is something you bring to practice every day. It's not a sometime
thing.
  • Competition is every day, not just at the end of the season.
  • Drill with focus, effort, hustle, and precision-business like. There is no such thing
as a boring drill, just a bored person. Prepare to do the simple things perfect
  • Make opponent work for points; NEVER give easy points!
  • Hustle in all positions-Hustle wins in all sports
  • Enthusiasm is convincing and wins in sports and life.
  • Strong positive body language at all times-head up, especially when fatigue sets
in or it's not going your way. Body language indicates attitude and attitude will
dictate behavior.
  • Consistent practice room behavior: Full effort and winning attitude will give you
consistent performance and results.
  • The major daily battle is between what you know you should do and what you
actually do- Win these battles!
  • Consistency-put days, weeks, months and years together in your training. Your
strength evolves from a thread-string-rope-to a steel cable.
  • The best competitors are effective regardless how they feel; it does not matter.
You have to be willing to give up comfort. The body will provide what you ask for
if you truly want to win the war. The more persistent the fight, the more likely
the victory.
  • Forget about tough talk. Your behavior will identify who you are. We are all
revealed when adversity and discomfort strikes and it will.
  • Stay coachable-coaches can see behaviors and attitudes that you can't.
  • Avoid excuses or excessive explanations-they weaken you and de-value your
credibility.
  • Train through fatigue. You're going to get tired; expect it. If you embrace, you will
master. If you avoid fatigue, you will strengthen it. It's about focus!

  • Put it on the line every day; don't save it. Real competitors don't want or need
safety.
  • Compete every go, sprint, rep, or drill like it's the one that makes the difference.
  • Every day, before leaving the practice room, ask "Did I win the battle with myself
today?" If you didn't, then stay. Build success into your training. Always leave the
room on a note you can build on. Don't run out of the room after practice
  • After each practice, start getting ready for the next one: Cool down, heat, stretch,
Ice, fluids, fuel, sleep, and review.
  • Battle through every go, performance, rep, sprint, clock, and finish line regardless
what the outcome looks like. Competitions are won and lost in the final seconds.
You're never out of it. You want your opponent to remember you and dread
having to face you again.
  • Eventually, good or bad, your behaviors will become second nature. If you want
to get your hand raised, you have to employ "get your hand raised" behavior.
  • PRH requires a lot of encouragement from coaches. Coaches are responsible to
enforce these behaviors.

The more you win these battles, the greater your self confidence becomes.


Milboy's last year

Former UNI national champion and asst wrestling coach at UNI from 1983-1991 Jim
Miller has announced this season as his last year coaching at Wartburg College. What
Milboy accomplished at Wartburg is unparallel. After 21 years, he won nine NCAA titles,
34 individual national champions, 138 all-Americans and 70 academic all-Americans. Not
only has he put out great wrestlers, he has produced great coaches. Guys like Eric Keller,
UNI alum and All-American is one of the best young coaches out there and will carry on

the Wartburg dynasty. Keller, who is going on his 12th year at Wartburg, has only been
absent one year since he graduated from UNI in 1999. During his missing year he took
over head coaching reigns at North Central and was 2006 National Wrestling Coaches
Association Rookie Coach of the Year. There is no doubt Keller is an effective coach.
Then you have former UNI alum and All-American Dave Malecek who has led Wisconsin
La Crosse to top-four finishes at the (NCAA) Division III Championships in all six seasons
he has coached. Dave was also named the 2007 NCAA Rookie Coach of the Year and
2010 D3wrestle.com Coach of the Year. Lastly, Nick Mitchell who started the wrestling
program at Grandview and won a national title in his fourth season; this is amazing.
Mitchell has also been named NAIA national coach of the year and NWCA coach of the
year. I will also mention Chris Ortner who was an all-American at Wartburg and coached
Columbus Waterloo to a state championship in 2004. Ort is going into his eighth year as
a coach at Wartburg. I can tell you he is one of the best big guy coaches out there in any
division. Ort lays low but he's a huge asset to the program.

I was fortunate enough to be coached by Milboy and can tell you as an athlete, you
want to wrestle hard for him. He is a master at raising your level of emotion and
optimism. He has special talents and abilities to aid you in believing in yourself and the
movement. People like him do not come along often and when they do, they raise the
level of everyone around them. Milboy has made this impact on the Wartburg wrestling,
athletic program, community, and division three wrestling. You will never hear Milboy
prime his own pump. He continually gives the credit away. If anyone is ever looking for a
great speaker who can motivate, engage, and lift the entire crowd up, Jim miller is your
man. And yea, I spell Milboy with one L on purpose.

Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational General Information

www.cklvwrestle.com

Friday, November 30, 9:00 a.m. and 7:00pm sessions

Saturday, December 1, 9:00 a.m. and 3:00pm: CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

Tournament location -Las Vegas Convention Center

Host Hotel-Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, formally the Hilton

*Convention Center and Hotel are next to each other on Paradise Road

Everything you ever needed to know you should have learned years ago

I am assuming most all of us while growing up were encouraged to say thank you. I
would be shocked if anyone was not trained to express thanks. If this is the case, and I
think it is, why does it escape so many? How tough is it? Here is the shame of my point;
there are many who need to say it but don't. What is wrong with you? What's appalling
to me is there are many people and even coaches in many sports who miss the boat
on this. When people help you or your cause, the right action to take is a verbal and
writing thanks; it take seconds and is much appreciated. I realize some people don't
do "things" expecting to be thanked, but I have yet to meet any human being who does
not appreciate it. Let's be serious, most people notice when you don't thank them but
everyone notes when you do.

Cutting corners

Cutting corners have no reward and never will. Yet it's dreadfully popular. Cutting
corners are larger than Elvis, Barnaby Jones, Rerun, Blossom and Fonzie, well not the
Fonz.

There ought to be a punishment for cutting corners. Oh yea, there is; it's called regret
and damage to your self-worth. It's called "did not qualify," "didn't get the promotion,"
or "1.4 GPA." The punishment lingers well into the years. I'm not just talking about
results. I'm talking about your self-perception, identity, and quality of life.

We get comfortable with what's not helpful. We deceive one area that absolutely
influences other areas of our lives. This takes away one significant element at a time
until our efficiency is depleted. We're disappointed and we deserve to be. Are you tired
of feeling frustrated and dissatisfied? If so, then modifications are vital.

Why do we cut corners? Maybe because on a daily basis our choices don't seem to
matter; nothing major occurs as we wither away our potential choice by choice. The fact
is our progress or demise happens a little at a time.

If a giant section of #30 coarse grit sandpaper scuffed your cheek each time you
splashed your possibilities into fatality, you would get the memo loud and clear, but it's
much more clever and subtle. Over time our choices, good or bad, craft our potential
and outcomes.

If there's a height you're determined to achieve, awareness opens the door and
behavior will progress you through. The time is now. Don't permit another day to depart
without your interest and attempts. Decide you will no longer authorize further self
damage to your present and future. Make a ruling you will no longer defraud yourself
and commit the greatest human crime by cutting corners and handing over your
dreams, confidence, expectations, and hope.

Have you cut corners in the last week? Does this mean you're are not working hard,
giving effort or not sacrificing? Maybe not! But if we only do what most are doing, how
can we catch those in front of us? We never will unless we hold ourselves to a soaring
standard. Make a resolution to spend your personal, physical, and emotional capital to
obtain your entire potential.

If you desire constructive results, you must be dependable. Complete your part to the
best of your capacity today, and present it better tomorrow. It's not who knows the
most but who is most prepared. There is a tax to be paid for anything meaningful. The
tax is paid with daily behaviors that insure your possibilities and outcomes. Make your
mind up! No more cutting corners! It's easy, soft, ugly, and weak. Cutting corners gives
you a moment of relief but a lifetime of heartache and unhappiness.

We tend to trust action behind words more than the words themselves. Don't say it, just
demonstrate it; the loudest will be unspoken; we speak with our conduct. It's like hitting
your significant other while saying "I love you!" One speaks louder than the other, don't
you think?

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Sept. 17, 2012

Team in the room

We're back in the wrestling room after the renovation. The room looks really good and once the mural is up on the east wall, it will be a great tribute to the history and alumni of UNI wrestling. It's impossible to articulate the level of physical and emotional effort that has been giving in the UNI wrestling room. What would be the guess on how many pounds have been worked off the last 30 years or even in a week? The raw force and strength that is displayed in a college wrestling room on a daily basis is unknown to the world and impossible to grasp unless you have actually experienced it. It's sometimes hard to believe the almost animal vigor that goes into this sport. If athletic budgets were based on uncooked exertion, strain, discipline, commitment, inconvenience, uncomfortable, fatigue ridden and respect worthy toil giving pretty much on a daily basis, then we would have a private jet, limo, a fat gold shackle on my neck, and a diamond studded jump suit.

Currently there is anywhere from 20-30 guys in the room daily drilling and wrestling. We are seeing some of the skills we've been working on and practice room habits we're instilling coming through. We still have to improve our stance discipline / defense, bottom position after being taking down, and offensive attacks. However, as the room improves the younger guys will learn the system and improve at a faster rate. We believe we are moving in a progressive direction. We believe those interested in UNI wrestling will see an improvement in many of our athletes this season. The coaches understand we have to employ skills with the team that maybe we were not proficient in. So what do we do about this? We continue to grow and learn ourselves. A good coach continues to learn and knows he / she knows very little. This is often overlooked by many coaches. In our case, we understand as coaches we have to make advances and adjustments in various positions to cater to all the differences on the team. Our core approach is basics, basics, basics, intensity, aggressiveness but not recklessness, hustle, conditioning, and sprinting through the finish line, but we're offering diverse offensive attacks and riding /pinning to the team.

Team lifting

We're two weeks into our small group team lifts. We have seen tremendous results from our lifting the past two years. We've obvious miles to go but our style of lifting is moving in the right direction. We are getting the results we have in mind. There are no secrets involved just heavy lifting again and again, and super  or tri sets with little rest. Our lifting is all business and should be. Most of the guys who have been around the past 2 years know what we expect in our lifts and meet these demands. What's paramount is the athletes understands lifting and stressing your muscles is only a part of gaining strength; the athletes have to fuel their bodies / muscles after the lift and get quality sleep to complete the cycle of gaining muscle and strength. We have a protein / carbohydrate drink on hand for the athletes to drink immediately following the lift to start their recovery. We understand and have to get the athletes to understand, immediately following a training session their body is set up chemically to utilize fuel in its most proficient manner. Basically the longer they wait to refuel, the less the muscles will benefit. The initial intake does not have to be large, but timing is crucial to start the recovery, repair, and directing glycogen back to their muscles. There are so many little behaviors and actions we can take that will make a big difference in our "game."We will continue to promote our beliefs, knowledge, and experience to the reach the student athlete's potential.

3.0 club

We have approximately 22 guys who have committed to a 3.0 grade point average or higher this semester. We like the numbers, spirit and idea of the club. This could be an exceptional semester for UNI wrestling.

Opinions

I cannot tell you how many times I hear the phrase "I'm entitled to my opinion" or "It's just my opinion." Well we all have beliefs and we're swift to let the world know that it's our right. Doesn't it make sense that if we're entitled to our view that others are entitled to theirs? Of course we declare, yes! Yea, we say that until others view differs from ours. Why is that? We're so convinced that our opinion is the right estimation. Maybe we're off by a little bit. Maybe we have all the numbers to the combination but not in the right sequence. And just maybe we have all the wrong numbers. This is my point; many are hasty to assert their rights, but declare it's not acceptable if others voice their opinion if it's different from ours. So who has the right of way? People become very defense, unreasonable, and in some cases violent because of their self-absorbed view that their entitled to their opinion and can voice it, but others cannot voice theirs, and if their opinion differs, they must be attacked, penalized, sued, and ever persecuted. Most of us would affirm we're rational but are we? We may age and weather on the outside, but I'm convinced most of us are still emotional infants that are quick to recognize and verbalize the holes in others game, while our game is skeptical at best. We all need several doses of sensible maturity in the shape of GROW UP! I'm real sure I do and am certain you do to. Maybe we would be better off if our voice had no volume, and we had to write everything we want to say. I bet most of us would not have nearly as much to say. Conversely, some of us would have a lot more to say. Most of us get into trouble when we speak out of emotion and say things that we would say differently three minutes later. I'm all for speaking my opinion and others speaking theirs. In my world, I will accept others views that differ from mine, but I demand you to let me have my opinion as well. Bottom line-sometimes we say stupid things, make brainless statements, and tighten the noose of foolishness around our own neck. If only we could write first on the sand where the oceans tide can wash away our often childish tirade of the moment and then speak after we have taking time to balance our thoughts and feelings.  Another favorable time to discuss is after a walk. Just think how different we would have verbalized in the past, if we had the buffer of a 30 minute walk before we delivered our opinion or responded to a heated view different from ours. I wonder how many relationships would still exist if the above governor had been employed on our words?  Anyway, how about you can have your opinion, and I can have mine. You don't attack, penalize, persecute, or sue me, and I will do the same. As long as we're talking about verbalizing, how about when we or others say to someone else "Hey, I heard that so and so did this or that, wha wha wha."Well I'm going to voice my opinion right now. If you or I hear something about others, it has to be true, correct? Most people's facts are always accurate, right. Even though they were not present, heard it through their neighbor's cousin's friends ex who works with a lady who knows a guy who lives in a trailer court with a white muscle shirt that has mustard on it and has a red haired step child. How often do you and I participate in hearsay about others or situations we know little to nothing about? Well, maybe we ought to remember that there are always 2, 5, or 15 "things" that we don't know about the particular situation or person. You know a lot of time it's simply who gets to you or me first. What's this say about us? So our opinion is taking by whoever gets to us first? We can do better than this.

_______________________________________________________________________

Sept. 3, 2012

When Doug became the head coach of UNI wrestling, he made a list of what he wanted to accomplish. At the top of the program list is to make sure people are thanked, acknowledged, and appreciated for any and all support to the program. He also wanted to make sure alumni are recognized. I would have to say he is accomplishing this. Doug is wise to make this important. In order to grow UNI wrestling, it will take a lot of people. We would like to thank the following. 

Thank you

A Special Thanks to Larry Hamilton, Allyson Schwab, Janice Albrecht, Ty Kimble, Mike Mixsell, El Heth, Mike Allen, Rick Caldwell, Landmark-Mark Showalter, Chris (Herb) Herbon, Pheasant Ridge-John Bermel and staff, Mulligans Grill and Pub-Dave Morgan and Ryan Bennett, UNI Cheerleaders, Fahr Beverage-Kelly, Holli Rutherford, Riley Schreder, Brett Robbins, Onni Prestidge, Steve Knipp, Don Jessen, Pete Otte and Troy Dannen.

 Our Appreciation 

Colin McDonough, Steve Schofield, Maria Colon, Heritage Art Gallery, Martin Brothers, University Book and Supply, Win-Magazine, and Amateur Wrestling News, Ken and Pat Budke, Ron Welter, Janice Berhow, Ed Havens, 1650 the Fan, Loder Construction, In memory of Larry Luttrell, Barry Delp, Reiter Construction,  Williams MACHINE Shop, Herb, Craft Cochran, Fahr Beverage, Heritage Art Gallery, The Perrin family, Ball-Kirk-Holm, Runyan Home and Real Estate, Quaff's Bar and grill, Advance Environmental, Kimble Insurance, Dawn and Daryl Pint, Lisbon Insurance Agency (Scott Morningstar) Paul Demro, State Farm Insurance, The Gym Crossfit Kilo, Denver Insurance Agency T.T.I. Todd and Tim Meyer, Midwest Auto Parts, Jerry Roling Motors, Greg Stockdale, Brummel Madsen Insurance Agency, Kevin Kahl, Thorn-Gribben Wealth Management Group, Knutson Chiropractic Clinic, Mid County Machinery, Benton's Sand and Gravel, Eichelberger Financial Services, Oakridge Realtors (Ryan Backes), Hydrite Chemical (Waterloo), In Memory of Jerry Llewellyn, Fifth Street Tire (Goodyear), Alter Metal Recycling, Rick Stahl, Mike Allen, Bill and Mary Roths, The Powers Family, Predicament, Mike Exline and Associates, Pump Haus, Simpson Furniture, Black Hawk Roofing, Martin Brothers, Woolverton Printing, UNI Cheerleading J, Wilson Restaurant Supply, Mclaughlin Restaurant Supply, Farm Credit Service of America, USA/Iowa Wrestling, Midwest Industrial Producers, Doughy Joey's Peetza Joynt, Benton's Ready Mix, Dalton's Plumbing and Heating and Cooling, Cunningham Construction INC, Denver Heating and Cooling, Witham Auto Center, Bonanza Steakhouse (Waterloo), DFI (Paul Weber), Mudd Group, Kimball & Beecher, Bob Bixby, Brad Bruhl, Berg Audio and Video, Subway, Bill Dawson, Landmark, Bartel Farms, Blade Runners,  KW Farms Inc (Krumwiede's), Farmers State Bank (Scott Becker), McGowan's Furniture

Thank you

 

Ed Banach

Ross Banach

Kris Pluege

Larry Hamilton

Daryl Pint

Burt Love

Pete Otte

Sam Runyon

Bob Moen

Marve Reiland

Elwyn Bruhl

Joe Schreder

Jackie Schreder

Kyle Klingman

Ken Klingman

Hal Turner

Brett Turner

Grant Turner

Mitch Johnson

Don Jessen

Dick Schmitz

Cliff Northland

Brian Northland

John Windolf

Kirk Anderson

Brian Stegall

Greg Patterson

John Lynch

Amy Lynch

Sonia Rodriguez

Sami Allison

Eric Keller

Chris Ortner

Eddy Reiter

Doug Reiter

Pat Hogan

Scott Engleman

Doug Downs

Jeff Bradley

Johnny Coronado

Rudy Coronado

Matt Kirby

Calvin Busch

Josh Bolton

Kevin Krieg

Mike Pamulak

Rick Schweitzberger

Jim Beck

Lee Brooks

Jeff Billerback

Randy Schafer

Drew Conrad

Ryan Westerman

Nick Liston

Corey Albrecht

Dane Thompson

Jeff Thompson

Adam Charley

Brian Benning

Gary Flanigan

Brian Surratt

Clint Dohlman

Andy Schurman

Lane Hyde

Ryan Childs

Kirk Crittenden

Jason Payne

Nick Bell

Jared Abel

Rachel Abel

Steve Harding

Bob Nelson

Jerry Slykhuis

Dean Dryer

Keith Poolman

Brian Benning

Gary Flanigan

Brian Surratt

Clint Dohlman

Andy Schurman

Lane Hyde

Ryan Childs

Kirk Crittenden

Jason Payne

Nick Bell

Jared Abel

Rachel Abel

Steve Harding

Bob Nelson

Jerry Slykhuis

Dean Dryer

Shawn Langan

Will Kelly

Steve Carter

Keith Poolman

Jacque Dubois

Ryan Bright

Ty Kimble

Mike Allen

Traci Funk

Stacie Monaghan

Dave Nicol

Roger Wolf

Dennis Gienau

Fred Tripps

Troy Davis

Chris Davis

Tia Leinfelder

Nate Steege

Al Patten

Larry Dawson

Bill Bertran

Eric Dawson

Armand McCormick

Curt Hudnut

Travis Hansen

Troy Belmer

Kyle Forness

Ben Barnett

Justin Obrien

Dewayne Wessels

Jon Garvin

Sean Stender

Jason Krosch

Drew Kelly

Dave Morgan

Mike Bennett

Nate Oakland

Ryan Bennett

Jay Marley

Steve Bass

Brent Jennings

Jeff Grimm

Rick Glenn

Jim Moore

Bob Moore

Dan Kopplin

Roger Williams

Scott Thompson

Al Sweeney

Todd Thompson

Marty Meyer

Josh Schmidt

Nate Tibbons

Mike Finn

Steve Schofield

Kevin Finn

Mark Funk

Matt Monaghan

Mike Woodall

 

 

Brief Team Meeting

Last Thursday we had a brief team meeting to talk about lifting groups, weight management and perseverance.

Lifting groups- The coaches will ramrod small lifting groups beginning this Tuesday for 8 weeks. Four to Six athletes in a group at 6:30, 7:30, or 8:30 a.m. time frame-two lifts a week. The reason behind small groups is to be able to focus on the athletes. I can tell you by experience that it takes more time to do it this way, but the athletes get a lot more from their lifts; this is why Doug runs lifts this way. Each athlete only strength trains 2x a week because the lifts are brutal and they need the recovery time. You build muscle by tearing down, but you also have to recover with quality sleep and refueling your body. Also muscle is your bodies more effective fat burner, so it's a fit. The idea behind these vicious lifts is to prepare the athletes body and mind to be strong and effective over and over. If you're only strong one time in this sport, you will struggle. The athlete have to be sturdy numerous times, in unconventional positions, and while fatigued.

Weight management- We will be certifying at the end of September, so guys need to give more thought to their lifestyle. Here is what we stressed. The ultimate in weight loss is to lose body fat while maintaining strength; to do this will take time. Losing weight is easy. Losing body fat is tough. Our bodies are incredible resistant to giving up body fat. Most of the time people are just losing water weight not body fat. Our bodies are approximately 70-80% water so as I said, losing weight is easy, initially anyway. This is what we stress to the athletes.

  • Always eat breakfast; you're a.m. feeding is crucial and not a meal to be skipped.
  • A.M. workouts are crucial when striving to lose body fat. Our bodies are set up chemically to burn more body fat in the a.m. than any other time. Also if you're up working out, you're going to fuel and kick start your metabolism and also attend class, not to mention you have more energy the rest of the day.
  • Eat smaller portions throughout the day but more frequently
  • Eating foods closest to their natural state is most beneficial for energy management and plumbing
  • NEVER EVER enter any training session starved or totally dehydrated. ALWAYS fuel for a workout and always fuel after a workout. The key is moderation not starvation or massive dehydration.
  • Avoid late night feedings, especially large helpings.
  • Avoid pop, fried foods, chips, white breads, candy bars, hi calorie sweets, excessive beer intake, fast foods, partially hydrogenated foods, foods found in the middle of the supermarket-stay on the outside. You can consume treats but in moderation.
  • You have to work out side of regularly scheduled training sessions to lose body fat; creating a calorie deficit is paramount.
  • Wait until the last 16-20 hours before you go into your dehydration phase. Spend as little amount of time as possible in this state.
  • Drink LOT's of water. We stress drinking several servings of water through your training and not cutting back until a few days prior to weigh-ins. Does this actually happen? Doubtful, but it's what we stress.

Actually if you're losing weight correctly, you will eat possibly more than if you're on full feed. The difference is what you're eating, when you're eating, and the amounts you're eating. In fact, it can be the healthiest time in a student athlete's life and certainly healthier than your average student. However, it only works if you do it over time. Sustained discipline is the key. Losing body fat is one of the hardest actions a human will ever engage in, but to be healthy or effective in this sport, you have to be willing to give up comfort. Wrestling takes a bad rap on the weight cutting business, but it's not the sports fault; it's poor decision and procrastination on the athletes part. I know because I have been in this arena a long time and cut weight poorly at times myself.

Perseverance and determination- We talked about remembering why you (the athlete) started this "thing", why you attend college to compete in a tough and demanding sport. When we're young, we dream and certainly most athletes dream. I'm thinking when most dream it's not "win some lose some." I'm thinking athletes dream with them as the champion, star, or hero. We stressed, KEEP DREAMING!!! Never stop and settle or let your visions die. Hold on to whatever it is that moves, motivates, or excites you. Just because it has not happened yet, does not mean "it" will not happen. I used Doug as an example; he didn't win state until a senior and although he won an NCAA title as a sophomore the next 2 years were tough as he finished 3rd and 2nd. He continued to wrestle freestyle and received no respect or ever considered a threat in the weight class. He placed 4th, 5th, 6th, 4th, 5th, 3rd, in the national open and I remember talking to him about retiring because I had begun doubting whether he was going to reach his dreams. Well, it's a good idea Doug continued to believe because the 7th year into his freestyle career he won the world trails and placed 5th in the world. In his 8th year he won the national open and made the Olympic team. My point is, stay with it and never forget why you started in this sport or what your dreams are. As long as you still believe and do not let the fire die, anything is possible. You may just have to wait a little longer than you wanted, but the pay off for persistence disburses in gold.

The Walton's

Life is rich for those who appreciate the little things

 

A few weeks ago while watching TV I stumbled on the Walton's. The show took me back to Thursday nights as a kid. The message is always untainted when the Walton's are involved. The Walton's make you long for nostalgic times that you never experienced. Their lives seemed so simple without all the turbulence of today. Even though the time frame is between 1933-1946- the great depression and WWII, their lumber mill at the foot of Walton's mountain made me want to be there. The family struggled financially, but there was so much love, togetherness, and support in their large extended family that they got by. Well, let me rephrase that, the Walton's not only got by but they were rich in many respects. Think about how "little" people survive on in those days and how much we "seem" to need today; no wonder so many people are miserable. Why are we such high maintenance?


Any way, the particular episode is called Prophecy. John's 25th year high school reunion was approaching, and he felt, very apprehensive about facing his classmates, whom he feels have succeeded better at life than he has. When the reunion comes about he finds that most of his classmates envy him for the things, which they don't have: a loving wife and family, peace of mind, faith, etc. Now, does this hit home for you? We compare ourselves unfairly with others thinking we don't measure up because of their profession, education, accomplishments, status, income, blah blah blah. WHO CARE'S!!!! There are billion people on earth that don't know you or care to. We will ALWAYS lose in the comparison game. We tend to think how others appear on the exterior is their true measure; it's not. We judge others exterior by our interior and it's misleading. John thought of himself as a plain man who in many respects failed. However, as he found out the businessman in New York City, the writer in Washington, and the millionaire in Chicago had nothing on him. They all had troubles, health problems, relationship issues, insecurities, and a multitude of other complications; all of their "stuff" could not bring them harmony. In the final minutes of the episode, John realized how appreciative and blessed he is with his simple and often hard at times life that surrounded him with love, support, and health. Although John had the least material crap, he is rich in ways that last. John was the true winner of the class reunion. The shows message:

Life is rich for those who appreciate the little things.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Thank You

Jerry Grosse, Lisa Dalziel, Dave Bartel, Rich Powers, Ron Welter, Rhonda and Jay Moore, Pat Hamilton, Kevin Kahl, Barry Delp, Greg Stockdale, Bob Bixby, Larry Hamilton, Jim Swieter, Kyle Forness, Brian Kittleson, Rick Caldwell, Allyson Schwab, Rich Powers, Corey Perrin, Sandra Perrin, Doug Reiter, Janice Berhow, Ron and Shelly Krumwiede, Al Patten, El Heth, Jon Moeller, John Roadcap, Dave Peters and Noreen Hermansen.

The Room

The UNI wrestling room expansion is almost complete. Thank you Peters Construction, PWC members, Sandy Stevens, Noreen Hermansen, Troy Dannen, Don and Dianna Briggs, etc. I will write more on this later.

Impressions Joel Greenlee

Joel is one of the most dominant and finest wrestlers I have even been around who did not win a NCAA Championship. The only reason he was not a NCAA Champion is because he was behind one of the greatest heavyweights of all time, Carlton Haselrig. Haselrig's career record is 143-2-1. He is a 3x Division 1 and 3x Division-2 NCAA champion- Joel lost 1-0. There are many years Joel would have walked through the NCAA tournament. Joel is a two-time All-American, finishing second in 1989 and fourth in 1988. Joel still holds the highest winning percentage in school history with a 127-16-4 (.878) career record. He also holds the Panther records for dual victories (58) and dual victories in a season (20 in 1986-87). I can tell you as Joel's teammate for 4 years, he was disciplined and trained hard. Joel earned everything he got as an athlete. Joel is the head coach at Ohio University since 1998. Also in 1998 He was named National Assistant-Coach-of-the-Year, 2001 MAC Coach of the Year and recently the UNI Athletic Hall of Fame. Joel is another example of being a bright spot for small town Iowa. The current UNI wrestling coaching staff is proud to have Joel Greenlee as an alumnus.

Gary Pollard

I called Gary the other day after seeing his picture on the West Gym wall of fame for 2 years. Gary was 3rd in the NCAA championships as a sophomore and was never healthy again the next 2 years. Knowing this, I have to believe Gary would have been one of the best light weights in UNI history. Gary said he comes to a few meets, but has never seen the wrestling room since it was up-stairs in the West Gym. Gary, you're invited and welcome to the West Gym and all UNI wrestling functions. We hope to see you soon.

Professional

So what is professional? You often hear others say "He's very professional," or "That's not very professional." Let me see if I have it as the crow flies. Professional is handling matters calmly, timely, organized, and well done. Professional is defusing situations, listening, and being solution oriented. Professional is being able to make others around you feel important, recognized, valued, and treated with respect. Professionalism is satisfaction guaranteed.

 

Dressing professional might be wearing the following

Slacks: Giorgio Fiorelli solid camel non pleatedGiorgio Fiorelli Dress Pants Solid Giorgio Fiorelli Dress Pants Solid  Men's Giorgio Fiorelli Dress Pants Solid slacks

Tie: Stefano Ricci Italian collection series neck-tie studded with 3000 Swarovski crystals

Shirt: Eton 80th anniversary shirt made from the finest Egyptian cotton with encrusted white diamond cufflinks

Shoes: Highly polished panda black Nile crocodile Belvedere shoes

Hair, well your hair is unimpeachable and you're cleanly shaving  

Scent: You tang of the most sophisticated and refined scent known to man-Amouage. Amouage is composed of over 100 natural oils and essences made for an Arabian prince.

Means of transportation: You drive a pale cornflower blue Bentley Continental Flying Spur Series 51 with DUB Swagger rims wrapped in Pirelli Scorpion tires.

License plate: Don't player hate, player appreciate.

Watch: A Girard-Perregaux vintage Jackpot Tourbillion watch with rose gold and 38 jewels.

So my discolored stained sweat pants, KangaROOS combat series shoes, plain white t-shirt tainted with mustard, dog food and oil, and my 1976 AMC Hornet Sportabout wagon is not going to qualify. Darn! And I really wanted to be professional.

 Let see what others have to say about being professional.

A good role model for others including, their behavior, attitude and relationships, good time keepers - always on time, uses time well, dresses appropriately for the role, speaks in a way which is appropriate to each different audience without being patronizing or putting people down, knowledgeable about their job, organization, etc., good with people, communicate effectively-whatever the circumstances, actively listens, manages their time well, works well under pressure, fulfils deadlines, prioritizes effectively - Is prepared to put in the time and effort to get things done, but also manages to have a reasonable work life balance, is accountable and takes responsibility for what they do and say, and for what they leave undone

In the above random answers there are roughly 15 examples that can be tied to answering e-mails

Answering e-mail

How tough can this be? Let's experiment. I'm going to respond to an e-mail right now, hold on...... I'm back! It took me exactly 27 seconds. And you call yourself professional.

Look, I totally understand we all get busy, are stars in some professional areas and felons in others. However, never overlook the power of acknowledgement. You may need something one day and your e-mail could go unanswered.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Keith Young

Legendary wrestler Keith Young passed away on July 29 in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He was 81. Keith has many accolades such as, inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1979, instrumental in the 1950 NCAA wrestling championship for the University of Northern Iowa (known as Iowa State Teachers College at the time) undefeated three-time NCAA champion for the Panthers, winning individual titles in 1949, 1950, and 1951, AAU championships those same years, head wrestling coach at Cedar Falls High School, winning two state championships (1968 and 1976), two runner-up finishes and over 200 dual meet victories. Wow! What an incredible list of accomplishments, but what's even more impressive are what I found written about Keith from people he has touched:

A wonderful example of how to treat people, encouraged many of us to not be afraid, an all around kind and generous person , Soft spoken but tough, a prince among men, Keith has received the prize that all seek in this life and in the next, fun and patient, best example possible of a great person-teacher and coach, a man of integrity and great competitive spirit, The type of man that as a person got older you realized he was also a wise teacher, dedicated and great coach, class act, great role model, memorable man with enormous  influence, willing to go the extra mile for people, tough-fair and respected by all, integrity, touched many in a positive way and an example of how to live life, could draw the best out of people, inspire others to a higher level of excellence, his lessons have proved timeless and enduring, man of many talents, one of a kind, man among men, always shared with others, a delightful man, taught wrestlers how to be good people in life, great individual, great friend, he will be missed by all who knew him, Job well done on earth, an influence on anyone he came in contact with, wonderful inspiration, a friend you could count on, and wrestling legend.

The above are just a few words written by those who knew him. Keith will be missed by many and like one person wrote "A job well done on earth." How do you top that? Keith's picture is on the wall of the West Gym. He is the type of champion that we should all set the bar to be like. UNI wrestling is proud to have Keith Young as an alumnus.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Any and all of Keith's family and friends are always welcome at anything that has to do with UNI wrestling.

Head Coach Doug Schwab continuing his education

Doug just returned from the NWCA coaches' convention in Ft Lauderdale, Fla. I have been to three conventions and always take away something. More importantly, Doug invested in the NWCA coaching leadership academy program. The goal of the NWCA Leadership Academy is to help coaches enhance their CEO skills in an effort to strengthen their programs and to promote best practices for improving retention and graduation rates. What a great decision by Doug to devote time and effort towards program and personal expansion. At UNI, Doug will wear many hats as a coach. He understands the value and how necessary it's for him to be a complete coach and expand in areas off the mat. This is great news for all UNI wrestling parents, alumni, fans, and administration that the leader of UNI wrestling is investing time and effort to progress all aspects of his coaching and leadership. Great job Doug! As his assistant coach, brother, and alumni, I can tell you Doug is 100 percent committed to the growth and excellence of UNI wrestling. This does not mean everyone will agree with all decisions, mistakes will not be made, or challenges and obstacles will not be present. What this means is the leader of UNI wrestling takes his job seriously and is invested in the athletes and program maturing and succeeding on and off the mat.

