What Does It Take To Be A Wrestler?
Being a wrestler does not imply merely wearing the uniform and being just a member of the squad. There are many more important phases to think about if you want to be a winner, not only in wrestling, but in life as well. We want to impress you with the importance of the following qualities, absolutely necessary for every good athlete.
1. ARE YOU COACHABLE?—Can you take coaching? Can you take criticism without ever looking for an alibi? Are you a "know it all"? Will you always do your best to improve?
2. ARE YOU POSSESSED WITH THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION WHICH FIRES AN INTENSE DESIRE EVERY TIME TO WIN?—Do you want to win with a passion - never taking "no" for an answer when there is a job to be done? Does it bother you to lose?
3. ARE YOU WILLING TO PRACTICE?—not just reporting and putting in the necessary time, but working every day with the same zeal, speed and determination you use during a match? Do you have two speeds - a practice speed and a meet speed? The great athletes of the past were the ones who had one speed, and it was the same every day, every practice, every match. If you loaf or cheat in practice, you will loaf or cheat in a match.
4. ARE YOU WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES?—Conditioning to compete is not fun. It is not easy. It is stark punishment. Training is exacting; the responsibility is heavy. It is rough and includes personal denials in order to remain in tiptop condition, but it has rewards. The only way for you to remain in good shape is never to get out of it.
5. DO YOU HAVE AN ARDENT DESIRE TO IMPROVE?—Are you willing to practice the things you cannot do three times longer than the things you can do? Are you willing to put in long grinding hours, concentrating on a skill until you have perfected it? Are you eager to work so diligently at the skills you lack that they eventually become your strongest asset? We have seen too many men spend their time doing what they already do well. They never improve.
6. DO YOU HAVE THE ABILITY TO THINK UNDER FIRE?—Can you concentrate on the work to be accomplished at the moment? Can you shut out from your mind a previous failure, success, rule infraction, or personal insult in order to give undivided attention to the offensive and defensive maneuver in the here and now? Games are not won by yesterday's score, but by what is happening now, at this moment. Good athletes play every play up to the hilt -never depending on past success to aid them.
7. ARE YOU WILLING TO BE IMPERSONAL TOWARD YOUR
OPPONENTS?—Do you shut out all personal feelings about your opponent except to move as hard, as often, as quickly as you can, never out of accordance with the rules? Our experiences have taught us that the moment a player becomes personal, he wrestles only to release individual grievances and ceases to wrestle wisely.
8. DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOUR SCHOOL, YOUR TEAM, YOUR COACH?—Your school is as good as you make it. Your coach is a genuine employee of your school, given the responsibility of coaching, not his team, but your team. Are you willing to work toward that spirit of oneness, so that everyone possesses the feeling of belonging through their contributions? Will you keep upper- most in your mind that when a coach blisters the team with criticism; his remarks are never meant to be personal affronts? The only intent is to pressure you to want to rectify your omissions, so that success is yours.
9. ARE YOU WILLING TO STUDY JUST AS HARD AS BEFORE COMING OUT FOR WRESTLING?—Wrestling was never meant to take the place of studies. The athletic tail must never wag the academic dog. This involves a realignment of your time schedule. If wrestling will consume two hours of your day, then you must draw time, not from your scholastic program, but from hours previously devoted to personal pursuits. If you must eliminate something from your schedule, it must not be study time. First things come first, and your academic growth is of paramount importance.
10. WILL YOU STRIVE DAILY TO IMPROVE YOUR MUSCULAR
COORDINATION AND SPEED?—Wrestling is a science of movement and daily drills that tend to speed up your reaction time and commit to memory your moves. Speed and coordination are necessary ingredients in a winning combination. Only through hard work can improvement here be realized. Those of you, who lack these two physical qualities, can find a place on the team by improving in other attributes.