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.