Sandy Stevens

As I was walking in the hall of the West Gym yesterday and the new doors on the wrestling room were being stained, I thought about how much one particular person has promoted, rallied, donated, supported, and made possible the hall that tributes past UNI all Americans and National champions and the expansion of the wrestling room. Thank you very much Sandy. UNI wrestling appreciates your contributions, time, and support. You're an extraordinary individual indeed.

Cruse Aarhus will compete in University World trials in Colorado Springs August 17-18. If you have an opportunity this week, please send cruse a message in support on facebook or aarhusc@uni.edu.

Doug will also be taking eight wrestlers to the Olympic training Center prior to the world trials to train with other college wrestlers from around the USA.

Gary Steffensmeier's Crazy Horse Wrestling Camp

I was recently in Farmington Iowa with Gary helping him with his wrestling camp. Gary has about 20 acres, woods, pond, and trails-a very rural setting. The wrestling mats are in the driveway and garage. There are tractor tiers, logs, sledge hammers, ropes, and just about anything that can be carried, lifted, squatted, or pulled. This is the second camp I have attend of Gary's, and I can tell you it's very different from ANY camp I have ever taking part in. If you know or hear of any kids in the future who are really looking for a challenge, give them Gary's name. You see and hear about camps that are called "Intensive" well, this camp is intensive. I'm going to tell you it's not for everybody. Most kids say they want a challenge; this camp will confront you. You WILL want to leave before it's over. However, if you do attend and make it through, you are guaranteed to advance the most important aspect of any human being-the mind. I have seen many camps and clinics that make little to no impression; this camp will certainly make an impression. If you're up for a difficult exam, look no further.

Convoy

Rolling Stones 'I can't get no' satisfaction, John Lennon "Imagine,' Bob Dylan 'Like a Rolling Stone,' Led Zeppelin 'Stairway to Heaven,' Aretha Franklin 'Respect,' Elvis Presley 'Hound Dog,' or Chuck Berry 'Johnny B. Goode.' What comes to mind when you read this short list of songs? Maybe it's some of the greatest songs of all time; I agree. Well, recently I was playing bingo for soda pop. The winner is paid with bottles of orange, grape, or strawberry crush. Well, I thought I heard noise coming from off in the distant... I focused my listening but just couldn't make it out. I rose to my feet and moved in the direction of this subtle resonance. Then the words were clear.

Ah, breaker one-nine, this here's the Rubber Duck. You gotta copy on me, Big Ben, c'mon? Ah, yeah, 10-4, Big Ben, for sure, for sure. By golly, it's clean clear to Flag Town, c'mon. Yeah, that's a big 10-4 there, Big Ben, yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy. Mercy sakes alive, looks like we got us a convoy...

'Cause we got a little ol' convoy
Rockin' through the night.
Yeah, we got a little ol' convoy,
Ain't she a beautiful sight?
Come on and join our convoy
Ain't nothin' gonna get in our way.
We gonna roll this truckin' convoy
'Cross the U-S-A.


Convoy!

I hadn't heard this work of genius for many years. "Convoy" is a stunning success in the circle I run in. There is a very significant story told by C.W. McCall, mostly on his CB. My suggestion is for you to listen to this song several times. In such a rare and clever mode, genius C.W. McCall uses a citizens band radio to captivate us. I hadn't used my CB for over a year, but yesterday I went to the garage and my PC68XL Bearcat Pro Series CB Radio with Dynamic Squelch Control with a HGM84W Wood-grain Noise-Canceling 4 Pin CB Microphone and my FS364A8A 3 Foot Single Mirror Mount CB Antenna Kit was right where I left it last February. I reinstalled it, jumped into my Fire-chicken and was Badger-bound. However, I got bit by a bear with a paper hanger, had enough and went home for a 10-200.

Put down your cell phone and purchase a CB. The quality of your life and communication will greatly be enhanced. The CB is an ideal way to strengthen relationships of family and friends. Everything cycles in life; the citizens band radio is possibly the most influential invention in the last 200 years.

Mountains out of Mole Hills

 

Last week I had lunch with a buddy and we talked about a familiarity we all can relate to---"making mountains out of molehills" We're improved if we learn to choose our battles, what to hang on to, and what to let go of; this of course is easier said than done but certainly worth considering. We can get so hung up on petty annoyances or slight inconveniences. We trip over words or situations that in the scheme of our life are fruitless. I think it's Mark Twain who said "I've many great troubles in my life, most of which never happened. Additionally, we have many troubles in our life which are prolonged by us and our unwillingness to release the "little things."

Is it really a "big" deal? Sometimes we just need to shrug our shoulders at people or situations and then move on. Most of us seem to deal effectively with genuine adversity and inadequately with irrelevant moments during our day.

We would do ourselves a favor by getting involved in what we allow to occupy our thoughts and focus. We know what helps us and what hurts us. We just don't take the time to employee clarity and right size molehills.

Ask yourself "what can I actually control? In my experience, we can control our attitude, efforts, decision's, and behavior. Some things are certainly worth fighting for and keeping alive but many thoughts we keep alive are not worth our time, and time is something we NEVER get back. It pays to understand we have a limited amount of time and we don't know the amount; it's actually a risky game we play.

Why do we keep alive or breathe life into days' weeks' months' and years of trivial themes. We induce unnecessary self punishment on ourselves and others. Look, there is going to be many people, situations, decisions, days, and changes in our lives that we can do NOTHING about. There are many things that simply "are." All the thinking, disagreeing, resentment, talking or bitching will not change it. Believe me, I have tried. Furthermore, by staying wounded we only make our and everyone else's experience worse. Look, I understand we may need a little time to get ourselves together. But so often we're weighted down by what's uncontrollable and our own hands. We become clouded, cynical, unproductive, unmotivated, and nurse insignificant conditions. We all do this to a degree.

We probably agree life goes very fast, and whatever was troubling us one month or one year ago is likely forgotten and replaced many times over. We wear ourselves down and sap our own energy; this leads to an attitude, outlook, and feeling of despair and negativity. There are enough constructive things in our lives that need our time and attention. Can you imagine if we spent the same time and efforts on the possibilities and what needs notice in our lives as we do the crumbs?  How much quality we could add to our lives, experiences, and those around us by simply identifying mountains and molehills?

We're mostly left with our awareness and attitude. A few years ago, I overheard a conversation between two people. One guy was talking and the other listening. The man talking was going on and on about all his ailments, grievances, bitches, complaints, concerns, etc. Just hearing the guy talking was burning me out. Finally the man listening said "Everything you talked about are not life threatening. In fact, most are situations or people we all have to deal with." The man went on to say that whatever comes up in his life when he becomes irritated, negative, or cloudy, he asks himself "Is the hole I'm going to die in?" Of course the answer is always no. With this he has a moment of clarity and is able to separate mountains from molehills; easier said than done, but as I mentioned before, very worth considering.

 

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UNI wrestling thanks this extraordinary group of UNI wrestling supporters

Gary Whitmore, Allyson Schwab, Rick Caldwell, Ty Kimball, Larry Hamilton, El Heth, Mike Allen, Paul Demro, Mike Mixsell, Jim Miller, Jon Moeller, Rick Caldwell, Kyle Klingman, Jan  Albrecht, Dave Lott, Dan Summerhays, Kevin Finn, Bill Roths,  and Sandy Stevens.

Thanks you

Noreen Hermansen, Mark Showalter-(Landmark bar) Janis Jehle, Bonnie Farland, Brett Sweeney, Molly Donovan Morreim, Joe Breitbach of Joe's Knighthawk,  The Mudd Group, LTC John Roadcap, Greg Stockdale-(Roling Ford-Shell Rock,) Jim Mudd, Jim Sartorius, Chad Wauters, Troy Dannen, Dave Peters, Lisa Jepsen, Chris Herbon, Kelly Destival, Jean Berger, Jerry Grosse, Don and Dianna Briggs, Brian Kittelson, Kevin Kurth, Jed Smith, Steve Brass-(HWY 57 Auto-Parkersburg.) and Steve Schofield.

The above have recently done, continue to support, or contribute to UNI wrestling in some way, shape or form. UNI wrestling is sincerely grateful.

Wrestling homecoming get-together

UNI Wrestling will be hosting our 3rd annual homecoming get-together on Sat., Oct. 20 on the West side of the UNI Dome.

Our goal:

  • Grow alumni attendance each year
  • Honor, acknowledge, and thank alumni and supporters
  • Involve and introduce athletes, coaches, parents, alumni, administration and fans to each other
  • Celebrate the past and future of UNI wrestling

Friday October 19th- open wrestling practice in the West Gym 3:30-5:00

There will be an informal gathering at "Mulligan's" at 6:00 p.m. and the "Landmark" on main to follow.

Saturday October 20th- open practice in the West Gym 10:00-12:00

The get-together will be in a large tent from 1:00-3:30 on the West side of the Dome. There will be food, drinks, guest speaker's acknowledgements, and special awards.

 

Impression-Dave Malecek and Osage

Dave is an Osage native. I remember Dave as a young kid. He showed wrestling potential early, but really broke through in his junior year of high School, winning a state title in dramatic fashion. Dave captured another state title his senior year before heading to UNI.

He was a four-time NCAA Division I qualifier at Northern Iowa University (1991-94) and an All-America in 1994 with a fourth-place finish at 177-pounds.  Dave also ranks seventh in career victories at Northern Iowa. 

Malecek was an assistant coach at Wartburg College from 2000 to 2006, helping lead the Knights to three NCAA Division III Championships and was selected the Division III Assistant Coach of the Year in 2006. 

Dave is now the head coach at Wisconsin Lax and has led the program to top-four finishes at the NCAA Championships in each of his first six seasons. He was named the 2007 NCAA Rookie Coach of the Year and 2010 NCAA Coach of the Year. Not too bad for a young coach from small town Osage, but there are several good coaches from Osage in the sport of wrestling. Off the top of my head there's Goodale at Limestone, Grimm at Upper Iowa, Malecek at LAX, Doug Schwab at UNI, Hemann at New Hampton, Mike Schwab at Waverly, Uker at Pleasant Valley, Rhodes at Mason City. Bob Kenny, another incredible Osage coach is the athletic director at Mason City HS. Bob guided Emmetsburg to six traditional state titles and two dual state titles, was coach of the year and a member National Wrestling Hall of Fame (Iowa chapter) in 2010. I would say Osage has done very well in the wrestling world as athletes and coaches. Apple Valley Minnesota is one of the premier HS wrestling programs in the country. I know many of their athletes and was privileged to coach 2x All-American Chad Erickson. However, in the last 25 years, Osage HS have 2x as many Division 1 All-Americans as Apple Valley. My point is small town Osage is a special place and produces high level athletes and effective coaches. The credit and thanks goes to the school system, communities support, past coaches Andrew and Gast, and now Jennings who continues to carry on the successful and proud tradition.

 

True respect

I'm not a sports fan, don't know who's popular, and don't care. Although I respect athletic effort, discipline, and their desire, I've just never been a sports admirer. I would much rather sit down with Jimi Hendrix, SRV, Eric Clapton, Robert Cray, Johnny Hiland, Tommy Emmanuel, John Mayer, Orison Swett Marden, or Terri Redlin, etc. My icons are my mom and dad. I respect most athletes and many are warriors, but my real passion is for the genuine courageous people who have battled, currently battling, or have passed on from cancer, the elderly, teachers, cops, firefighters, all branches of military, disabled, mom's, and any form of underdog. We need a few less sport channels and more support for missing and abused children, the starving, poor, ill, educators, elderly, and people fighting and protecting our neighborhoods, cities, and country.

Brent Helmkamp

Some of you will recognize Brent's name. He wrestled for Fort Dodge HS and Drake University from 1987-1991. Brent was a spot-on competitor, but more importantly a good man. He is currently battling cancer. I have immense respect for this man and any man or woman who has, had, or passed, due to cancer. Cancer is a reality that has likely hit close to all our "homes." Brent has no idea I'm writing this. In fact, he is keeping it very low key; it's the type of guy he is-a quiet brave man.

Please keep Brent in your thoughts, prayers, or whatever you choose; any positive energy helps. Some people, I guess only 8 people read this, may think this has nothing to do with UNI wrestling. It has everything to do with UNI wrestling! Listen, a former wrestler and a good man is sick. The very least we can do is send our thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. If this violates some blog code, then I will pluck my left eye out and go back to Fantasy Island and spot planes. We need to be more about helping others instead of walking on eggshells, tiptoes, and looking for ways to be offended and narcissistic. There is vast power in thoughts and prayer; please send yours Brent's way.

Keeping it real

I have a morning routine that I have lived by since 1998; no, it's not that. It's the routine of reading and writing while drinking coffee, sometimes at home but mostly in a coffee shop. Well, recently in a coffee shop, I hear these girls talking, and from what I gathered, they we're about 18. I don't try to listen to others. In fact, I go out of my way to mind my own business. If truth be told, I wear white t-shirts to avoid conversation. I mean, with a white t-shirt, there is nothing to talk about and minimal questions asked. In any case, I could not help but hear their conversation; what nerve, insight, and sincerity. There were 3 young ladies, and they each had an opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts about the other. They talked about how they felt when one said "this" and how they processed their sensitivity when the other said "that." Their conversation was authentic. Good for you young ladies for keeping it real in a mostly counterfeit adult world.

Another observation that appears often in coffee shops' is when two people are conversing and a 3rd appears, joins briefly, and exits. I'm always interested to see what the original 2 have to say about #3 who just departed. You can learn a lot about people in this situation. What do you say when a #3 walks away?

How many people actually do what they say they're going to do!

How many people actually do what they say they're going to do? Every one of us drops the sphere at times, some worse than others. What prompts people to say they're going to do "this" or "that" and then not do it? Maybe they are trying to get out of a tough spot, look good, buy time, don't care they exhaust credibility, or maybe they really mean it; only the entity really knows and he / she might not even know. Make a fact list of pledges, significant or what seems insignificant, that you have made vs. what you have fulfilled. Do you have some undertakings hanging out there? I have thought about this for months and can only think of a handful of people who actually do everything they say they are going to. I have actually made a list of "things" people have said they are going to do and have not done. What's incredible is most of these pledges are voluntary. We all have some vows to seal, but some people are worse than a politician. I certainly have improvements to make in this department. We're probably wise to do what we say we're going to do or not say anything at all; it's our own standing on the line.

There will be a bi-weekly blog until further notice

 

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July 9th wrestling blog

Thank You

Penny W, Greg Stockdale (Roling Ford-Shell Rock,) Troy Dannen, Steve Schofield, Kara Park, Dave Peters, Sandy Stevens, Lisa Jepsen, Kelly Destival, Dave Malecek, Jon Mcgovern, Dennis Hall, Gary Whitmore, Allyson Schwab, Ty Kimball, Mike Allen, Larry Hamilton, El Heth, Paul Demro, Mike Mixsell, Ken Klingman, Jim Miller, Jon Moeller, Rick Caldwell, Kyle Klingman, Greg Berg, Jan Albrecht, Dave Lott, Dan Summerhayes, Steve Knipp, Kevin Finn, Jerry Grosse, Will Kelly, Don and Dianna Briggs, Brian Kittelson, Scott D'Agostino, Kevin Kurth, Jim Swieter, Bill Roths, Jed Smith, The Mudd Group and Steve Brass-(HWY 57 Auto-Parkersburg.)

Impressions with Rich Powers

Dr. Rich Powers is a Harvard, Ill., native. Rich enrolled at UNI in 1988. In the early years, we lived together on Waterloo Road - a duplex that has many stories it could tell, so it's a good thing a duplex can't talk. Any reminisce of past tales have been removed, burned, buried, painted over, or dissolved in acid. This is where I learned of Rich's clever sense of humor; sarcasm is our preferred shape of comedy. We were never much for obvious humor, knock knock jokes, laughing when a kid breaks wind, etc. Dr. Powers's logic of wittiness always gets my attention and still does. Rich's style of wrestling also got him a lot of attention. Rich had a very offensive, double-digit football score home run style of wrestling. Rich was great for the fans and UNI wrestling. With 134 wins, 4x West Regional Champion and 3x NCAA All-American, Rich is one of UNI's most successful wrestlers of all time.

 In 2006 he became principal of Cedar Falls HS. I sincerely respect Rich's level of formal education. Both Rich and his wife, Kristi, have their doctorates'. Sounds like a pretty smart house. I have heard they tease each other with characters from the Chinese alphabet. Since I'm sure most of you are familiar with modern comprehensive Chinese dictionary, I'll refer to it; there are about 50,000 characters in this particular book. My insiders tell me when the family wants to relax; they memorize "The Great Dictionary of the Chinese Language."

We see Rich at meets and socials, and it's always good to see alumni at anything that has to do with UNI wrestling. Rich had a style of wrestling that I have rarely seen. He was great on the mat and now has taking his greatness to another arena.

If you want to read a more in-depth article on Rich, Don Frazier wrote an outstanding piece in the "UNI wrestling notebook," issue 5, April / May 2007.

UNI wrestling get-together

We sincerely want to grow this event. We choose Homecoming because there are multiple reasons to come together this weekend. Our hope is to keep alumni coming back and add new alumni every year. We're doing our best to acknowledge our alumni without asking for something in return. We will continue to honor, acknowledge, and reward alumni and special people who work to keep UNI wrestling alive and growing. We need the alumni in any way, shape or form. I think it's important for all of us to give back to our high school and college we attended. Somebody has to care, and that somebody is you and me. We can't leave it to somebody else. I guarantee that we were recipients of others generosity, time, or efforts, when we were going through. We didn't give it a second thought back then, but now we can reason much more effective than we could as a high school or college student. We appreciate ANY level of involvement from our alumni. Just having you at wrestling meets is a huge victory for the program. We look forward and are set on growing UNI wrestling and what better way to grow then with our alumni. We welcome you and hope to see you soon.

UNI wrestling will be hosting our 3rd annual homecoming get-together on Fri., Oct. 19 and Sat., Oct. 20 on the west side of the UNI-Dome. This is a great opportunity for UNI wrestlers, past and present, to connect, support and celebrate UNI wrestling. Last year we had around 200 people and UNI President Ben Allen in attendance. The future of UNI wrestling needs the involvement of alumni, fans, and parents to survive and thrive at the national level. We welcome and appreciate your presence at the West Gym, wrestling meets, and any UNI wrestling function.

Summer Workouts

We've had a strong group of guys training this summer, both on the mat and in the weight room. We're definitely improving skills and mentality. There has to be consistency for an athlete to truly progress; we have several guys that are consistent. April-July are ripe months to evolve; the athletes who takes advantage of this time give themselves the best opportunity to succeed, and the ones who squander the time will continue struggle with effectiveness and confidence. The discipline and efforts have to come from the athlete. No one can do this for them. In an arena of life, it's almost impossible to get full time results with part-time efforts. Time will always tell more accurately than anyone else. There has to be an internal motivation to excel in this sport; it almost ALL has to come from the individual. The coach instructs, directs, advises, and aids in getting the most out of the athlete, but the athlete has to be willing to give it. It's hard to give when you're not present. I do believe when an athlete gives a lot of himself to this sport, he will not surrender easily, and the pain of not advancing hurts deeply. We're proud of our athletes who are committed to improvement and personal passion that brings them in to train day after day. There is no season in this sport. The results for the athlete are being determined right now, a little at a time.

Willie Gadson

Willie Gadson is the head coach of the Waterloo East High School wrestling team in Waterloo, Iowa. In March 2012, he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I have known Willie for a long time and have had many conversations with him. I have always liked and more importantly respected Willie. He's truly a great man who I and many hold in the highest regards. Even if you don't know Willie, you surely know about cancer, and ANYONE who has or had cancer is a true warrior and hero. If you want to help, you can contribute to the Battle 4 Gadson benefit fund; this is a very worth cause.

The AD MAN

If you're looking for a book filled with pearls of wisdom and experience, THE AD MAN is just that. The book is simple, clear, and potentially effective. The bottom line, as with any collection of information, is one's ability to take the information and turn it into behavior. THE AD MAN is a story about Jim Mudd Sr. (The Mudd Group) and his story of success. The book is definitely worth your time. The book is a reminder of how basic principles, if acted upon, can and will sincerely make a difference in your life. It's an excellent idea to always be reading something; even if it's just 10 minutes a day. Over the course of a year it would add up to about 60 hours of learning. How much could we all benefit from 60 hours of reading, especially if it's something that's spiritual, uplifting, positive, gratitude based, goal oriented, creating awareness and contributing to the health of our lives and relationships. This sounds pretty good, but you have to invest the time. You can invest 10 minutes minimum a day to a cause that can benefit you tremendously. My advice, read THE AD MAN for 10 minutes a day and within the 3 weeks, I promise you will read something that if acted upon, will reap you some type of compensation.

Playing theme songs from past TV shows

Last Friday night Penny and I were sitting out back on our patio and I started playing theme songs from past TV shows off YouTube. Man, what memories. There was "Love Boat", "What's Happening", "Scooby Doo", "Fat Albert", "Hill Street Blues", "Dallas", "Knots Landing", "Happy Days", "Quincy", "Barnaby Jones", "The Streets of San Francisco", "Hawaii Five O", "Starsky and Hutch", "Emergency", "Wide World of Sports", "Andy Griffith", "Laverne and Shirley", "The Partridge Family", "Gilligan's Island", "Sesame Street", "The Walton's", "Little House on the Prairie", "Good Times", "Welcome Back Kotter", "Jonnie Love's Cha-Chi", "Bugs Bunny Road Runner Hour", "Super Friends", "American Bandstand", "The Lawrence Welk Show", "The Carol Burnett Show", "Johnny Carson", "Emergency", "Taxi", "Who's the Boss", "The Facts of Life", "Barney Miller", "Chips", "Donny and Marie", "Fantasy Island", "Kojak", "Hart to Hart", "Mork and Mindy", "The Odd Couple", "One Day at a Time", "Rhoda", "Three's Company", "Soap", "Trapper John MD", "The White Shadow", "Eight is Enough", "All in the Family", "Lou Grant", "Rockford files" and etc. This has to bring back some memories. We were just laughing as many of these tunes we had forgotten about. Within a few bars you instantly recall and are back to some place and time in your life. One thing for sure-our time goes quickly. When I was a kid, Monday-Friday was like eternity, but now as I hear these themes it reminds me how fast 20, 30, and 40 years have passed. Hopefully we take advantage as we go and realize there is much to be thankful for. The good times pass, like a lot of these shows, but the tough times pass as well. There is no way around it. Although not easy and a struggle for many of us, an attitude of gratitude and optimism will render us the best returns.

Andy Griffith

Andy died July 3. Man, The Andy Griffith show is still one of my favorites. What a true measure of making an impression. His show is still run regularly after the first episodes were run in 1960 and last in 1968. Wow! We'll see if they're running Hanna Montana, Jersey Shore, The Office or American Idol in 50 years; I doubt it. The Andy Griffith show taught lessons and delivered us reminders of what and who' most important. RIP Andy Griffith.

 

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June 25, 2012 - Mark Schwab Blog

Thank you

Gary Whitmore, Allyson Schwab, Ty Kimball, Mike Allen, Larry Hamilton, El Heth, Paul Demro, Mike Mixsell, Jim Miller, Jon Moeller, Rick Caldwell, Kyle Klingman, Greg Berg, Jan  Albrecht, Dave Lott, Dan Summerhayes, Steve Knipp, Kevin Finn, Jerry Grosse, Don and Dianna Briggs, Brian Kittelson, Scott D'Agostino, Kevin Kurth, Jim Swieter and Jed Smith

UNI Wrestling Leadership

I have been thinking about this the past few days, UNI wrestling leadership that is. From in the trench, I can tell you the leadership is strong. Obviously, I'm biased, but I'm also on the scene. Doug was hired to be the UNI wrestling coach and his efforts for and to the athletes and program is first-class. With that being said, Doug is aware of areas in his leadership that require further development. Doug is learning that coaching is a lot more than just coaching and training athletes. Until someone is actually a head coach, they have no idea how many hats are worn as a head coach. I know Doug has been taking notes and is addressing areas that he now knows are important. Two years into his coaching, I can tell you he is growing, dealing, and concentrating on neighborhoods that were unfamiliar two years ago; this is growth.

As coaches, we know we're judged on our results and understandable so. We have not achieved in the NCAA tournament but the progress is immense. Every athlete on this team will verify the efforts of Doug. He is young enough that he is still physically involved; this is an important attribute, but more importantly he is about and for the athletes. With Doug, everything is about the athlete and nothing about him; this is rare to be so selfless. He elevates himself above no duty. This seems to be very typical of very good wrestling coaches. He could rely on his credentials as an athlete and make excuses how "these guys don't get it" but he doesn't. You will never hear this head coach make an excuse. And you will never see this head coach turn his back on an athlete. He is for the athlete and program above all else. Yes, this is the way it is supposed to be, but with many many coaches in many sports, it's not the case. The athletes can sniff it out and they know who is sincere about rallying round their progress. Does this mean all the athletes will agree with everything? No. This does not mean he will be liked by all or go un-criticized. Mistakes have been, are, and will be made.

Development is necessary for all coaches on this staff and is indispensable in every organization. Doug is evolving into new and necessary areas as a coach, and this will show in time. The leadership is on the scene, in the trench, and challenging himself to mature and cultivate new skills to be a complete coach. I'm partial, but also in consistently in attendance. UNI wrestling fans, alumni, parents, know that the program is being led by a young man who truly cares about the athlete and backs it up with behavior. The best is yet to come from UNI wrestling.

 

Awards Banquet

The awards banquet was Sun., April 15. We had such a good turnout that we held the banquet on the floor on the McLeod Center. I think the banquet was satisfactory. Sure the banquet could be smoother and more politically correct, but I have been to enough superficial gatherings where people smile so hard their face hurts and the smell in the air is shallow. Our banquet is real. We speak sincere, made some mistakes, like real humans do, and the banquet may have lasted a little long. There is no doubt where the void was felt at this year's banquet - NCAA tournament results. I know it was on the coaches' mind, and I'm sure several of the athletes, parents, alumni and fans. Another area we need to improve is with our seniors; we need to do a better job of acknowledging them and they need to do a better job in summing up their experience. We also felt we spoke too much of falling short; we need to celebrate the athlete's awards more than we did. It's tough because we know we fell short, and NO ONE got what they worked for, wanted, and were capable of; this makes a banquet difficult to celebrate, but we understand a positive atmosphere in the future is the better way.

Thanks to all the parents, alumni, fans and administration in attendance. Also, a special thanks to Mike Mixsell and Kevin Launderville for their special efforts and contributions to the banquet.

 

                 GPA Award: Joe Johnson 3.28

 

Rookie Award- Levi Wolfensperger

Coaches Appreciation Award- Taylor Kettman

McCready Award-Cruse Aahrus

Lyle E. Schwarzenbach Award- Riley Banach

Chuck Patton Award-David Bonin

Most Improved Award-Blayne Beale

Tim Ascherl Most Courageous Award-Onni Prestidge

Most Falls Award-Adam Perrin (13)

Most Valuable Wrestler Award-Joe Colon and Ryan Loder

 

 

3.0 Club for spring 2012

Jarrett Jensen - 4.0

Joe Johnson - 3.16

Taylor Kettman - 3.59

Adam Perrin - 3.43

Onni Prestidge - 3.25

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Honorable mention

Riley Banach - 2.83

Cody Caldwell - 2.80

Joey Lazor - 2.93

University Nationals

Joe Colon 2nd

Cruse Aahrus 3rd

David Bonin 7th 65 guys

Ryan Loder 7th 51 guys

Cruse, will wrestle in the world trials in mid August in an attempt to make the world team. He's right there, and we really like his chances. If you get a chance, send him a note of encouragement on Facebook or aarhusc@uni.edu. At this time we're unsure if Joe will wrestle in the world trials. David and Ryan did not qualify for the trials but will spend week training in Colorado Springs prior to the trials.

Trouble Tree

I recently heard about a "trouble tree." When your day has been a disaster, hardships, anger, jealousy, negative attitude, flat tire, hate your boss and co-workers, financially strapped, relationship stagnation and voids, or your world is not going according to your script, before entering your home, touch a tree, and hang your troubles on a branch and experience a transformation before you greet the people whom matter most. Troubles during the day are unavoidable but, don't belong in your home. I know it's easier said than done but worth a try. When morning arrives, pick your troubles off the tree and as you can reason, our troubles are never as bad as they were the night before.

Car

I recently was forced to listen to a conversation about what kind of car these folks drive. The small group was trying to top each other by talking about their cars cost, prestige of their vehicles. They talked about what is supposed to be cool or hold authority in public standing.

By the way, I drive a blue car. What's the difference? A vehicle is steel, iron, aluminum, chrome, plastic with four rubber circles. I will guarantee you that if it's raining or snowing and you're faced with walking or riding in my AMC Pacer with my 8-track playing Nazareth "Hair of the Dog" or Ray Stevens "The Streak " you're taking the ride.

Tough Guys

The WRC at UNI has become a gathering of tough guys. Give me a break! Tattoos and cutting your sleeves of your shirt is not tough. I understand that as a male, it's an inborn sense to be a tough guy. What is tough and who is tough? I'm thinking tough is being a mom, cancer patient, elderly, military, police, teacher, etc. I disagree that tough is moving around metal, looking at your arms, and dicing your shirt up so we can see your arms, tats, and ribcage. Sew your sleeves back on. Get in, get your workout and go about your business.

Living and Giving

A wanderer traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in the stream. The next day he met another traveler who was hungry, and the wanderer opened his bag to share his food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone in the wanderers bag, admired it and asked the wanderer to give it to him. The wanderer did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the jewel was worth enough to give him security the rest of his life. But a few days later he came back searching for the wanderer. When he found him he returned the stone and said "I have been thinking. I know how valuable this stone is, but I give it back to you hoping you can give me something much more precious. If you can, give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone."

You know, our thoughts are broadcast of the soul, not secrets of the mind. Giving works as surely as reflections in a mirror. If it's hate we send, then hate is what we will get back. If it's kindness we give, then kindness will come back, especially to those who give kindness first. The only things we really ever get to keep are the things we give away.

I know this is nothing new to any of us, but what a great reminder and one most of us could stand to be reminded of daily.

And you thought wrestlers and coaches are just mindless thugs. Actually, most wrestlers I know are pretty smart. Our academics, behaviors, and choices may not always reflect intelligence, but there is certainly something special about a wrestler who makes it through a college career. Most people would agree that being like the wanderer is very appealing and a heart to employ.

UNI Wrestling Homecoming Event                    

 

UNI wrestling will be hosting our third annual homecoming get-together on Sat., Oct. 20 on the west side of the UNI-Dome. This is a great opportunity for UNI wrestlers, past and present, to connect, support and celebrate UNI wrestling. Last year we had around 200 people and UNI President Ben Allen was in attendance. The future of UNI wrestling needs the involvement of alumni, fans, and parents to survive and thrive at the national level. We welcome and appreciate your presence at the West Gym, wrestling meets, and any UNI wrestling function.

 

Fri., Oct. 19 - Open Practice/Informal Gathering

Open wrestling practice in the West Gym 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Informal gathering at Mulligan's at 6 p.m. and the Landmark on Main Street to follow

 

Sat., Oct. 20

Open wrestling practice in the West Gym 10:00 a.m. - Noon

The get-together will be in a large tent from 1 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. on the west side of the UNI-Dome. There will be food, drinks, a few brief guest speakers, acknowledgements and awards.

We look forward to seeing you in October.

UNI wrestling appreciates you

There will be more information and updates on the UNI wrestling blog this summer and fall.

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Nationals (March 20, 2012)

We're very disappointed in our finish at St Louis. We're capable of producing All Americans and failed to do so. Our athletes competed hard. We're not dissatisfied with their efforts, just their finish. We didn't achieve what we're capable of. No one is more disappointed than the coaches and athletes. We can go on and on about what happened or didn't happen. With this is mind, the bottom line is we didn't win crucial matches when they counted. As coaches, we have to make adjustments, grow, and expand.  As for the athletes, we have to learn to score early, a go-to attack, adjust during a match, stronger stance and leg defense, and more education on how to win tough and critical matches. It's very difficult at this level to win matches if you go to your back, and this proved accurate this weekend.

All we can do are analyze, take note and move forward; there really is no other alternative. We will evaluate our performance, identify hooks and barbs, then progress and mature; these are our best setback solving resources. The outcome of the 2012 NCAA Wrestling tournament is in; we can't change it. We can only continue to move forward, and that's what we're going to do.

 UNI wrestling has unfinished business that won't go away. Conversely, we're not going to let St Louis results and feelings dictate or limit future outcomes. St Louis disappointments may turn out to be important learning experiences that lead to and our necessary for future victory.

Make no mistake, the short term results of the NCAA tourney is a slap in the face and stings. Nevertheless, it will subside and we will look to future opportunities to succeed. We do not promise victory, only effort. Although our NCAA Championship results hurt, there is a larger body of work in motion. We are making a constructive difference in these young men's lives. The people who really matter know this is true. The people who don't know really don't matter, but they usually speak the loudest. How does this happen, the people who know the least, talk the most and loudest? It's funny in a peculiar way, how so many people who know absolutely nothing about what it takes to compete at this level, strap on the winning teams t-shirt, and have all the answers while their own lives need an awful lot of tending to. Why do people inject themselves into this sport and then personalize their place in it. I heard numerous conversations this weekend regarding how certain coaches or athletes have "serious problems." Really, who doesn't? You insert any human being in a pressure or turbulent situation, and you will get what most call "serious problems." The truth is they likely would act no different. You slide any human being under a microscope, and you will find "serious problems" in one area or another; no one is exempt, although, most would like to think they are.

