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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

A couple thoughts on the Big Tens.

Position wins matches or rather no loss of position wins matches.

Heflin won the battle of attrition. He simply did not come out of position. McIntosh did.

McIntosh's weak attempt at a shot in the second ot stanza was a tacit admission that he was not prepared to win in the referee's position. It's like a guy folding his cards on the table prior to the outcome being known because he can't bluff his way through it. He knew the hand he had and it was not as good as Nick's.

BTW. Nick is very likely to win an NCAA Championship if he keeps doing the things he is doing. He wrestles to win, which is different than wrestling to score points and be aggressive. Anyone shoots on him and he gets double overhooks. I don't want to wrestle him from that position and by the looks of it McIntosh did a full on battlefield retreat when Nick engaged him in that position. His conditioning is excellent, strength is excellent and most importantly, his mindset towards position is exactly what it needs to be in order to beat evenly matched opponents.

The dogma of always attacking and looking to score is a good way to sacrifice position. I learned it the hard way amidst the mountains of bullshit and noise.

At the end of the day, you have a choice as coach.

You can arm your wrestler with the right tools to win a championship or you can send him out there with a lot of really good tools minus a couple in the vain effort to be exciting. I know what my choice is.

As for David Taylor, Nick Moore has learned a few things thanks to his coaching. That heavy tie is the way to beat him. Moore hit a shuck for 2 and then hit another prior to the standing granby. He is not good enough to beat Taylor yet but given another year, I guarantee he could shut down a lot of the Taylor offense.

Ruth is going to have his hands full with Dean. Dean is the quintessential handfighter, pacemaker, position wrestler. He is a disciple of position as much as Nick but his style is different.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Ethan Moore added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Rex - doesn't Cael's and PSU's recent success contradict your position? I would say a lot of their wrestlers look to score at will even if it means sometimes sacrificing position.

And they're fun to watch.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Patrick Campbell added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Ethan, are you saying Rex's position is out of position? ;-)

To your point…Ed Ruth is a freak of nature. The kid is so physically gifted that he gets out of position to create space to do the nutty stuff he can do. And on 99.44% of people that works. But didn't the way Gabe Dean won validate what Rex is getting at here?

If you look at how Retherford wrestles, I'd say Cael is a big proponent of staying in position. But when you have guys like Taylor and Ruth, well, they really are 1 in a million and you coach them allowing their insanity to stay a part of the mix because it works so well. I think Cael probably is coaching the other guys more similar to what Rex is saying.

It will be interesting to see what Cael is doing with Ed Ruth to prepare him to beat Dean in their next match. Maybe some of your answers will come based on Ruth's performance in that situation. My concern with Ruth is that he is so confident in his style that he won't make the adjustments for Dean and loose to him again. I think there is a chance he is so confident in his physical freakdom that he thinks lightening can't strike twice. I'm concerned that he might be so confident in his style that he does not acknowledge that he was strategically beaten. If that's the case, there may be nothing Cael can do for him to help.

I wonder if Ruth is a guy that is like Logan Stieber (psychologically). It was obvious watching Logan's match with Retherford on Sunday that Logan had indeed watched the previous match numerous times and made specific adjustments to open up his takedowns. And it was also obvious that he was not sure that there is an answer for breaking Retherford's ride…so he never elected to get under Retherford. And to Rex's point, Logan made 1 bad positioning mistake in the match and ended up under Retherford. Now I agree he probably did not make a full effort to get out because of the timing in the match, but Retherford remained tough on top.

I would wager that the task Logan is working on at this very minute is how to get out from under Retherford should he somehow loose focus for a split second and end up under him again early in the next match. If he solves that puzzle, well, Retherford will never beat Logan again.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Michael Rodriguez added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

I try to make it a habit to never argue with Mr. Holman. I totally agree with everything he said in the above post. The only place I would take issue is with the assertion about being offensive or aggressive in the "vain effort to be exciting".

I think you can be offensive and aggressive as a metality without being careless and not necessarily to be exciting. There are offensive minded wrestlers and there are defensive minded wrestlers. There are defensive minded wrestlers that are looking to score...then there are also guys who stay in solid position and hand fight and back up and play the edge look to frustrate their opponent and make it a one move match or better yet, work the riding time clock in OT to get the win. I don't like that, regardless of how effective it is.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Actually, I am inclined to believe that "always looking to score is the mantra of PSU wrestling" after seeing McIntosh lay that egg. He wanted to score but was so frustrated by his inability that he conceded points. I was asking myself, did he really just do that afterward. That was a bunch of variables at play which led to the shot i.e. fatigue, frustration, fear.

Regarding the effort to be vain comment, I can back it up. Putting on a show, attempting to break your opponent, showing your 'heart' and technical skill is vain unless it is secondary to winning. i.e. Patrick Garren Columbus Bishop Ready. Jim Scherr getting pinned by Ohta at '88 Olympics while leading 7-0. Hrovat against the Cuban in '08 Olympics, Bergman last year's World Championships. The list goes on and on.

So, what you are seeing WHEN SOMEONE WINS is not so much I am always scoring BUT RATHER I AM BETTER AT THE POSITIONS IN WHICH AM ENGAGING YOU.

Always looking to score will work 95% of the time and just a theory; but that is 5% of reality that you are choosing to ignore.

Whereas wrestling from positions which give you advantage (antifragile kudos to Nicholas Taleb)and are strengths while avoiding fragile postions (those where your positions break down) is the key to winning.



Last edited by Rex Holman on March 11, 2014; edited 2 times in total

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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

I wish I had a coach tell me this when I was young and adopted it. It is the truth rather than noise.

Mike-
Position eventually breaks down as the match wears on; to continue attacking in the third as in the first is to take on increasingly nonlinear risk. You should still attack but only from positions of relative advantage.

