The Main Ingredient
November 30, 2012By Bill Sorenson of South Stanly High School
I would be understating the truth if I were to say I have a great deal of respect for ALL kids that come out and wrestle. While I mean no disrespect to other sports such as basketball, football, and soccer, there is a very real distinction.
Wrestlers don't just subject themselves to the only sport in high school with a "blood time", they put their egos on the line each and every time they enter the mat. They participate in the only sport that requires conditioning and strength to be successful.
This demonstration of courage and faith in one's self in my opinion, puts wrestlers in a different category than the rest. It truly is about courage, sacrifice, and commitment.
All that being said, I thought it might be appropriate for me to share my prime motivation to coach high school wrestling. I have many reasons to coach, including the honor of working with these fearless and dedicated young men, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest.
That motive is the opportunity to bring out the GREATNESS in these athletes and be a witness to it. Greatness is a word, not so difficult to define, but oh so demanding to achieve. It can be said that greatness is rising above all others in one realm or another. I have known greatness personally, but unfortunately NEVER as an athlete.
In wrestling to achieve greatness is to dwarf similar achievments in lesser endevors. For example, a team wins a football or baseball championship, there are some that contributed greatly, and some not so much. All are recognized for the collective effort. In wrestling, for an individual to achieve "GREATNESS", the sacrifice, the dedication, the hard work and commitment are much more personal.
You do NOT have to find yourself in a championship match to be great, but you do have to want that and to work towards that tirelessly to be truly great.
I can say some examples of greatness on our team that I have witnessed included not only acts of valor in Greensboro at the state, but acts of courage elsewhere. When Landon Fraley took the mat, seriously injured to win his final match and capture a 1 point win for the team, that was GREATNESS. When Alex Thompson battled his own insecurities and won over them to capture two state titles, that was GREATNESS. When Cody Harward cracked two ribs in December, and wrestled on through the season, earning a medal at the STATES, that was GREATNESS. When John Hoezle fought a broken collar bone and attempted to wrestle a must win match to advance to regionals, that was GREATNESS. Where is the GREATNESS in YOU? I know each of you possesses it. I know in my heart of hearts that your very presence proves it. Its really a matter of finding commitment to reach it, develop it, and reveal it.
That is the main ingredient in greatness men. Commitment to a goal that requires utter and complete dedication of time, emotion, blood, sweat and tears. To that end, I want each and every wrestler to stop over the next few weeks and contemplate the greatness within themself. Ask yourselves the following questions and be honest to determine if you are truly supplying that key ingredient:
Am I at practice EVERY day?
Do I take risks such as wrestling up?
Do I try to learn from every match win or lose?
Do I want to be a state qualifier?
Do I work on my physical strength several times a week?
Do I eat right?
Do I stay hydrated?
Do I make excuses to miss conditioning or other workouts?
Do I really want to be a winner or am I satisfied with being part of the team?
Am I willing to risk my record, spend my time, set my priorities to help the team, or am I just in it for me.
If you answer those questions truthfully, you may realize that you need to put more commitment into your wrestling career. If not, that is absolutely fine with me. I love my wrestlers. I appreciate their courage and intensity. But if you find those answers suggest you need to do more, sacrifice more, practice more, and dedicate your time and efforts more, why not make a pledge to the only person you answer to, to do more. Make a pledge to yourself to be the absolute best you can, to work as hard as you possibly can, to test your physical and emotional limits as you compete.
For you see men, this sport is not like other sports. To be GREAT, you have to commit.
Just food for thought from Coach Sorenson.