We are completely awake to the fact we're measured by our performance in the NCAA Tourney. We're not satisfied and demand more from ourselves. Yet, there are many victories being won in the development of a "program." We're working on a complete curriculum as well as national level results. A program is stronger than a team, and this larger association of labor is making headway.

Last year after the NCAA tourney, we had one athlete who proved he can compete at the highest level. After this year's tourney, it's clear we have three or four; this is progress. Believe me, we're giving thought to the adjustments we will make, growth and expansion that is necessary. But there are athletes and results to build off. We have to give power to the encouraging, so we can advance. We're not waiting or spending energy dwelling, this leads to indolence. There is no rewind button, so the rubber is hitting the road onward.

Thank You

UNI thanks Bill Roth's, Ty Kimble, Larry Hamilton, Jon Moeller, El Heth, Mike Mixsell, Mike Allen etc, for their continued work for UNI Wrestling. The Friday night social was very first-class. We thank all who showed up.

Thanks, Jeff Bradley, Jarion Beets, and Brett Robbins- You guys make all the difference in our advancement.

Thanks, Steve Schofield and Tim Getting-You both impact UNI wrestling positively.

Thanks, Dan Summerhays, Shawn Kelly and Greg Stockdale-UNI wrestling is grateful.

Thanks, Chuck Yagla, for your willingness and know-how.

Thanks, Mark Showalter, we value you.

Thanks, Brent Jennings, for your support and handiness. You're playing a huge part in our ability to recognize alumni and show appreciation for supporters.

Thanks, Rick Caldwell, for your involvement, proficiency, and cleverness.

Thanks, Kyle Klingman, for your passion, friendship, and patronage to UNI wrestling and wrestling in general.

Thanks UNI wrestling alumni who attended Friday night social

Greg Herber, Joe Gribben, Mike Schwab, Keith Carmen, Jamie Byrne, Gary Steffensmeier, Brad Lundquist, Todd Lappe, Greg White, Greg Berg, Gary Whitmore, Andy Showalter, Brian Benning, Trevor Kittleson, Darren Hankins, Mark Rial, Troy Bennett, Jayson Payne, Ray Fox, Pat Hogan, Kyle Hansen, Drew Kelly, Gary Bentrim, Dave Malecek, Alex Dolly

Raffle

Thank you all who donated or participated in our raffle at Beaver Hills Golf Course on Sunday March 12th. UNI Wrestling cannot express enough gratitude to the people, their time, efforts, and expense enough. There are so many people who do so much work and never get acknowledged. We want you to know your significance and we value you.

Pulling Strings

I'm going to miss pulling strings; it's just too easy. It's pitiful how many people seek out personalization and a daily hunt to be offended. The rat cannot resist the cheese. J

West Regional (March 6, 2012)

Last year, UNI Wrestling’s regional performance at Air Force was a disappointment; we did not peak and left athletes home who we feel deserved to be in the NCAA National Tournament. Doug made adjustments to our training, and it’s clear, our athletes were prepared. As Doug said,”I learned a lot last year, but some of our training was a statement and setting the bar.” UNI Wrestling performed very well Sunday. This is by far Wyoming’s best team and we’re in a clear transition. With that being said, Wyoming has 6 going to NCAA’s and UNI has 5. Wyoming has 4 regional champions and UNI 3. Hats off to the great job of coaching Randy and Doug instructed Levi W with the last month of the season, and hats off to the great job Tolly has done with Blayne B.

UNI Wrestling truly progressed this season. Next season we have several young men with a lot of ability; if they continue to progress, UNI Wrestling will competitive. UNI Wrestling has our sights set on St Louis. Our goal and objective is to place athletes on the All-American stand, and as Doug say’s “We want National Champions.” This is a high expectation, but the only one he knows. 

UNI Wrestling’s conditioning is better than most teams we faced. We will polish this even more in the future. Our strength and sheer size will also be addressed. Most of our athletes are not big for their weight class. 

We feel it’s a great time to be involved with UNI Wrestling. We promise nothing but continued effort. We’re very proud of our athletes. We still have a few guys that are on their own plan and driving the wrong-way on a one-way street. Nevertheless, when you have twenty-seven 18-23 year olds, you’re going to get scratched. We only hope the damage is minimal.

Onni Prestidge

Let’s give credit where credit is due. Often, only the athletes excelling or winning find acknowledgement. We’re going to recognize Onni Prestidge; this guy made a huge sacrifice for the team in many ways. He did not achieve his goals, will not be representing UNI in the NCAA tourney, and you’re not going to find him in UNI Wrestling’s Hall of Fame. But in case you don’t know, let me be the first to tell you; Onni is a winner! I don’t care how his record reads. Since last August, Onni gave incredible effort for this program and cut a lot of weight so we would not forfeit at 174#, a weight class that was vacated because of broken team rules; I would really like to elaborate more on this, but will let it slide…….

This sport is rigorous, demanding, physically, mentally, and emotionally taxing. This sport is very challenging to show up day after day when you’re winning. How about when you’re not? We hold Onni in the highest honor we can give- respect. You’re a winner, Onni. You have done what few have or will do. You are always part of this program and always welcome by the side of UNI Wrestling. 

Riley Banach

This guy is what it’s all about. Talk about a guy who squeezes every drop of his being into his efforts. Wow! Coaches, fans, and people, in general, love what this guy gives and brings. Way too much limelight goes to athletes who rush for this or pass for that. But what about the athletes who give above and beyond? In my opinion, these types of individuals are more interesting and special compared to many who are the center of attention. This guy is a winner and a dreamer; too many of us misplace the dreaming side of us; Riley has not. He believes what we preach and gives 100%. Mark my words-this guy will have no regrets.

Cruse Aarhus

Cruse is another guy who may not have reached his college wrestling goals but is a success. This guy has been in the room constantly since we arrived in late May 2010. He worked and worked, improved, and really advanced his mind. Our biggest obstacle is always ourselves. The sooner we internalize this, the closer we can get to our potential. Cruse came a long ways, is a hard-nosed tough competitor. Technically, I would say he is the best in our room. Cruse compressed a lot out from himself and we truly respect him and his efforts. Cruse is an underweight 125#. He did everything he could to gain power, strength, and weight, but it was a battle to even weight 125. Anyone who understands college wrestling knows this is a huge disadvantage. We take our hats off to Cruse. In my opinion, if he decides to coach, he will be fabulous.

Bonin protest

This was a heated situation that drew the intense interest of the UNI and Air force coaches. This was a scramble situation that’s a judgment call. The protest- Was there time still on the clock after the first period takedown in over-time was waived-off? Fortunately, it went our way. However, last year in the regional finals, we had 3 calls that did not go our way and none of the 3 advanced to NCAA’s. The Air Force athlete does advance to the NCAA tourney. He’s a tough competitor and battled back to 3rd place in a strong weight class. I respect the Air force staff. They were fighting for their athlete and so were we. Personally, I think athletics needs more coaches who are passionate about competition and their athletes.

Thanks

Thanks Steve Schofield, Travis Kramer, and Andre Seoldo for organizing and setting-up the Western Regional Tournament. This is not an easy task, goes unappreciated and peppered with complaints. No one understands until it’s their responsibility.

Volunteers, we cannot hold a tournament without you. Our PWC board members are fantastic! Several of them worked all Sunday. Thanks Jon, Paul, Jan, Ty, Mike, etc

Thank you, parents and fans who endured the long day to support our / your team. 

The alumni I saw Sunday: Scott Engleman, Doug Downs, Pat Hogan, Mike Schwab, Jim Miller, Dave Lott, Dave Williams, Jim Sanford, Bob Boeck, Drew Kelly Andrew Anderson, Trevor kittleson, Mark Rial, Pat Rial, Nick Pickerell, and Greg Berg, and Gary Whitmore, etc. Thanks guys!

The true heroes and warriors of the world

Let me start my list with Brooks Monfore of Pierre SD who passed away Sunday night from acute myeloid leukemia. Brooks was diagnosed on 9/ 11/ 2009. I met the Monfore family through good friend, Wade Reimers. I made several trips to Pierre for wrestling camps and have stayed connected with the Monfores. Brooks and the Monfore family are exceptional people. The strength, faith, and endurance level of this family is uncharted. The only people who know are the individuals and families who have gone through this or are going through it. Society gives so much recognition and status to athletes, stars, money, etc; all of this fades and is quickly replaced. The real “stars,” at least my world, are cancer patients who have survived, battling, or passed from some form of cancer. We have all been touched by cancer one way or another. My grandpa, Bob Mork, and aunt, Violet Mork, are both warriors who have passed, and now another warrior, Brooks Monfore, have passed. 

Cancer patients and their families posses and demonstrate might and stamina that truly positions me in awe. Talk about being tested. I cannot think of a more rigorous trial than battling or a loved one fighting cancer. I believe cancer quickly helps us lay trivial matters to rest. We promptly are faced with how fast life goes and changes. We waste so much time and exertion on insignificant issue and topics. We’re so offended by nonsense, as if this is our world, and we will reign for eternity. Our life, in perspective, is a large body of water and we are a stone in this body of water. How much we contribute, affect, and change people lives for the better, will dictate the size of our circular ripple. Life continues with or without us. The hope and aim is to make a positive difference in people’s lives that carries on.

Make no mistake about it, life is swift. Craft your life to count. Figure-out your purpose and pursue; waiting is an error. Don’t run out of time to help or forgive someone, yourself, or tell others you love them. Don’t be the fool holding petty grudges the little me, me, me inside all of us cannot seem to let go of. Make peace and appreciate your brief time. Whatever you’re currently distressed over, is it really a big deal? Does it really matter if someone mentions “God?” Does it really matter the Packers did not play in the super bowl? Does it really matter Bill O’Reilly has no listening skills? Does it really matter who talks about you or does not like you? Come on! Choose your battles. Does everything and everyone really need to be a battle? It takes to much energy.  I implore you to refrain from fussing with the crumbs of life. Focus on your purpose, the people important to you and helping others; this approach will be a worthy undertaking,

Another great warrior, Bob Kuker, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer July 15th 2011. Cancer strikes quickly and lets us know “We are not in charge.” Bob was and is still surrounded with an immeasurable depth and amount of love.

More warriors and heroes

The elderly- We need to appreciate and take care of the elderly. They have all my respect. We miss a lot if we don’t honor and learn from the established of the world. We act as if being mature is something we should apologize for. What’s wrong with us? Treat the elderly right! 

School teachers- Teachers are underpaid and have a thankless and hands-tied job. If anyone thinks this is an easy task, go ahead a take a day in the classroom. The teachers have a difficult assignment of teaching kids who are often disrespectful, disruptive, uninterested, and know it all already. This day and age of entitlement is un-cool. Pay the teachers what’s right!

Police-Cops are underpaid and have an impossible task of protecting the citizens while criminals often have more rights than the police. We have really loused up the system. Pay them what’s right!

Kids who are picked on or kept out-Let’s appoint a group of head knockers to bully the bully. 

 

"A focused mind for major competition" (Feb. 27, 2012)

 

Do you want to be the best, but thinking about settling on mediocrity? Don't! Turn it around. Take you ordinary mind and make it superlative. There is no demise and termination more commanding than a negative and distrustful mind. Allow your faith to carry more authority than your fear. If you're an individual who's been waiting for a major competition, understand a superior competitor is able to focus. Focus allows mastery of your environment.

Lack of belief is detrimental. Wasting time looking ahead or overanalyzing the past is hurtful to consistent performance. There are times when we question our readiness to compete by magnifying our opponents' abilities while minimizing our own. Athletes' often create imagined obstacles that hinder their potential.

Tournaments, ideally, are what you look toward all season. Use major competitions as a reward. Let other competitors employ a mental strain. Let the competition become filled with anxiety and doubt, compete with a mental parking brake on, and deal with the weight of hesitation. Let the competition question and fatigue with non-stop mental tension.

Much like physical training and conditioning, you can also improve and condition your mind; make this part of your program. Many athletes experience mental struggles but do little to change their state of mind. Most hope their "mind" will work itself out, but it doesn't work it's self out, and the evidence shows up in our performance or lack of.

Our thinking, a never ending "in-house" conversation, will always be with us. There is always something on our mind and our thoughts are cunning. What occupies your mind is important. Understand, thinking cannot be stopped, but it can be changed. Say it and see it the way you want it. You can mentally rehearse victory or you can court defeat. Overcoming uncertainty is a battle you can win, but you have to confront your thinking and get involved with your thoughts. It's important to know you can have doubts and still prevail.

The daily battle is between what you know you should do and what you actually do; win these battles. The more persistent the fight the more likely the victory. However, when it comes to your mind, you can't open a flower with a sledge-hammer. So take it easy, trust, relax, and take deep breaths; slow your breathing down, and see "it" the way you want it; this course of action makes a difference.

As major tournaments approach, many athletes tense up, hold back, or shut down. They refrain from what produced previous victories. They stay safe, over analyze, and wait; when it comes to succeeding at a high-level, safety, over examination, and waiting is a trap.

You can manage your mind in major competition. Nothing changes! You are still competing under the same rules and principles. Only your thoughts can change for or against you. Since you control your judgment, you hold the key. What will you allow to speak loudest, doubt or self-belief? You have been great before, and you can and will be great again.

The athlete who deals with pressure will triumph. A venue does not change you. A crowd does not change you. Nothing changes except what you allow. It's responsibility on your part. Responsibility is a choice not a burden.

It is natural to be nervous; you can perform with nerves and you can prevail with uncertainties. Be in the moment. Do not fear something you've done consistently well. Relax, take a deep breath, and focus. Tilt the odds in your favor through daily mental preparation with your physical preparation. You will function at an optimal level when the body and mind are in unison.

We all have trepidation and disbelief, but we also comprise courage and conviction. Both exist in our mind. They do not live in harmony, so you have to decide; this takes awareness and persistence but pays substantially. You will get what you think about, so maximize belief and minimize doubt

Hold nothing back, and compete to be triumphant. Performance is not random; it's related to your thoughts and expectations. Somebody who is not supposed to win will.  Someone who is supposed to excel will not. The determining factors are focus, conviction, and consistency. 

How to grow confidence and a focused tournament mind

  • Awareness of your thoughts-Identify situations where negative self-talk occurs, interrupt the negative and replace with positive.
  • Manage self-talk and you will manage performance
  • Expect to succeed
  • Body language indicates attitude and attitude dictates behavior. Maintain strong and positive body language.
  • Only concern yourself with the controllable.
  • Focus on specific behaviors not winning or losing
  • Manage your breathing. By slowing your breathing you conserve energy, in-control of your movements and function at a higher level.
  • Play your strengths during competition
  • Basics win
  • Keep everything simple. Simplicity during competition. Analysis during training.
  • A win is never certain and a loss is never final. Stay focused!

 

 

 

Nebraska (Feb. 20, 2012)

We’re on the road back to Cedar Falls. Our trips this season have been smooth and really unifying. We like the direction UNI wrestling is moving and emerging. We still have a few guys who are straddling the fence in different areas, but this is reality for any team in any sport. We covered a lot of ground this season. In our dual with Nebraska, we competed solid and our conditioning continues to exceed our opponents. Every team has injuries, athletes up a weight, or who are out-matched skill and talent wise. This is certainly the case with UNI wrestling. However, we are proud of our guys because of the consistent effort in competition. We have a few guys who would drastically benefit if they would give more effort and commitment to their training, but they, as a lot of us, will likely learn the rigid way. We hope they take note before they’re denied an opportunity to advance. The athlete’s best prospect to succeed is listening to the coaches. What really matters now is our regional in 2 weeks. The young man who believes, expects trusts, manages his mind and pressure, will prevail. We have a few guys who continue to follow their own logic and continue to render a performance that result in underperforming and underachieving; we have all been guilty of this in one arena or another. We labor to convince athletes to make adjustments in time to garner benefits, rewards, and satisfaction for their diligence. These offshoots of their efforts come in many forms. Obviously winning an NCAA Championship is the ultimate, but what if it’s not accomplished? Did you fail? No way! The man, who pains himself with discipline, effort, standards, consistency, and dreams, is a success. He has the respect of all who matter. As a coach, we’re striving to inspire a standard of endeavor and excellence. We encourage athletes to go out on the limb and capture the fruit of their exertion. We promote risk not safety when we’re talking about goals and dreams. Even if we don’t reach the pinnacle, what we become in the process is admirable and respected. Hold your head up. You have challenged what few have-yourself. 

NCAA qualifier

We encourage and are thankful to all fans, alumni, and parents who will attend UNI’s NCAA qualifier on Sunday March 4th at 10:00 a.m. in the McLeod center. Your presence and support is significant and appreciated by the athletes and coaches.

3.0 Club

As I have mentioned before UNI Wrestling has a 3.0 club for athletes who attain a 3.0 or higher each semester. Last semester we had 9 athletes achieve this; we’re very proud and encourage our athlete to achieve standards in athletics and academics. One does not take away from the other; academics and athletics enhance each other. We have 17 wrestlers who have committed to a 3.0 or better this semester. We welcome and cheer this ideal. We will continue to promote the 3.0 club and continue to acknowledge the athletes who achieve this. We introduced the nine 3.0’s at our last home dual meet. However, we will do a better job in the future making this acknowledgement special. The club is new, so we’re working out the recognition part. Also, at our wrestling banquet, we will award the nine 3.0 athletes with a plaque. Tolly Thompson and Kara Park watch-over wrestling academics. Our improvement went from three 3.0 fall of 2010 to nine 3.0 fall 2011.

You know enough

Whatever’s your current station in life, you know enough at present to make improvements and advance. Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. None of us know as much as we think we do, but time and again we know enough to progress our mind, body, profession, or relationship. Why do we continue to wait until tomorrow, next week, next month, this summer, when we make more money, get promoted, turn 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, etc. We wait and kill time. We make excuses, find reasons, build our case, and convince our self and others later is a better time; we remain in our current condition or digress, all while waiting for a superior occasion or later moment, a moment when we feel overwhelmed to act. Guess what? You know enough right now to progress your situation. Don’t wait for the next book, seminar, or palm reader to give you a momentary burst of courage to create movement. You already know enough to take action. 

We’re encouraged to grow mentality, spirituality, and emotionally. We’re recommended to read, write our thoughts and ideas, evaluate-especially self-evaluate, continue education-especially self and informal education. We’re advised to write our personal inventory, goals, and explore our strengths, growth, limitations, dreams, progress, and self-awareness; I cannot say enough about personal attentiveness and how highly profitable it can be. Few traits can do more for us than personal wakefulness. Refuse to be sightless about yourself. We can all profit taking time to discover what we truly want, what is our purpose, who we are, and what’s truly imperative to us.

Recognize, even with all our limitations, we know enough to further and cultivate an improved existence. Essentially I’m saying we know little to nothing and the awareness of this is a rung up the ladder of freedom, triumph, contentment and wellbeing, but we know enough.

Although, as Sister Mary Cheryl use to tell me in the 3rd grade at Sacred Heart School, “You don’t know s%#t punk!” We know enough to improve our position in any area of our lives. If we are not happy or satisfied with our current place in the world, then do something about it. Stop being a casualty, a collection of ailments, and assortment of complaints and negativity. You know enough to make a move, lay down a card, and enhance your life. Misery and malfunction are optional. Conversely, so is deciding to enroll your life in progress and growth. Don’t wait! You have enough comprehension in the present to flourish.

Congratulations to Gilbertville Don Bosco coaches Tom Hogan and Alumni Ray “Big-Sugar” Fox for winning the 1A State Wrestling Team Title this weekend. 

Thank you, Mark Showalter, for coming to the UNI wrestling dual in Lincoln Nebraska. We appreciate your support.

Alice

Do you remember the dreadfully awful sitcom Alice? The series ran from 1976-1985. She’s an unemployed widow who after her husband is killed in a trucking accident, takes her young son from their New Jersey home to Los Anglesso she can pursue a singing career. Her car breaks down on the way in and she takes a job as a waitress at Mel's Diner, on the outskirts of Phoenix. Even though the acting and lines were depressing, Alice was wholesome and not bad looking. They don’t make shows like “Alice” anymore or Flo's catchphrase, "Kiss my grits!" which ranks as one of the most memorable speeches or phrases in American history, along with “I have a dream speech.” “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” “You have nothing to fear but fear it’s self.” “Kid dynomite! And “Watcha talkin bout Willis”?

 

 

NWCA Duals (Feb. 14, 2012)

UNI put together a firm team performance. Our athletes are wrestling hard and competing with emotion. Yea, we’re still making mistakes in certain positions at certain weights, but overall we’re staying in there and battling; this is how we train, what we demand and expect from our athletes. We’re proud of our guys and the fight they’re putting forward. We have miles and miles to go but, we’ve progressed significantly. UNI wrestling is beginning see how important the “We” and “Team” is. We need each other when life is magnificent; however, loss let’s know just how much. If we only won, we could ride solo, but team weaves strands that make a rope of strength, a rope we all need and want.

We defiantly have to iron-out some individual kinks in the next few weeks. However, we feel we can and will.  We have positive energy to build off of; it’s so important to remain optimistic and enthusiastic. Based on what I saw today, there are several teams who are downbeat and negative. College wrestling is such a brutal, long, and physical sport, so it’s difficult to stay up 25-35 matches a year.

UNI wrestling’s focus is to get the most out of our guys in 3 weeks. On March 4th it does not matter who we have beaten or lost to. We’re asking our athletes to trust us and trust in their preparation. We’re asking them to expect to prosper. We’re asking them to hustle and leave their efforts out on the mat. Again, we have a long way to go, but we are making headway. 

We truly hope as many alumni and fans as possible will support our NCAA qualifier on Sunday March 4th. We need your support and enthusiasm. The athletes work so hard, and the fans and alumni can do so much to uplift the athletes. We hope to see you in the McLeod center.

Opposing Coaches

You know coaches frequently have verbal exchanges with each other during competition and Sunday was no different. When you exert so much effort and time into the athletes, you become charged with emotion and passion and it comes out during competition. You have fans or administration that call it “Poor sportsmanship” but they would act no different under similar circumstances. The Brands J. Rob, John Smith, especially earlier in his coaching, etc, have always been under fire for un-popular coaching behaviors. But how can you fault the fervor and liveliness? These coaches are good for the sport, not only because they are successful, but because of their investment and zeal. Almost every coach I have known in wrestling is a good guy away from the competition arena. We are going to fight for our athletes and opposing coaches will fight for their athletes. I like this, and it’s the only way. Words and gestures are traded repeatedly during battle, but when it’s over I have all the respect in the world for opposing coaches because I know their efforts and challenges.

Referees

This is a tough one. I can honestly say I struggle with referees during competition. However, much like opposing coaches, most of these guys are good men away from competition. A referee has an extremely difficult assignment. I disagree with many calls and some referees seem to be better than others, but I certainly would not want a referee’s task. They are mostly in a non-winning situation and take verbal censure and disapproval from throngs of people. It’s effortless to be a know-it-all; we all are at one time or another. Yet, few of us know any more than the citizens on our left or right.

Someone is always blaming the referee. It’s really in the athlete’s hands to dictate a match and results. With this being said, I will say most referees are fair and, competitions are impossible without them. However, I have witnessed a few referees who somehow escaped Gilligan’s Island. I have even witnessed a few refs screw athletes because the coaches verbalized displeasing comments. Like I said, a referees trade is thankless and often under attack. I respect what they do and would never trade places. The athlete needs to leave no doubt, control what he/she can, and exercise convincing offense and persuasive defense. 

Victories more important than a trophy

We all have personal and behind the scene victories that society does not compose medals or trophies for. We have many individual obstacles we overcame that only we know about.

Those who have competed recognize you do a lot to feel good for a short period of time; it never last long. It’s temporary, and then it’s about the next undertaking. I hope you discover a way to appreciate your successes along the way.

Competitors who reflect know there are rewards in the journey. You invest day in and day out, and at some point realize all the hours, day’s months and years of efforts have molded, structured and shaped you physical and emotional assets. It’s difficult to detect while you’re going through it. But then a day comes where you realize that you’re not who you use to be, your improved, have grown, overcame and progressed.

Tournaments catch me thinking about competitors, previous champions, and how quickly they fade in exchange for new ones. 

It has to be about more than a trophy or medal to grip longevity. Competition is about the will and inner-drive to excel, concur, overcome, and succeed. Often our race is against our self more than an opponent. It’s really who we become in the process that brings permanence in our satisfaction. This is tricky because your disbursement is delayed. To experience the pinnacle is brief; you spend most all your time striving to reach the summit. It’s the endeavor that has enduring benefits. This is where we evolve from a colt to a horse.

I believe Terri Redlin, who’s an amazing success with his nature and wildlife paintings, made millions $$ because he had a better reason than money for creating his expression through art. 

As an athlete or coach I recognize we will have more success when our reasons and motivations are about healthier motives than medals, trophies and plaques. On our death bed our last appeal will not be to have our awards brought to the hospital, so we can get a final look. Keeping our life in perspective is paramount but thorny and complex.

I hope athletes learn to relish their personal and private victories, whatever they may be. You may think you need applause from the world, although it’s nice and who does not want to be acknowledged, it fades and expires. If your reason for being in “it” is about awards and “look at me,” you will be disappointed. The nation may be looking in your direction now, but there is a good chance they will be looking elsewhere within the same hour.

I hope athletes remember the difficulty they overcame, development, the depth of their labors, and confidential victories that last longer than a trophy or medal.  Life is said to be “What’s lived between the big moments.” Full-size moments are few; what we do between them is who we are and what we consist of. The economy, cancer, new born baby, interest rates, eye-site, health, disease, and those that truly love you, don’t care how many medals or trophies you have. Many of us feel we must possess external recognitions to verify our worth; this is as human as life and death, very normal but unsatisfying.

What counts is how we impact people. When we depart, we only leave impact, influence, and hopefully inspiration. Having respect, in my opinion, is the highest honor a human can achieve.

Respect has more to do with how we lived, what we overcame, and in its highest form, how much did we really unearth and extract from of our self. Did we apply our god-given gifts and make use of to help others? If this comes with a blue ribbon, great! If not, so be it. Monday still follows Sunday and September still follows August, medals will tarnish, but having a constructive impact will not.

Life has few guarantees. You may execute everything correctly and still not catch the blue ribbon. Conversely, a chief undertaking is time well spent. Your reward is eternal.  You have felt an outlook, thoughts, and positions most will never experience. You have dared yourself to extract every ounce of your potential; few humans go to these lengths; this is a job well done.

On our gravestone there may be a few words, but it’s basically birth date and death date. Between those dates we hope we lived productively and dared to investigate our inner most selves

We will depart from the field, mat, or court, of competition; nevertheless, they will always be with us.

 

 

Iowa State (Feb. 6, 2012)

The West Gym was a full-house Friday night, as packed as I have ever seen it. We sincerely thank all UNI fans who attended the meet. When athletes and teams have enthusiastic fans and support, it makes a huge difference. Our athletes wrestled hard and we have no shame in our performance. We place little to no stock in the outcome of this dual. Yes, we want to win, but right now it's more about improvement and competing hard. We definitely out-hustled ISU, but we have to be ready at the beginning of the match. We tend to fall behind early and chase at the end; often this is not enough. We need improved defense-staying down in our stance and the ability to pull the trigger and deposit our own takedown early in the match. We have got to take advantage of the front-head / short offense. We're working to instill a "sense of urgency" to score in our athletes, not reckless but offensive. I believe we're getting a lot out of most of our guys. We're proud of our athletes' efforts and will not throw them under the bus like many fans at many universities in many sports. UNI wrestling has made huge gains in the top and bottom position from 1 year ago. We have miles and miles to go but we're improving. ISU has a lot of talent currently on their team, in the room, and coming-in. If they can keep it together, they will be effective. What you have to remember is everyone is not going to make it. An athlete may have a sparkled HS career, but this means very little. Many factors derail a college athlete: academics, desire, weight-loss and weight management, social life and lifestyle, toxic relationships, inability to persevere in spite of losses and challenges, freedom of decisions that are detrimental, etc. You have to organize and be responsible in many areas that you never had to before. This is where we make lots of mistakes and grow-up. UNI also has a lot of talent in the room and coming-in. Time will tell more accurately than any fan, critic, parent, know-it-all, or coach; the outcomes will take years to unfold. Our promise is we will work to improve and moving this entire program forward.

North Dakota State

This was a tough dual for us, and we knew it would be. Roger Kish and Manual Rivera are young coaches but good coaches; their athletes wrestle hard and hustle. The coaches exchanged "words" during the meet, but this is common. I never blame a coach for fighting for his team or athlete, and most coaches are "good men" away from an arena. We wrestled ok in this dual with big wins at 141 and 157. But again, we don't put a lot of stock in a dual win. We're looking for improvement and individual performance. Four weeks from tonight our NCAA qualifier will be over; this is the tournament that matters. We have made and are making further adjustments training our athletes. The goal is to stimulate and peak our athletes on Sunday March 4th.

South Dakota State

We were lackluster in this dual. I will say that SDSU has made improvements, likely due to the addition of Ty Eustice. We want our athletes to compete durable and with emotion; the reality is it's not going to happen, equally, each time out.

UNI Wrestling Thanks You for Your Support

Dual Meet and Socials

Travis Kramer, Steve Schofield, Mike Mixsell, Ty Kimble, Larry Hamilton, Janice Albrecht, Mike Allen, Allison Schwab, Dr. Brian Burnett, Steve Knipp, Jon Moeller, Kevin Finn, Danielle Bakken, Jim Gaard, Kevin Finn, and Tim Getting.

Special Contributions to UNI Wrestling

Dan Summerhays, Sandy Stevens, Dave Peters, Greg Stockdale, Troy Dannen, Noreen Hermansen, Kyle and Ken Klingman, Bill Calhoun, and President Ben and Pat Allen.

Alumni we saw this Weekend

We need and appreciate you

Ken Snyder, Jim Sanford, Keith Carmen, Bob Hallman, Dave Lo$$, Scott Engleman, Jeff Marcks, Scott Hassel, Pat Hogan, Jamie Byrne, Gary Steffensmeier, Ken Gallagher, Mike Schwab, Andy Showalter, Tony Hanson, Mark Rial, Molly Donovan Morreim, John Moeller, Greg Berg, Doug Downs, Kevin Finn, Jim Miller, Tom Cornally, Rich Powers, Brian Benning, Gary Bentrim, Bob Boeck, Jay Llewellyn, Hal Turner, John Bunge, Sandy Stevens, Shawn Kelly, Gary Whitmore, El Heth, Mike Allen, Steve St John, Randy Dodd, Larry Hamilton, Janice Albrecht, Marty Anderson, Mark "Bam" Pustelnik, Sam Runyan, Rick Samuelson, etc.

Thanks Don and Dianna Briggs for supporting UNI Wrestling

Soul Train

Back in the day, every Saturday, I went through the same routine by waking up to Honk Kong Phooey, Bugs Bunny Roadrunner Show, Super Friends, Scooby-Doo, Land of the lost, and Fat Albert. As soon as Albert was over, I took off my Kiss Army patch and Detroit Rock City t-shirt. (I was a General in the Kiss Army.) My Kiss collection grow from Kiss-Kiss, Hotter than Hell, Dressed to Kill, Kiss Alive, Rock and Roll Over, Destroyer, Love Gun, to Kiss Alive II.

I had to get ready for "The Train." I ditched my white t-shirt and cuffed jeans for my "front" a multi-colored animal print stretched velvet Big-Daddy pimp suit. I was dressing for the hippest trip in America. I had my "Soul Train" pass, unadulterated P-Funk. There was no more alter-boy, paperboy, little boy. In my neighborhood (North Osage,) they called me (BT) Baby-Train. I tossed my Hoola-Hoop, Lincoln Logs, and Mr. Potato Head out. No more Chuckles, Clark Bars, and Orange Crush. I went straight for a bottle of "Old Crow." It was time for Johnny Taylors "Disco Lady" The Chi-lites, Temptation, O'Jays, Sylvers, Wispers, Stylistics, Instant funk, The Bar-Kays, Rick James, Shalamar, A Taste of Honey, and The Isley Brothers-"It's your thing." Man, I was full of funk, bad-temper, and mood. I was doing "The Spank," "Freak," "Bus Stop," and "Shove." I was popping, locking, patching, krumping, turfing, and busting. Baby-Train was dropping it like it's hot!

RIP Don Cornelius

 Incredible

If you're in the right lane, making a left turn and nothing is coming from the opposite direction, fade into the left lane prior to your turn, so people behind you do not have to make a complete stop. This is total lack of attentiveness.

 

Utah Valley (Jan. 30, 2012)

 

On a scale from 1-10 we competed at 5. We were a little flat, but that’s common when you fly, drive, and have late nights. UV has a young team with a non-offensive style. Obviously we want to win duals but don’t put a lot of stock in the outcome. We want to see improvement and adjustments. We want to see athletes competing to score points and win matches vs. staying safe and competing out of fear or hesitation. 

