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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Hank Kornblut added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

I won't rehash what everyone else wrote. But I will say the following:

Cael Sanderson has done a tremendous job at PSU and that's due in no small part to his ability to land top recruits with regularity. At Iowa State, he had talent but not this type of talent. He also clearly has a handle on how he wants to run his program. One good indicator of how well he's doing--look at guys like Conaway, Gingrich, Beitz, English, Vollrath, etc.. These guys step into the lineup in place of starters and perform at or near AA level. That's great coaching. It's also because the more talent in the room, the better the competition. Iowa had a great run with the additional wrestlers from Virginia Tech. When the extra talent graduated, the program remained excellent but not the same level.

The most interesting development in the Buckeye room this year has been the improvement in Nick Roberts. As a redshirt, he did nothing that made you take notice. This year he has had more success than I expected. Other than a mid season slump (the whole team seemed to go through it until Heflin went into beast-mode against Purdue), he has been highly competitive with a variety of wins against tough wrestlers. I suspect that a big reason Roberts has been better is the presence of Nate Tomasello. He is being pushed. The more talent the Bucks can put in the room at once, the better everyone in the room should become. That's what we're seeing at PSU and hopefully we'll see the same thing in Columbus.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
James Kessen added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

Quote from Bob Preusse's post:

"i am enjoying this intense debate very much, some excellent critical thinking here. Good minds at work presenting their case from different perspectives.

debate could be influenced a bit by NCAA tourn, i think Penn st is vulnerable to Iowa, MN, even perhaps Okla st & Cornell. let's see if Penn st can stand up to this challenge, i think they might fail to win it.

btw, there is no doubt Ed Ruth has grown alot at Penn st from his senior year at Blair where he grew alot too.

yes Ruth was considered a top reruit for Penn st--- however facts are as a hs senior he barely beat sophomore Chris Phillips and then after winning Ironman title he lost in first round at the Beast.

Buxton did alot with Ruth his one year at Blair, Cael did alot too. Ruth was still a work in progress headed to both Blair and then Penn st. Ruth had never finished higher than 4th in PA states prior to entering Blair. ...s/BobP"



Bob I agree that PSU could be vulnerable this year. Last year they had 5 finalist and 3 champs. This year they could only have 2 finalist and 2 champs. On paper Megaludis, Brown and Morgan aren't making it and I donít see Gulibon making it to the round of 12 like Conoway did. Now they might get more out of English or Alton might win a match or 2 or those 2 guys could 0-2 and be done. If Iowa wrestle like they did at B10 they could catch PSU or maybe one of the other teams you mentioned.

I cannot FREAKING wait till tomorrow.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Mark Niemann added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

James: a few good points in your post. For Iowa, a great deal is going to depend on 125: Clark out-placing his seed. I think it's possible that he reaches, and beats Returning Champ Delgado (ILL). Ramos, DSJ, Evans and a couple other Hawkeyes have tough roads to hoe, but if it happens, as You and Bob mention, look out dugout!

Bob recently pointed out how hard it is to win two (or back-to-back) championships. That could help Clark.

And to echo you, James - I can't WAIT until tomorrow night!!!!!!!

ESPN twitter for this is @ESPN_FanCentral - drop them a twitter bomb if you get the chance.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

Rightly, we've talked alot about position, about how to prepare to win, about details, about design, about a plan to cover that 5% that Rex indentifies-- BUT

what about the MENTAL? some have stronger hard-wired nervous sytems, some handle pressure better, some focus better. much of it is innate, its mental, some gleaned from repitition under pressure, some just innate like basic IQ.

it appears to me guys like Dake & Gable & Cael & John Smith have that learned/innate combination of mental edge. In the 5% situation that Rex writes about, that usually decides the champion.

since i am not a wrestling expert, as a writer/reporter what i have done over the years of covering the sport is i always ask myself:

"What makes this guy a champion, what is his edge-- what separates Dake & Gable and John Smith & Cael from all the other near-greats?? something SEPARATES them, what is it--- whatever it is much of it is MENTAL whether as a wrestler or as a coach. ..s/BobP



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Tommy Ellis added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

Quote from Bob Preusse's post:

"Rightly, we've talked alot about position, about how to prepare to win, about details, about design, about a plan to cover that 5% that Rex indentifies-- BUT

what about the MENTAL? some have stronger hard-wired nervous sytems, some handle pressure better, some focus better. much of it is innate, its mental, some gleaned from repitition under pressure, some just innate like basic IQ.

it appears to me guys like Dake & Gable & Cael & John Smith have that learned/innate combination of mental edge. In the 5% situation that Rex writes about, that usually decides the champion.

since i am not a wrestling expert, as a writer/reporter what i have done over the years of covering the sport is i always ask myself:

"What makes this guy a champion, what is his edge-- what separates Dake & Gable and John Smith & Cael from all the other near-greats?? something SEPARATES them, what is it--- whatever it is much of it is MENTAL whether as a wrestler or as a coach. ..s/BobP"


I have been waiting on someone to Say this this whole topic... nice point
What about the guy who is just mentally tougher and refuses to give up or get beat .



