Saturday, August 27, 2005

August 24-26 Back-to-School & the USOTC in Colorado Springs

School...Watched the new recruits at the U of Iowa assemble in, like I have for the past 34 years. I've always liked the looks of those new guys, but better yet, I always enjoyed how they looked down the road in later years, especially with new credentials and a winning attitude. But I didn’t stay long for I needed to see, in person, the new rules and how our teams were adapting to them at the World level. So, I headed to Colorado Springs to he the USOTC.

I scheduled it so I could see several practice matches in one day. Coach Jackson and Duroe were running the show and had given me the current status of the team and their practices. On the way, I stayed in Kearney, Nebraska. I wanted to give my business to a town that has a college wrestling program. I stayed at the AmericInn because of their health and recovery facilities – sauna, whirlpool, and swimming pool. I also toted a Schwinn Airdyne out in my daughter Mackie’s truck to give to new head coach Doug Moses. He purchased it because I had the opportunity to buy one at a great price. Doug needed one at his new location in Las Vegas, New Mexico where he is the new coach of a brand-new program (see New Mexico Blog) at New Mexico Highlands University. Doug doesn’t have any local recovery facilities, yet now he has located some outside hot springs that are close-by and do the job well. He has visited them daily. Great for stress-release, feeling good, relaxation and for analyzing and planning ahead. We, in this regard, are out of the same mold.

Back at the OTC – I observed the practices and had a chance to express a few thoughts with the team after the second workout and actually the final one for their training phase. A pretty talented group, but they will probably run into some other talent in the upcoming Worlds in Budapest. Lots of little things along the way will be the determining factors on Gold Medals.

Speaking of Golds – congratulations to Coach Burnett and the three Gold Medalists at the recent University Worlds in Turkey. Doubled…or more than doubled…our total overall Golds in one event – impressive!

I drove back to Iowa City with Coach Duroe and again stopped in Kearney. Glad to spend money there. Go Kearney State! Thanks for the opportunity to wrestle, for there are several thousand wrestlers who graduated from Nebraska high schools last year.

Monday, August 22, 2005

August 19-21 Des Moines, Iowa

The Iowa State Fair – I guess the best state fair in the land – is where I headed for three visits in three days. This also makes three Iowa things that are the best in the U.S. – farming, wrestling and the fair!

For this trip, I helped promote the University of Iowa Athletic Department in its booth along with former home-run slugger Brian Mitchell. We signed autographs for an hour- and-a-half. Good event! Thanks Dale Arens.

The next two days I returned to Des Moines for an ESPN-sponsored booth at the fair. This booth was in conjunction with Mediacom and used to help promote their means of communication to the people of Iowa. I met LOTS of fans, Hawks, Cyclones, Panthers, etc. that were simply enjoying a day at the fair.

You know what was needed at the fair…a wrestling booth for some kind of promotion for the sport. There could be some kind of competition or simply demos that could help draw attention to the sport. Some State Fairs already do this...so we would just be following suit and enhancing good things. Pretty hot days (if outside), but who better than wrestlers to handle the environment.

Next up – the start of school & a trip to the USOTC

Friday, August 12, 2005

August 11 Des Moines, Iowa

Des Moines – the capital city of the great state of Iowa. Iowa feds the world and Iowans wrestle worldwide. We touch all corners of the World in positive measures.

A few words about Des Moines – come on Drake…do the right thing and give our many young student wrestlers an opportunity to compete in college. After all, downtown Des Moines has the #1 state high school wrestling tournament in the United States, actually, the world! Close to 100,000 spectators attend the tournament in a 4-day period every year! Des Moines is accepting what they give, but not looking out for their best interests. It’s a one-way street…not in the best interest for the future of an already established entity. All it would take is one Cael Sanderson to put Drake in the news daily. Wait a minute…there is only one Cael, yet it would be nice to help other aspiring athletes get a chance to be like him. Especially now that they know it’s possible – thanks Cael!

Back to business...met in Des Moines at the Hotel Savery with Mike Moyer of the NWCA, Randall, local Iowan who is an officer for the NWCA, and several people from the USDA (United State Department of Agriculture) to discuss and finalize a program to help Americans get more fit and, of course, to help the future of wrestling. The meeting went well and a plan was developed to do exactly that. Wrestling and wrestlers are leaders. The many disciplines needed carry over and many go on to do great things with their families and professions. Every college program in America will have a poster-schedule for the upcoming season. Wresting coaches only need to follow through to help get this accomplished in a great way. Coaches – make sure to help out!

Next stop – Des Moines for 3 visits in 3 days!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

August 1 Mason City, Iowa & August 3 Central City, Iowa

Coach Zalesky has a wrestling camp in Mason City each summer and again one that has a lot of past memories and many GOOD ones at that. Kathy and I stayed in town at the local Holiday Inn. This hotel is Kinseth-owned. Of course, Bruce Kinseth is a former NCAA champion at Iowa and O.W. by pinning all this opponents at the Big 10s and NCAAs. Bruce and family go way back in the hotel business and own and manage many properties. I actually started doing wrestling camps in Mason City at NIACC in the early 70s with Medalist Industries and then their camp carried over to the Hawkeyes. Two or three sessions were planned, yet I did only one for some reason, so Mason City was a quick stop. Hopefully the camp went well. Back in the middle 70s, NIACC had a wrestling program and was coached by Kaye Young and I believe they dropped the program the same year that they won the National Championship. What a mistake! Someone ought to bring it back, Do the right thing and be proud of it!

Finally, a short stop at home and then I actually went to my office at Carver a few times before heading to Central City for another wrestling camp. Being less than an hour away, Mike Duroe and I spent about 4 hours teaching young wrestlers some great skills and tactics to help them. The coach there did a great job bringing in the youth wrestlers. I believe the total number pushed 125 or so. Lots of locals (parents & boosters) attended as well, which is always important to the success of a program. It was pretty hot and I started to get a little run down in the late evening (keep that to yourself – for you don’t admit something like that in public or show it as well in which I probably did) yet it was a comfortable ride back home (whew!). Sometimes getting off your feet feels good, especially when you are pushing the age of…35 or 40.

What’s next? Whoa! It looks like FOUR trips to Des Moines in a short amount of time!