We are improving. If you could see inside our training, the athlete’s commitment (most athletes), mind-set, and skill level a year ago to where we are now, it’s a drastic move in the right direction. The skill level of several of our athletes from our first recruiting class is high. However, college wrestling becomes much more about having or cultivating a mind that’s brave, strong, optimistic, and durable. You can have all the skills and talent and be non-effective. After the basic skills are ingrained, the athletes results are all about self-talk and the pictures in their mind (focus). Man, wrestling is such a physical and demanding sport. Day in and day out, no other sport is as bodily and challenging. When you add “weight-management” to the blend, you can never understand the impact unless you have actually done it. You know very little about this sport unless you have experience from the perspective of weight loss and management and competing 1 hour later. Much of our travel is about the next workout, and why shouldn’t it be? These guys are young, highly conditioned, and its part of what they signed up for. There is really little correlation between HS and college wrestling, especially if an athlete makes it through their college career regardless of their win / loss record. In the end, I respect the athlete who gives effort. Honestly, I don’t care about credentials. I respect, but not really interested in who did this and who accomplished that. I’d rather visit with Jesus, Andy Griffith, The Fonz, Terri Redlin, Og Mandino, Orison Swett Marden, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimi Hendrix, John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Luther Allison, and Robert Cray, etc.

It’s Sunday morning and we weigh-in in a few hours. 

Wyoming

We’re on the plane back to Cedar Rapids. UNI Wrestling competed fairly well today. We wrestled hard and pushed the pace (I don’t think Branch liked how a few of his wrestlers finished the match.) UNI lost two-1 point matches that were very winnable. Both situations were the same. We tied the score late and cut them for 1 point while wrestling for a takedown and competing to win the match. We chased, but it’s difficult to get a score on most decent wrestlers if all they have to do is hold you off for 20-30 seconds. The athletes did the right thing-looking for the win. We care about every competition and train / compete to win. However, we don’t put a lot of stock in a dual meet loss or win. Our focus is on competing hard and improving; this is exactly where we will spend our efforts the next five weeks; yes, only 5 weeks from today until our national qualifier. Actually we feel more optimistic after this road-trip. We know this much, there are several weight classes up for grabs in 5 weeks, and we will strive to convince and train our athletes to clasp these “up for grab” weight classes.

NCAA qualifier at home in 5 weeks

We need you fans, alumni, parents, etc. Our 10 athletes will be fighting to prevail in their weight-class and advance to the NCAA tournament. Fans / enthusiasm can do so much for the athlete. If you can be there, please come and support UNI Wrestling. There is no question your energy can make the difference. Many of the weight classes are up for capture, and having you in the stands cheering is momentum in UNI Wrestling’s favor. The qualifier will not be back for 6 years, so we welcome you to support UNI Wrestling.

Wyoming meet / UNI Alumni

Thank you UNI NCAA Champion-Jim Sanford, Osage friends and UNI Alumni James Drew and Brian Moore, and UNI Alumni, Cole Zemple, for coming out Sunday in Laramie. We truly appreciate your time and support.

You can argue with opinion but not with experience. This is the lens I see through. You don’t have to agree and if you personalize, well there might be other personality disorders that need attention. Look, when the mail man delivers you mail that’s displeasing, you don’t blame the mailman, chase him down, tackle him with insults and hurl blame; he’s just brings the envelope. You’re the one who is likely responsible for what’s inside the envelope.

Pain & Injury

If you’re a competitor, you will have many aches, pains, and injuries. That’s the way it is. It’s a tough and often unfair world; write your congressman / woman. If you only want to compete when you feel first-class, then you are in the wrong sport, unrealistic, and you belong on Gilligan’s island. No sympathy for aches and pains; see the trainer and deal with it.

Athletes consistently compete and our successful with aches, pains, and injuries. Many athletes, unfortunately, do not know the difference and sometimes request not to compete because their uncomfortable. I’m not being nonsensical, turning my back to an injury, and I don’t want to injure an athlete further. The reality is everybody has injuries, aches, pains. You’re not unique, alone, or an exception.

There is a big difference between what is normal and what is often necessary. You have to get beyond the temporary. Every coach in every sport can relate to this topic. I have seen it many times as a way for the athlete to get out of a situation. I have seen athletes fake to the point of concocting stories of hospital visits and stays and upon further investigation, it was all fabricated. I have seen an athlete fake being on crutches for weeks only to find him sprinting up and down the basketball court when he thought I had left. I have heard athletes say they’re going to hurt themselves if they have to make weight, only to find out they wanted to get drunk instead. And I have heard an athlete tell me his rabbit named “Keith” yes Keith, ate his alarm clock, and that’s why he didn’t make it to the weigh-in. I had one guy, twice, not show up to weigh-ins and now he’s coaching; what’s he telling the athletes? It only stands to reason that coaches can be skeptical of certain athletes. 

Most coaches will tell you it’s easy to spot an athlete who is planning an alibi or taking an easy way out. When we’re around athletes on a daily basis and for extended periods of time, we’re aware who is finding a way out and who is legit. We learn a lot through an athlete’s practice room habits, responsibility or lack of, and how he has previously handled injury, aches, and pains. We learn the most by what type of an investment he has made; high investment = high tolerance and competes nearly all the time. Low investment = low tolerance, misses a lot of competition, practice time, and usually looking for outs. Words mean nothing; it’s all about behavior.

Adversity-Does it really matter circumstances are difficult? Why shouldn’t they be?

Many athletes want to look like a knight but don’t want to bleed like one.

There is a whole other world of toughness within our sport--athletes competing with major injuries and go on to compete and win in-spite. It’s not the severity of the injury that really matters as much as it is the individual’s desire. Now, I am not talking about being ridicules and putting the athletes in danger.  Don’t take it personal and think I’m talking about you, although I am. 

Every time you step out in competition, there is an element of danger. If you want safety, then competition is not for you. What I am talking about is pushing thru soreness, fatigue, pain, and being uncomfortable. Many athletes think they have to feel grand or something is wrong, it’s not. A true competitor is willing to give up comfort. News Flash! Everyone is hurt, sore, tired, has school work, cuts weight, relationship struggles, sleep deprivation, and on and on. Make a firm decision that you will put it on the line regardless. Make a decision that you will emerge the victor or take your whipping, but you won’t evade your responsibility because you don’t feel ideal. A lot of times we can also trace our lack of feeling “ideal” to previous decisions we made, responsibilities we did not full-fill, and corners we previously cut.

Boldness is the first, second, and third most important thing. When you dare nothing, expect nothing. Remember that safety goes against every great dream. Most will turn back at the true point of testing, regardless of the arena. However, sometimes you must cut the lines that tie you to the dock. You have to move beyond the calm waters.

We can’t all be champions, but we can fight like one. If we can’t win the blue ribbon then we get the red one. And if we can’t get the red one, then we can still feel proud, responsible, and distance ourselves from regret and diminishing our self esteem.

Injuries, soreness, aches, fatigue will challenge you but don’t have to stop you. You can’t only compete when you know you’re going to win, or feel 100%. How you feel does not matter. You can tolerate being uncomfortable. You can still compete! You can still succeed and you may have to compete for your championship on a day you feel at 60%.

Discipline, perseverance, delayed gratification, commitment, responsibility, and personal satisfaction are qualities you potentially take from this sport and dominate in other areas of your life. I believe the efforts and commitments you make during your athletic and academic career tell a lot about your future efforts or lack of. If you’re full of fish stories, how you caught a whopper and a rabbit named Keith ate your clock, than this sport will mistreat and harass you. Ask yourself, are you really made up of what you want others to think you are? I would venture to say most are scared or doubtful to a degree. There is no shame in this; we all are! The difference is those who persist / proceed in spite. Remember, if we threw all of our adversities in a pile with others, we would gladly grab our own back. Others have been through what we’re going through and “triumphed.” so can you.  Others are often wrong about us, and we’re often wrong about ourselves. You are able to transcend any real or imagined limitation; this starts right now!

Barnaby Jones

Barnaby is a television detective series starring a father- and daughter-in-law who run a private detective firm in Los Angeles. The show ran from 1973 to 1980. 

Barnaby Jones worked as a private eye for many years. He decided to retire and left the business to his son Hal. When Hal was murdered while working on a case, Barnaby came out of retirement to find the killer. His widowed daughter-in-law, Betty, joined forces with him to solve the case. The two decided that they worked so well together that they would continue to keep the detective agency open. Jones was unusual, ordering milk and snowballs in restaurants and bars. However, what you didn’t see was Barnaby’s connection to Pablo Emilio Escobar, often referred to as “The World’s Greatest Outlaw.” He is the most elusive cocaine trafficker that ever existed, mostly because he was insulated from the actual trade in drugs by several layers of underlings. In 1986 he attempted to enter Colombian politics, even offering to pay off the nation's $10 billion national debt.It is said that Pablo Escobar once burnt two million dollars in cash just to keep warm while on the run. Barnaby was once said to buy an entire semi-trailer filled with the cereal “Quisp.”

During the first year of the series, a common theme would be where Jones would make an astute observation or collect a sample, such as mud on a car's tire. The criminal, in some cases, called his accomplice and had a conversation along the lines of "There's a Mr. Jones and he's asking a lot of questions," after which the criminal was assured that Jones would be "taken care of". Jones rarely engaged in fistfights in the climactic scene of a given episode; instead, he either used self-defense tactics—nun chucks, throwing stars, a Japanese ax kick, a Chinese butterfly-kick, a Korean hook-kick, an Olympic reverse roundhouse heel-kick, or the vertical push thrust side-kick or he would simply say “I don’t have time” and pull out a Stihl’s MS 230 C-BE Forest leveling chainsaw. 

Much of the series' fan base consisted of senior citizens and one 12 year old. The show was cancelled in 1980 due to low ratings among young viewers who punked Barnaby for “One Day at a Time,” “Eight Is Enough,” and “Love boat.”

Speaking of “Love boat” What about the ships Dr. Adam “Doc” Bricker? This guy took complete advantage of his position. Every one of the 249 episodes he played a caring and concerned Dr. He was the guy who “understood” and listened. Of course he did, and you know why. Anyone can listen when they want something. There are only 2 types of listeners-those that want something, and those you have to pay to listen. Listening is a skill and lost art. Anyway, Doc would lure vulnerable women to his office on the ship. Even as a kid, I could see his deceptive tactics. It was like watching “Jaws” from where we’re sitting we know the shark is coming. We’re saying to ourselves “get out of the water!” but the victim does not see as clearly as we can. I will say this, doc pushed the envelope. If it was not for Isaac, Julie, Gopher and Captain Merrill Stubbing protecting him, making files disappear and providing false alibis, Doc would have been disbarred within the first 20 episodes.

 

 

Problems and Solutions-Under our own hat (Jan. 24, 2012)

Our progress or demise starts and stops with us. We can alter whatever station we’re at in life. The future always holds potential. Problems, misfortunes, injustices, adversities, and obstacles, are perceptions to negatively describe real or imagined situations; many times it is imagined.

You probably don’t even remember what your troubles were, a week, month, or year ago. None of these things are fatal; they’re just life. It’s not a question of whether you will experience tribulations but how you will handle them when they make their emergence. We tend to judge events on the basis of their immediate impact. Life repeatedly teaches us that long term consequences can be beneficial if we recognize a plight can be a blessing if we’re motivated by it.

It’s important for you to know that although you may have caused your problems or obstacles, you can do something about it. Don’t wait for them to change on their own, or for someone to change them for you. Change them yourself, especially the day to day decisions that you have total control over. It’s not so much a problem to solve as decision to make. Once you make a decision and take action, you’re back in the game.

If you don’t like your present circumstances, change them! And if others may have caused your impediment, you can do something about that as well. You don’t have to keep them alive or add to them. Yes, you need help, direction, input and support.  Nevertheless, in the final analysis it depends on you. You are responsible for your growth or termination. 

The good news is the problem and solutions are found in the same place, under your own hat. You have the key to your results. In the final analysis, you have closing say on everything you do or don‘t do. Yea you can be forced, pressured, or offer resistance. But even with reluctance or force, you still make the final decision. You don’t have to stay stuck, make excuses, blame, or lie dormant.

You will have many walls in life, some monstrous and some minute. Often you will find you scale the higher walls better than the smaller ones; these are the ones that seem to tangle us and drain our energy. They are tricky because you get stuck in the same place time and time again. It’s like going down a road and the bridge is out. It’s clear you can’t get through and will not for some time. But the very next day you go down the same road, and guess what? The bridge is out. You repeat this for a number of days and continue to get the same result. My suggestion, go another route. Try something else. Hell, maybe you have to build your own bridge. 

Take an honest inventory, create awareness, and come to the conclusion that although you may not be where you want to be, you have a solution under your own hat. I think a lot of times we look and search for solutions that sound academic, scientific or complicated. We think “it can’t be this simple.” but it often is. It is said that all great truths are simple; I said simple not easy and sometimes not even obvious. Solutions require effort that needs to be repeated. It is said you have to subject yourselves to constant renewal, which translates that you have to repeat behaviors that are beneficial. You have to make a decision, take action that will rid you of mental and physical shackles. 

Yea, the problem and solution are found in the same place, under your own hat. I believe no one cares more about your dreams and success than you do; this means no matter how much others care and want it for you, they can’t do what has to be done by you. You have to take action! You have to not only want but be willing. No need to look far; solutions are near. Be wise and get it together while you’re living. Time and life will pass us by whether we’re ready or not, and life goes ohhh soo fast.

 

 

Wisconsin (Jan. 16, 2012)

UNI Wrestling competed well Friday night. Our athletes were aggressive on their feet and mat. We have a lot of ground to cover before March, but we are improving. We have spent more time on top position this year than we did all last season, and it’s showing; we’re scoring points on top. Our biggest deficiencies are scoring on leg attacks and keeping our wrist clear on bottom against strong competition. Any time we beat a Big Ten team it’s good for our program. Obviously the Big Ten is the elite conference in college wrestling. 

Crowd

The crowd Friday night was grand. We truly appreciate and welcome your support. Our athletes deserve, value, and compete at a higher level when we have a throng of support and liveliness.

Social

The social after the meet was another success. We have a remarkable support from our PWC board members. These men and women go above and beyond to grow and support UNI Wrestling. The board is responsible for these class events and the multitude of fans in the stands and season ticket sales. We are fortunate and indebted to the PWC board members. 

Alumni

We love having alumni at meets and socials. The alumni are so imperative to our growth, success, and stability. The likes of Rich Powers, Jeff Marcks, Tim Ascherl, Greg Berg, Jason Wedgbury, Keith Carmen, Scott Morningstar, Tony Hanson, Doug Downs, Tom Judisch, Scott Engleman, Dave Prehm, Marty Anderson, Dave Lo$$o, Jon Moeller , Mike Schwab, Jim Miller, Molly Donovan Morreim, Mike Allen, Larry Hamilton, Ty Kimble, Gary Whitmore, Hal Turner, Kevin Finn, etc. These are some of the faces present Friday night. Also, it’s always good to see former coach Don Briggs in the stands.

Doug

Doug is the right man for this job- UNI Wrestling head coach. Resurrecting UNI Wrestling requires a leader who is motivated, youthful, and energetic. Doug is. He is finding his way as a head coach. Anyone who has been a head coach understands the difference of being an assistant; the roles and requirements are very dissimilar. I know many assistant coaches are in a rush to be a head coach, so they can do “it” the way they want or think it should be done. I maintain being an assistant coach is a great position. There is nothing easy about being a head coach; the responsibility is not for everyone. The essential functions for Doug are make decisions and mistakes. Doug puts in a lot of time with the athletes and program. He is selfless, which is fundamental as a head coach. I know this much, he will never promise victory but guarantees effort. I have watched head coaches in all sports carefully through the years. Most head coaches are not on the scene for many workouts and training sessions. I think this is the difference between wrestling and other sports, as well as Doug and many other head coaches. He does not have it all figured out and has to expand, grow, and mature in areas, but he will NEVER lack from his time and effort into the improvement and future of UNI Wrestling.

Coaches

We have a strong and committed coaching staff. We’re still finding our groove and harmony, but we’re closing in on covering the bases. We don’t need a staff that is exactly alike. In fact, we’re better to be different and we are. Each athlete has similarities and differences that are better to be exposed to different personalities so all bases are covered. We’re all not good at the same things, thank god. It’s crucial for an efficient staff to be diverse, and we all need to specialize in a particular area. 

It essential we’re on the same page but different in our personalities, opinions, and methods. In my opinion, the keys to a strong coaching staff is committed to the movement, loyal to each other and the program, responsible, an area they specialize in, selfless, build the athletes up, and continuity in the staff. Each role is critical to the growth of the program. No one’s role is more important that the next. It’s vital each coach fulfills their duties so the program runs like a well oiled machine. The likes of Randy, Tolly, Jeff, Brett, and Jarion are very beneficial to UNI Wrestling.

You know enough

Right now, this very moment, you know enough to make your current situation or station in life better. You don’t have to wait. You can proceed immediately. If we used a fraction of what we know and are capable of, we would blossom brilliantly. We tend to wait for a magical genie in a bottle, the perfect sentence, book, or time, while we already know what would make a difference and improve our existence. Is it an excuse not to act? I don’t know but I do know that we know enough to make our situation improved. This does not mean we know it all. Please don’t confuse “You know enough” with “You know it all” because this will be your undoing. We’re wise to understand we know very little in the big scope, but we know enough to progress. Formal education is important. However, wiser yet is to persist in self education. Continue to read, learn, and expose yourself to new ideas. Many ideas are universal. Scores of themes continue to come up, and have stood the test of time; this is why you keep hearing them. But do you act on them? As is, you know enough today to improve in one way, shape or form. There is no rationale to wait, stall, or profess “I can’t!”  It’s not you can’t; it’s more you won’t. You know enough right now. Don’t wait! Misuse of time is a trap. You know enough right now to advance your condition. You have everything you need to make it to the top of the mountain.

In the trench

Critics are wannabes that never were. They crown them self expert and opinion royalty, though they don’t even own a crown. Critics exploit a very cheap human commodity, one that takes no knowledge or accuracy to render. You have a right to our opinion but mostly you’re inaccurate.  You base your opinion on insecurities and sensitivities. Do you really have time to exploit people you don’t know, and form strong statements on something you have no mileage in?  Is your life so dull and unsatisfying that you spend your day as a watchful detractor asserting how this and that should be done, or how you take verbal swings at those actually in the trench, a trench you have never been in. Listen, my supply of adult diapers for the month, have already run out, so you will have to buy and change your own. When are you going to grow up? You’re growing older but not growing up. Emotionally you’re age 11.

The cynic uses their crystal ball to defy all laws and know more than those actually in the trench. I suppose I should not be surprised because it’s much easier to be this type of personality. I would say coward comes to mind when I think of those who criticize and personal attack those actually in the trench. Those who are quick to condemn others usually have a resume that says little in the field they comment on. For those who actually have been there, are not so quick to throw stones. Of course, one is entitled to their opinion and here’s mine. Citizens who criticize those actually in the trench would do the same under similar circumstances, only they never have done it at all. It kind lets you know that you don’t know. The real respect worthy people are those that actually take the risk, it’s easy to be safe; it’s easy to hide and never risk success or defeat. Critics are gab-D’s. They always find something to satisfy their destruction hunt. There is an absolute recipe for failure and that is trying to please the masses. The masses don’t know; how could they? I bet most critics can’t even perform one pull-up or bench press their body weight; nothing is more important than your bench press.

It takes time and energy to build a beautiful chair or cultivate a garden but no skill what so ever to destroy it in moments. If you’re a being who spends your lifetime trying to be better, then be prepared because this will be a bother to many. 

 

 

Northern Colorado (Jan. 8, 2012)

We felt somewhat ambivalent about our performance. We are adjusting our training and lifting; this will assist excitement and our athletes feeling fresh. When your body is fatigued so is your mind; this condition makes it very difficult to produce. We’re still experimenting with how to get the most out of our athletes. As we continue to train and enter competition, we will make necessary adjustments. Several of our guys burned up to much nervous energy prior to the duel; the result is premature fatigue. We did a good job of keeping our wrist clear on bottom, decent on top, escaped on bottom, but need more solid offensive leg attacks. We have to understand that many matches will be hard fought 1 or 2 point victories.

Air Force

Overall, we competed better than Friday night. Several of our guys managed energy better today. What I mean by this is nervous pacing, and over warming up. We still have some guys weighing too much the morning of weigh-ins. We want to minimize weight playing a factor in an athlete’s morning routine. The cycle begins the week prior to a weigh-in. In my opinion, the most important days for weight management are the day prior, of, and after weigh-in; these days set the cycle for the next weigh-in. We are aware and working on balance. There is so much that goes on and so many factors that play a part of an athlete’s performance. We were much more aggressive than AF, rode and titled them well, and escaped. We gutted out a couple of tough matches. This is just typical college wrestling. A lot of matches in college are 1 and 2 point wins. We looked better today and are really looking forward to making adjustments, improving, and providing our fans excitement.

Great fan support and social attendance

Thank you UNI Wrestling fans and season ticket holders for your support against Northern Colorado and Air Force. The cheering and encouragement are very much appreciated. The Panther Wrestling Club socials are also a hit. The UNI wrestling family truly appreciates fans and support. We need you. Understand you play a part in our success. We love it when we see UNI alumni. We need you and appreciate you. Thanks again

3.0 club

UNI Wrestling has nine 3.0 or higher fall semester, compared to three last fall semester. We also have several athletes in the neighborhood of a 3.0. We will continue to encourage academic success and reiterating how athletic and academic success goes together. We want athletes to take pride in academics and athletics.

Here today, gone tomorrow

We, our society, focus so much on temporary crowns. We give more time and emotion towards the “here today’s and gone tomorrow” than we do our health and relationships. We often act as if relationships and health are something to be squeezed into our schedule. I’m thinking relationships, not achievements, are what matter most in life. We become so preoccupied with momentary and insignificant happenings, situations, and outcomes. Sure they are important at the time, but most of us choose to keep the unconstructive alive while our joyfulness and success die hasty deaths. We think or at least we act, like the day to day insignificant happenings or what did not happen, are the point of life; I don’t think it is. I’m thinking its more like love, relationships, and health could stand to hold higher priority in most of our lives. I’m thinking how we treat and have impact on others will likely endure longer than our being offended because others did not acknowledge us, wished us a “Merry Christmas,” or how you’re offended about something ridiculous that you know little to nothing about. We think the world is about us, it’s not! I’m at fault and guilty of what I despise in others and so are you. You’re not exempt; no one is.

If we really want to know our priorities, just look at how we spend our time. Time is a precious gift because we have a limited amount. The greatest gift we can give others is our time. Words are worthless. It’s not enough to say people or this or that are important to me. Unless we are investing time in them, then they are not important at all. I’m thinking how much of ourselves we give to others is what matters most. Unless we’re giving others our most precious asset, time, than we’re really not making them a priority, and we have to ask how important they really are. I think our focused attention is desired over “stuff

I don’t think in our final moments we’re talking about or asking to see our diplomas or “Please transport my awards, gold watch, Bentley, and medals to the hospital. I want to see them one more time.” I’m thinking we want people around us and those we have relationships with. When we pass away, all were taking is our character, impact, and how we treated others. After John D. Rockefeller died, his accountant was asked “How much did John D. leave?” “All of it!” said the accountant. Look, I know money is important, and it holds different meanings to different people. To me it represents freedom. Who doesn’t welcome the feeling of freedom, choices, and security? However, like everything else in life, having balance is helpful. When we get out of balance in areas of our lives, life usually feels chaotic. I know this much, you learn a lot about people when money is involved.

We buried my dad last week and all he took with him was a Green Bay Packer jacket and a couple of notes and trinkets the kids and grand kids placed on his casket; that’s for material possessions. But for what matters most and endures, he took much more.  You know what I’m talking about, and if you don’t, you will one day. 

Understanding can wait but action can’t. Delayed action is no action. We will never understand some things in life until we engage in them first or until they happen to us. Right now is a good time to show our love for someone else because now is all we’re guaranteed. We don’t know how long we will have a chance. If we want to express ourselves to someone, we better do it now because circumstances change, kids grow up, and people die.

We are wise to place a higher premium on relationship and our spiritual, mental, and physical health over “what’s here today and gone tomorrow.” Stop being offended about everything; this is a true smudge of self-absorption. I’m thinking most of us have enough going on in our life’s that need more attention. Spending our time and energy being offended is nothing more than self-absorption. Look, maybe mom and dad didn’t hold you enough as a baby. Get over it! The candle is burning from both ends. What’s here today is gone tomorrow and one day so will you.

Lack of awareness

When you’re in line at the grocery store, Starbucks, etc, and your transaction is complete, move to the side. You can arrange your pocket book later. You can update your checkbook 3 feet to the left, and you can text your babysitter when you get in the car. The line of people behind you are waiting and in a hurry.

If you see two people talking and they’re separated from everybody else (private) and both participants are clearly engaged, leave them alone! Don’t interrupt! I understand if you’re a 3 or even 7 year old, but when you’re 30, 40, or 50, you really have a lack of understanding. You can do much better than this. Pay attention!

 

 

Christmas Break (Dec. 25, 2011)

Last week all the athletes were home for break. We practice Monday December 26th at 3:00. Several of our athletes will compete in the Midlands. Everyone else will compete the following week in an open.

Academically, UNI wrestling made lengthy strides this semester. We promote brawny academics. We want our athletes to succeed on and off the mat; these two elements are connected. You can succeed at both. In-fact they enhance each other. 

We encourage everyone who has interest in supporting UNI Wrestling to come to a dual meet in Januarary. Our athletes need and truly appreciate your support.

I understand “Pledge for Pins” is exploding. We appreciate any and all support for a grand cause. Thank you Sandy Stevens for your effort, concern of UNI Wrestling. If you are interested in supporting the “Pledge for Pins” program, contact me directly.

More pointless dribble taking from previous dribble

Change

People often don’t see a new beginning as an opportunity, but as a threat. If you value personal or professional expansion, then you have to accept the change that comes with it. Career or personal progress does not require continual promotion or happiness, just continual growth. You have a responsibility for your success. Your decisions, no one else, will determine your progress and satisfaction. You’re not a victim of circumstance. You’re exactly what you choose to be. The best way to predict your future is to construct it. Change is often painful, but so are the consequences of neglecting growth, responsibility, and opportunity. 

A great tragedy of life is to avoid change and risk because this prevents our growth and diminishes our choices. We have to keep reinventing our lives in order to grow and understand the process of endings, transitions, and beginnings. Opportunity is brief. It approaches, arrives, and quickly passes. It does not linger or pause to look back. Opportunity merely presents itself, and those who respond to its arrival with intelligent activity, will realize a full measure of the desired result. How frequently has opportunity knocked and you did not hear?

Excellent leaders understand that they really can’t compel people to do anything. They can only encourage them to want to do things. However, if you have a vision, goals and a purpose, (purpose is something you do every day,) then make a decision to move in one direction and forgo moving in all other directions. Mental lethargy is often cured by the clear intention to join a society of progress and take action; collectively, they will yield steps forward. 

Progress

The Chinese have a bamboo plant that takes 4 years to mature. It’s a labor intensive plant, and has to be tended to daily. It only reaches 4 feet at the 3 years and 11 month period.But the last 30 days it will go from 4 to 90 feet. We know it was not the last 30 days that made it happen; it was the previous 3 years and 11 months. Early on there was little progress, but then the plant developed. You may not see or feel progress every day, but over time you’re advancing if effort and attitudes are true

Detail

In New York harbor, Lady Liberty stands over 300 feet tall. When it was dedicated in 1886, the top of liberty’s head had been painstakingly formed in careful and minute detail. There were no air planes at that time, and the sculpture knew no one would ever see the head of lady liberty.  Yet extra months were spent to get it right. Every single strand and wave of hair is meticulously crafted to precision. As far as he knew no one would ever even see it; this is superb labor, and a mark of greatness. This is taking care of the little things. 

Quitting too soon

Humans don’t fail, they give up trying. A lot of victories in life are simply because one human held on longer than the next. Learn to kick the extra point! No need to wait for a perfect pitch in hope of hitting a grand slam. Striking out swinging is noble; striking out with the bat on your shoulder is crime, and the punishment is harsh. Staying safe and no risk is an error. The strongest oak tree of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun, but it is the one that stands in the open, where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds, rains, and scorching sun. First-class advice- Scale the mountain of risk. Action is significant! I’m not talking about foolishness. I’m talking about being offensive in life. Being offensive gives you more control over the outcome

Guilty

Papillion the French prisoner who was condemned to a life imprisonment on Devils Island, was disturbed by a recurring nightmare, repeatedly, he would dream that he stood before a harsh tribunal. "You are charged" they would shout, "with a wasted life, talents and abilities, how do you plead?” "Guilty,” he would say."I plead Guilty”!

Experience

A cat jumped on a hot stove and burned her little belly. The cat never jumped on a hot stove again but never jumped on a cold one either. The value of experience is crucial. However it can be over rated and even harmful if it prevents you from trying again. Understand results can be so different from minute to minute- Different day...different results." 

Keep walking

Falling short does not mean you will never make it; it just may take a little longer. I heard it said that “If you’re in hell, keep walking.” So just keep walking!

David

One of Michelangelo’s master pieces is a mammoth size statue of David. When he was asked how he could create such a masterpiece he responded, “David was already in the marble all I had to do was chip away the excess.” I believe this is true for all of us. I believe we all have extreme potential; we just have to chip away the excess.

Awareness

I cannot tell you how important it is to have awareness about yourself. How else will you progress without some type of plan? Confront obstacles or weak links, rather than sweep them under the rug. This only buries them temporarily; they show up at in-opportune times. Understand it! Correct it! Move on! Remember, "It won't work things out; you are responsible to work things out." Be aware of factors that tend to throw you off the beam, reflect and work through them. Identify situations or circumstances that challenge your courage. Confront fears, and reluctance.  Mistakes or losses are opportunities for growth. They’re very important tools that let us know what needs addressing. Analysis is a process to becoming a more effective performer. Self reflection is the school of wisdom. It's paramount importance that you make adjustments. The greatest revelation is that most people never adjust. They will continue to behave in the same way, despite apparent inability to get the job done.

 

Wake Up Calls (Dec. 19, 2011)

Last week was quality for UNI wrestling. We held small group workouts a few days, and the other days were unstructured. A college wrestling season is long, and anytime a coach allows freedom, it’s beneficial for the athlete. UNI wrestling will continue to instill basic skills and evolve to additional skills that benefit our results. UNI wrestling’s had 2 wake-up calls this season. Whenever you compete against strong teams, you learn the truth about where you’re at. We were exposed against Maryland and Iowa. Maryland had a game plan; they come out strong, score points and are monsters on top. Iowa is more patient but more physical. Regardless, we learned about our guys and what we need to progress our athletes and program. I know for a fact Doug is clearly seeing alterations that have to be made.

Dubuque, Academics, and Tickets

Last year at this time we had one athlete wrestle in the Dubuque tournament; this year we had 13 athletes competing. This is a step in the right direction since competing in Dubuque was their choice. 

Academically, we expect an encouraging step forward for UNI wrestling. I know this much, we feel a lot better about our academics this season than we did last season. We are determined to succeed athletically and academically; we need to accomplish both areas.

UNI wrestling has sold about 690 season tickets as of Friday.

Phone Call

In regards to the Iowa meet, one of the biggest challenges is convincing our athletes they can compete with whoever’s their opponent; this is every coach’s challenge. When it’s wrestling and in the state of Iowa, you have an immense undertaking. UNI is not competing against a good team; we are competing against a dynasty. Doug made a superb move bring the entire team to the Iowa meet. Yea, Iowa beat us up. However, the experience can only benefit our program. If it scares the athlete, then he would be scared any way. Our hope is it motivates our athletes. It’s going to take a stimulated athlete to succeed at this level.

Some of our athletes wrestled out of fear against Iowa. What is the fear? I think it’s the fear of fatigue. Some of our guys are worried about exhaustion and wha-la, they acquire exhaustion. I would also include a deficiency of confidence as part of the fear. Regardless, an athlete cannot arrive at his potential if he competes out of apprehension. With that being said, it’s time to try something else, and that’s what we’re doing. You have to be alert enough to read between the lines; let time tell. Time is always more accurate than people. The UNI wrestling program has two necessities at this time –decisions, mistakes, and a lot of them.  

There are many internal battles being won by the current UNI wrestling management. I’m the last guy in line to give credit to anything I’m a part of. Nevertheless, we’re winning a number of crucial battles. With this being said, we will take steps forward and steps back. When you have thirty 18-23 year olds, you will get it all. 

What wrestling can do for you

Many of the fundamentals that America is supposedly built on and much of what people, politicians, teachers, parents, and coaches  say is valid, desired, wanted, in demand and employable, are found in our sport. What our sport can give, pending on what you give, are the ingredients to excel and thrive in any arena

This sport has taught many they can do what they never thought possible. The sport will take you places emotionally and physically you never knew existed. These places are not found on any map.  You can point others in a direction, but they have to find the setting themselves. My suggestion is start packing for the trip. You will need a matchless attitude, toughness, responsibility, open mildness, and toil ethic. Make sure to leave your negativism, excuses, and “know it all” behind.

This sport has and will render many a college degree. Many wrestlers I know would not have a degree without this sport. We used the sport to acquire a degree. Good!  Early on, we were not mature enough to know the importance of a college degree. Wrestling may have brought us to college and even kept us there until we were able to understand how important and crucial an education is.  Education will play a part in what we do, where we go, and the options we will have.  Education is an enduring benefits that’s a by products of this sport. 

This sport will teach you disappointment as well.  You had better learn to take its lessons, write down a plan of behavior change and move about. Wrestling and life are about putting everything into your quest and hunting your goal. It’s an effort that’s repeated before it’s realized. Even if you don’t reach your goals, you have still attempted what few have. You could have taken the effortless road and stayed protected. However, you knew the fruit was on the limb, so you ventured out.

Wrestling’s about learning to balance several things in life, organizing your priorities, and realizing that you can balance, meet, and even excel in these demands. This sport will teach you the hours, days, months and years of sacrifice, efforts and discipline, may result in defeat.  “Welcome to reality!” This has been the experience of many.  They say the definition of a true winner is one who can lose everything, suffer the disappointment, have to go all the way back to zero, and still assemble up the courage to begin again.

