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Top News Stories... moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....

Being a Part of USA Wrestling

Immediately following the 2001 high school season coaches and wrestlers from across the country will begin the process of evaluating the successes and failures from the previous high school season. Inevitably, coaches and wrestlers will come to the conclusion that in order to reach next season's goals the "team" has got to spend more time on the mat, and get more quality matches. After all, the sports' axiom is "summer wrestling makes winter champs". Coaches and wrestlers know it's true. Unfortunately, often high school coaches who have spent a tough winter in practices and long tournaments, feel intimidated by the USA Wrestling schedule and wrestling community come spring time. But, USA Wrestling offers high school coaches and wrestlers the best chance of improving and being drawn into a greater commitment to the sport of wrestling. If the "team" is going to reach its' goals next year, hopefully, the coach will take the time to educate and lead his wrestlers and fellow staff members towards USA Wrestling. Often wrestlers and coaches shy away from spring and summer USA Wrestling events because the style of wrestling they know is folkstyle (scholastic). But, the message from some of the most successful wrestlers and coaches nationally is that high school wrestlers used to folkstyle need to take the chance and involve themselves in freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. Isacc Ramaswamy, a former Greco-Roman competitor and a highly active USAW coach from New York, said, "Absolutely, USA Wrestling events make a difference in improving a wrestler's skills for the next season. Competing in USAW's spring and summer events exposes athletes to a level and variety of competition which raises both their competitive skills and their confidence." Tadaaki Hatta, a Gold-Level Coach through the National Coaches Education Program, notes that technically the international styles translate easily to folkstyle, "In addition to learning new skills, they will become more competitive and more confident on and off the mat. In either Greco-Roman or freestyle wrestling, the basics are not that much different from folkstyle. Actually, most basic techniques can be easily converted to folkstyle, especially the head, hands, and body positions." Clearly, the message is, wrestling is wrestling. Be it folkstyle, freestyle or Greco-Roman. In the top coaches minds, involvement in USA Wrestling events is critical for a high school wrestler's development and success. USA Wrestling offers an extensive list of programs for all levels of wrestlers. Kids can begin to involve themselves with USA Wrestling tournaments from the ages of 6 and 7. And, while many state folkstyle organizations end their season in early to mid-March, USA Wrestling activities for its youth wrestlers stretch well into the late summer. While other "folkstyle" wrestlers are hanging up the shoes for the season, the most competitive and committed USAW youth wrestlers are just getting started. Eric Akin, assistant wrestling coach for the University of Nebraska and accomplished freestyle wrestler has started working to build better youth wrestlers in the state of Nebraska. For the past several years Akin was active in developing and promoting USA Wrestling to kids and coaches in Kansas and Missouri. With his new move to Nebraska, Akin is actively working to build a stronger USA Wrestling organization in the Cornhusker state. "Many people in Nebraska that I talk to often comment on how they will go down to Kansas for tournaments and notice how tough the kids are down there. Well, it is because they have huge USA Wrestling sanctioned events down there. Their kids state tournament alone has over 1,000 participants, and every year you see freshman and sophomore high school state champions lose at kids state." Akin's club is called the Great Plains Wrestling Club things are going well but he plans on taking steps to make youth wrestling in Nebraska even better. "At the same time, we hope to establish a great relationship between the University of Nebraska and the wrestling community here. This state really has the ability to be a wrestling powerhouse at every level, starting with the kids and moving into the collegiate and international ranks." John Hohmann, National Developmental Coach of the year for 2000, advises that coaches should recognize that freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling does a great job in preparing kids for folkstyle wrestling. "A freestyle or Greco-Roman wrestler who will not be turned in those styles is next to impossible to turn in folkstyle." Hohman urges high school coaches to get NCEP Certified through USA Wrestling. "A Bronze Level Certification Course answers just about any question a coach could have. Once coaches become certified and view the USA Wrestling Freestyle and Greco-Roman Syllabus, coaches will recognize that everybody agrees on the basic skills and when they see them in international application it goes a long way towards breaking down any concerns about not being able to coach international styles. The adjustment imagined is greatly minimized because the "folkstyle" coach already knows or agrees with the basics." The nation's top coaches agree that coaches who are committed to their high school seasons need to take the step and encourage their wrestlers to compete in the spring and summer. Randy Hinderliter, a director of NCEP instruction in Kansas notes that, "those scholastic wrestlers who chose to compete in the USAW summer programs of freestyle and Greco-Roman are always among the elite wrestlers in the state of Kansas." To get wrestlers fully committed to the sport of wrestling so that they reach all of their personal goals, the "off-season" dedication is extremely important. Ultimately, coaches should be pushing their wrestlers to commit to participating in the tournaments that will qualify them to wrestle in Fargo in the Cadet and Junior National Championships. A wrestler who competes in Fargo, often will have attended their own state freestyle or Greco-Roman championships, a Regional Championship, and the state's summer training camp prior to the National Championships. All of that extra wrestling translates into a number of extra matches that immediately helps a wrestler for their next high school season. For many wrestlers their success in Fargo has even led them on to the trail of collegiate scholarships. The Fargo tournament probably has more collegiate wrestling scouts at it than any other wrestling tournament in the country. Virtually, all of the major college programs evaluate and study the talent showcased in Fargo. Wrestlers as young as eighth graders are already getting looked over by collegiate coaches. Randy Hinderliter offered that, "District 1 in Kansas has a fantastic example of the benefits, which international styles of wrestling and the Fargo Nationals have to scholastic wrestlers. In 1998 most in the midwest knew the name, Zach Roberson; very few knew the name Zach Allen. They had practiced with each other and competed against each other. When Zach Roberson walked on to the mat for the finals of Fargo, he already had his scholarship securely in his pocket. When Zach Allen walked on to the same mat in the finals against Roberson, he did not have a Division 1 offer. Yet as a result of his level of ability displayed in Fargo, he was quickly offered choices of D-1 scholarships." The USA Wrestling schedule culminating in the National Championships in Fargo offers high school coaches and wrestlers deeply involved with scholastic wrestling the best chance to improve for the next season. Even though, many kids have never wrestled in freestyle or Greco-Roman styles it is well worth it for kids and coaches to make that move. USA Wrestling give wrestlers of all ages many tournaments to test and improve their skills against the best wrestlers in the country. For those that have greater goals Isacc Ramaswamy summed it up like this, "Even after a high school wrestler accomplishes the amazing feat of winning a state title or state titles, the very next question o
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