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This week’s Athlete Focus is on Adeline Gray – find her on Twitter @AdelineGray. Adeline shared with us her love of wrestling, the importance of hydration and her advice on how to improve outside of the wrestling mat.
Why do you love wrestling? I love wrestling for a lot of reasons but something I’ve been focusing on is the process of teaching my body muscle memory. I have been focusing on the levels wrestling can bring out. The best way I can describe it is the first time you ever are taught to do a single leg (it is slow and choppy) after around 500 reps you start to feel where your shoulder, head, hands, hips and feet feel in the right places. After another 500 reps it almost becomes second nature, you are no longer thinking about pushing across or where your hands should go or that you need to run your feet, your body just puts everything into place. It is amazing to me that the body will do something without the brain registering that it wants to shoot. I can only hope that there are more levels to all moves not just my single and that as I become stronger and have hit more of my best moves they will be hit harder and faster from all positions without having to slow my wrestling down with my thought process.
Who trained you or influenced you? My mom told me when I was playing soccer that I can learn something from everyone. Coaches have been kind enough to let me in on their knowledge and I try to take a little piece from each coach. Even if the move that would never work for me I focus on the set up, or the pressure points and apply it to my style of wrestling. I have been influenced by great coaches and wrestlers and there lessons have strengthened me.
Outside of wrestling, what can people do to improve? Mental toughness through staying positive, laughing more, and consistency with good habits. I believe I learn most of my lessons through wrestling or where wrestling takes me and the same things I need to work on in the room translate to the real world. Making your entire life healthy both physically and mentally. Not abusing your time or body, rest, and making good decisions in your life.
What does your cross-training, nutrition, mindset look like? Consistency! My weakness is sugar so when I need to adjust my weight I go cold turkey with processed sugar for three days after that I feel my body does not crave the sugar then, I add in healthy sweets like fruit when I want a treat. My weight goes down and feel so much better in practice.
What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in wrestlers trying to improve? Hydration! The main thing I have learned is water is my BEST FRIEND. In high school I would step on a scale with an apple and a cookie and see .4 then step on the scale with a bottle of water and see over a pound! It was scary to see that water weighed so much so I would eat in place of hydration. Huge mistake, the body needs water and I would deprive it of what it needed most. Once I became educated about the importance of water I completely changed how I cut weight. The week of Olympic Trials when I was cutting to 63kgs I was drinking a gallon of water a day until the day before weigh ins. I now make my hydration my top priority.
What is your next big challenge? Everyday feels like a challenge but it is finding the good in each session and pushing myself to make small gains and rejoice in them whenever possible. Doing my best everyday and pushing myself to be better will make me ready for the BIG dreams-Olympic GOLD.
A big thanks to Adeline for taking the time to share her thoughts with us.
Name: Andy Michaels
Job Title: Marketing and Metrics
Favorite BC memory or experience: Going to the Kickoff tournament in Tulsa for the first time and seeing a sea of Blue Chip singlets and gear everywhere I looked!
Which BC singlet would you wear to wrestle in: I think my favorite is an oldie but a goodie – I really like the Mexico Calavera.
Favorite wrestler or team: Spenser Mango (@MangoBuck) because I have spent so much time looking at his picture for the catalog. Plus knowing he’s over a foot shorter than me and could still kick my butt makes me a little afraid of him…
Who would you cast to play you in a movie: Tim Robbins from the Shawshank Redemption days – my wife always thought there was a resemblance there and he’s almost as tall as I am.
What would you say is your life’s theme song: It’s an album, not a song, but “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been”
What movie could you watch over and over: Rounders. “I have what’s known as the wheel. It’s got earthy tones, a smooth draw, and enough kick to win me the high and the low”
Jobs you have had in your life: Ranch hand, telemarketer, surgical orderly, business consultant, pizza oven bricklayer
Places you have lived: Kansas City, Chicago, Denver, Springfield, MO
Favorite foods: The chicken curry at LeMonde is right up there, I’m also a big fan of homemade pizza.
Favorite quote(s): “Feed a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Feed a fish a man and he’ll eat for like two and a half months.” – Rainn Wilson
This week’s Athlete Focus is on Max Nowry – find him on Twitter @MaxNowry55Kg, keep reading to find out what Max had to say.
What are 3 things every wrestler can focus on for improvement? 3 things that that every wrestler can focus on for improvement is their muscular endurance and strength, cardio, and most importantly their technique.
Who trained you or influenced you? I’ve been very fortunate enough to have many great coaches during my career such as Sean Bormet, Willie Madison, Mike Powell, Bryan Medlin, Dennis Hall, Aghasi Manukyan, Ivan Ivanov, Jim Gruenwald, Ike Anderson and Rob Hermann. Every one of them has not just helped me become better in wrestling, but with other aspects of life and have taught me life lessons that I will always be able to keep with myself and hopefully pass down to future wrestlers.
Outside of wrestling, what can people do to improve? Outside of wrestling people can do a lot of creative things to help them improve like balancing on a curb while they’re walking to work on their balance, carry around a ball or something to squeeze throughout the day to improve their grip, as well as running, biking or walking places instead of going by car.
What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in wrestlers trying to improve? The biggest mistakes I can think of is people buying into the “need” of all of these new supplements and equipment products that aren’t necessary with the belief that if they take or do these things they see being advertised then they will automatically improve.
What is your next big challenge? My next big challenge is coming back to wrestling after away from the sport for 5 months being at Basic Training and AIT to wrestle for the Army’s World Class Athlete Program.