The coaches in our lives are often “life jackets” for the real world. They point us in directions, but they can only point; it’s up to us and our behavior.  The reality is we may offer everything we have, do everything right, and still not get our acknowledgement, hand raised, medal, trophy, plaque, and newspaper clipping.  I know plenty of people that experienced this. I maintain that if we take what we learned in wrestling, apply to whatever arena we step into, we will prove to reap an abundance of fruit; this, I will guarantee.  As a coach, we affect a lot of people along the way. Hopefully, we make a positive difference.

On our tombstone there may be a few words. However, it’s basically a birth date and death date; between those dates we hope we impacted others, lived well, take risks, and dared to challenge ourselves.

 

Iowa (Dec. 10, 2011)

We’re on our way home from Iowa City and a lot of thoughts bounce around. We definitely did a better job fighting but still gave up easy points in some matches. We coach athletes to hustle and fight, but it’s still on the athlete. The athlete decides if he is going to fight or not. Who else can it be on? It’s one on one and that’s the beauty or nightmare for the athlete and coach. The coaches have to continue to promote and instill our beliefs and make adjustments where necessary. I’m not going to demean our guys like some people are and will. Would you demean them if it was your son out there? Doubtful!

Carver Hawkeye is a dangerous environment to compete in and even tougher to win in. I have competed and coached here and it’s always highly emotional. It’s really an environment where you’re ripe to be exposed. The fans are vocal, there are more fans here than anywhere else, and their athletes do a great job of handing fighting, pushing, and staying aggressive. The Iowa program is standing on top of 40 years of winning and half those years were national championships. The Hawkeyes are the states professional team. So when you step in there, you have to be ready. The Hawkeyes always seem to shine in CFA.

Carver Hawkeye is also a place where the athlete will be uncovered. If you struggle with confidence, weight, conditioning, etc, they will show up here. The list of great wrestles that have went down at the hands of Hawkeye wrestlers, many with inferior skills to the athlete they were exposing, is infinite.

I respect the efforts and time that Tom Brands invests in Iowa Wrestling. Even if you hate the guy, you have to give credit and respect his off the charts investment. Personally I don’t care for him and don’t put him on any pedestal, but I highly revere his life-long commitment to striving for his dreams and helping athletes strive for theirs.

The biggest disappointment we take away from here tonight as coaches, are the easy scores we gave up in some matches. The coaching staff is working on pushing the right buttons to get the most out of our guys. Obviously, this is a trial and error basis. Hell, most parents can’t push their own kids’ buttons. Nevertheless, it’s our undertaking to contract the most out of these athletes. It won’t be a straight line, but I will guarantee the management will make every effort to shape these athletes into a winner on and off the mat.

Bible and Church

While we’re on awareness how about a couple of people I know who associate themselves with god, church, quote the bible, and call themselves men of god. Mean while their actions and behaviors totally contradict their public words. They pilot people to believe they’re solid. My opinion is god actually is angered by people who play the exterior role. They say the right things, are seen in the right places keep hate, pride, and an extreme degree of self absorption alive and at the vanguard of their mind and heart. Give me a break! I know little about the bible. My understanding from my minute knowledge is that what’s in and on your heart is what matters most. My god despises imposters or a people who act and talk righteous but are impure in the most important places, their heart and mind. We can debate all day. You have your opinion and I have mine but a few medals and trophies will not matter much when your number is up. I know if my number comes up in the near future, I’m in trouble.

Diapers

“All I want for Christmas is my baby rattle, my baby rattle, my baby rattle! Look at me shaking my baby rattle. You better come and change my diapers. 

Changing the diapers of a grown man or woman is very un-appealing. It’s a good thing I always carry extra adult diapers; sometimes I need them as well.

Awareness

Awareness is about being present with your thoughts and captivating notice. Often our observation is inactive and our feelings are at the mercy of our thoughts. You can do something about this but only if you’re awake and get involved with your thoughts and confront what’s there. You have to be willing to give-up comfort. We can become alert to our thoughts but still allow bad thoughts to occupy, linger, and prevail. The challenge to turn our thinking to assist us will be the battle. This mêlée will be a long one, so bring a lunch. The assignment to up-grade your thinking will be a war. Understand that a “fight” ends, but a “war” is on-going. This reality deters many. We don’t get immediate profit, so we abandon and go back to what’s comfortable; even when the “comfortable” is destructive. The fact is, if you confront this issue, you will progress. You will feel advancement, less frequent and weaker visits from negative self-talk. You begin to put distance between you and unconstructive thoughts. Negative thoughts will still appear. However, what you will discover is your thoughts are manageable. When you get to manageability, the door opens to make all areas of your life controllable. If we become half as aware to what we need to change as we are to what others need to change, we will move mountains.

Titanic

Titanic showed no outward signs of being in imminent danger, and passengers were reluctant to leave the apparent safety of the ship to board small lifeboats. As a result, most of the boats were launched partially empty; with “women and children first” the imperative for loading lifeboats allowed men to board only if oarsman were needed, even if there was room. As the ship's list increased, people started to become nervous, and some lifeboats began leaving fully loaded.  There were some arguments in some of the other lifeboats about going back, but many survivors were afraid of being swamped by people trying to climb into the lifeboat or being pulled down by the suction from the sinking Titanic

Keep in mind there were 20 lifeboats with a total capacity for 1,178 people.

2224 on the titanic and 1514 were lost.

1st class children 6 on board / 1 lost

3rd class children 79 on board / 52 lost

1st class women 144 on board / 4 lost

3rd class women 165 on board / 89 lost

1st class men 175 on board / 118 lost

3rd class men 462 on board / 387 lost

My point is when these people were in the freezing waters and clinging to their last moments, it really didn’t matter who had medals, money, who’s a pimp, who was fly, who rushed for the most years, who had the Ivy League education, etc. They were all equal at this point in their lives. In the final moments of OUR lives, we all equal out and none of this other “stuff” matters. Everything prior meant nothing now; life had come to this. I wonder as these people reflected, what was on their chaotic and confused minds? Obviously fear, distress, panic, regret, etc. I stake there was little to no thoughts of medals, country club membership, rims, bank account, reciting hair line, a new smart phone, or the score of some stupid ball game, who builds the best chopper, Paul Sr. or Paul Jr., what happened to Chuck Cunningham on Happy Days, or how many garbage cans did Fonzie really clear? Nahhhhhhhh, I’m betting nothing like that, but I do wonder what their thoughts were and what they would have said was important in life. We all get so lost and hung up on ideas, results, and thoughts that are like a pebble in the ocean; we know a pebble in the ocean makes NO difference. And yet, we all have so many pebbles in our ocean, “things” that don’t really matter, yet we cannot seem to detach ourselves from them.

Reality or not

Several years ago I had a conversation with an interesting guy. He gave me an exercise that I will give my 6 readers. For the next week assume because it’s probably accurate, whatever you think of others, they likely think of you. So for example- as your phone rings and you look to see who’s calling, you say, “I’m not answering the @$#%^&# phone this guys a &^%$*bag. The caller is probably saying I know that ^$#%#bag is there but not answering. 

Try this for a week and play it through “People likely think the same about you as you think of them, regardless how they act towards you in person.” Ouchhh! This is going to hurt! You will find you really don’t like many people and most people don’t like you. It’s actually pretty humbling and you learn you’re probably more cynical than you initially thought. 

 

 

UNI Open (Dec. 5, 2011)

The UNI wrestling team, overall, made improvements from last week. We have miles and miles to go, but the effort, overall, is respectable. Up and down the line, we have behaviors we can build from. Honestly, I don’t worry too much about wins and losses right now. If our athletes are competing tough, making adjustments, and employ the attitude and effort we stress, they will improve. The central inspiration to commit to memory is “Results can be drastically different from match to match, day to day, week to week, month to month, or year to year.”

Clearly the behaviors and mentality the athlete exploits weigh heavy in what his results will be. It’s complicated not to let a loss or set-back bleed into the next competition, but it’s the only transport that is going to the summit. UNI was more aggressive than a week ago.  We still have work to do in the bottom position. The most glaring area is our guys’ wrist being controlled. We have to move off the whistle and I believe our best chance to escape is exploding to our feet, elbow control, stagger feet, break hands down, clearing hips and facing. Switching is still alive, but you have to explode, create distance and chain wrestle. You have to be able to stay strong, mobile, fiery, and make use of awareness, and feel. We enhanced top position from a week ago. We used legs, hips, bumped and looked to tilt or turn. We have to impede our opponents’ first move off the whistle; this is essential in riding an opponent efficiently. 

As our guys acquire more miles on the mat, they will learn how to win tough matches. It’s vital to be ready to go off every whistle. We have to be ready when we step up to the line, beat the start of the clock, and contend through the periods and conclusion of the clock. We want to assert through the edges of the mat. There has to be need and importance the entire 7 minutes. 

A major error many athletes make is wasting time early, only to run out of time later. Time is not on your side. Time does not care about you and it’s limited. Time will not cut you a break, or deal. Time does not care if you’re female, male, tall, short, intelligent, or North Korean. A second, minute, hour is a second, minute, hour for all. Man, we gamble with time. We wait to feel like doing what needs to be done; this can stretch into a lifetime. We chance with time because we feel we’re in control of time; what a major inaccuracy in judgment. We control our choices, attitude, effort; this potent indeed. Nevertheless, a lot remains out of our control that affects us to the core. The message is plain- Wasting time is an error and most always affects you unfavorable. Use time astutely because it’s always running and eventually runs out. 

We are not losing bouts because of conditioning. We’re losing bouts because we need work on skills, strength, awareness, experience, and confidence. The management is giving thought and application to these chief areas. I will never promise victory, and I’m very realistic where we’re at. Nevertheless, I will guarantee effort from the committed management. We will make mistakes but will continue to strive. Right now most of our guys are truly attempting and for that we applaud and let them know. Most of the guys have bought in. There are still a few on the fence and one or two who think they know better, they don’t. How could they? I mean they're thinking with an 18-23 year old mind. We have completed, experienced, and lived what they have not. Their best chance to succeed or make it will be by the behaviors and attitude we continually stress daily. Some will go their own way; we have all gone our own way. Sometimes we sacrifice what we can never get back to learn hard lessons. I will reiterate that the coaches know better. And parents, you only know what your son tells you. There are always five things you know nothing about. The guys that buy-in, win or lose will feel good about their experience. The guys that don’t buy-in will talk win or lose. I have always been amazed how so many people on the outside natter like they know what’s going on in an athletic program. You don’t, because if you did, you would not speak like an expert while your knowledge is almost non-existent.

As the wrestling coaches hauled out the trash from the day at 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, a day that began at 5:30 a.m. at the West Gym, one of the 80 pound bag I was carrying to the dumpster dripped urine, water, soda, and other toxic and human fluids, on me. We joked about the life of a wrestling coach. You have to have a sense of humor or you will walk around like an open sore just waited to be slighted. There are so many people like this. Who was there to defend my rights when the crowd of mixed races and religions knocked me off my skateboard and tried to crush me with a monstrous rock? The only thing that saved me was that I happen to have my roller skates from my night before at the roller dome. Anyway, I reported the incident and was derided. In my report I stressed they pierced me with words about my height. The words minuscule, diminutive, pocket sized, wee, and microscopic we hurled at me frequently as they attempted to lower the boulder from the crane on-top of me. I want to know who is going to pay for this. I want to get paid! I’m entitled! You owe me! Doesn’t all this sound ridiculous? Well folks, it’s happening every day in our courts.

Thank You UNI Open Volunteers

A titanic like thank you to all who volunteered their time at UNI open.Dr. Brian Bennett, The Bergers, Don Briggs, Brook Cheek, Maria Colon,  Rudy Coronado,  John DeKock, Paul Demro, Randy Dodd, Tabitha Fisher, Don Frazier, Jacques Dubois, Jenna Eldness, Jim Gard, Tim Getting, Larry Hamilton, Don Huff, John Kelly,Ty Kimble, Travis Kramer, Dave $Lott$, Chad Lutgen, Megan Maas, Todd McBroom, Brian McElhose, Mike Mixsell, John Moeller, Jack Olson, Keith Poolman, Joe Priebe, John Rasuch,  Al Richards, Randy Sadd, Becky and Andy Schurman, Dan Summerhayes, and  Hal Turner. If I missed anyone, I apologize. We can’t do it without you. It’s a thankless day for most of you, but we sure appreciate your time and efforts.

A couple of things

Students who cross the streets around campus need a course in attentiveness. I know this is the age of entitlement, and it’s my understanding these bright young scholars have the right of way as they cross streets in the university vicinity. Of course I will seek further council this week from my law team, so I’m conscious and sensitive to local ruling, statutes, bills, and decrees. The crisis is students neglect watching for cars. They fail to walk faster when an automobile is looming or stop when a car is imminent. Now, I dig all the intellectual beings in the valley, but discontinue you claptrap conduct. Let me speak in plain language; you will not win the encounter with an automobile. If a car belts you, you may triumph in a law suit. But what a major inconvenience for your crushed pelvis, trampled knees, ruptured spleen, ear drum, and fractured vertebrae. Students, have sense when you’re crossing the streets.

Students’, who cut their sleeves off their shirts at the WRC, please sow them back on.

I asked this little kid the other day, do you know who Mother Teresa is, “Nooooooo.” Ok, who do you dislike the most on “Storage War’s?” without missing a beat, “Dave Hester.” That is some serious humor.

 

Pledges for Pins (Nov. 28, 2011)

UNI wrestling reminds you to support “Pledges for Pins.” The founder, Sandy Stevens, is a remarkable woman, alumni, and enthusiast for the welfare of UNI wrestling. Her motives are pure and she goes to great lengths and expense to give back to the program and provide every opportunity for the athletes to succeed. We robustly advocate for the support of “Pledges for Pins.” You can contact any of the wrestling coaches or Sandy Stevens to find out more. Thanks in advance for your support.

Thanks Mark and El for traveling to New York to support the Panthers.

Central Michigan

One of the principal differences in this dual was confidence. Central Michigan competed like they expected to score points and ultimately have their hand raised and UNI did not, for the most part. Half of the matches were scoreless first periods. However CM was able to create scoring opportunities with near fall points or ultimately find a takedown. CM wrestled with more enthusiasm and was physically much bigger than UNI. Borelli has coached CM for over 20 years and consistently has a very tough and balanced team.

Maryland

Maryland beat us up worse than any team we have dueled the past 2 years. They came out with a fast pace, pull the trigger, scored take downs and then not only rode UNI like a bike but attacked our wrist and tilted in most matches. I don’t know how much riding time Maryland amassed but it was at least 3 minutes a match for 7 of the 10 matches. We thought we were making progress in the bottom position, we are. Nevertheless, we were exposed against a strong division one wrestling program. We scored few offensive points. Maryland is much bigger than UNI physically. The principal differences are Maryland set up attacks by level changing and angles and had a plan on top. We came to some realizations after this dual. McCoy is in his 4th or 5th year. Santoro was previously at Maryland for at least 5 years and built it up. However, I am impressed with the team; they severely exposed us on the mat. It’s very clear we have miles and miles to go.

Bucknell

Bucknell is a young team with a lot of enthusiasm. They have a long way to go but they are no doubt working at it. I respect the way they compete. They wrestle hard and are eager but it’s going to take a lot of time and to win in division one you have to have talent. The best teams and individuals have a lot of talent. I have respect for the Bucknell program. They have a tough and tiring job ahead.

Tough job

One of the toughest jobs coaches will ever have is building / rebuilding a team and program. Not many people want to do it. It’s very trying since the gains seem so minute, and the obstacles, imagined and real, appear large. Doug is motivated and keeps his composure very well. He is definitely the right guy for the job. Obviously I’m biased, but I’m also in the trench. I see first-hand the efforts and commitments he gives the athletes. The culture and room has really improved. The tough challenge for any coach is making decisions. Decisions are complex for anyone. In fact, most of us don’t even make decisions. Most of us wait and see. There are many barbs in decision making, especially when your results are so on- display. The most daunting condition coaches have is convincing athletes in their capability to be confident. Confidence, by far, is remote in most athletes. You may or may not see it as an observer, but as a coach, lack of confidence is our primary adversary. Ask any parent how tough it is. When we get the athletes there roughly 18, that means most of their conditioning, belief systems, confidence levels are very much in place. Some may say, “He had confidence in high school.” It’s not nearly as detectable in hs and frankly, you can win in HS simply because you’re better or more mature. Not so in College. To win in college, after the basic skills are learned, it’s much more about the psyche. That is why so many drift away and the results and winners repeatedly change from HS. Being a top recruit in HS does not ensure holding up in college. Clearly, there are visible traits that coaches recruit for but, credentials are only one trait.

Now we all change and grow emotionally, but not so with confidence. What I found with college athletes is as they mature, they think more and it’s a perilous way of thinking. They question themselves and bomb their self-talk with uncertainties. In our sport, because it’s so physical and trying, as you progress in your athletic life, your thinking evolves up hill. To think advantageous you have to labor for It. Our thinking spins into complexities and pessimism. Unconstructive thinking evolves downhill. We all know you have to work harder and smarter to go uphill, while downhill thinking is faint, potent, and works like gravity. It’s effortless to trek downhill.

Keep your thinking simple. When aware of your thoughts, screen for simplicity. If I had to boil down my experience for anyone who is aware of their thinking, keep it simple and the glass half full. You’re perpetually one thought a way from depressing to optimistic and in its simplest form from negative to positive. Uphill thinking is worth the application but its labor, you have to be regular and alert to enjoy a return.

So in regards to UNI wrestling decisions and adjustments have to be made; both are without guarantees.


What our sport does for you

Many of the fundamentals that America is supposedly built on and much of what people, politicians, teachers, parents, and coaches  say is valid, desired, wanted, in demand and employable, is found in our sport. What our sport can give, pending on what you give, are the ingredients to excel and thrive in any arena

This sport has taught many they can do what they never thought possible. The sport will take you places emotionally and physically you never knew existed. These places are not found on any map.  You can point others in a direction, but they have to find the place themselves. My suggestion is start packing for the trip. You will need a first-class attitude, toughness, responsibility, open mildness, and toil ethic. Make sure to leave your negativism, excuses, and “know it all” behind.

This sport has and will render many a college degree. Many wrestlers I know would not have a degree without this sport. We used the sport to get a degree, good!  Early on we were not mature enough to know the importance of a college degree. Wrestling may have brought us to college and even kept us there until we were able to understand how important and crucial an education is.  Education will play a part in what we do, where we go, and the options we will have.  Education is an enduring benefits that’s a by products of this sport.

 

This sport will teach you disappointment as well.  You had better learn to take its lessons, write down a plan of behavior change and move about. Wrestling and life are about putting everything into your quest and hunting your goal. It’s an effort that’s repeated before it’s realized. Even if you don’t reach your goals, you have still attempted what few have. You could have taken the effortless road and stayed protected. However, you knew the fruit was on the limb, so you ventured out.

 

Wrestling’s about learning to balance several things in life, organizing your priorities, and realizing that you can balance, meet, and even excel in these demands. This sport will teach you the hours, days, months and years of sacrifice, efforts and discipline, may result in defeat.  “Welcome to reality!” This has been the experience of many.  They say the definition of a true winner is one who can lose everything, suffer the disappointment, have to go all the way back to zero, and still assemble up the courage to begin again.


The coaches in our lives are often “life jackets” for the real world. They point us in directions but they can only point; it’s up to us and our behavior.  The reality is we may offer everything we have, do everything right, and still not get our acknowledgement, hand raised, medal, trophy, plaque, newspaper clipping.  I know plenty of people that experienced this. I maintain that if we take what we learned in wrestling, apply to whatever arena we step into, we will prove to reap an abundance of fruit; this, I will guarantee.  As a coach, we affect a lot of people along the way. Hopefully, we make a positive difference.

On our tombstone there may be a few words. However, it’s basically a birth date and death date; between those dates we hope we impacted others, lived well, take risks, and dared to challenge ourselves.

 

 

Pay attention (Nov. 21, 2011)

Hey Hy-Vee, I buy frozen broccoli florets 2x a week. At least once a week you're out but none of the other vegetables are. Order less cauliflower and spinach and more broccoli florets.

Pepsi guy, the machine I buy Mt Dew from only has 2 Mt Dew possibilities. They are empty every other week, yet none of the other selections are. My advice, more Dew and less diet cherry 1 calorie Jolly Good cola.

Moorhead

UNI Wrestling made the 7 hour drive to Moorhead Minnesota. The tournament was run well and probably tougher "over-all" than last week. Much the same as the Harold Nichols tourney, there is a lot to be hopeful about and a lot to work on. UNI must be ready when we step out to compete. We have some guys who do not have their weight under control. It's such a difficult discipline, but its part of our sport. There are no surprises, and wrestling is a lifestyle where you have to give up comfort. Most college athletes could not handle the day of a college wrestler. If we were budgeted based on effort, strain, discipline, fatigue, physical and mental toughness, we would have unlimited funds. But many other sports with only fraction of the exertion, sweat, soreness, psychological demand, uneasiness, and bodily toil, live as kings. They wake-up eat breakfast, ease into the day, play the game for a few hours and call it a game. Not so with the life of a college wrestler. But that's for another day.

UNI Wrestling must have a sense of urgency to score points. We're not talking about being wreck less, forcing attacks that aren't there, or looking to hit a home run. We're talking about focus, aggressiveness, working angels and pulling the trigger with confidence and relentless. We're talking about getting to our opponents leg, planting them on the mat, and being awarded points. We lost several winnable matches Saturday. However, we didn't lose because lack of effort and that's encouraging. Mostly, we lost because lack of experience or not knowing how to win close matches, but again, the effort was there. We would have likely had many more 3rd place finishes, but there were no true thirds.

There is a fine line between winning and losing college wrestling matches. It's so much about focus, intelligent patience, staying in flawless position, and eliminating mistakes. One mistake often makes the difference in a match and it surely did today. We're riding well, but need more turning attempts and actual near fall points. We have not spent much time on top position because we have so many other areas that need attention. A few of our guys need to make adjustments riding legs, staying off hips and butt.

As the current athletes develop basic core skills, we will progress and each new athlete in the program will progress earlier in their career. Being as unbiased as I can, UNI wrestling has experienced growth in aggressiveness, bottom position, and defense to leg attacks, strength, endurance, body language, and life style. We're making progress and the coaches believe in what we're doing. We will make mistakes and every step will not be forward, but we are evolving as a program and team. We're in the trench. We see things at a level and depth that only we can see. I know Panther fans want results, so do we and we're laboring for it. Just remember there are always at least 3 or 4 things in regards to UNI wrestling, and anything else for that matter, you know nothing about.

We like the group of guys we have. Everyone is not committed but most are. All these guys deserve credit. There are a few guys on our team that won't win many matches, but dam do we respect them. It's grueling when you're winning. I'm not sure what to call it when you're not and yet, keep striving. Maybe it's called character and respect- worthy. The guys who stay with this sport will be glad they did. The experience that committed coaches like Doug, Randy, Tolly, Brett, and Jeff, offer, is and will change these young men's lives for the better. How many people really change lives? A good coach changes lives. Let's pay coaches on changing lives. Let's pay professors on changing lives. Let's adjust everyone's pay-scale in a school or university setting, based on if they change lives. Ahh ohh, some people might not like that.

Adult baby

A baby is cute when they're two, but what about a baby who's in their 20's, 30's or 50's. All you need to do is position anyone in a situation when they don't get their way or threatened and wha la, instant infant. You might not see it in yourself as clearly as others do. However, they will clearly recognize it in you and you in them. We're always the last to see it. Don't think you're exempt because you wear a suit, drive a Lexus, or you're an important person in the community, you're not!

Let's face it. We're all capable of being greedy emotional-newborns that makes an impossible Christmas list for Santa Clause. The score cards all read zero as our distorted awareness and deficient expressiveness blow ourselves into self-overbearing balloons. You can shake your head and think, "I don't act like that!" sure you do.

A business that never takes inventory will surely go broke, so will you. I know I can be immature. What about you? Are you conscious enough to know you're unripe in expressive areas of your own life? That when threatened of losing or not getting something you want, you're emotionally equivalent to an adolescent throwing a fit. Yea, you may not hurl yourself on the ground, cry, scream, and say I hate you! But you display your undeveloped areas of your own life. Yea, you're guilty. It's not just others, it's you! 

Let me tell you something Mr. Ethical and Mrs. Principled, you're not innocent of what you despise in others. You just have likely not giving this much thought or you fear it, so you ignore it. Exchange your crystal ball for a mirror; it's a humbling exercise.

Don't kid yourself on your level of maturity. You can find people to agree with you. Most people will tell you exactly what you want to hear to your face. Although, will keep what they really think to themselves or declare to others what they won't to you. Most people get into little groups and distribute "Don't tell anyone's" or "Off the records," to those they think they can trust. Maybe you can, but more likely you can't.

 

Harold Nichols (Nov. 14, 2011)

I'm not going to give results. You can find this elsewhere. I'm going to talk the team and program. UNI wrestling is moving in the right direction. There are many, many positives to build from during Sunday's tournament. We won a lot of tight matches that could have gone either way, but we found ways to win. We also found ways to lose a few as well. For most guys, Sunday was their first time down to weight and first match of the year or at least several months. Getting down to weight the first time of the season is rarely easy. In fact, the whole life of a college wrestler is many things, and easy is not one of them. UNI wrestling will work on and needs to do a better job getting down to weight while maintaining strength. Our athletes have to internalize that making weight is not the victory. If you want to achieve what your capable, you will need to get weight down correctly, so you can compete effectively one hour after weigh-ins. Everyone and every other team has to do the same thing. We have to continue to work on hand fighting, keeping our head clear, and set ups to effective leg attacks. We need to work on quick finishes off our leg attacks, especially singe leg finishes. We need to work on staying on our feet to finish leg attacks and not going down to the mat where we often lose the leg attack. We need to work on bumping our opponents on top; we have to ride harder. We need to work on staying in the center, protecting the center, and lead management-staying in the center, circling, and keeping hands down when there is short time and we're ahead. We will address competing with a "sense of urgency." If you need a score, get it! Don't let the clock tick down. Too often, we run out of time. We will work on keeping our wrist clear on bottom as well.

If the athletes want better results and make competing more enjoyable, they must address and improve their self-talk. Our athletes need to learn how to "say it the way they want it." We need as much, if not more time mastering optimistic self-talk than any wrestling drill or skill. Like I said, there are many positive to look to, and we are the first to open fire on our guys with encouragement when they carry out constructive behaviors and effort. Yet were also the first to point out areas that need to be addressed. We know these areas will show up again and again. They will not go away, so we will tackle the obstruction. We insist our athletes give themselves the best opportunity to succeed. We expect a lot out of our guys. We don't expect victory, but we demand effort.  

It's a marathon

A season, an individual competition, or a life, can be viewed as a marathon. I don't know much about running and don't have to. I know you don't have to be winning the marathon at the 2 mile mark to win in the end. You don't need to be winning at the 20 mile mark to win. Do we all agree? How does this apply to you? We can use the "marathon" when talking about a match, game, race, or life. Unless it's actually a 100 yd sprint, you don't have to lead early to win in the end, though, you have to be ready, and you have to be durable. Set your bar permanently at the height of excellence. Keep in mind you can progress from wherever you currently are. This means you are never out of it. As long as there is ground to race, time on the clock, points to be scored, and life left to live, you are never out of it. You play and live through what arrives. Many competitions are won or lost in the final seconds. In the final seconds, many things happen. One advances while the other protects or retreats. Whose leading early on does not matter, although you have to stay on course. Still, had you not stayed the path, had you not kept moving forward, your efforts in the final seconds would render no difference in the outcome. You have to stay heavily involved and remain composed and aware. The same is true for life, no matter what our life has or has not been, as long as we are breathing, we can make a change in our lives or more importantly in our thinking. We're never out of it! You're never out of it! Nobody can take this away from you. Only you can give it away.

Some coaches and athletes pay little attention to what happens in the early season. For some sports, it really does not matter if you have early season success. Just because a team is not performing like a well oiled machine early on, does not mean they cannot get it together as the season progresses. You still must compete hard, with enthusiasm, care, and address the wobbly wheel. Stand aware of your strengths and lesser strengths and craft a plan to improve. There has to be a plan. To just spin the wheel is risky and few can make a living at this. If you continue to progress and use available tools, although you weren't there in the beginning, you can be in the end. You can be a force to be reckoned with. It takes the right kind of coach and the right kind of athletes who will buy in, continue to believe, and do what's asked, suggested, and told at the times. You will have many cross roads in life where it will be easier to quit, let up, and doubt, than it is to stay, fight, and believe. Anytime we choose a more difficult road, we strengthen our resolve. Often, the victory goes to those who have prepared and are ready, regardless of previous results. Often the victory in life goes to those who stay with it.

It's no mystery how true competitors handle defeat; they review notes, seek input, listen and follow with action. Great competitors and teams often go back with renewed focus and force. They can't wait to compete again. They are resilient; even if they get knocked down again and again, they get back up. These type of people and teams are dangerous. They are nightmares for their competition. They have a psychological edge over their opponents who have previous victories over them or an outstanding record; it applies pressure on them because they know they are in for a war. They try to protect while you, on the other hand, are offensive. You have no fear, or you have accepted that fear will rear its head. But like the dark, there is nothing to be afraid of, so you compete in-spite of fear. You welcome the challenge and competition.

For the team

You can do it your way, but I have to ask, what has your way gotten you? I don't count high school wins. It's easy to win in high school. Winning at the college level consistently, demands that you're consistent in your training, weight management, effort, and attitude. You're sore, so what! You're tired, so what! You don't feel good, so what! Whatever you focus on expands! If you have not gotten what you want, maybe you need to ask yourself why that is. If you have the answers, why don't you have the wins? 

There is nothing cool about cutting corners. If you're a corner cutter, I bet you hang with other corner cutters. In my 20 years of college coaching, I find that corner cutters tend to hang out together and talk about how coaches, professors, bosses, and others don't know shit. But yet their history is sketchy at best, lots of excuses and explanations. I know their scared inside in regards to not succeeding. So they talk like it matters in-front of some people but act like it doesn't matter in-front of others. They make decisions in their training and lifestyle that loudly say "It really does not matter enough." It also says, "I have giving into fear and the road commonly traveled called-I have all the potential in the world, but I'm signing a new contract. The contract reads "I'm enlisting with the choices that benefit me now or at least I thought they did." Except now I feel regret and guilt; they weigh heavy and linger on and on and on. My choices turned on me-boomerang!

We have no access to a rewind button. We get our brief time and opportunities and then someone else get's theirs. It's not cool to severely under-achieve because of our own decisions or lack of. I believe you don't open a flower with a sledge hammer. But sometimes we need to be slapped with reason. We need a change in what we're doing and how we're living. We need to make a firm decision that I'm in or I'm out; there is no in between.

Don't sit on the fence. Don't tell us with words you want 'in" when we can clearly see your behavior speaks otherwise. It doesn't matter what you say. It doesn't matter what I say. It doesn't matter what these criminal politicians say. It only matters what we do. I know what it's like to be an actor in the play I'm describing. My job now, all of the coaches, your professors, parents, bosses, etc, are trying to tell you and get you to see what we all know. You think you know but you don't. You're better off not thinking you know better. What has it got you? How are you doing with your grades, competition, job, relationships, and mindset? Where is your true confidence level at? I bet I know because I can see it in your behavior or lack of. You're not fooling anyone; we never really do. Our aim is to help you see it sooner than we did. We will be successful with some and not reach many others until the opportunities have passed. If you're reading this, I'm telling you, as a whole, you don't know shit. I thought I knew it all as well, and now I know I was clueless. Don't miss the boat! Don't give it away. The clock is ticking. You don't know when your last opportunity or hour will arrive and pass. The odds of beating the house are not good. Don't play with the clock or the calendar.  Life's time casinos are not built because they lose. Gambling with time is no way to make a living. There are better ways that will drastically increase your opportunities to succeed. Listen to those who have gone before you. Keep asking yourself, "What has my behaviors gotten me?" What is my current position? Am I on solid ground and moving in the right direction, or am I rolling the dice and could lose it all any second? You have to answer this, and I urge you to answer it honestly.

 

Thank You (Nov. 7, 2011)

Brad Bruhl, thank you very much for your support of UNI Wrestling. Brad, a Fort Dodge native, and 4 x place winner in the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament 4t, 2nd, 3rd, and 1st. Brad transferred from the University of Iowa and was a 2x Regional Champion for the Panthers in 1992 and 1993. Brad has been and continues to be a success. He now runs his own chiropractic business in Ames Iowa. Brad has been around the past year on several occasions. He's a season ticket holder, attends meets, homecomings, meet and greets, and joined the PWC. Thanks, Brad, for your time, support, and generous contributions. We appreciate your involvement. It's very important to the health of our / your program to have alumni involved. Thanks again, Brad.

Impressions- Paul Kreimeyer

Paul is a 1985 All-American for UNI. Paul, an Iowa State High School State Champion from Wilton, was a determined competitor, and he showed this by being an All American at a traditionally very tough and deep weight class. Paul finished 6th to #1 seed Mark Perry of Oklahoma State. This was my first NCAA tournament, and I was cheering big-time for Paul. Earlier, the previous year, Paul was a student teacher at Osage High School. I got to know Paul very well. As a kid, I knew his name, and he was another one of my hero's. We lifted weights together that fall. It was a huge benefit for me to be around a guy like Paul. He also taught a class I was in. I will never forget how I thought he would cut me a break on assignments, since we were buddies and all. Man, was I wrong; it was like we didn't know each other. I was not happy at first but understood many years later that he was just doing his job and doing it well. We also drilled together that fall, and I never felt so awkward in my life. I never really drilled with anyone like Paul. He was smooth and strong and I had no idea how to react. Paul is a great competitor and excelled in every level he competed. Paul has lived in Kansas City now for 25 years. I have spoken to him recently, and we look forward to Paul coming back any time he can. His picture hangs on the Wall of Fame in the West Gym along with the other great UNI alumni.

