College Wrestling Recruitment How to wrestle in a top notch wrestling program

Who do you think went on to be a NCAA champ, a top notch wrestler who won state tournaments 2 out of his 4 years of his high school career or a wrestler who won georgia state tournaments 3 of 4 of his high school career? Well, Gabe Dean, NCAA champ in 2015 and 2016, was wrestler one. Gabe Dean is now one of the best wrestlers on the collegiate level and has won numerous titles throughout his four years wrestling under coach Rob Koll at cornell in Ithaca, NY. The other wrestler was Andrew Solomon, You probably don't know him. That's because he never wrestled outside of high school. He did not have what it takes to be recruited by a college team.

Characters Play in Recruitment

It is no doubt that talent is needed to make your way into a division one wrestling team, but if you really want it you need perfect character. James Leath an experienced scout, coach, and accomplished writer wrote in his article “Talent Gets You Noticed, Character Gets You Recruited” he says that unless you are doing your best to improve, not only yourself, but your team as well. Leath tells us of an experience he had with a scout who came to the weight room when he was coaching. He stood in the corner and watched as an amazing linebacker was squatting. James told what the scout would've noted. “One thing I noticed was during every set he had a spotter... After all three sets, sadly, I watched our recruit sit down and pull out his phone instead of returning the favor of spotting his teammates,” Leath told him to put his phone away and he did, but after his 2nd set he took it out again. The recruiter than said “We look for guys who can be trusted to do the things after being told once.” This showed that talent is not nearly as important to a college scout as how they contribute to their team and themselves

Working Your Way to The Top

I know you have heard this a million times before, but it is true, winning only happens when someone has the mindset. Colleges look for athletes that put in the work and have the right mindset. Jeff Silveira, a head coach at CSU Bakersfield, says that one of the five qualities he looks for in a wrestler is work ethic. Silveria says “I like student-athletes that don't get overwhelmed easily and will keep working hard no matter what the situation is. I also like student-athletes who don't give up after one little bump in the road. I want a student-athlete who is going to push through and endure no matter what the situation r outcome is.” In this Silveria gave us a large amount of insight into a coaches ind hen looking for athletes. He tells us that a coach will look for someone who does not quit from a fight he might lose, instead he wrestles his heart to the point of death all for the little moment when the official raises his hand.

James Leash also wrote about something called “sweeping the shed” that is a mindset of the rugby team The All Blacks who “Sweeping the shed” is the goal to contribute to the legacy of the sport by doing his part to grow the game and keep the team progressing every day. This mindset is one of the most important. Leash once asked a recruiter what he thought of a prospect he came to see, and he said “Remember when they were doing pushups? He led the team by counting, but he missed pushup 13 and pushup 18. He just didn't go down, even though he commanded the team too. I am not sure about this guy honestly. Out of twenty plays, we can't have him take off two because he is tired.” Leash went on to say “You are alway being watched, so sweep the shed.” by this he meant that you should always be working towards your goal, don’t take breaks when you are tired and don’t stop attempting to reach your goal. The sense of gratitude toward your sport is the most important thing to have if you want to be wrestling in college.

Career Success

If you really want to be in the division one wrestling program you will need to of had an incredibly successful high school career. Rob Koll, the head coach at cornell for the past 23 years, has had some of the greatest wrestlers come to his matt. Whether It's the afore mentioned Gabe Dean, or the 4X NCAA champ Kyle Dake, Koll knows what he is doing when he is looking for wrestlers. He says that ¨ The reality is it is just like playing football for a top 10 football team. Unless you are an incredibly accomplished high school wrestler you aren’t going to be able to wrestle at the top D1 level.¨ This means that you will need to be very accomplished to even be noticed by a scout. He went on to tell me that you need to work your hardest to become that figure. Whether it is just going to off season or going to clubs, amps, and the gym. Koll means that if you ever want to be wrestling under a D-1 team, you will need to work your life to its full strength, you need to push yourself to the point where your tendons are about to tear. In this Koll gives you the exact mindset and requirements that every coach looks for in a prospect.

If you are personally trying to wrestle in college, especially on the D-1 level, you need to act now and act fast. If you think that you are good enough to wrestle at cornell or penn state, than you should send them videos of you wrestling. Then you should keep on working towards that. If you think you should wrestle at penn state, send a letter saying that you work harder than any one of their athletes. Your only weapon is your blood sweat and tears. The only way anyone can make it on that team is with the strength and stamina of god himself, and you need to convince everyone that you're better than that. If you want to make your way to the podium at the NCAA nationals, then you should do all of the things I told you about and more, because it is all you can do.

By: John Mcgowan

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