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Doug Brandt added to this discussion on March 19, 2014

Quote from Bob Preusse's post:

"Rightly, we've talked alot about position, about how to prepare to win, about details, about design, about a plan to cover that 5% that Rex indentifies-- BUT

what about the MENTAL? some have stronger hard-wired nervous sytems, some handle pressure better, some focus better. much of it is innate, its mental, some gleaned from repitition under pressure, some just innate like basic IQ.

it appears to me guys like Dake & Gable & Cael & John Smith have that learned/innate combination of mental edge. In the 5% situation that Rex writes about, that usually decides the champion.

since i am not a wrestling expert, as a writer/reporter what i have done over the years of covering the sport is i always ask myself:

"What makes this guy a champion, what is his edge-- what separates Dake & Gable and John Smith & Cael from all the other near-greats?? something SEPARATES them, what is it--- whatever it is much of it is MENTAL whether as a wrestler or as a coach. ..s/BobP"



I'm guessing you've seen this article, but it explores the mental side of Kyle Dake:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-athlete-of-the-year/news/20130522/kyle-dake-college-athlete-of-the-year/



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 20, 2014

Quote from Doug Brandt's post:

"

Quote from Bob Preusse's post:

""What makes this guy a champion, what is his edge-- what separates Dake & Gable and John Smith & Cael from all the other near-greats?? something SEPARATES them, what is it--- whatever it is much of it is MENTAL whether as a wrestler or as a coach. ..s/BobP"



I'm guessing you've seen this article, but it explores the mental side of Kyle Dake:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-athlete-of-the-year/news/20130522/kyle-dake-college-athlete-of-the-year/"




article explores it, somewhat, but i want to know more-- this guy Dake is hard-wired different than everyone else -- maybe 1 in 10 million-- ability to perform under great pressure, in fact he thrives under great pressure. He's a different breed, thus his incredible achievment.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 20, 2014

The mental game.

Definitely part of the story behind success but not the whole story.

The part you want to hear about; you donít want to hear it from me. So, go forward at your own risk.

Evidence that qualities of mentation are only part of the function. Your desire to name a quality of mentation that accounts for success, which is personal bias. Youíre a writer on the outside looking in. Nicholas Taleb in writing of problems with modernity is that authors are looking to write papers which they pass onto an unsuspecting public as solid information. (think diet, nutrition and exercise- no bs theories there-haha) Daniel Golemanís recent book on focus being the driving force behind performance. *pop culture writer with promotional bias who was credited as coining the term emotional intelligence. Personally, I think he is good at spinning a story and just theory (which explains a lot but not everything). I donít think he gets it quite right.*Imagine that, me a nobody, contradicting what a multimillion dollar sales author is saying-ludicrous.

Regarding pop culture, definitely epiphenomena going on there which confuses the matter. I always wondered why I had a apprehension about opening a book. At least part of the answer is that I did not have the critical thinking skills in place to either confirm or deny what was being sold to me and I largely bought it and in the process dumbed myself down.

What you are looking for is a term which has not yet been named but I will say is an athlete with command of the variables of winning. When you come across an idea that has no name, Nicholas Taleb uses the term apophatic. This term hits home with me as I donít have words to describe what I see sometimes but it is definitely there. Actually the idea you talk about may have been around for thousands of years but the limitations of verbiage and translation are prone to losing the wisdom of generations prior.

I think the reality is that we are organic in nature and all systems interact. Add in driving forces of culture and randomness and we are starting to explain the whole story. When you consider the weakest (fragility) component of your game is going to determine outcome, then you realize that the mental component has to be strong, but so does everything else that is engaged.

GFI analogy. A GFI trips when there is too much current on the line, right? Sort of. It does trip when there is too much current on the line, but it also trips when the GFI is defective. That covers all scenarios, right? Not so much. It could be the wiring. So, the symptom of the GFI tripping could be misattributed to the wrong cause. The real culprit might be the wiring and we are blind to it. We are prone to mistakes when interpreting a complex system.

How do I equate the GFI analogy to misattribution and epiphenomena. Simple. We look at something without really knowing how it works and Ďbuyí a good theory. The theory is buyable because it mostly sounds right however it does not encompass the whole being. It is prone to oversight and misattribution because we learned the system on the fly without ever questioning how things actually work.
We build a heuristic (a quick model) of how things work to speed up our decision making process and only question it when something is not working.

Evidence that we can know something and misattribute itsí cause. In a Gary Klein book, Power of Intuition, he interviews a Cleveland firefighter who was a veteran on the job. He was credited with getting his crew out of the building just prior to a collapse. When asked he said that he was psychic. Sort of, after some sleuthing, it was figured that he was tuned into variables of play which were sensory i.e. the sponginess of the floor and some auditory creaking. The heuristic told him to get out but he interpreted as some sort of mysticism. Misinterpretation by a veteran with years of experience.