What are you looking at?

How many times, especially as a male, do we say, what are you looking at? Guys are always throwing this out. Maybe we're in a bar or driving by someone who extends eye contact longer than what's comfortable for us, and we utter, "What the ....  Is he looking at?" Well, I had an interesting contact a while back. I'm sitting in a coffee shop and naturally my head turns on occasion. Since my neck is involved with 6 basic movements, flexion, extension, lateral rotation to the left and right, and lateral flexion to the left and right, my head is not welded to my neck. I have to move it on occasion. A guy walks over to me and says 'What the ... you looking at?" I chuckled and said to me, "Here we go again." I pulled my laminated anatomy of an eye chart that's roughly 3 ft. by 3 ft. and began the process as I have so many times before, explaining about one of the most sophisticated and complex organs of the human body. I began with my overview on how the eye is built, obviously focusing on the iris, cornea, lens, sclera, choroid, retina, the optic disc and nerve, and of course the vitreous humor. I was sure he already knew how the light focuses on the retina, converts the light into electrical impulses to your brain to be interrupted. But I didn't want to assume this amazing and complex process that we do without even trying. I could see him out of the corner of my eye. I had forgotten to tell him some important information on how our vision is a collaboration of our eyes and brain. He could see my eyes and said "Don't look at me!" I asked if it was ok to turn my head on occasion because my neck is sore. He said, "No!" Man, my neck hurt that night.

Basics Win

If you want to give yourself the best opportunity to succeed, stick to the basics. Correct repetition is a staple for success. Intelligent mastery is what you're looking for. Hold yourself to a high standard-practice room habits. Correct repetition is paramount and necessary to execute against the top competition.

Do not rely on luck to play a part in your success. One of The biggest challenges is turning instruction into behavior. Change is tough, and like an inner magnet, we go back to what we have always done. Even when we continue to get poor results and advancement is denied.

In my opinion, it's not about teaching moves. As a coach, we can show different moves or holds every day. It's more about basic core skills and strong functional positions. I would compare it to a big oak tree, the trunk being-stance, basic skills, good position, mammoth, sturdy, powerful, and can endure all the elements of nature. The branches-moves are only as strong at the trunk itself.

You may need to change, relearn, and in some cases, forget some of your past instruction.  Like most of us in our own lives, we offer resistance both knowingly and unknowingly. Change is always difficult, but it's necessary if we want progress and victory. It's wise to employ skills that work at the highest level. In short, basics win.

It's very difficult to rely on big moves-home runs to win in any sport. Basics have a much higher percentage of success in our sport; they are like jabs in a boxing match, jabs by themselves do not appear damaging, but over the course of the entire bout, they often make the difference.  You win the matches a little at a time, plugging away, staying in good position, aggressive, sound and solid.  Over the course of the competition, basics will win in most sports. Hell, it will win in life.

 As a competitor, you never want to sacrifice a good position. You want to stay where you're strong and force your style. Make your opponent adapt to you. A train is strong on the track but weak elsewhere; stay where you're strong! There are creative athletes who can hit home runs. However, the masses will use fundamentals to get their hand raised.

Review, review, review! Just because an athlete has seen a technique or a skill, does not mean he knows how to execute in a live situation, let alone while under fatigue, pressure, or a superior skilled opponent. We will always go back to what is most ingrained under turbulent times-practice room habits. We are consistently exposed in these moments. We want basic skills and high percentage reactions as the "go to" for our athletes. It needs to be internalized. This is boring for many; although, few complain of boredom from victory. Remember there are no boring drill or skills, just bored people.

The basics mean developing skills and being able to stay in position under attack and while attacking; this central to winning in this sport. The athletes have to buy-in in order for the full benefit. We want to invest our time on what will work against the best. If all we want to do is "win some" "lose some," then having coaches or instruction is not even necessary.

Many athletes do not consider working on skills and drilling fun. I learned a long time ago, if you're looking for fun you may have chosen the wrong sport. Go to the arcade or carnival if you want some fun. What you have chosen is a tough sport, and it is simply not for everyone. What the athlete has to understand is the coach is looking at the entire picture-what the team needs to be successful. Basics cannot be mastered in one day, week, or month. It has to be enforced over time and with focus.

In the end, athletes will not lose from lack of live wrestling. Many will lose because they did not spend enough time learning how to set up and finish attacks, get out on bottom, square hips and use basic defense, or they didn't pay attention to the little things that continue to show up in defeat. The coach has to see all these things. The coach will enforce what he believes will help prepare the athletes to beat the best. The rest is on the athlete to take the coaching. Hearing and watching is not enough; it must be turned into behavior.

When one strays from the basics and timeless principals, trouble and disappointment are usually not far behind. There are unwavering principals that govern keys to success and effectiveness in our sport.  The good news is that no matter how often you abandon or slander them, they will be there for you. You will naturally experience the repercussions of getting off track-violating position. However, the right course is only a principal or two away. It's no secret! The difference will be who stays disciplined. Discipline is a feared word but a starting point of forming a new habit.

Focusing your efforts on your strengths is crucial; however, mastering the skills that are holding you back from success is paramount. Often, these previously limiting areas can become your very strengths, the very things that kept you 2 inches from success. More-over, to manage this potential weapon, you have to slow down. Many athletes try to execute fast and hard. They never learn a skill or position correctly. So when they are in "live competition" they make the same mistakes. It takes time, vigilance, and correct repetition to become effective.

I would venture to say basics are king in all sports. Basics are a universal truth but often neglected. There will always be talented individuals who can violate position, they are exceptions. Nevertheless, I believe you are better off with the philosophy, "Basics Win."

Thank you

Thanks Kevin Launderville, Chris Andrews, Travis Kramer, Trent Ames, Sarah Harms and Hy-Vee, for your help at homecoming. You guys made it easy for UNI wrestling to pull off a strong and positive event. These individuals do a lot of the behind the scenes preparation and work to make the coaches and UNI athletics look good and host class events. Thanks again, guys, UNI wrestling appreciates your know-how.

Impressions-Eric Keller

I remember Eric when he wrestled at ISU. I was at Minnesota then and we crossed paths on a few occasions; we came out on the short end. The thing I remember most about EK is he was a scrapper. He hustled was hard-nosed and gritty. I was impressed with the way he competed; he was very intense and had a lot of desire. I remember a dual in Ames where EK beat our guy and I said "Who the "...." Is this guy?" EK later transferred to UNI. Fast Forward to the 1999 NCAA tourney at Penn State, All American match at 133#. U of Minnesota wrestler Barrett Goyler vs. EK for All American honors. BG is the definition of giving yourself every opportunity to succeed. This guy went beyond the extra mile. Actually getting to the all-American round is a true achievement. EK controlled the match for all American honors in a very deep weight class. It was a tough loss because BG gave as much as any athlete I ever coached. But EK earned the win and deserved the honor. EK is now co-head coach at Wartburg College and has done everything one can do as an assistant coach. He has been part of six NCAA championships, Assistant Coach of the Year, and Rookie Coach of the Year when he was the head coach at North Central for one season.  EK works exceptionally hard, hustles, and goes above and beyond what most coaches do. We see EK on occasion. He continues to support UNI wrestling by coming to functions, meets, and events. We appreciate your support.  You're another example of UNI alumni who has taking success to another level.

Odds and Ends (Oct. 31, 2011)

UNI wrestling will have several young athletes in action Saturday at Dubuque. I'm sure the guys are ready to compete. September and October have gone by quickly. We have so much to work on, so much more time to spend shoring up basic skills and positions. I believe Panther fans will see a lot of progress in the program throughout the season. The areas of improvement will be evident in hustle, hand fighting, defense to leg attacks / stance, and bottom position. We have spent a lot of time here and will continue in these areas. Obviously we're striving for a program that is on the offense, scores points and build leads. The freshmen are very promising. There are a lot of potential, ability, and leadership qualities among this bunch. The season will be exciting to measure their progress.  Dual-wise will be rough for UNI this season. However, we have individuals who are ready to break through. Ryan Loder and Dave Bonin have put in the time to have better results in the NCAA tournament. There are a few other guys that also have winning on their mind. I will let their results speak for themselves throughout the season. Again I want to bring attention to our incoming group. I believe there are several guys who are serious about competing. We don't have depth at most weights. Some of this is due to a large senior class that graduated, well, some of them anyway. Other reasons are the departure of others who were giving choices to commit to their education, lifestyle and training but they chose, yes chose, another route. We wish all of them the best.

Our season ticket sales are 476 as of Sat., Oct. 29. We, coaches, need to get to work on this. I know Larry Hamilton is hustling as usual as the same crew of guys, Ty, Mike, El, Jon, etc. Doug wrote every season ticket holder, the list given by the UNI ticket office, a thank you and encouragement to renew their tickets. I doubt many head coaches spend their time doing this. In fact most head coaches don't even return an e-mail. I find this interesting. I mean as a coach you're busy, we're busy, but too busy to answer an e-mail, nahhhhhh. I have been coaching 20 years and have never been too busy to return an e-mail. If I didn't return the e-mail, it was for other reasons. Never believe anyone who claims they have been too busy to return a call or return an e-mail. It's more about priorities or if they need something from you or you can be of value to them at some point and time. As a coach, we check our e-mail daily and your cell phone is married to your hand. I respect coaches but certainly do not put them above anybody else. I feel the same with professors in college. There are many professors, because of their Ph.D., they really feel, or at least act, like there time is more important than yours, it's not; this has been my experience anyway. The majority of the professors that I have been around are weak teachers. Just because they toiled through research, write papers and follow all of the APA guidelines, etc, does not mean they are good communicators. Communication is an entirely different skill. Don't get me wrong, I respect the professor and what they had to go through to reach this status, but the fact that one can retain information and write papers doesn't mean they can present it in a way that inspires the student or anyone for that matter. Many professors are dryer than the desert. On the flip side of this coin is the professor who is a good communicator is incredible and leaves a lasting impression. I personally think most High school teachers are better teachers and communicators, on average, than college professors. They are dealing with a lot of unmotivated kids and their hands are tied, often unappreciated, and seem to be at the mercy of lots and lots of snots and some of these snots are adults. High school teachers and police officers are severely underpaid. Mean while, Wall Street and white collar crime run faster than an Indy car.

As for recruiting, the NCAA rule prohibits a coach from ever publicly mentioning a recruit by name, until after they sign. We can only verify that we are recruiting an individual. Any recruits that commit are made known other ways as quickly as possible. We have four verbal commitments at this time and a few possibilities in the very near future. The truth is we will recruit hard this spring. Doug and Randy do most of the recruiting and have done a great job doing what they had intended-signing good local kids to wrestle at UNI.  Depth is an issue on any team; it takes time to build depth. In fact, few teams in the country have deepness. UNI is working on this.

The Past

I heard these songs on the radio Sunday. Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force "All Cried Out," Oran Juice Jones "The Rain," and Stacey Q "Two of Hearts." The Juice is a cold song. If it was re-released today, it would score big. I not a rap fan but this groove is breezy and ice. I find myself swiveling my pelvis. Lisa Lisa, I can live with the song. It took me back to a time when an old girlfriend's truck was in front of another dudes house, and the lights were all out. She said they were just talking. I said "honestly" she said, "Yes." I believe her. And then we got Stacey Q "Two of Hearts." Ouch! This is anguish. If I had my choice between prison and listening to Stacey Q the rest of my life, I would say "What cell block?" and "Let's get this over with Bubba." This song is the maximum measure of torture on the planet. But what I'm about to unveil has kept me up nights. Does this sounds familiar. At the start of each episode, these two crowbars are seen skipping down the street, arm in arm, reciting American hopscotch chant: "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated, which then leads into the series' theme song entitled "Making Our Dreams Come True," Now, we all have suffered during our years on earth, but there is nothing on this planet that will render you impossible, solution-less and hopeless as a dose of Laverne and Shirley. This is a condition that is untreatable. Once you hear the first few bars of this song, your impaired, the future is bleak; you become weak, pale, and pray to be anywhere but where you are. When you hear any songs affiliated with Laverne and Shirley, it's a warning that the end is near, and you couldn't be in higher spirits. Let's review, two roommates who worked in a Milwaukee fictitious brewery called "Shotz Brewery." They are bottle cappers and best friends who live in a basement apartment on Knapp Street where the feet of pedestrians are visible from their front window. The two women communicate with upstairs neighbors Lenny and Squiggy by screaming up the dumbwaiter shaft connecting their apartments instead of using the telephone. This is pretty much it. Laverne and Shirley was the #1 show from 1977-1979. I cannot believe I'm American. What happened? How did we misplace what's essential. We took our eyes off Barnaby Jones and crashed into an alarming and upsetting segment of television that pretty much ruined everyone who ever watched this unbearable sitcom. My health has deteriorated since the show first aired. It's likely I will never recover now that the following two albums' have resurfaced.

Description: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/de/Laverne_and_Shirley_Sing_LP.jpg/250px-Laverne_and_Shirley_Sing_LP.jpg      Description: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/d9/Lenny_and_the_Squigtones_LP.jpg/250px-Lenny_and_the_Squigtones_LP.jpg

To make matters worse the show spawned a merchandise franchise thatreleased two models of Laverne and Shirley dolls, one model of Lenny and Squiggy dolls. Hot Wheels created a Shotz Brewery delivery van, Halloween costumes, a board game, jigsaw puzzles, and coloring books. This is a cheerless day indeed. What about Mother Teresa? Why no dolls, games, or puzzles, etc? How do we explain this? I think I have the answer $$$$$$$. How well has America done with money? Let's see almost 15 Trillion in debt. Maybe a little more Mother Teresa and a lot less Laverne, Shirley, Lenny, the Squigtones, and a lot less Snooki, "The Situation," and Pauly D; what a joke!

 

 

Thank you

Don and Dianna Briggs - Briggsy, the head coach of the Panthers from 1983-1997, is still a UNI professor and Dianna (Ed. D) a doctor of education, is the Director of the Office of Student Field Experiences at UNI. Briggs, who led UNI to nine top-15 finishes and 12 West Regional titles, still supports UNI wrestling. Briggs is a class act and literally has taken off his shirt to help his athletes. I would not have graduated if Briggs had not stuck with me, along with my brother, Mike, and Millboy. Briggs always went the extra mile for his athletes. It's difficult for anyone who has never coached, especially wrestling at the college level in Iowa, to understand the challenges. The last few years at UNI, I was a punk and Briggs stuck with me anyway. There are not a lot of coaches who would have or continue to support a program with the circumstances as they were and are in UNI wrestling. Briggsy and Dianna support the movement, come to wrestling functions and meets, season ticket holders, and support our facility renovation. Thanks Don and Dianna Briggs. Your both class acts and UNI wrestling is so very fortunate to have your support and friendship.

Impressions- Gary Steffensmeier

Gary will be inducted to the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame Sat., Nov. 5. Congratulations on a well deserved and highly respected honor. Gary achieved All-American honors three times. What an accomplishment, especially when you think how many great wrestlers never placed once. The way Gary accomplished his success is no secret. He was straight forward, rugged, sticky, dirty, hard-nosed, and mastered keeping matches where he is strong. He gave up nothing, made few mistakes and then tormented you when he was on top. Steff never got rattled and is a UNI Great. I wouldn't know where to begin as far as talking about Gary. We hung out a lot and are still in regular contact today. I could talk about Memphis and New Orleans, Paris, Martigney, Rome, Washington D. C. the colossal party at your cabin or the 6000 trips within 100 miles of Cedar Falls, but I don't want to go back to prison. Gary is currently in a PhD program at the University of Iowa. The UNI wrestling community is proud of Gary and his wife Margie for this honor. Come join us on Nov. 5 to celebrate Gary's induction into the UNI Athletics Hall of Fame.

Change (Oct. 24, 2011)

People often don't see a new beginning as an opportunity, but as a threat. If you value personal or professional expansion, then you have to accept the change that comes with it. Career or personal progress does not require continual promotion or happiness, just continual growth. You have a responsibility for your success. Your decisions and actions, not your spouse, boss, teacher, or coach, will determine your progress and satisfaction. You're not a victim of circumstance. You're exactly what you choose to be. The best way to predict your future is to construct it. Change is often painful, but so are the consequences of neglecting growth, responsibility, and opportunity.

We all can relate to what it's like to choose a safe path and resist change. We stay in our comfort precinct and resist growing, in order to avoid the labor of letting go. We cover up, shut down, give up, and wear a mask. We experience private torment and execution.

A great tragedy of life is to avoid change and risk because this prevents our growth and diminishes our choices. We have to keep reinventing our lives in order to grow and understand the process of endings, transitions, and beginnings. Opportunity is brief. It approaches, arrives, and quickly passes. It does not linger or pause to look back. Opportunity merely presents itself, and those who respond to its arrival with intelligent activity, will realize a full measure of the desired result. How frequently has opportunity knocked and you did not hear? There seems to have always been a shortage of purposeful people who will embrace change. How will you answer when change hammers or lightly taps on your door?

Sometimes we need our deepest potential to be called upon, and when we fail to explore or get excited over the possibilities open to us, we stop growing and join the ranks of expressive demise. We tiptoe through life in order to make it safely to death.

Most people labor to oppose new concepts. The old ways, although dying and unhealthy, are safer and stronger than the new. You can maintain the essence of what served you well. However, set forward a new aim. Apply into operation a chance to surpass previous ambitions.

Excellent leaders, bosses, coaches, teachers, etc, understand that they really can't compel people to do anything. They can only encourage them to want to do things. However, if you have a vision, goals and a purpose, (purpose is something you do every day,) then make a decision to move in one direction and forgo moving in all other directions. Mental lethargy is often cured by the clear intention to join a society of progress and take action. Visualize the future you want and are motivated by and enroll in that vision.

Letting go of past ways are difficult. The only alternative is not to grow, to plateau, and touch life as it passes us by. A Greek Philosopher said, "Life is trouble; only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble." This means "Be bold!" And being bold is biting off more than you're sure you can chew. But you chew it anyway and surpass expectations.

A great break through for most of us is a raw moment when we let go of usual assumptions; we embrace change to see something different as a possibility, instead of a threat. We notice an opportunity instead of a hazard.

Each of us has the ability to put our unique human potential into action and to acquire a desired result. But the one thing that determines the level of this potential and predicts the quality of the result we receive, is our attitude. As you determine what's required to succeed, always go back to the basics. Attitude is the crown of basics. By committing to memory," I will," "I'll adjust,"  "I'll find a way," you will be dynamic. And this, my friend, is called grasping change.

ALF - sitcom

ALF, who is some type of alien puppet, follows a signal to earth and crash lands into the garage of a suburban family in the Los Angeles area. Already you can distinguish this tale to be preposterous and unreasonable.

Unsure what to do, the Tanners take ALF into their home and hide him from the Alien Task Force until he can repair his spacecraft. At this point you have called-in sick to work. You're weak, unwell, and astonished. Reality has totally vanished as this puppet manipulates its way into the home of drips. There is not one person in that house, including ALF, who can execute a pull-up. I mean, is this not the measure of a true man? There is only one question that ever needs to be asked when consulting if you have worth - how much can you bench?

ALF generally hides in the kitchen. It is eventually revealed that ALF's home planet, Melmac, exploded because of a catastrophe involving nuclear war. ALF becomes a permanent member of the family, although his culture shock cause boredom, despair, loneliness and frequently cause difficulty for the Tanners, they grow to love him. How couldn't you love a hand-puppet from Melmac? As far as despair and loneliness, ALF needs to be introduced to a little pal we have here on earth called CRACK! ALF, if you sponsor a crack pipe in one of your puppet mitts and a dumbbell in the other, you ain't ever going back to Melmac.

The series spans four agonizing seasons and 102 episodes. In the final episode ALF is about to be rescued by other survivors of his home planet, but is instead captured by the U.S. military. The viewer is left to ponder ALF's ultimate fate. I have deliberated the ALF scenario incalculable times. The mystery inquiry came up again yesterday - whatever happened to ALF? What's even more of a mystery question is how 102 episodes were derived about an alien puppet. We're in bad contour people when there are 102 episodes of ALF in existence. I tell you what, there is no superior torture than sentencing me to multiple episodes of ALF. I would dash for the nearest noose if I knew my future contained a period of ALF in it.

I just don't dig alien puppets. My attention duration prohibits this transgression. Now, if you want to talk about Happy Days, Spike, Chuck, Jenny Piccolo, trash-cans, a chicken stand, dance contest / lessons, curfew, hardware store, shark, GED, getting the band back together, a Triumph motorcycle, or the Malachi brothers, I'm here.

 

Thank you

Bill Roths, Thanks, Bill, for your continued support of UNI wrestling. Bill and his wife were present during our homecoming social; we noticed and appreciate your time and support. Bill attends many UNI wrestling functions, and he's always a welcomed face. He also reserves hotel rooms and quietly plays a large role in a UNI wrestling social during every NCAA wrestling tournament. This is a huge task and often goes unappreciated. Thanks, Bill, for your time and efforts. We're sincerely grateful.

Brian Benning, Thanks, Brian, for your continual support of UNI wrestling; we genuinely value your support. Brian continues to stay in touch with the program, always asking what he can do to help. He calls or stops by several times a year and sincerely cares about this program, a program he was part of. Brian is another example of an alumnus who knows the value of giving back, thanks Brian.

Bob Boeck, Thanks, Bob, for your support of UNI wrestling the past 1.5 years. Bob was the first guy at our homecoming social last year, attended again this year, and we welcome your company. We need and are appreciative of alumni that attend UNI wrestling gatherings. Wrestling has been a major part of our lives and have done a great deal for all of us. I know it was a stretch this year, Bob, you have UNI wrestling's appreciation. Bob was an All-American for UNI in 1970.

holler out to my boyyyyyyyy D-$$$$$$ Lo$$o   "I got millions!!!!!!"

 

Impressions- Keith Poolman and Bill Nelson

Keith is a National Champion and rare 4x All-American 1976-1979 at the University of Northern Iowa. We have known Keith a long time. There has always been a mutual respect and liking. Keith has supported the staff here the past 1.5 years. He stops by the office regularly, organizes our referees for the UNI open and NCAA qualifier, and supports UNI wrestling. We need and appreciate Keith's efforts. Last week at our homecoming social Keith was present with his 2 boys. We noticed and welcome your support.

Bill is a 3x NCAA Champion 1947, 1949, 1950 and Olympian 1948 at the University of Northern Iowa. Bill was present at our homecoming social and was actually the first person to arrive along with his wife Vi. Bill was part of the 1950 NCAA Championship team at Northern Iowa. We're ecstatic to have Bill present at anything that's UNI wrestling related. He is a legend and having him around is truly an honor for our program.

Wrestling

UNI wrestling had a solid week of training. There is no doubt it's not for everyone. The early morning lifts are unlike lifts most people have seen. These guys do more in 50 minutes then most athletes perform in 3 lifts. The intensity and effort required is more than any of our guys have ever given.  There is a major difference between high school working hard and college working hard. On the mat, effort and intensity in college is another challenge. I believe having success in college is more about having a mentality that can endure the mill and demand of training and length of the season. Wrestling is an incredible demand; other sports do not compare.

We will continue to expose and enforce basic skills and positions until the athlete can execute while fatigued and against the strongest competition. After the basic skills are learned, coaching is not so much about wrestling as keeping the athlete on task, managing life, and the mind. Doug has set a high bar; everyone will not make it. Those that do will profit the rest of their lives. Those they don't, will have cheated themselves and took an easier softer way; the only benefit will be that it's easier. We have some hungry athletes in the room; we're looking for more bold individuals who have excellence on their mind.

Above your shoulders (Oct. 17, 2011)

We're constantly searching for this and that, answer for an uncertain questions. We read book's, and I'm all for self-education. I think self-education is superior to formal education. However, I believe you need both. We search and rummage for answers; is this the book, tarot cards, palm readers, psychologist, counselor, etc. The answer is the same place it has always been. We all need help and direction. However, almost all solutions are found above the shoulders.  We start out in life with simple directions and solutions, but we complicate the majority of our life. If we're fortunate, we realize simplicity provides the best answers and solutions. I think any elderly individual will support this claim.

The answer is above the shoulders. We try to open flowers with sledge hammers; it does not work. Self awareness can save your life. Self awareness and changing defeating behaviors and thoughts can and will catapult you into a rare assembly of merit.

It starts with awareness and monitoring our self talk. Identify thought patterns that knock you off the beam; challenging these patterns when they make their appearance. If you want unusual results, then butt in and dictate your thoughts, thoughts that build you up. We try everything but challenging our thoughts; it's uncomfortable, and we say "This does not work." So you undertake a different boulevard; nope, that's not it! The answer's always above the shoulders. If you slow down, relax, and position this input into behavior, you will realize your ring of keys is endless; you can open any door. Don't wait to be rescued. Don't miss your opportunities to succeed. Don't let the time run out to find you held the product but failed to apply it; so close, yet so far away.

You can be successful wherever you are. Success is not a site; it's a condition of mind. Achievement can be wherever you are. This is liberating and lets us know anything is possible. But it also eliminates excuses. I'm not foolish enough to think some locations are not better than others as far as experience, history, resources, preparation, a plan, coaching, management, facilities, talent, etc. But in the end or the beginning, you can negate everything, if you choose to commit and dictate the course of your thoughts. You're not responsible for what thoughts appear in your thinking, but you're responsible for how long you cleave to your thoughts. The difference is not the thoughts you have, but the thoughts you entertain. In fact, whatever thoughts you consistently entertain, will become habit; it then becomes habitual and one's conditioned response.

You're going to be thinking anyway, so why not be a marksman of your thoughts, and think to your profit? Never confuse the cow with a glass of milk. It takes no more time to think profitable than it does to think detrimental. Damaging thoughts are like a rigged pin ball game; the magnets are always working to get the ball (thoughts) out of play, between your 2 flippers. You have bump the machine and tilt it if necessary.

You have to work at it! You have to practice and challenge your thinking, especially in hard-hitting situations. You will get out what you put in. It's not so much a problem to solve as a decision to make. Get involved with your thinking! Take an active role in the course of your thoughts. Leave nothing to chance, and look no further than yourself. Make a decision to upgrade your frame of mind. Stop expecting something for nothing. Stop expecting improvement to be undemanding. You're the lone novelist of your provision.

There is one position that ensures enhanced thoughts; its residency is permanent, so you won't get lost. Get off the sideline and participate in whether you will be at the mercy of your view or attain a mountain-top experience. Keep it simple and know triumph is above the shoulders.

Duel-a must read

I plead with you to unearth the screening of the most luminous production in the history of film, "Duel." it's positioned in 1971; a useless salesman passes a semi, which turns out to be the most regrettable choice he's ever made. The tanker chases him (Dennis Weaver) the entire 79 minutes of this agonizing arrangement. The acting and drama are dreadful. However, the jesting, and wittiness will modify your existence.

"Duel" did not tally well at the theatre or with the academy. But where it does score immense, is when you're trying to disarm and astonish that someone special. I know for a fact that 'Duel" has acted as the conduit to scores of yearning. "Duel," often called "Drench," has brought countless together as one.

What can be more charming than a 1955 Peterbilt 281 tanker truck chasing a Plymouth Valiant along lonely roads of a California desert? I don't want to blemish it for you, so I will just say the height of the movie is when Dennis Weaver and the tanker face off. Dennis faces his adversary on a large hill overlooking a canyon. He accelerates his vehicle towards the truck and jumps out at the last second. The tanker hits the car, which burst into flames. Obscuring the truckers view, he realizes too late he's heading off the canyon. He brakes hard and with a blast of the air horn, the tanker plunges off the edge of the cliff in flames. Dennis, surveying the wreckage, celebrates his victory. Exhausted, he tosses stones over the cliff as the sun sets.

Is this not a formula for devotion? I insist if you're trying to unite or refurbish an association with a particular individual, then "Duel" will heat up the chemistry hotter than a welding torch.

 

Thank you

Thanks Doug Downs and Scott Engleman. You guys are always on the scene supporting the program. You guys don't ask or expect anything; you just want to give back and support the program, and UNI wrestling notices and appreciates it. We need and appreciate you guys. Thanks for your involvement and efforts.

Brent Jennings.  Thanks, Brent, for your time and expertise on the panther heads. What proficiency and care you poured into these unique awards. They are a big hit and any UNI alum or fan would love to own one. You made each award personal and we appreciate it.

Impressions-Kirk Myers

Kirk Myers is one bad man. As a young kid, I remember watching him on Iowa Public Television. I don't remember what skills he used or his style of wrestling, but I do know he is one tough guy. The weight class was 190 and the name "Kirk Myers" was mentioned as one of the best, and a definite title contender. Wrestling people will remember Howard Harris, Mike Mann, Pete Bush, Frank Santana, Colin Kieran and Bill Schemer. Kirk beat and was right there with all these guys. This list of 190# wrestling history is impressive to say the least. Kirk is a 3x Division 2 NCAA Champion in 1978-1980 and is a 3x Division 1 All-American; that's 6 All-American Honors, the most in UNI wrestling history. This is very impressive to compete and succeed in successive NCAA Championships. Kirk is a state champion from Algona and now lives in Las Vegas. I met Kirk for the first time a year ago at the UNI wrestling homecoming. He is very humble and gracious. We're proud to have Kirk Myers as an UNI alumnus.

Homecoming

Our second homecoming get together was a success. We a great crowd of alumni, family, friends, and supporters. We acknowledged several people that deserved and earned their recognition. We honored Ty Kimble, Mike Mixsell, El Heth, and Larry Hamilton for 150 years of combined support for the program; these guys are ill-replaceable. We honored Jerry Llewellyn, who passed in 2004, for all his support and the impact he made on the UNI wrestling family; Jerry is a winner. His wife, Sylvia, and boys, Shawn, Mike, and Jay were present. Mike and Jay wrestled at UNI and are good men. We honored Sandy Stevens, who is such a class-act. This lady and her late husband (Bear) graduated from UNI and have continued to be heavily involved with the university and supporting UNI Wrestling. She gave a memorable and moving speech. We're glad to be friends with such a cool person. Dave and Cindy Peters were giving an award for all of their support for UNI athletics and wrestling. Dave and Cindy have given, built, and gone the extra mile in supporting this university. We honored Mark Showalter, who owns the bar "Landmark" on old main. Mark has no family or reason other than his respect and love for the sport and UNI wrestling, to be involved and support us. We're lucky to have a man like this in the Cedar Valley. And we honored Jim Miller for his continued support of UNI wrestling, even after being gone from UNI for 20 years. Millboy gave a speech that had everyone's full attention and on the edge of their seat. Doug is doing the athletes a service by having them interact with fans, alumni and supporters. The athletes probably don't like it but no one will argue that it's for their own growth.

President Ben Allen and his wife Pat stopped by for an hour, wow! How many Universities have their president stop by a wrestling event? This speaks volumes of the kind of man we have leading the University of Northern Iowa. Our A.D. Troy Dannen came by and spoke; Troy supports UNI Wrestling! Jean  Berger stopped by, I know this much, I want to stay on her good side; she is one tough lady, and we like her. Jed Smith, the strength man at UNI came by; Jed's had as much impact on UNI athletics as any one person that I know of. Steve Gearhart was around; Steve is in the trench making things happen for UNI athletics on a financial level. Tim Getting (wrestling sports information) did an excellent job interviewing alumni. He will post some of the interviews.

There may be more, and I'm sorry if I missed anyone. The most important people are the alumni. We are going to strive and continue to involve, contact, and recognize the alumni. We're going to do a better job next year of acknowledging the alumni in attendance. We saw Eric Keller, Keith Poolman, Scott Hassel, Dave "I got Million$$$$'s" Lotto, Bill Smith, Kevin Kahl, Jarion Beets, Nick Pickerell, Trevor Kittleson, Pat Hamilton, Jay and Mike Llewellyn, Molly Donovan Morreim, Dave Malecek, Rich Powers (We would like to see you more, Rich) Shawn Kelly, Bob Boeck, Kevin Finn, Greg Berg, Jon Moeller (Jon does so much for our program; he's an impact guy.) Jason Wedgbury, Mark Pustelnik, Gene Lybbert, Gary Steffensmeier (Hall of Fame inductee November 5th. UNI Wrestling is proud.) Scott Engleman, Doug Downs, Andy Showalter, Bob Siddens (A Legend) Gary Whitmore and Tim Ascherl-One of the most courageous men I know. These are just the guys I saw.

Starlight Roller Rink

Friday night, as a kid, was the best. My whole life, at that time, was built around Friday night. In fact, my weekend started on Thursday because Thursday was the day before Friday. The anticipation of Friday was something to look forward to. When it was actually Friday, we were excited all day. Once the bell rang at 3:10 for the bus kids, it was a delight. Now, only a few hours until the plunder of Friday would be reaped.