If you are not using the rules to your advantage and acting on some ideological high ground, you are being a sucker and not doing right by your wrestler. (part of that 5% you are unwilling to acknowledge)Let the rules evolve as they will but give your guy the best shot at winning.


Ethan-

Also, The only chance Retherford has of beating Logan is to slow it down on his feet and not get taken down. (*Actually, he can get taken down once provided he gets the escape and does not get turned.)

He is not taking Logan down unless they see a chink in the armor, kind of like Moore taking down Taylor with a timed shuck. His coaches know it.

A coach should devise a strategy to give his guy the best chance of winning regardless of a driving ideology.

Otherwise, he is not answering to winning. Let's see what happens. I 'm betting that they want to win and are practicing tactics to neutralize feet.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
James Kessen added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Rex I would love to hear your opinion on Logans match



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Ethan Moore added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

I wasn't suggesting to wrestle out of position, I was stating my belief that risk-takers are often rewarded. I agree that staying in a good position is a pre-requisite to being successful in the sport.

What I feel that is being analyzed here is the Iowa style vs. the Cael style. Legacy Iowa style is to move forward, apply pressure, but never break position. This often forced their competition into bad shots or a break in stance, creating opportunities to score. This obviously works. It's a mindset - Brands and Gable are serious about the sport and about their strategy. They discuss commitment and lifestyle.

The PSU style seems to be to open up. Be the aggressor. Be creative. Take some risks. Even Retherford - watch his match with anyone but Logan and he is on the front foot, going forward, sprinting back to the middle. It's also a lifestyle - Cael discusses having fun, staying loose, etc.

Does athleticism matter? Of course. Taylor and Ruth can make up for mistakes easier than people like me.

But I hope and wish for a sport where risk-taking is rewarded and celebrated. This does not have to happen at the sacrifice of winning.

Just my two cents. Of course, as always, I respect and appreciate everyone's position (both on the mat, and on this forum... Ha).



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

good stuff Rex-- how bout the mental? the all important mental edge that great athlets have.

i have a friend who was a very successful long time major league baseball scout, in fact signed Eddie Murray--- he critiqued prospects on the "MENTAL" too, he was very much looking for Aggressive, Focused, Composed, Poise under Pressure. ...BobP



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Winning is winning. Style is style. A style can lead to winning but ultimately wrestling from strong positions leads to winning, style be damned.

I loved the ASU style of wrestling when I was a senior in high school watching them win the team title. Zeke Jones looked like a rabid squirrel in his attacks. Lots of motion.

Bob-
I agree that the mental aspect is a large part of sport. Will think of how I would like to state it.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Michael Rodriguez added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

I think "position wrestlers" are gettign a bad wrap here. There's a big difference between being a position wrestler and stalling and blocking and playing the edge and stealing a win on OT riding time rules. Steve Luke was a position wrestler and scored a ton of points, particularly late in his career. Anthony Robles, Dustin Kilgore, Jordan Burroughs, Ben and Max Askren...all of them position wrestler, all of them working different positions and taking advantage of different situations. But they all looked to score.

I like what I had seen from Helin in the bast month or so and I feel like had he pushed the action, he could've won in regualtion. You mention the one time double overs came into play McIntosh left skid marks he backed out so quick. why didn't Heflin try to create that position again? IMO, because he wasn't looking to score. He was looking to win on stratigy, which he did.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
David Rourke added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Two people come to mind while reading this thread, Daniel Dennis and Colt Sponseller.

In Dennis' finals match vs Ness in 2010, Dennis was winning with seconds to go and he continued to push the action the "Iowa way" and as a result, sacrificed position and was taken down, giving Ness the title.

As for Sponseller, he was always pushing the action, which worked on just about everyone, except against his main rivals, Howe & Morningstar, or should I say his achilles, since he never beat them. Those two always capitalized on Colt’s aggressive style that would sacrifice position. JMO



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Brian Mathews added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Is there anyone right now that has a better understanding of positioning and capitalizing on strengths than Heflin? He's wrestled better the last few months than he's ever wrestled before and I think that's in large part due to the confidence that he has in a handful of positions where he feels he's the best in the country, and going to come out on top almost every time.

Sure, it'd be nice if he could get into a double-overs, over-under, or double under position more often, or if guys would take outside shots more often to set up Heflin's scoring opportunities, but they're not just going to let it happen, and it would require him to sacrifice his own position to take that risk. Knowing he had the advantage in the rideout scenario makes taking that risk unwise (at least against McItosh). As far as I'm concerned the road to the 197 title runs through J'Den Cox... looking forward to that matchup.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Brian Mathews added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

Is there anyone right now that has a better understanding of positioning and capitalizing on strengths than Heflin? He's wrestled better the last few months than he's ever wrestled before and I think that's in large part due to the confidence that he has in a handful of positions where he feels he's the best in the country, and going to come out on top almost every time.

Sure, it'd be nice if he could get into a double-overs, over-under, or double under position more often, or if guys would take outside shots more often to set up Heflin's scoring opportunities, but they're not just going to let it happen, and it would require him to sacrifice his own position to take that risk. Knowing he had the advantage in the rideout scenario makes taking that risk unwise (at least against McItosh). As far as I'm concerned the road to the 197 title runs through J'Den Cox... looking forward to that matchup.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Ethan Moore added to this discussion on March 11, 2014

I really liked what Heflin said in his post-match interview, when he stated that the moment it clicked this year was when he was thrown by Atwood.

He had to create offense at that moment and from that came a ton of confidence.

He has been outstanding ever since, and is capping off perhaps the most under-appreciated career in Buckeye wrestling history (probable 3X AA). What an accomplishment. And I like the haircut.



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