A big thanks to Max for taking the time while on leave to answer these questions for us! If you’re a fan of Max, make sure to check out this shirt! http://bit.ly/HNVVtV
Why do you love wrestling? I love wrestling because it’s an individual sport and I can blame no one but myself. Wrestling is a sport where you can be as good as you want to be if you put in the hard work and smart training.
What are 3 things every wrestler can focus on for improvement? One thing that is huge in improvement in wrestling is your mindset. Everyone has days that they don’t want to practice or workout but those are the days that you improve. Also being able to accept criticism (good or bad) can help so much when trying to be the best. Confidence is also important for improvement – Believe in what your coaches tell you.
Who trained you or influenced you? My Father would be my influence – he got me into wrestling when I was younger because he wrestled in high school for a bit and thought it would help me since I was a little chubby kid. I am currently train at the Missouri Regional Training Center now under World Champion and Sunkist Head Coach Sammie Henson.
Outside of wrestling, what can people do to improve? One thing that I think can help you improve outside of wrestling is to have fun. Wrestling is a very demanding and disciplined sport so when you have time off, enjoy it. Off time is very important for your mind and body so when coming off that break you feel like a new person.
What does your cross-training, nutrition, mindset look like? Cross-training for me is one of the most important things that I need to be the best. Wrestling at heavyweight means that I need a lot of strength to move bigger wrestlers around. I also need to be able to move very well and stay in great shape since I do heavy lifting. Nutrition is something that is huge in wrestling, so I try to eat healthy as much as possible when training.
What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in wrestlers trying to improve? Hard work is great and is very much needed, but I think training with a purpose is needed. Everyone thinks that if you work hard all the time that you should win, but when have a purpose or goal that your trying to obtain it makes working hard easy.
What is your next big challenge? The biggest challenge that I have coming up is getting back into the swing of competing again. I have not wrestled in a tournament since April 19th and I am excited to make the come back and pick up where I left off.
Thanks to Dom for taking the time to share his thoughts and advice with us. If you’re a fan of Dom’s, make sure to check out this shirt: http://bit.ly/HFzgQD
Name: Jason Heslop
Job Title: Strategist
Favorite BC memory or experience: Being robbed in broad daylight, chasing the culprits down an ally, getting BC gear back!
Which BC singlet would you wear to wrestle in: Sprinkles, right meow.
Favorite wrestler or team: Dom Bradley, the DOMinator.
Who would you cast to play you in a movie: Marky Mark
What would you say is your life’s theme song: (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
What movie could you watch over and over: Joe Dirt
You’re gonna stand there, ownin’ a fireworks stand, and tell me you don’t have no whistlin’ bungholes, no spleen splitters, whisker biscuits, honkey lighters, hoosker doos, hoosker don’ts, cherry bombs, nipsy daisers, with or without the scooter stick, or one single whistlin’ kitty chaser?
Jobs you have had in your life: bus boy, fry cook, coach
Places you have lived: KC!
Favorite foods: Minsky’s Pizza & Reece’s peanut butter eggs
Favorite quote(s): We are what we repeatedly do; excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.
This week’s Athlete Focus is on World Team Member Helen Maroulis – find her on Twitter @helen_maroulis.
We caught up with the Helen to get her thoughts on what wrestling means to her and some advice she has for young wrestlers.
Why do you love wrestling? I love wrestling for many reasons. I enjoy wrestling because the sport is one that demands discipline, strength, technique, skill, strategy, hard work, and dedication. There is nothing that challenges me the way wrestling has these past 15years that I’ve been involved in the sport. I also love wrestling for the opportunities and lessons it’s provided me. With wrestling you can’t really master the sport, there is always room for improvement. It keeps you coming back for more because there is always more to be done and I think many people enjoy and crave this challenge, so that is why I love the sport!
What are 3 things every wrestler can focus on for improvement? Every wrestler can always focus on improving their technique, evaluating their own style, and focus on adding new elements to their training or competition routine. Also, body position is extremely important, and I think it gets overlooked by a lot of wrestlers and coaches.
Who trained you or influenced you? Growing up, my coach was Mike Desarno. He was the biggest influence in my career primarily because he stood up for me when other coaches objected to allowing me to join one of the best programs in Maryland. Once I was able to join thanks to Coach Desarno’s persistence, his strict coaching and very skilled ability to teach technique and body positioning helped take my wrestling to the next level. He prepared me for the junior and senior scene at an early age.
Outside of wrestling, what can people do to improve? What does your cross-training, nutrition, mindset look like?
Inside and outside of wrestling there is always room for improvement. I guess my best advice would be to be real with yourself and admit your flaws and then work on them. With myself, sometimes I want to keep working on stuff I like the most (or am naturally good at), like technique. I often put my strength training aside for more technique sessions or for cutting weight purposes. I really don’t like lifting weights, but I have made it a priority in my training right now, because I believe being stronger will help me with my technique and style of wrestling, especially since I am kind of small for my weight class.
What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in wrestlers trying to improve? I wouldn’t really say I know how to judge what mistakes or myths I see in wrestlers trying to improve. Right now I try to focus on myself and in determining what mistakes I have/ or am making in my training. I don’t have the answers for anyone else and wouldn’t want to lead anyone astray. I think every wrestler is different and needs to figure out what works for them.
What is your next big challenge? My next big challenge I would say is the NWCA dual match against a Venezuelan opponent and then the Golden Grand Prix in Azerbaijan after that.
Thanks to Helen for sharing her thoughts, advice and love of wrestling! If you’re a fan of Helen’s, make sure to check out her AWESOME World Team wrestling t-shirt.