My elation and approval was found at the Starlight Roller Skating Rink. I couldn't wait to skate and contest around the rink. During my skating career, the rink went through two owners. When I first turned up on the skating panorama, there was an older couple who ran the operation. I heard they had ties to the Genna-Aiello Clan-a Sicilian gang based in Chicago, which later was absorbed by the "Chicago Outfit." Anyway, I didn't want any trouble. I wanted to have kid fun, skate, build forts, play army, and have my best friend Marty Chisholm stay over on Friday night. After skating we would go to my house, tell each other we were best friends, watch Planet of the Apes and sometimes stay awake to watch the "Midnight Special" or "Don Kirshner's Rock Concert." Saturday morning would arrive and I was never as tired as on Monday-Friday. Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner, Scooby Doo, Bigfoot and Wildboy, Super Friends, Land of the Lost, Fat Albert and then American Bandstand. When I heard the opening lines-

We're goin hoppin (hop)

We're going hoppin today,

Where things are poppin' (pop)

The Philadelphia way,

 We're gonna drop in (drop)

 On all the music they play,

 On the bandstand (bandstand)

I knew my weekend was over.

As a kid, I looked at it like this, even though it was still the weekend, I could no longer enjoy it. My friend Marty Chisholm had gone home. Yea, it was only Saturday afternoon, but it was the day before Sunday, and Sunday was the day before Monday; the worst day of the week. I always wondered why Sunday and Monday were right next to each other.

Anyway, back to the roller rink. When the older Mafia couple ran the rink they would play Elvis "Hound Dog," Beatles "I want to hold your hand," The Archie's "Sugar Sugar" The foundations "Build Me up Buttercup" Billy Swan "I can help" and "The Hue Corporation" Rock the Boat. Even though the music was much older than me, I would grind and bounce my hips in merriment.

Roller skating was what I wanted to do. I didn't want to show up on anyone's radar, and I was making good money on my 52 customer Waterloo Courier paper route. I noticed the older couple watched me closely. They could see that I had no trouble paying for a can of Tab and a moon pie. They watched me wield my bank roll from my sack. They must have asked around because it wasn't too long before one of their soldiers was clocking me on my route. I was making around $35 every 2 weeks. Strange occurrences, like my bike's sissy bar was loose, handle bars were bent and spokes were snapped. Even my paper bundle that was dropped off on the side of "Skaar Drug" was tampered with. They were clearly sending me a message; they wanted in! I ended up having to forfeit half my take home and supplemented my income by delivering the Austin Shopper, but it was never the same. Being muscled at such a tender age, set the theater for what was to come later in life.

The second rink owners were a hippie type community. I was now hearing Terry Jacks "Seasons in the Sun" and Sammy Johns "Chevy Van,"  Don Mclean "American Pie," " Seals and Crofts "Summer Breeze," Abba "Dancing Queen," Maxine Nightingale "Right back where we started from" and Jim Sanford "Spiders and Snakes."  The owner we will call... (Kermit) would gyrate his pelvis at me when the lyrics "I don't like spiders and snakes," came on; I didn't really care for that. He skated backwards as fast as I skated forward, talking to me while clutching his bacon. He would jump, spin and confuse me with his rotations-The "Toe Loop, half-loops and multi-jump combinations, the "Double Maple" and the absurd "Inverted Camel Heel Spin." I was only 12 and didn't want any problems. I just wanted to skate and generate as much speed as I could on the floor. But like everything else in life, I got older, Kermit went to prison, the rink was seized by the FBI, and set on fire by an arsonist. The kids of Osage were left with nothing but the memories of skating to the triumphant and intellect of C.W McCall's "Convoy, "and Rick Dees treasured and magnum opus "Disco Duck."

Our own hands (Oct. 10, 2011)

Let me see...what shall I close with? Oh yea, how about a kid who is a lot bigger than other kids in her grade and really has it out for a little kid in that grade. Big Kid, you need to understand that the more you do to and against the little kid, the more control she has over you. See, you plot and imagine how you can disrupt this little kid and turn others against her. But she's off playing, and you're not even on her mind. She's on your mind all day, and you're never on hers. You have not only been out-smarted by the little kid, but she owns you as well. I see this ridiculousness with college kids and adults all the time. We all do it, and we think we're getting the best of others because we hold grudges and try to sabotage others lives with character assassination and king / queen baby behaviors. We poison our own well being and spirit. We think that we are letting others off the hook if we don't hate and strike back. We best consider another route. How many days, weeks', months' and years' have we lost because of this lack of awareness? We slowly tighten the noose around our own health, and we live our lives on a 2 foot emotional leash. We think were clever and triumphant as we damage others, but really we defeated by our own actions; this has to be the worst way to suffer-by our own hands. We see it in others but not ourselves. Man, we are burning time, time we will never get back. Why do we have to be served a death sentence before we wake up? It' easier said than done but well worth the investigation.

 

Thank You

Quality Mats-Mike Narey and Bernie Stroh, thank you for your continued support of UNI wrestling and the sport in general. There are so many events that people take for granted, but it could not happen without you guys. You do all the work behind the scenes. UNI wrestling has benefited from your generosity on numerous occasions, and we are sincerely grateful.

Joe Gribben, Thank you for your continued support of UNI Wrestling. We see and hear a lot from you, and we sincerely appreciate your willingness to support and be involved with the program. Joe and I were teammates for a few years. He was as solid of an individual then as he is now. Joe worked his rear off and strived for excellence. When his competitive days were over, he took the same work ethic and mindset into the business world and of course has succeeded there as well. Joe is with RBC/Thorn and Gribben Wealth Management in the Twin Cities. Grib continues to come back several times a year. He is always positive, supportive, and sincerely wants to see the program thrive. UNI Wrestling is lucky to have an alumnus like Joe Gribben

The Mudd Group (Jim Mudd Jr., Chris Mudd, Jim Sartorius, etc.) The Mudd Group is pure class. The whole operation from side to side is an environment for personal and company growth and success.  (Thanks Jed Smith for opening the door.) To The Mudd Group in attendance last Friday, what are you going to do between now and your next opportunity to succeed? I'm not easily impressed, but The Mudd Group is impressive.

VGM Forbin (Paul Dimarco) Thanks, Paul, I enjoyed the project. You're a winner, leader, and have the "vision." To the VGM staff in attendance last Monday, "trust in your abilities and determination"

Jim Miller (Wartburg College) I will write more on "Millboy" throughout the season. Thanks for last week, Millboy. Even after all his personal and team success, Millboy is still in pursuit of excellence. He still wants to find ways or ideas on how to improve him, program, and team. Millboy is a perfect example of a commitment and continuation to grow. In fact the Wartburg wrestling coaches, Eric Keller, (former UNI All-American) and Chris Ortner (former Wartburg All-American) also are always looking for ways to grow and improve. Maybe that's why Wartburg wrestling continues to knock the ball out of the park. The message here is clear; Wartburg wrestling coaches continue to give themselves, program and athletes every opportunity to succeed. Athletes in attendance last Wednesday night "The major daily battle you all face is between what you know you should do and what you actually do, win that battle."

Impressions- John Kriebs

John was a two-time All-American for UNI in 1983 and 1984. He was a state champion for Dubuque Wahlert in 1979. He began coaching with Briggsy in 1984. At first, I did not care for John. He would not hesitate to call you out if you were late or out of line. When I became a head coach at Buena Vista (the first of many jobs I resigned) it was clear to me why Briggsy hired John. JK was reliable, trustworthy, and was not afraid to let guys hear what they needed to hear. JK is the type of guy that if you owned a business, you would want to hire John. Other people have figured this out as well. There are many aspects that make a great coach. In my opinion and experience,  John was a great coach and is a great man. We have not kept in steady contact through the years, but my respect for him is as if we have. Last summer I walked out of the office one hot summer day and there was John and his boy Jack and daughter Jordan looking at the "Wall of Champions." JK was on his way to Dubuque for a family reunion. We like having alumni in the West Gym. There was so much emotional and physical energy poured out in that place. It always feels like you never left even though it may 20 years. I actually ended up living with John for a few years in college, and we became good friends in those days. He was always on me to wash the dishes; I would always resist. One day I came home to find all of the dirty dishes piled in my bed. Much to my consternation, there was little I could do. John won that battle and I never failed my dish-washing responsibility again.

Lifting

The guys have been going through monster grueling lifts. Tolly and Doug have been running most of the action, and the athletes are "feeling" and benefiting from the lifts. Believe me when I say these guys are lifting at a rate, pace, and volume that few do. Lifting is only one part of the triangle. In order to build muscle effectively, they need to continue to fuel and rest the muscle. No one can do that for them, although we will continue to remind them.

Poster

 The UNI wrestling poster is in its final stages. The team and coaches will distribute it throughout the Cedar Valley. We welcome anyone to come to the West Gym and grab a poster or request a poster to hang in your or someone else's place of business. We want the UNI Wrestling program to gain as much exposure and it can and deserves. We appreciate any and all support in growing our program in the community, state, and national level.

Season Tickets

The UNI wrestling teams season tickets are now available. Our goal is to sell 2,000 tickets. The athletes work so hard and truly deserve to the support, energy, and momentum of fans in the stands. Having encouragement and acknowledgement from fans, friends, and family, make a big difference. In fact, it can make all the difference. We ask anyone who cares about UNI wrestling or athletics, to please support the efforts of the student athletes, by buying season tickets. We thank the UNI wrestling fans, supporters, and Cedar Valley for providing so much support for our athletes. We send a special Thank You to Larry Hamilton; he sold over 100 tickets himself last year. Larry, you continue to render us speechless. You are the mastermind behind the wrestling season tickets.

Fight Night

Come out to Joe's Knight Hawk in Waverly on Wed., Nov. 16, to support the sport of wrestling. The High School coaches' panel starts at 6:30 and the college portion at 8:00 p.m. Head coach Jim Miller (Wartburg) Doug Schwab (UNI) Tom Brands (Iowa) and Kevin Jackson (ISU) will be on hand. "Fight Night" is like no other. The coaches verbally spare and really let it fly. It's actually a wrestling fans dream come true. You can listen and watch these coaches in an environment that you won't be able to anywhere else. Come out and support the entire state of Iowa wrestling. Jim miller (Wartburg) host's the event along with Joe and Julie Breitbach. They have supported Wartburg and area athletics for over 40 years. The community is fortunate to have such people of action and generosity.

Body language / Keep your head up (Oct. 3, 2011)

It's estimated that up to 90 percent of language comes from the body. It's a proven fact that the way you use and move your body has an effect on the way you feel and consequently what you will or will not do. The way you move and use your body creates emotional responses within you on a biochemical level. You can feel strong and confident right now, simply by using your body in a specific way. Get your head up and keep it up.

We're all familiar that the way we feel emotionally, commands certain corresponding postures and patterns of breathing, facial expressions, etc. When your heads up, you can actually create the corresponding emotion; the outward appearance affects the inward condition. You cannot over look this powerful and controllable advantage.

Internal thoughts and feelings are expressed through body language. Having a physical presence during competition is crucial to being a tough minded competitor. You have to look the part to play the part. Never allow your opponent to see you suffer or display negative emotion while performing; this is not effective behavior. Whether the body speaks in assertive or subservient language, it is speaking, and speaking is behaving.

To drop your head is to enlist in the army against yourself. Poor body language equals poor performance. Get your head up! Do not allow your head to be held down by the gravity of doubt; some call it "self image poverty." Our image of ourselves is more important than our talents and abilities, and our body language reflects this image. I'm not talking about walking around like a pimp or a punk. I'm talking about behaviors that help you feel hopeful about yourself.

Positive body language is something you can practice daily in a variety of situations. Body language is as important as any aspect of your training. Monitor your body language in training situations, situations where there is fatigue, adversity, and the likely hood of frustration and defeated body language to appear. Have awareness of what kind of message you're sending; body language indicates attitude and many times will dictate behavior. In tough situations, we will go to the behaviors and body language that makes up our practice room habits; we will go back to what we practice, so practice keeping your head up.

As a competitor, you cannot ignore positive body language. Often time's things out there will not go your way. The test will be how you respond to such circumstance. You can rise above it or sink below it. Your body language will indicate whether you are in the process of enriching or burying yourself. Ideally, your appearance does not vary during competition or training. Remember, consistent optimistic body language leads to consistent performance.

Make a decision right now that you refuse to be fazed or rattled in competitive or training situations. Wall Street plummets, no problem! Cancerous cells discovered at your check up, yawn. World War III started, what's for dinner?

Regardless what's happening around you, the external does not penetrate. You are focused like Einstein. You see only what's in front of you, nothing outside the lines, to the left or to the right. Your constitution will not be washed away with the rain. You know a win is never (sure) and loss never absolute. Falling behind will not do you in, but falling apart will. Your body language is critical in all situations. You may ask"What is effective body language?" In its simplest form, I would say staying the course until time runs out with your head up. You will never be misunderstood when your heads up. Remember were always speaking. Our body language makes more noise than our words; keep your head up!

 

Thank you

Dave and Cindy Peters, thank you very much for your endless contributions to UNI athletics. If you're not contributing to the Panther Scholarship Club, Panther Wrestling Club, or Leadership Gift to the McLeod Center, then you're constructing and donating the McLeod Center suites. Your honors of the Heritage Honours Alumni Achievement Award and the UNI Friend of Athletics Award are a small token of UNI's appreciation for you and Cindy's exceptional kindness. We have gotten to know Dave over the last year, and we can say without hesitation, Dave and Cindy Peters are friends of UNI wrestling.

Darrin & Terri Sherrill, thank you very much for all your support. Although you're down in Georgia, you stay in contact, and contributed tremendously to the program. Everything from simply buying UNI wrestling t-shirts, season tickets, joining the PWC and for allowing us to sit in your suites at the NCAA tournament in Philadelphia.  We thank you both very much and the program has benefited from your efforts and generosity.

Richard Lazor, thank you very much for all of your support and willingness to help the program in any way possible. You're also down in Georgia and have made your presence known within UNI wrestling. We truly value your encouraging words, contributions, and readiness to help UNI wrestling. We have parents we never hear from or have never done a single thing for UNI wrestling, a team their own kid wrestles for. Thanks a lot, Richard; we sincerely are grateful for your concern and labors.

Impressions-Jim Sanford

I never seen Jim compete but I don't need to have great respect for his feat of winning the 1963 Division II NCAA Championship at 147#. Jim won 5-3 win over Truman Sandelin of Western State. What a great way to cap off a college career. Many of us can only dream of what that feels like. Northern Iowa also placed 3rd as a team that year. It was legendary coach Bill Koll's highest team finish while at UNI. Jim reached out to us last year and attended several of our meets. We were in Colorado Springs twice last year, and there was Jim supporting and cheering UNI wrestling on. We are honored and grateful for your support and we're proud to have you as an alumni, fan, and friend.

Ice cold

The other day at the WRC, I heard a guy tell some girl the he's "Crunk."  I say he's a "Dork!" What I think he was trying to convey is that he's cool. A torn shirt and a couple tattoos don't make you cool. Cars, boats, hair-do, the color of your Smartphone, and disrespect is not cool; people are cool. The problem is there is not very many of them left.

For now, let's talk about what's un-cool. Now let me see..... Oh yea, here is something that's not cool; how about someone in their late 20's who does not do their job and is a cry baby; that's un-cool. How about a certain office that can't do anything right; how can that even happen? You would think that you would screw up once in a while and do it right; anyway, very un-cool. How about gab-d's who make fun of the handicapped and elderly; that's very un-cool. How about the white-collar criminals, like the Enron and Tyco Gab-d's; they are incredibly un-cool. How about the American "lack of justice" system; it's very un-cool.  How about a recruit who does not have the decency to call a coach back after the coach has put in a lot of time, effort, and expense; that's very un-cool. How about kids who are picked on because they are poor or overweight; this is very un-cool. People who never say please or thank you are very un-cool.

Look, cool is a matter of perception. Obviousness is not cool. Fads are not cool. What's "In" is not cool. What everybody is "doing" is un-cool. People who don't need the approval of everyone else are cool. People who 'give" are cool, and people who hoard are un-cool; you know who you are. The groups of students, who kicked me down last week and tried to crush me with a rock because of my height, are un-cool. I want reparations!

If you look at how "Fonzie" evolved, you will see that he was not constant. In the very beginning, Richie Cunningham was supposed to be the star. At that time, Fonzie had one foot in Punk and the other in Cool.  Fonzie soon became the star, and Richie the co-star. Both of Fonzies feet were firmly planted in cool. As time went on, Fonzie had one foot in cool and the other in dork. When "The Fonz" was jumping garbage cans, he was cool. But when Fonzie jumped a shark on water skies, with a t-shirt and leather jacket, he was un-cool. But at least he was cool for several years. That's several years more than most.

I have only met a few people who can pull it off. If you think you're cool, you're probably not, and if you think you're not, you probably are.

Team

The team is doing a good job. Most guys are working out several days a week. We really like the freshman group. There is a lot of ability and potential in this group. Time will tell much better than I, but they are an encouraging bunch. We have already completed four weeks of school and will soon arrive at midterm. The days go so fast and pile up quickly. As we approach midterms and competition we will really see where we're at. Understand that the student / athlete are making their own decisions about 80 percent of the day. Let's just hope they are the right decisions and ones that they can build from.

Adversity (Sept. 25, 2011)

What comes to mind when you think of adversity? Is it a loss of something or someone important to you? Is it an injury that interferes with your dream of being a champion? Is it when fatigue set's in during a grueling workout? Or maybe adversity comes through common effects of life. It may be an abundance of small daily problems that weigh heavy. However you describe adversity, it's usually something you would not have chosen, and it presents a challenge. Adversity allows you to know yourself at the heart. You find out more about you during hardships than any other time. Tough moments truly define our substance and might. The big moments are easy when we're on top. Society gives us big smiles and abundant applause. But not so when we're in deep waters and struggling to stay afloat; these times reveal a lot.

What is it that allows some to defy logic or science and come back from being gunned down by circumstances that wipe most others out? How about those who survived and thrived in prison camps, torture, starvation, hours stranded at sea clinging to nothing but a small board, days stranded in the wilderness in freezing conditions, no food, and not knowing if they will survive; this has to be one of the most humbling experiences a human will ever face-will I live or will I die? In many cases we have a lot of influence over the answer.

We all have had or will have adversity. We all have experiences that detach us from our dreams and wound us physically and emotionally; it's called life. Complicated days will make their appearance. Unexpected blows will knock us off our feet. We all have pages of desolation in our story. We're not alone, unique, or an exception. Outside forces may have caused our unexpected difficulty. It's unfortunate but common. We shout "It's not fair!" Forget about fairness. We think life should be fair, "it's not." Where did we learn this erroneous message? We may fall into self pity and curse the world. I warn against using adversity as an excuse not to act. We have all bathed in self-pity and can relate; consequently, it's a bath of filthy water; we feel the likes of physical and emotionally poverty. There is an acceptable period of time to contemplate.  However, we can't afford to mull-over too long. There is a lot on the line, and we must persevere. Our survival may depend on us postponing our heartache for a later time or not at all.  Your whole life up to this point has been preparation for this trail and moment; how will you grip it?

You can handle whatever yarn is spun. It won't be easy or pain free. It's tough to persevere under stormy conditions you would never have chosen. The weight of physical and emotional pain can be brutal. However, misfortune can fortify and meet you head-on in ways and areas that only trouble can. You can build off of unfortunate circumstances. You can still advance.

Are certain humans born with special resolution and moxie that allows them to endure misfortune? I don't know that answer, but I do know the world of full of people that not only survive, but excel and exceed what we would expect. How have you handled adversity in the past? How will you handle adversity the next time it slaps you in the face?

The solution for adversity cannot be bought, charged, muscled, or tweeted. No, the solution is found in your thinking. You can mine for opportunities and find out what resources you can muster in this process of discovery.

Inside of you is a reservoir of courage and strength that activates when called-upon. Humans have immersed themselves in this reservoir of influence since the beginning of time. This potent inner strength is obtainable when you call on it. Do we need people to help us through adversity? YES! Do many of us pray and believe in a god that will supply us with strength? YES! But it's our decision that will determine whether we move forward or not; no one can make this decision for us.

Based on how we handle harsh conditions, one never knows what gifts can come from adversity. The blessings may take years to bloom. Or we may just get an experience that can be used to help another. Honest reflection tells us there is a growing society in the world. It is a society of those whose present success has been built on the wreckage of past failures and adversities.

Know that

  • v Humans are made to come through
  • v Adversity is a fact of life that we have face
  • v Destitution can further you more than accomplishment and ease ever could
  • v You often have to outdo heart breaking struggle before attainment and happiness
  • v Adversity can be a turning point for you

Thank You

Mark Showalter, thank you very much for attending our wrestling meetings, sponsorship, contributions, time, and support. We truly appreciate your involvement, and we can't thank you enough. Mark runs the "Landmark" bar on main-street in Cedar Falls. The "Landmark" is a great place, and if you're a UNI panther fan, I highly recommend you stop by. Thank you very much, Mark.

Ken and Kyle Klingman, thank you very much for your supporting roles with UNI wrestling. Ken, thank you for providing spiritual direction for our team members and offering positive and up-lifting direction. Kyle, thank you for your respect, knowledge, and love of our sport. Your expertise, willingness, and commitment to promote wrestling any time and any where are exceptional to say the least. UNI wrestling has benefited tremendously from your efforts and passion.

Greg Berg, thank you very much for your support of UNI wrestling. You have organized, lead, strived, contributed your personal time, resources, and expense to the good of UNI Wrestling; we appreciate you very much. Greg is an UNI wrestling alumni who cares about the program. Greg does not sit idle and complain, but is heavily involved and has a strong desire to see the program flourish. Thank you very much, Greg.

Golf Outing

Thank you PWC board members: Ty Kimble, Mike Mixsell, Larry Hamilton, El Heth, Jan Albrecht, Mike Allen, Jim Miller, Allyson Schwab, Jon Moller and Kevin Finn, who were present at Saturday's golf-outing. Thank you for all your time, help, and contributions. There is no way we can accomplish anything worthwhile without you. And a special "thank you" to "Mulligan's" and Ryan Bennett for all of your time, effort and contributions.

UNI wrestling sends a special thank you to all of the golf outing sponsors, golfers, and alumni. We appreciate you and we will be sending you a personal thank you.

Impressions-Bob Hallman

I planned on writing about Bob a few weeks ago and happen to have a lengthy conversation with him this weekend. The first thing I will say about Bob is he has always been a gentleman. Even when I was a punk high school kid, he was always respectful and pleasant. Bob was a state champion in 1979 at West Des Moines Dowling for legendary coach Bob Darrah. I remember coming to the west gym as a kid and watching a dual meet between UNI and Oklahoma State; Bob whipped top ranked Mark Perry Sr. like a red-haired step-child. Bob reached the finals of the NCAA Championships in 1984. What a rare and proud accomplishment for Bob and UNI wrestling. It's incredibly difficult to be an All-American, let alone battle into the championship match. Bob lost a tight 6-4 decision to Penn State's Carl DeStefanis. Ironically enough, the year prior at the NCAA Championships, Bob and Carl had first round losses and Bob lent Carl sweats to workout. Who would think one year later that would go toe to toe for an NCAA title? Bob Hallman is a great competitor, winner and a gentleman. We're proud to have Bob as alumni.

Don't want to hear it (Sept. 19, 2011)

We all say we want the truth. However, most of us don't if it shows up in our short comings. The truth could be devastating for most of us to hear. But straight language is needed if we are to progress. We're all sensitive to varying degrees, and surely there are more tactful ways of speaking our mind. Even if it stings, there are also truths we undeniably need to hear. Hearing these hard words can be the catalyst for taking stock, moving us forward and establishing a more effective and organized approach. It's my experience that those who really want to move forward, not only seek, but welcome honest observation. We can get angry, resentful, dig our heels in and deny our own progress. Or we can use this valuable lever to move the rock.

People who don't like us will tell us things that those who do never will. Sometimes we need to be dealt with honestly. The whole world is so worried about sensitivity. We tip-toe around and allow others to cut corners because it's easier than saying something that might upset them, even though it's something they / we need to hear. Not to mention the ill-effects it has on all involved. I can tell you from personal experience, no one tiptoes around the short guy. Just the other day on campus, I was kicked down to the ground while several students tried to drop a heavy stone on me. It was a good thing I had my roller skates.

We all need to take the emotional training wheels off our bikes and ride like an adult. We want to be treated like an adult, but we often don't act like one. Emotionally, many adults act no better than kids. Adults just wear a nicer shirt. And they're a little more patient as they lay in the weeds, sometimes for years, waiting to strike. Look, we all soil ourselves with immaturity; we deny blame and responsibility, while passing it on to others. That's fine, but it's hard to improve our condition; we are the sole authors of our condition.

I wish I was a little egg away up in a tree;

I wish I was a little egg as bad as bad could be;

I wish a little naughty boy/ girl would climb up after me;

I'd bust myself all he / she and splatter H/S with me.

The poem is a brutal example of how ALL of us can shake our self-absorbed rattle while we bathe in self-pity, waiting for the world to cater to us. It's tough to hear, but from time to time we're all guilty.

Unless we "get-it," we will fail to progress. If we find ourselves going through the same situations again and again, then maybe we need to change our story. If we think that hearing the truth about ourselves is undesirable, then how about never being able to move to the next level; how does that sit when we find out that it was us who prevented it?

Our mission as UNI Wrestling coaches is to give our team the best opportunity to succeed as a student, athlete, and 20 years from now. You have more say over your results than anyone else. No one can help or do more harm to your results than you.

We're all wise to exchange our crystal ball for a mirror. Not a mirror for vanity and for us to look into the mirror professing how appealing we are as we give ourselves a sly wink. But a mirror to take a good look, an honest look, while we ask ourselves, would the boy/ girl we once were, be proud of the man/ woman we are becoming? Talk about getting hit with a punch of humility. Ask yourself what would happen if everyone was just like me? Would anything get accomplished, or do I rely on others to pull my weight?

The wisest thing we can do is examine ourselves and realize that giving some people the advice "just be you" is the worst advice we can give. My point is we all have work to do. And unless we are able to identify situations where we avoid responsibility, we cannot and will not progress as an athlete, student, or person.

We will keep coming back to the same theme "Give you every opportunity to succeed." Your progress starts and stops with you. We need to remember that we are the ones who prevent ourselves from moving to the next level. It's (us) who prevents our own hand from being raised. History tells us that those who do not make change will pay a heavy fine and it's an outrageous figure. However, those who listen and change behavior give themselves the best opportunity to succeed. Often the words we want to hear the least are the words we need to hear the most.

 

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Thank You

Thank you, Dr. Kevin Kurth, for years of support and continued support of UNI wrestling. We truly appreciate your loyalty, contributions, and remembrance of the program. Kevin was a 2x all-American heavyweight for UNI. KK use to help coach the Iowa junior freestyle teams in the summer and helped me tremendously my freshman year. I finally got to tell him about his impact last year. Thanks a lot KK!

Thank you, Mike Allen, for your support of UNI wrestling. You're always one of the first to volunteer your time, efforts, or contributions to UNI wrestling. We appreciate you. Mike is a Hall of Fame referee and was awarded a "lifetime achievement for officials" award. Mike is the only referee I know that would ever admit he is wrong and change his call during a match. Mike, we're lucky to have you in our corner, thanks.

Thanks, Tim Ascherl, for your support of UNI wrestling. We feel fortunate to have you involved. You're an incredible example of a competitor. We hold you in the highest respect for the obstacles you over-came, continue to deal with, and yet you press forward. You and Angie's time and contributions are very much appreciated. Tim is a graduate of UNI and also helped coach UNI wrestling with Don Briggs. Tim's courage is astronomical and a lesson to all who know him.

Thanks, Ron Krumwiede for your donation and time on the hip sled. We appreciateit.

Impressions-Mike McCready

Mike Mccready, the most successful heavyweight in the history of UNI wrestling, was a National Champion for UNI in 1972. I got to know Mike through the J. Robinson Wrestling Camps. Mike was a very unique man. He was not one to bore you with his words. In-fact, he chose them very carefully.  Although his facial expression rarely changed, he had a way of looking at you and you understood exactly how he felt about things. You knew very quickly whether you should continue, proceed with caution or knock it off! Everyone at the camps loved Mike. Many of his wrestlers from Upper Iowa worked the camps with him. He left no doubt about how he cared for his athletes. Mike and Sam Barber worked tirelessly to build the wrestling program at Upper Iowa and were close to reaping the fruit before his untimely death in December of 1999. Mike finished only 5th in state his senior year of HS but finished his career with 15 National titles in Freestyle and Greco Roman. This would be something Mike would try to instill in his athletes, that greatness and achievement may not come until later in your career; so stay with it. I could go on and on with Mike's credentials, such as he missed making the 1976 Olympic team due to an injury, or that he is the only athlete in the history of UNI athletics to be an all-American, let alone a Nationals Champion, in two sports; Mike was also a National Champion in shot put. Mikes picture hangs proudly in the "Hall of Champions" at the West Gym. Our athletes can see all the UNI greats daily. Mike will not soon be forgotten.

The Real Hero's

It's 9/11 as I write this and I'm thinking the real heroes are the U.S. men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan, not someone who can throw a piece of leather to another guy as he sprints across chalked lines or someone who can dribble a piece of leather and throw it through a net, give me a break. The real heroes are the M/W who risked their lives trying to help the M/W trapped in the Twin Towers 10 years ago. The real heroes are the innocent victims that lost their lives because some fanatical gab-d's think that destruction assures them a penthouse suite in the after- life. The real hero's, in my world, are the severely under-paid high school teachers and police officers who have a difficult and almost impossible job but step up in-spite. My real heroes are cancer patients who are fighting or who have lost their lives to cancer. My real heroes are the elderly who earned and deserve the respect from each and every one of us; we need to do a better job of how we treat our elderly. In our society, we add years on our age until we are 21 but spend the rest of our lives shaving years off, as if we're somehow more worthy to be twenty-five vs. thirty-eight. The eighteen year olds of today should pray they live to be sixty-five. The real heroes are the Mother Teresa's of the world that give and sacrifice and get little to nothing in return. I think it's embarrassing that her obituary is on a back page while someone who is born or marries into royalty is on the front page. I have never understood how people can take credit for what they are born into. You can't take credit for waking up in your life and your blessed with opulence any more than you can wake up in your life and take blame for being born into poverty.

The last real hero is Andy Griffith who continues to teach lessons 50 years later, and he is cool about it. Then you take a mindless show like "Jersey Shore" that offers characters like "Spud" or "Scratch," whatever their names are. They just go to clubs, lift weights, wear w-beater muscle shirts and drink protein shakes. I don't watch the show, but I do flick through the channels and feel violated whenever they appear on my screen. I think one of those guys, "Potsie," I think it is, had a neck brace on. I thought they were tough guys! I'm still trying to figure out how they got a brace around the neck of a human turd. The last time I saw a sissy brace like that was on the "Brady Bunch." Mike Brady threw a brief case on the floor during court to show that some pear shaped guy trying to sue them was faking his injury. The weakling fell for Brady's trick, whipped his neck around when the brief-case hit the floor and blew his case.

We'll see if "Jersey Shore" is running 50 years from now like "Andy Griffith" is.

I don't have time (Sept. 12, 2011)

Athletes you chose a tough demanding sport. It's physically and emotionally expensive. You can balance these demands, and all of the other aspects of your life. Even if you're obsessed with the sport and fanatic in your training, you still have other parts of your life that are of paramount importance and are crucial aspects to your success. You can be great in this sport and still take care of other aspects of your life effectively. Can the student athlete manage wrestling and academics? YES! No one receives any more or less time than the next person. Actually, it can enhance your academics. If each student takes a honest "time waste" inventory, they will find that many hours escape daily and go unnoticed. My experience has seen more students drift because they do not have constructive and focused activities vs. those that thrive because they have demands on their time. There is power in focused responsibility. When your time is accounted for, you thrive. When you're a student / athlete you instantly become part of something special, and everyone wants that. It connects you with people going through the same challenges and growth.  Who would not benefit from having others watching out for you, keeping you on track, guidance, discipline, and many advantages that normal students do not have? With these perks of being part of something special, there also are expectations, responsibilities, and accountabilities that non student athletes do not have. Consequently, when you meet your responsibilities, you get a substantial return on your efforts.

Friends:  When you're in our sport, you're instantly connected, close nit, and in a brotherhood. Being involved in college athletics for many years, I have yet to see the cohesiveness that wrestlers have coming from any other sport. There is time for your friends because your teammates are your friends and many will be until the day you pass on. Every level of emotion is experienced, and extreme places are visited daily in what we do. In the highs, lows, trails, and success, lasting friendships are comprised.

Girlfriend / Boyfriend: This can be tricky. It depends if she / he is the right mate or not. Who is the right mate? Is there support in actions and not just words? Is what's important to you important to them? If there is always complaining, jealousy of your time, constant effort to divert you and demean your interest and goals, then I have two words for you, lance it! You need to be aware of your relationships. Relationships become more strained and complex during any season. So if things are normally turbulent, lance it! Look, I understand what it's like. In the early days it's easy to say "We will always be together." Or "We will never break-up." Always and never are thrown around like the government spending our tax money. My "always" and "never" lasted two weeks after college started. Very few can be like peanut butter and jelly or have what Joanie and Cha Chi, Fonzie and Pinky, Captain and Tennille, or Peaches and Herb had. If things are not cool, move on down the road. Be wise to take notice and re-evaluate.

Social: I do not recall a single person's life being destroyed from a lack of social activity. However, I have seen many lose it all because of an extreme amount of social life. Like anything else, there needs to be a balance. In the heart of the season, when competing is at its height, the athletes still have a social life; it's just a more focused social life. Everything and everyone has boundaries; just stand too close to me sometime. Wrestling season is a temporary organized boundary. Striving eight to ten months a year for 4 or 5 years of your life to get benefits that last a life time, seem like a great investment to me. If you're thinking a social life needs to consist of being in the bar 3-5 nights a week, it's going to clash like bright green pants and an orange stripped turtle neck with the sleeves cut off.

