Dave Schultz Memorial
The Cliff Keen Wrestling Club was just in Colorado Springs for a national team camp and the Dave Schultz memorial tournament. This was not a great tournament for our club as we did not have anyone finish in the top three. There were representatives from China, Japan, Bulgaria, Russia, Kazakhstan, India, Panama, Canada, and the United States. This is the biggest and toughest international tournament that is held in the United States, so we as a team had to test ourselves to see where we stand against everyone else. We only had Kellen Russell and Kyle Massey competing, Jimmy Kennedy was just training and getting prepared for the World Cup and Belarus later this month. Kellen lost in the consolation quarterfinals, and Massey lost in the consolation semi finals.
I am proud of the way both Kellen and Kyle competed, but if they want to make the US World team they will have to spend a lot of time working on the small areas of their wrestling where they lost points this past weekend. Wrestling is a sport where you constantly have to make little corrections. We are not perfect human beings, but we all strive for perfection anyways. Perfection is not an attainable goal, but the closer we can get to perfect the better chance we have to win when it counts. I want to talk a little about Dave Schultz and his impact on the wrestling world. Dave was a World Champion in 1983 and an Olympic Champion in 1984. Throughout the rest of his career Dave never made it back to the top of the podium at the Olympics or the World Championships. Dave was 2nd three times and 3rd twice at the World Championships. In today’s internet age Dave probably would have been written off by all the critics sitting behind a monitor and keyboard. Lucky for us this did not happen and instead we have a lasting legacy of a man that was not just great on the mat, but a man who is revered by everyone in the wrestling community. Dave Schultz was 24 years old when he won the World Championships in 1983. This is a young age for an American to win the World Championships. Look at Jordan Burroughs, he is in a very similar situation that Dave Schultz was in. Both Dave and Jordan won the World Championships, then won the Olympics the very next year. This is actually a very rare feat to do, and has only been done around ten times since the 1984 Olympics. Dave loved the sport of wrestling and he continued to try and master a sport that is impossible to master. Every time you step on the mat you have a different opponent and anything can happen. This is why we all compete, and Dave was a great example of strapping on the shoes and seeing what was about to happen. In order to be great you have to be willing to dare to be great. You have to be willing to test your skills against the best wrestlers in the world time and time again. You can’t hide from anyone if greatness is what you are after, and this is what Dave Schultz taught me. I wanted to be the best wrestler in the world, and I gave it my all. I wrestled in all the toughest tournaments in the world and I competed against some very good wrestlers. I won some matches and I lost some matches, but at the end of the day I know I did everything I could to become a great wrestler. I still strive to be great in all that I do. I want to be the best coach in the nation and I want to help young wrestlers win World and Olympic championships. I gained a lot of knowledge in my pursuit of greatness and I believe I can pass some of that knowledge onto others. Dave Schultz will always be a legend for what he was able to accomplish on the mat. His wrestling career was not perfect and he had his share of losses, but like Dave you have to learn from the losses and grow from them so you can come back a better wrestler and a better person. I have been in the same situation both Kyle and Kellen are in. Just because they failed to place at the Dave Schultz tournament does not mean they are not capable of doing great things. Our team tested themselves this past weekend and we will take what we learned from our matches and use that moving forward to get better. I believe in the guys I am coaching and I believe in my own ability to help them as we work towards the US Open and World Team Trials. We know where we stand at this point in the season, and we know where we want to stand in September during the World Championships. Andy