Values and Wrestling

Just read the following words. I’ll explain below:

“I remember thinking before the season even started, ‘If I don’t start, if I don’t ever win a match, I’m just lucky to be here,’ because their [the coaches and team] perspective on life. I think that’s why they are so successful. In situations when it’s uncomfortable out here, we’re competing, it’s 1-1, your dreams are on the line, but you’re so focused because you have values. That’s Cael Sanderson.”

The NCAA D-1 Wrestling Championships (male division) concluded last night in Detroit. Of the ten weight classes in collegiate wrestling, Penn State brought 9 wrestlers to the tournament and 6 of them stood on the podium becoming All-Americans with 5 of those All-Americans winning their weight class. The Nittany Lions scored 131.5 team points and Michigan was a distant second with 95.

That is quite remarkable, even stunning, when one team has half  the championships. But if you re-read the words above, quoted from the 197-pound champion Max Dean, any coach, athlete, or fan can see that Coach Sanderson, himself a 4-time D-1 wrestling champion, does more with his young charges than teach moves and physical conditioning.

It seems that Coach Sanderson and his staff teach that folkstyle wrestling is a means to something bigger. Let us hope that all coaches teach and require values.

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