Family: The family is paramount. The beauty with our sport is the family becomes actively involved and is drawn together. In fact, I know many Wrestling families whose lives focus around wrestling. This is a good thing and many outside our sport will never know what it feels like to walk off the mat with their hand raised, looking up and seeing their family experiencing that very moment with them. The same is true in defeat; the family suffers also. In both of these experiences, something special happens because the people that matter most are right there with you. On or off the mat, this is what life's about. Many athletes see their family more because they compete than if they didn't. You could sit in a room with your family all day every day and experience little to no emotion, but the few moments that are experienced at such depth in our sport brings you together. It really stimulates our emotions and certainly lets us know we can feel at a deep level. This is a sport that the family rides the same roller coaster the athlete does; this experience puts the family in touch. Wrestling is a great sport and if it was not so tough, then everyone could have this experience. I'm sure those of us that have, are thankful.

Academics: Academics are often used as an excuse not to compete; I don't think so.

Day begins 8:00 a.m. and ends at 11:00 p.m. 7 -15 hour days or                                 105 hours

Full-time student- 12-15 credits a semester                                                                   15 hours

Study 5 hours a day-(very high estimate)                                                                      35 hours

Train 4 hours a day 6 days a week-(high estimate)                                                       24 hours

These are excessive time lengths for studying with very lax wake-up and bed times. I'm giving 9 hours of sleep a night which is more than most people get.

So, you're using 74 hours a week for the above activities.                                           

This gives you over 30 hours a week to shower, nap, watch TV, etc., and that's going to bed at 11:00 which less than 5% of college students are in bed at that time.

My point is that anyone who ever says they don't have time is in-accurate. Mostly when I hear 'I don't have time" it's more that the student athlete does not want to make the commitment. I understand and that's perfectly fine, but it's not about time as much as about priority. You could even find time for a part-time job. But we're not talking about student athletes that just want to be involved; we're talking about student athletes that want to be committed.

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Thank You

Jon Moeller, thank you for all you have done and continue to do for UNI wrestling. From hosting gatherings at your home, organizing functions to benefit UNI wrestling, to the countless trips you make from Des Moines to Cedar Falls, we truly appreciate your time, energy, expense and loyalty to UNI wrestling.

Gary Whitmore, thank you very much for your contributions to UNI wrestling. You have been supporting UNI wrestling for over 25 years. From running study halls, camp store, to folding up tables and chairs, you're selfless, vital, and a rarity. We truly appreciate all you have done and your continued support of UNI wrestling.

Dave "$millions$" Lo$$, thank you for your continued support of UNI wrestling. We appreciate all the hours you put in last year on our project at the West Gym. You're the best at what you do and we're fortunate to have you on board.

Impressions- Pat Hamilton

Each week I will write about one former UNI wrestler (alumni) who made an impression either on or off the mat.

Pat was a teammate who I respected and still respect. He was ahead of his time as far as responsibility. Pat he had his defecation together as much as any college kid that I went to school with or have coached over the past 20 years. Pat was hard-nosed and cut from a blue collar clothe that garnered the respect of all who know him. I remember one time he told me in 7th or 8th grade he was pinned 17 times in a row. There are not a lot of people who would stick with a sport where they suffered so many defeats in a row. Pat was not and is not your average competitor. A few years later he would qualify for state and finish his junior and senior year with state championships for Emmetsburg High School. Pat grinded out his college career for UNI and made everyone he worked out with better. He was consistent, solid, reliable, and true. Pat Hamilton is a true warrior and walked away from UNI wrestling with the greatest honor a man can achieve-the respect of all who know him.

Last Week

Last week was a great week of training for our guys. All workouts right now are self directed and we couldn't be more pleased with the entire team. The freshmen are performing better than expected. They are really taking initiative and that's what we want. We realize its September and it's easy to train right now because there are no demands or any real adversity. However, we like what we're seeing and if this is any indication of the future, then we have a lot to be hopeful about.

We started a 3.0 club this semester and 22 student-athletes committed to a 3.0 or above. This is very encouraging. We want to be competitive in the academic arena as well as athletic arena. The wrestling team won a friendly competition last Sunday that entailed all the teams at UNI. It was a back to school picnic for all athletics. The team had a great time, were engaged, and you could see the team unity and support for each other. We told them that now we need to compete like that in the class room.

Alumni, we need you and appreciate your involvement at any level. The wrestling get together on October 8th would be an ideal place to stay connected or get connected. We would like an opportunity to show our appreciation for your support and welcome you to anything that is related to UNI wrestling.

Message of the week (we all know how important decisions are in athletic and academic success.)

Decisions (Sept. 5, 2011)

Decision, the original meaning of the Latin word meant to "Cut off" all the possibilities other than the one we choose and commit to. In doing this you give your mind a clear and compelling target to move towards. Think of indecision and options as a web of strings trying to pull you in different directions at the same time. This indecisiveness often creates doubt. Indecisiveness is like an acrobatic performance high atop a steeple, you cling to it trying to maintain your balance, daring not to move. Most of us want guarantees before we act or take risk. However, you don't know the outcome until you engage in the challenge. Indecision and avoidance is like wearing a lead jacket while swimming.

However, when you make a decision, you cut all those strings except the one that will take you in the direction you want to go. No need to reconsider or change your initial decision. So act immediately and make it impossible to go back; burn the bridges and remove the doubt.

We can all remember a time when we "made up our minds" nothing or no one was going to change it. You were 100% all in. You were stubborn and determined about your decision. You were mentally committed to the decision and rejected anything not related to this belief; you were unyielding.  You had made up your mind. This is powerful and exactly the definitiveness and resolve I'm talking about.

Reaching a place of total resolve in your mind is an important step in achievement of any kind. One decision can often change everything for you. One decision acted upon can take your life in a whole new direction. At first one degree change in direction seems like nothing, but over a month, year or decade, it's a totally different destination. 

Action minded people understand the importance of making firm decisions as it leads to incremental improvements that breeds' confidence. But you have to get started, take action, and knock over the first domino. Often it's better to make a bad decision then no decision. I know people who may not make the right decisions but they make their decisions right. Additionally, often a decision is made whether you're involved or not. Meaning, to not make a decision is a decision.

Most people have come to fear the word decision because with it comes responsibility that you will stay committed to your decisions. A decision does not guarantee you will triumph in the end, but it's the only shuttle going to space. Decision making and risk-taking are intertwined. Decisions guarantee action on your part and action is the only way to accomplish anything. Your outcomes, good or bad, will be affected by the decisions you do or don't make.

What making "decisions" can do for you

ü  There is a direct correlation between achievers and those who make firm decisions.

ü  You assume one of the most powerful tools in the human personality when you consciously

Make a decision vs. wait and see

ü  Whatever you focus on you move towards; focus and decisions are related

ü  Decisions lead to action and all achievement is directly related to action

ü  Real decisions make things happen

ü  When you make a decision you're mobilized. You have the ability to move any aspect of your life in a definite direction

ü  A decision is synonymous with confidence

ü  Inspired performance accompanies a decision

ü  A decision can do what talent cannot

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Thank You (Aug. 29, 2011)

Sandy Stevens, thank you very much for all you have done and continue to do for UNI Wrestling. Your "Pledge for Pins" has provided UNI Wrestling with everything from refinishing mats to cameras to review matches and training sessions. Thank you, Sandy

Don Frazier thank you very much for the countless hours and efforts you have invested in the UNI Wrestling news letter. Thank you, Don

Jerry Llewellyn you were a true gentlemen, supporter, and friend to so many involved in UNI Wrestling. You volunteered a wealth of time to UNI Wrestling and wrestling in general. You had the greatest laugh of all time and you were truly one of my and many others favorite. 

Information

The first week of school is in the books and was a good week for UNI wrestling. The wrestling room had at least 20-25 guys in every day last week. There is no structured practice right now. In fact, the new NCAA rule does not allow us to officially begin practice until October 9th. We will begin structured lifting in one week. This week guys will lift 3x on their own. We made gains in the strength training department last year and will continue to make progress.

We're stressing academic excellence along with athletic excellence. We are starting a 3.0 club, which is guys commit to a 3.0 or better this semester. They sign their name and it will go in a booklet that the entire team will receive at our team meeting this week. The handout will also include team rules, training schedule, nutrition information, goal setting, practice room habits, psychological skills, important dates, successful academic habits and an agreement that each athlete will stay with the program the entire season. UNI is not a testing to ground to see if it's still fun for you. If you start the season, you're going to finish the season. We want to provide our team with every opportunity to succeed.

There may be some surprises when our roster shakes out. There are a few guys missing that may surprise UNI wrestling fans. I will comment one time that team rules were broken and the student athletes were penalized and chose not to return to UNI.

UNI wrestling is such a different place then it was a year ago. We're in the trench and see from an angle no one else but the coaches can see. There are demands, expectations, and responsibilities being fulfilled. The coaches knew that some things may get worse before it got better. The program atmosphere is moving toward commitment instead of just involvement.

We will have some dual meet struggles this year but much more tournament potential then a year ago. We have some good young guys and that's exciting for the entire staff and anyone who follows UNI wrestling. The only guarantee I will make is that we will continue to work hard and smart. We believe that in time, we will be ripe for positive results and rewards.

 

Why not you? (Aug. 29, 2011)

Why not you? It has to be somebody, and you're somebody...right? What you want can be independent from what seems possible. It does not have to be true or realistic; you just have to believe it. So... why not you? It has been demonstrated time and time again that very often the expected happens. However, equally as often the unexpected happens. So....why not you?

Often, those who succeed are those who stick with it and are undeterred. It becomes your inner-vision, your reason to get up in the morning. It is going to be what you do today, and then you continue to put those "today's" together. I stress, whatever it is you romance or have passion about is worth the risk.

Often, we don't want to act unless we have over-whelming confirmation that our choice will be safe or render a return. The truth is that most situations are ambiguous until we take action. Hey! If it does not work-out, you just received an education. If you're 50/50 on taking action, then find one percent from somewhere. Fifty one percent is enough reason to act. And if it does work, you will have an advantage you otherwise would never have.

You have to see it in the mind's eye long before you see it with your visual eyes. I believe it's of paramount importance to see, feel, and experience it mentally again and again. Then do whatever necessary to bring it to life. Write down what you want, and take the steps to get there. With a "possibility mentality," it's all possible. Remember, there is no physician as skillful as the "attitude of possibility." You are wise to acquire an unshakable belief. Once you have this belief up and running, you're not asking "why not me," You know it's going to be you.

You're in control of your time, effort, and mind. You can mentally travel anywhere on earth. You can play it through, with you as the hero. You can do what others thought could not be done. It's not so much what you can do as what you believe you can do.

We all know how to day dream and create the perfect scenario. So, with that, I have to ask, why not you? It has to be somebody. Why forfeit your dreams and goals to someone else. Don't give it away! It's your time. Let somebody else watch you succeed; let someone else open the morning paper and read about you.

Again, I ask, WHY NOT YOU? Every time you step out there, you have a 50% chance of your hand being raised in victory. It's either you or the other guy; these are good odds. You can up your percentage by what you do daily with your training and mind. The little things make the difference. Give yourself every opportunity to succeed.

I always felt the beauty of our sport was that you, the athlete, have final say over your results. Great competitors welcome having a final say. They love that it's on them. They are the ones that come back to the huddle with 7 seconds left and say "Throw me the ball!"  Success is not something that randomly happens; it's something that you dictate. There is no magic; it's not complex, great truths never are. Armed with this knowledge, I ask, why not you?

Thank You

UNI Wrestling extends a gracious and sincere thank you to Larry Hamilton, Elwin Heth, Ty Kimble and Mike Mixsell. Each of these guys have given over 30 years, and Elwin over 40 years of time, effort, support, and devotion to UNI Wrestling. Thank you so much. You have stood by UNI wrestling through thick and thin. You stood by when it would have been a lot easier not to. We truly appreciate all you have given, thank you.

Information

School begins today and we're off to another season of striving to build, excel, and improve. This week will be filled with meetings, paper work, and learning the lay of the land for the new athletes. We have program goals athletically and academically. We want to expose and educate these guys with tools that they can employee in any arena.

Next week we will begin strength training three mornings a week for an 8-to-10 week cycle. We have made a lot of gains strength-wise over the past year. We have to thank Jed Smith and Armand McCormick for their expertise and efforts. Also, the coaches are fully invested. We're at every morning lift. Not just one of us, not just sometimes, but all of us every lift. This is important for the athletes to see. There is no mistake about our intentions and commitment.

 Important upcoming events

  • UNI wrestling golf outing Sept. 17- information can be found on the athletics site.
  • UNI wrestling alumni, friends, family, fans, and PWC on Sat., Oct. 8. This is an event we feel very passionate about. It's an opportunity for past and present athletes, family, and friends to get together and support one another. We will have a tent on the West side of the dome, food, drinks, music, etc. Head Coach Doug Schwab, Athletic director Troy Dannen, Former National Champion and head coach of Wartburg College Jim Miller will speak and Mark Schwab will MC the event. This year we will begin a tradition of honoring special people to the UNI wrestling program. Our goal is to get at least 100 alumni to this event.
  • Gary Steffensmeier will be inducted into the UNI Wrestling HOF on Saturday November 5th. Gary was a 3x All-American and Academic All-American. Gary is one of the hardest nosed competitors in the history if UNI athletics. I have seen few people squeeze absolutely everything they could out of themselves like Gary have. UNI wrestling past and present is very proud of Gary.

The ideas behind the blogs are informational but also to let you know our expectations and what we're exposing the student athletes to. We stress maximum effort and the student athletes to give themselves every opportunity to succeed. We want them to learn these lessons and laws sooner than most of us did. We spend a lot of time and effort talking about responsibility, taking care of the little things, max effort / attitude, toughness on a daily basis. Really, we're training them for the lives they have when they leave here. If they buy in, they will be prepared to excel.

Listen, listen, listen... Action. (Aug. 22, 2011)

Listening is difficult for most of us. If we really think about it, how many of us actually listen? We may be quiet, nod our head, endure while we wait our turn, thinking what were going to say next, wait so we can say something more intelligent or funnier, finish the sentence for the other person, explain how it does not apply to us, reply with something that has no relation to what was just said, utter the response "I know," or remain silent. Only to get back to our favorite topics, us!

We forget what we hear and do little to nothing about it. We sometimes miss an important message, in what was "not said." We're all guilty of this. We live in a society where you have to pay someone to listen, and even the "trained silent," often appear uninterested. Often, those who need listening the most, pay attention the least. So, who is listening? I will tell you who, the student-athlete who has excellence on their mind.

The point is we all miss a lot due to our mental busyness, focus or the lure of easy distraction. It's paramount we learn the discipline of listening. Listening has its own education, lessons and rewards. How much have we missed through the years? How much wisdom and intelligence has been exchanged for the attitude of "we know better." or "that does not apply to me." Whether it's relationships, education, business, or athletics, we would open more doors with the discipline of listening. The other side of this is who among us does not want to be heard? Do you like it when you're talking and others appear bored, looking the other way, talking over you, or not taking you serious? If you listen and listen well, you will benefit. You will find out "listening" can be a weapon, if action follows. Learning and excellence begins with listening, but does not end there. You have to turn listening into behavior.

Are you coach-able? At first, most will answer, yes! Think a little harder; you may need to reconsider. Maybe you think you're listening because you remain quiet. The best opportunity for success is "listen to your coach, or teacher" not trying to "coach your coach or teach your teacher" Or explaining how exceptional you are, and how the laws of gravity really do not apply to you. Then take what was said, and turn it into behavior. Give yourself the best opportunity to succeed.

Now, I have seen some bad coaches and teachers, been one myself at times. But I have seen many more athletes who continue to do it their way. And for the most part never reap their capable and potential fruit.  Most will go back to what they know, especially in times of trail or urgency. If we listened carefully, been instructed correctly, and turned instruction into behavior, we just might get that blue ribbon or an A for the course

Basic skills are instrumental in the success of any sport or course. Hell! It's instrumental in everything. Matches and education are won with base hits (a little at a time) and not home runs.

Your opportunity for success will be here very shortly. The question is what are you going to do between now and then to ensure better result or reach your potential? If you do more listening than talking, you may learn something that achieves better results.

When the student is ready the instructor appears. Sometimes our course of instruction may not be a person at all. Our lesson may be an experience, loss or hardship. What experience has proved, is when we listen and turn it into behavior, we're ready to advance into the gold medal round and join the Dean's List.

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Blaming others, excuses and it's not fair (Aug. 15, 2011)

I hear you, and yes I understand. Sometimes it's legit, but welcome to the mainland and welcome back from Gilligan's Island. What's important to remember is blaming others does nothing to take care of a situation. It's not a solution! We can complain about others and hold grudges. Consequently, it's at a steep price to us. We can blame, resent, shake our rattle and stomp our feet. We can protest and argue that this or that should not be, but it does nothing to alter the situation. And to be in this frame of mind is to be owned by someone who now occupies all your time, energy, thoughts, etc. And to add insult to injury, we're likely not even on their radar. We think we have to keep the blame alive or we are letting others off the hook. Meanwhile days, weeks and years pass, and we're still nursing our wounds with bandages of blame. We are driving around life with our mental, spiritual and emotional parking break on. We have lived life at half speed, stifled our progress, and are slowly suffocating ourselves with our own hands of thought. The blame game is tricky, common, and easy to get into but tough to get out of. Like a New Yorker's property tax, we pay a very stiff price. We simply cannot progress and move forward when occupied with blame. You may have been dealt an injustice. OK! Call your lawyer. But assigning blame is fruitless. We need to own it or it owns us. I know I know, much easier said than done. Nevertheless, the most difficult actions and mental adjustments, if mastered, will do us the most good.

Every human being at one time or another has reason to blame. Determining who is at fault in your situation is not nearly as important as what you're going to do about it. Sometimes you have to take responsibility for situations that are not your fault, but I stress that to stay in a frame of mind and to spend our energies blaming others puts a cloud over every part of our lives.  Sometimes we're not responsible for some of the problems others bring into our world. Sometimes there is justifiable blame. But we are responsible for how long we hold onto it. And upon further HONEST analysis, we often find that we may have played a part in the situation we're now blaming someone else for. 

Most true competitors will rarely, if ever, use excuses or blame for poor performance or falling short. They exercise prevention, discipline and responsibility. True competitors know they have more say over their results than anyone else. Prevention is having vision to be ready, take precautions, and leaving nothing to chance. All of the holes are plugged. The sand bags are stacked high for a potential rise in the river.

You may have lost bouts to blame and excuses; it's a sneaky and a patient foe. However, the last of the human freedoms we have is the option to select our attitude, effort, response and behavior. By the time you get to college you very well know the difference between what will move you closer to the goal line and what will distance you from success.

We want to blame others when "things" don't go our way. It's so cunning, seems so natural, accurate, and justified. Again, we find most of the time we're in a jam or get unfavorable results is due to our poor attitude and defeating behavior in the past. Unfortunately, most of us would rather be right than honest. We tend to lose our objectivity about ourselves. We're aware of our immunities but not our accountabilities. We need a shift in the way we understand our past and present. We all can improve our self-understanding.

Nothing will change until we make a decision to change our behavior; this is one of the hardest truths we will ever face as a human being. We clearly see how others need to change and we have just the recipe for them. However, it's not so apparent to us how we also need behavior and decision change. We are given wings to fly but we cannot take flight with the weights of blame and excuses, however accurate they may be.

We each plot our own map. We're given potential dominion over ourselves. The answer continually comes back to us. It's on us! The answer is simple but not so obvious. Awareness of our self is critical.  Life's laws do not wait for our knowledge to discover them or become aware of them. Although we do not make the laws, it's important for our survival that we find self-honesty and objectivity to discover the right answers about ourselves.

Excuses- It's not fair

Get over wanting things to be fair. Expecting a level playing field is silly, unproductive and will never happen. Look around you, visit some other states or countries or just go down to the local hospital, cancer unit, or nursing home and find out how fair life is.

 In life you're dealt a wide range of hands. Whichever hand you receive you must play. You can win with any hand and you can lose with any hand. It's totally up to you and how you play the game. Life is filled with champions who drew poor hands and losers who drew terrific hands. In life, unlike cards, you will never be dealt a hand that cannot be turned into a winner. We decide if we're rich or in poverty with our attitude. We can make excuses, blame, point fingers, and hate, but these natural reactions do nothing to move us forward; in fact we just dig our heels in a little deeper and become less mobile.

Sometimes we go through the same situations again and again. We need to change our story. Get off the treadmill; we're going nowhere. Excuses weaken us from the inside and bleed into every aspect of our lives. We pay a heavy fine, and it's an outrageous figure. We're better off to learn than to make excuses. We need to understand this message in athletics, academics and the real world. Otherwise it may come to your attention one day that your employer no longer needs your services

Don't take the responsibility off yourself and divert attention. Nothing gets accomplished to help us alter our situation. We stay in the same place and even regress as we wait for the world to hand deliver our ideal situation that we did little to nothing to earn. It's like sitting in the window and waiting for your buddies to come pick you up. You think they are on their way, they're not. Your face is pressed against the window. You see lights and think, "Maybe it's them." It's not. There miles away physically and in thought. Meanwhile you wait and wait thinking the next car is your friends. It's not. And you spend the whole night waiting for something that is never going to happen. Or you're waiting for that one girl to call you. You think any second the phone is going to ring and it will be her. I've got news for you; she's not calling. She's with someone else.

You can hope for fairness, but don't expect it. Don't worry about justice from others when no one causes us more harm than ourselves.  I have heard this so many times as a coach. An athlete will say they were not treated fairly. Why? Because you didn't get what you wanted or the focus is not solely on you? I am sure that there are some cases where we all are not treated fairly. And we don't have to look around very far to find examples of people who really have something to complain about. Only those people usually complain very little.

When you have a team of 30, 40, or 100 student-athletes, it's unrealistic to believe that every person can get exactly what THEY want and feel they deserve. It's impossible. It is impossible to get it in your own home, let alone on a team. We must be back on Gilligan's Island. You're looking at how you fit in the picture, and I don't blame you. But the coach, teacher, boss has to look at everybody. It's impossible to conceive that every person can get what they deem as fair treatment. Often this is just an excuse, and there were several actions they could have taken to be a more effective athlete, student, employee. But it's easier to blame, make excuses and say "It's not fair!" Come on, look around you! You must refuse to attend your funeral of excuses and blame; you will be disappointed at the turnout.

There are cases of clear violation and legitimacy. We have all been there, and it stings like when "Happy Days" went off the air. But more often, it's an excuse. As a coach, I gravitate toward the athletes that are there all the time, doing what is asked, taking care of their responsibilities, being coachable and going the extra mile. It's easy to help the kid who listens and takes the coaching. It would be the same if you were the coach. It's not until it's someone close to you who does not get the playing time or the varsity spot. There is always at least one, two, three, more facts those who are not the coach know nothing about. Remember, you're not there on a daily basis but the coaches are. I understand you backing your interest, but do you really think that a coach doesn't want to put the best team out there? Do you really think a coach does not want to win? It's human nature to want to win. You want to win, I want to win, and everyone wants to win. Gilligan even wanted to win. He wanted off that island but couldn't seem to make it happen. The dude just found needles in the haystack to sabotage their rescue. Actually I have a theory why Gilligan wanted to stay on the island, but that's for another time.

A coach cannot please everyone, nor should he try. However, the coach can communicate with athletes, parents, administration, etc. This is crucial. The reality is a lot of people expect master communication from others but are poor communicators themselves. All we need to do is think about our own relationships with those closest to us; what shape are they in? Yea, that's what I thought. They need a little work don't they?

If an athlete is doing what they are supposed to do and taking care of business, sooner or later it will work in the athlete's favor. There may be no gold medal, promotion, or hall of fame experience. A lot of times there will be no applause for your efforts. Nevertheless, you are forever transformed from a stony terrain to a botanical wonderland and you will thrive in any and all environments.

 


100 yard walk (Aug. 8, 2011)

One hundred yards takes a minute at most to walk and if you're really fast 9.1 seconds. What I'm referring to is the student-athlete who cannot seem to walk 100 yards to attend class. A class they are enrolled in and paying for. Well, someone is paying. If an 18-23 year old cannot make the 100 yard walk, then they should not be in college. It's not that you can't make the 100 yard walk; it's just the walk was made in the other direction leading to the beer party.

I understand the scenario. Once upon a time I could not seem to make the walk myself. I created an academic jam that put people out and left a mess that others had to help me clean up.  We all need help at times and anyone can have a rough semester but no need to make something very simple into a difficulty.  There is no excuse or alibi for failing responsibility. Be smart and exercise the 100 yard walk. There is a heavy price for failing this obligation and it far exceeds the Kelly Blue Book amount. Not only is eligibility on the line, but time and expense to make up classes, not to mention letting coaches and teammates down because of our own self centeredness and lack of following through on a responsibility that we signed up for. Man, lacking responsibility can be an expensive and often cost more than an education.

Student athletes are wise to get their defecation together. Doing the bare minimum is unacceptable and unappealing. There is nothing cool or funny about turning in a poor academic performance. Parents, coaches and potential employers will not think it's funny. The only people that may think it's funny are those in the same sinking academic boat. You will have to answer for your lack of academic efforts at some point. In fact, some are answering for it right now. You will one day be competing for a job against people who made the 100 yard walk, then what?

 Academics are tough for some of us. On one of my childhood report cards the teacher wrote "slow learner," and she's right. Many years later it's actually good humor.

"I should have" the most ill responsible phrase in the English language, has to be eliminated. With every choice you get a free consequence. So it's paramount that you make wise choices. When you choose not to make the 100 yard walk, you will have adverse consequences. Remember, your grades are happening a little at a time. You know what to do. Consequently, there is a huge difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.

If the professor was handing out $100 dollar bills each time you made it to class, attendance would be flawless. I know that college students resent being treated like a little kids and I don't blame them. Then don't act like one! Yes, you might fall down and that's OK, we all do. But now you know the rules. You signed up for the class; it's your name on the class roster. You would surely claim your $100 bill so lay claim to your responsibility of going to class, own it! Usually when we own something we take care of it. Own the 100 yard walk, going to class, and striving for academic excellence.

I know of many athletes who regret their lack of academic effort. I don't know any who regret making academics a priority. The message is clear and so is the solution. Make a firm decision that you will impose high academic standards on yourself and teammates.

If you thoroughly reflect, you will find along the way you did or did not do something that could have altered your situation. Whatever your situation, you can begin to improve right now. You can begin to make firm decisions and take responsibility that will empower you to move forward. When you neglect the 100 yard walk, you take away one foundational brick at a time until your academic effectiveness has nothing to stand on or support you.

You're going to do what you do, but don't kid yourself; there is nothing cool or funny about doing poorly in school when the reason is lack of effort and failing to make the 100 yard walk

Good advice for smart people

  • Rule No. 1 of success-show up! Your presence is an assignment that has to be turned in daily
  • Communicate with instructors; face-to-face is key and goes a long way
  • The academic forecast calls for pain when you fail to make the 100 yard walk
  • The 100 yard walk cannot be delegated; it's your personal responsibility
  • Learn from the mistakes of others
  • You should always be reading something; successful people are great learners

With school just around the corner, it's the season to make a firm decision and push all your chips in the middle and make the 100 yard walk a priority.

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You chose a tough sport (Aug. 1, 2011)

I'm confident that most people consider wrestling a tough sport. As an athlete, I thought other sports training looked easy. It looked like there is no demand. As a coach, I feel that I don't know enough about other sports to make an accurate opinion. There is nothing that equals actually being in the trench. There are obvious strains and challenges regardless of the sport. With that being said, you can apply this to your own sport. I choose to speak for wrestling.

The physical demand is hard to imagine or describe without ever going through it. In fact, unless you have been committed, not just involved, your accuracy may be lost at sea. Wrestling is not a "work-study" experience, it's a grind. And with all this, there are many who give very little or just enough. If you want to succeed in this sport, you are going to have to give. You will understand the meaning of the words effort, sacrifice, and toughness. While I'm at it, I will tell you who's tough; cancer patients, elderly, disabled, and moms are tough.

You will understand how much the mind is going to dictate your success or demise. You will understand the word fatigue and that everyone experiences fatigue. The difference is the athlete who continues when fatigue rears its head and those who call "time-out." It's a choice. One will result with your hand raised and the other in defeat and a scaring of your confidence. The attitude of relentlessness will put fear into your opponents. I have found that most athletes are afraid of getting tired. Most will avoid it at all cost or back-off when it makes its appearance. You have more say than anyone on how much fatigue will play a part in your success or defeats. You have to face fatigue when you train, not avoid it. When you continue, in spite of fatigue, you're making an investment. The investment pays it gains to you during competition. Remember, a habit is on the line, what will it be, quit or persevere? We would all say "I will persevere!" But will we? I believe wrestling is preparation for future life trials. Since we will have plenty of trials, what an advantage it can be to choose this tough sport.

Strength training is an absolute. Strength is confidence, belief, explosion, endurance, execution, defense, injury prevention, rehabilitation, over-all foundation and integral part of your success. I don't care what program you use. In my opinion, it's more about the attitude you strength train with. It's about emotion and hustle as you cement another brick into your wall of success. You have to be strong over and over. Your opponent will resist and oppose you while trying to force his own will. Yes, you choose a tough sport. You will have opponents who are just as strong, if not stronger. They will be just as prepared or better prepared. Your opponent will come after you, forcing heavy hands, while trying to secure his own advantage.

The window of opportunity to score is brief, if at all. All your faculties will need to be intact. You will understand how much "feel" plays a part in your opportunity and ability to score. You will know what it's like to change level, penetrate and hit a stone wall. There is no time to think. You have to bounce back and hold your own. You will need to continually attack, expend energy, defend, and get back in to a position of strength.

If you can learn to stay in position, fatigue will not visit you to the degree it visits those who violate position. The man who employs good position will be stronger, confident and ready to score or defend in an instant.

Yes, you choose a tough sport. You will have to get away from your opponent when he is on top. From the top, you will have to fight his physical strength and will. From bottom your foe is gravity. You better learn "bottom' is an active position. You cannot be passive. Don't wait! Learn to attack the position.

You will have to keep your opponent down. He doesn't want to stay down. It's easier to let him go, but you're wiser to keep him down. You have to be aggressive, bump, use your legs and hips and keep weight on his hands. Destroy and extend his position. Take away his power until he has had enough, surrenders, and waves a white flag.

This is a sport you will have to learn to compete sore and injured. There will always be something nagging but you have to compete anyway. If you only compete when 100 percent, you will see no action. If you're sore or hurt, so what! So is everyone else. I'm not talking about putting an athlete at risk; I'm talking about the athlete having a responsibility. We're all aware of our privileges but not our responsibilities. You have a whole team and program counting on you. You can't just pick and choose when you want to compete. You have an obligation.

You may have to compete for your state or national title under less than ideal conditions. You wake up some mornings and everything hurts. Good! You know you're alive. You will have black eyes and scars on your face. It's just part of everyday practice and most wrestlers welcome it. So you have some torn cartilage? So does everyone else. This may sound extreme, it is. But remember, you choose a tough sport.

You will have to lose and manage weight in this sport. There are fewer actions that are tougher than the discipline of losing weight. Not only losing weight, but ideally managing it and then having to compete.

I will not go into weight management detail, only that there are better ways than others. The wrong ways are easier and more common. It consists of no plan, procrastination, starting late, over indulge or starving and extreme dehydration (muscle sabotage). If you choose the right way, you have a plan, lose weight over time, lose fat over water weight and muscle, eat breakfast every day, fuel thru the day, a.m. workouts, avoid mass calories at night, and continue to strength train. Does this sound like too much? Yea, well, you choose a tough sport.

Competition days are long. You wake up, if you sleep at all, at 5 a.m., weigh in at 7 a.m. and compete 1-2 hours later. You're in a gym all day. You mat sit for several hours or return to the mat while still sweating from the previous match. You will likely never be home before 6 p.m. and often it will much later. The season is longer than most sports; it spans two academic semesters, and during tough winter months. You will wake-up when it's dark and return home in the dark. You choose a tough sport. And we have not even spoken of academics. You're a student first, right? We hope this is the case. However, athletics and academics are both important. You can succeed and learn from both experiences. Don't ever kid yourself for a second that athletics is not an education in itself. Make academics and athletics a priority. You can manage and succeed at both.

Yes, this is a tough sport and it's not always fun. If you want constant fun, join a carnival. We usually have success at things we enjoy but it does not mean we get to avoid unpleasant tasks. Day-to-day is not usually filled with amusement or even great things accomplished, but it does fulfill the day to day quest. You will often not feel like doing this or that. You will feel less than ideal. It does not matter how you feel. Whatever it is, it's temporary; it will pass. If your parents only went to work when they felt good, then most of us would have died from starvation. If our teachers only taught when they felt good, we would all be ignorant and un-able to read or write. You get my point. Fact is, you will have to compete on a days you feel weak, sick, and the conditions are less than ideal. If you're living right, you will feel better than most. It all comes down to daily choices, and maximizing what you can control. Learn to maximize effort and attitude and your victories will increase.

Listen, you choose a tough sport. It's not for everybody. You will do a lot to feel good for a short period of time. But let me tell you, this sport has given many what they could not have gotten anywhere else. Yes, it's tough and filled with adversity, but adversity can do more for a person than success or comfort ever can. You will be challenged and tested. You will meet some of these challenges and fail some of the tests. However, the sport makes more men then it destroys. You will get back what you put into it. Don't blame the sport. There are no guarantees and you will not always get what you deserve. As I said, this sport has "made" ten times as many men as it destroyed. You can meet all of the challenges I mentioned. It may sound like this sport should be banned, but I say it's delayed gratification. I believe a man is made to come through. So just know the rules up front; if you choose wrestling, you've chosen a tough sport.


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