Q1: What are your wrestlers doing to train for the next two weeks to prepare for NCAAs? What does practice look like this time of year?
A1: We will take the next week to focus on a few different areas to peak our wrestlers for the NCAA’s. The key to having a successful NCAA tournament is having healthy, motivated and confident athletes. The training and preparation will be very focused and individualized for each qualifier. Our first two days of training will consist of circuit lifts, speed drills, situational wrestling and sparring. Each of our wrestlers must execute at a high level at NCAA’s so we will spend time focusing on quick finishes and our best attacks. We will take a mental and physical recovery day on Wednesday and then do one on one workouts at the end of the week. Each workout will focus on positional drilling, go to attacks and mat wrestling. We put a large emphasis on top wrestling and will spend some time sparring tilts, mat returns and transitions from turns on top. Once the training is done this week, practice will be very short and precise leading into our travel to Pittsburgh.
Q2: How do you get your wrestlers to relax and focus mentally leading up to nationals?
A2: It’s important to keep the guys relaxed leading up to NCAA’s. We are going to continue to keep a fun atmosphere at practice and warm up with games(dodgeball/spikeball) and quick discussions. Since the weather will be nice, we plan to get outside for a change of atmosphere. Lastly, we will watch some film and really personalize the workouts in order to improve and tweak the positions that need worked on. This will keep the guys focused and feeling confident in all positions heading into next week. We will spend some time building mental reps and expectations over the next week and making sure each of our wrestlers truly believes they can be a National Champion. Ronnie Perry did a great job of this last year and is a huge asset in the room helping prepare the guys for NCAA’s this year.
Q3: What preventative measures do you take to address hygiene and skin health so close to NCAAs?
A3: We will certainly take extra precautions leading up to the NCAA’s. The showers are stocked with Defense gel and each wrestler is given a bar of antifungal medicated soap for their personal need.
Thanks to Defense Soap and their commitment to skin care, we are able to rely on their products to protect our wrestlers throughout the season.
Our trainers will continue the same protocol for skin checks throughout the week. This is the biggest tournament of the year so everyone needs to focus on every aspect of their wrestling and preparation. Hygiene and skin care is part of that formula.
Q4: What's it like having a twin brother who is also a head coach at the D1 level that you compete against?
A4: Having a twin, in general, is somewhat unique, but to have one that coaches in the same league is certainly an advantage. It definitely has its perks as you always have someone to bounce ideas off and talk about upcoming events, recruiting, etc. It helps that he recruits mainly out of Ohio and we spend most of our time in Pennsylvania. We are used to competing against each other so that part comes naturally. With the latest MAC expansion, we will be on different sides of the conference. Hopefully, we will keep the rivalry alive and schedule dual meets every year. We are both building great programs and it’s exciting to have family members in the same profession.