Here is another idea. Maybe some wrestlers are so close in relative strengths that it is fairly clear what the determining variable is. This is in stark contrast to saying someone was just better that day.

I know I went after PSU and it turned a lot of people off to my argument. But the argument was about how things work at a big successful university and whether their success was due to rigorous training which is the same as everyone else or whether it was more about strategic based training which is different.

Culture and randomness play into development in this way. Culture is an all encompassing term of the external variables which play a role in development.

Randomness is this. Take a group of 100k wrestlers, out of that group name a intrinsic variable and have each wrestler take a step forward if they have it; keep doing so with specificity multiple iterations outward. Sooner or later you are going to be left with a select few. In that group is Kyle Dake.

A lot of these variables are teachable and hardwired. Mentation falls into this category. Some have an advantage in mentation but it is not necessarily the definitive variable in performance.

Each performance is different. Kind of like the snowflake, no two quite the same. There is a term called the fractal which helps explain differences in nature. It actually makes a lot of sense when you consider that the variables are the same but the that each person is comprised of variables that vary across a spectrum. JMHO.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Bob Preusse added to this discussion on March 20, 2014

the mental edge i believe does exist and i think its an interesting subject-- how much learned, how much innate? -- don't know but it separates athletes & coaches at the top levels. i call it The X Factor.

my friend the long time baseball scout- he signed a couple Hall of Famers- he looked for it, he believed in it, he defined it. As an outsider i depend on the opinion of experts to formulate my ideas.

(side note, until Cael, Penn st despite all their advantages had not won an NCAA title since 1953.)



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 20, 2014

Bob-

I think I heard Robles say it, Wrestlers want to go to PSU and wrestle for Cael, I would have.

I get what you are saying about your scout friend. I walked in the room at OSU when Heflin was a freshman and my spidey sense went off. He was clearly a talent and different than others. I remember going to a Clippers game and Darryl Strawberry was playing, he looked like a man amongst boys.

Some athletes do project a belief system which is hard to ignore but when you add in the physicality, then it is something special.

Also, you are getting info from second hand experience. Less reliable than first hand experience.



Last edited by Rex Holman on March 21, 2014; edited 1 time in total

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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Rex Holman added to this discussion on March 21, 2014

I may just be discussing with myself at this point but I thank you for everyone's discussion thus far.

Been thinking about PSU and something was not quite right with my argument and part of the reason I throw it into discussion as I need feedback to resolve issues within the argument.

Regarding my PSU development of their wrestlers being the same as everyone else, I missed by a little. Here is my amended argument.

The attention to detail and possible oversight is a function of how many coaches you have to each wrestler and how well they communicate knowledge to the wrestler in terms they understand.

The greater the size of talent in the room, the less time of individualized attention to each wrestler.

The less time of individualized attention to each wrestler, the greater the chance for oversight.

When you are talking about single position being the determining factor in outcomes or priming your wrestler for an opponent; attention to detail can make the difference between a win or loss.

Heflin is getting individualized attention to detail by Ross Thatcher. I can hear it when Heflin talks and I can see it when he wrestles.

Regarding McIntosh at Big Tens. Some people saw a bad shot, I saw a meltdown. You have to experience the meltdown to understand the meltdown. Iíve been there. Same thing I saw with Paddock against Purdue and why I was so upset about it. There are some cracks beginning to show in McIntoshís game as evidenced by the loss to Penny. It might be as simple as a long season which has taken itsí toll. If you were to wrestle the NCAA back in December he could have been in the finals. I donít know how he will do for the rest of the tournament, but it will come down to his or his opponentís weakest position. The reason for it will be mental or someone has a better understanding of the position.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Brady Hiatt added to this discussion on March 21, 2014

All of McIntosh's losses have one thing in common -- same body type of opponent -- those long arms and huge upper body strength are difficult for him to deal with. Something that must be overcome -- IMHO, through specific technical practice.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Michael Rodriguez added to this discussion on March 21, 2014

...or perhaps being a 184-pounder.



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Tommy Ellis added to this discussion on March 21, 2014

To Rex
While I cannot talk on your level or have the qualifications to probably even participate in this conversation , I really appreciate your insight and candor on this whole topic. This is wrestling on a level to which I was never privy to and its interesting as hell to me . You should be an advisor to some of these kids . Thanks for your insight , and I love this OWN , there is a lot of knowledge in here.
Iffa, coulda, woulda, shoulda ...but would love to see where this team would be right know with Cam , Josh , and Andrew at The NCAA big .



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Discussion Topic: Um, yeh, About that.
Brady Hiatt added to this discussion on March 21, 2014

Quote from Michael Rodriguez's post:

"...or perhaps being a 184-pounder."



I'd be with you on that one.



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