Latest stories

  • My Greatest Opponent Is Me

    You’re my harshest critic. There are dreams and lofty goals of which I strive for, but you constantly plant seeds of doubt in my mind. It’s been a roller coaster since day one. Even though the highs have been many, the lows have been deep. And when I fall into the valley of despair, it’s […] More

  • Be a champion

    I walked with determination toward the small gym just across the hallway from the large gym where I had finished wrestling. I was fuming! I won the section finals, but barely squeaked by with a 4-3 win over Nathan Applegate. Why was I angry? Well, I almost lost. I almost lost to a wrestler I […] More

  • The importance of mentorship

    In reality, there are several different facets of the wrestling community. There are family, friends, and fans of the sport. There are wrestlers from the past, those who paved the way for the sport – some still living, some who made their exit from this world long ago. And of course, I find it important […] More

  • The true story behind “when” my kids will wrestle

    I want my kids to wrestle. But you know what causes me to pause in terms of when I will introduce  them to the sport? It’s me. It’s my tendency as a parent to protect them, comfort them, and alleviate elements of pain and suffering. You see, wrestling is unlike any other sport relative to […] More

  • Come suffer with us

    For quite some time, I have tried to understand the issue regarding why the sport of wrestling struggles in terms of growth – both in participation as well as fandom. Recent years have shown that perhaps the tides are changing; but generally, wrestling has struggled in this area. There were a couple common routes I took in trying […] More

  • Fight for success

    Many readers might not know this, but in addition to what I do for “Faith and Wrestling”, I am also a member of the speaker’s bureau for the United States Wrestling Foundation (USWF). Among other things, this organization is involved in creating marketing strategies for the sport of wrestling in order to help grow the […] More

  • So you think you’re done?

    I remember walking in the middle of the night through a neighborhood in San Diego because I couldn’t sleep. I was visiting my older brother who was a marine stationed there. The day before, I had made the difficult phone call to the assistant wrestling coach at Cal State Bakersfield that I wouldn’t be returning. […] More

  • THE TRUE STORY BEHIND ‘WHEN’ MY KIDS WILL WRESTLE

    I want my kids to wrestle. But you know what causes me to pause in terms of when I will introduce  them to the sport? It’s me. It’s my tendency as a parent to protect them, comfort them, and alleviate elements of pain and suffering. You see, wrestling is unlike any other sport relative to […] More

  • EMBRACE THE CLIMB

    During my travels around the country this past fall, I was given the wonderful opportunity to return to Missouri and speak at Oak Park High School – both to the high school wrestlers, as well as the youth club “Greater Heights Wrestling”. While it was a rather quick visit, it was nevertheless very meaningful to […] More

  • Mindset: Why and how did we get here?

    In the last several years, we have seen an upsurge in a focus on “mindset training;” the recognition that the competitive mindset – this mental muscle – is something that wrestlers should place significant focus and value upon in the course of their growth in the sport. Obviously, I am one who has aligned with […] More

  • Identity: The issue every wrestler faces

    As some of my readers know, I do some traveling and speaking throughout the country, particularly in the summer and fall months. Some of these speaking engagements involve large venues and audiences, while others are smaller and include presentations to high school and college wrestling programs. Back in October, one of my stops was at […] More

  • The importance of mentors

    In reality, there are several different facets of the wrestling community. There are family, friends, and fans of the sport. There are wrestlers from the past, those who paved the way for the sport – some still living, some who made their exit from this world long ago. And of course, I find it important […] More

  • BE A CHAMPION

    I walked with determination toward the small gym just across the hallway from the large gym where I had finished wrestling. I was fuming! I won the section finals, but barely squeaked by with a 4-3 win over Nathan Applegate. Why was I angry? Well, I almost lost. I almost lost to a wrestler I […] More

  • When wrestling saves the word

    Wrestling can save the world. Picture what this means within the contour of your own mind, and follow me as I work through this… Community in wrestling has long been an area of intrigue for me. Wrestling is easily recognized as an individual sport. However, the closeness apparent in the wrestling community is beyond anything […] More

  • The joy of the wrestler

    There is joy in victory. If the subject is wrestling, we can confidently say that wrestlers experience joy in victory. And it’s not just because of victory in and of itself, but because of all that preceded it: that is, the sacrifice, suffering, training, endurance and dedication. Now, it’s true that joy in victory is fleeting. […] More

  • Let your performance do the talking

    I read an article recently about a current wrestler (who will remain nameless). The article discussed this wrestler’s mindset and approach toward the finish line of his collegiate career. Now, from the outset, I admit that I have grown to dislike this particular wrestler; and primarily because of his loud and obnoxious mouth. While he […] More

  • Embrace the moment

    In my book, The Wrestler, I devote a chapter to “gratefulness”. That is, being grateful for the opportunity to train, to compete, to be a part of state, national, or even world level tournaments, to put everything on the line in order to achieve all you can in the sport. Not everyone experiences the life […] More

  • The upset

    One could argue that the occurrence of the “upset” is what keeps a sport alive. And I would have to agree with them. If the giant always walked away victorious over the challenger then people would probably lose interest in watching the game. I believe there is a tendency within our human nature to desire […] More

  • My Greatest Opponent Is Me

    You’re my harshest critic. There are dreams and lofty goals of which I strive for, but you constantly plant seeds of doubt in my mind. It’s been a roller coaster since day one. Even though the highs have been many, the lows have been deep. And when I fall into the valley of despair, it’s […] More

  • You Will Remember These Days for the Rest of Your Life

    Let me admit from the outset that I come from a broken family. Domestic turmoil and subsequent divorce put to wraps my family situation as a young man. So even as I write this, I am not writing as one who necessarily continues to reap the benefits of the quality family experience I gained throughout […] More

  • It Starts With The Wrestlers

    I wrote a piece a month or so ago titled “It’s not about you”. Within it is the suggestion that wrestling is not about each individual wrestler engaging the sport for purposes of obtaining lasting fulfillment, self-worth or grandeur. Instead, wrestling is a gift with which to engage. And as a gift, it’s meant to […] More

  • A Letter To My Former Wrestling Enemy

    To my former wrestling enemy. Let’s be honest, I didn’t like you and you didn’t like me. It wasn’t so much animosity as it was the mere fact that we served as obstacles to one another in the way of achieving gold medals. Let’s get this straight as well: When all was said and done […] More

  • It’s Not Just About Wrestling, It’s About Life

    Life is crazy, isn’t it? Life itself is crazy at times, and taking a moment to think about life and the various twists and turns you have personally taken within it can be a crazy experience as well. I often tell people that my life would make for a great book. But as confident as […] More

  • If I Could Do It All Over Again

    If I could do it all over again, I would  take advantage of every practice. I would push myself to the limit…and then further each day. If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t worry so much about winning but instead about enforcing my will upon my opponent, and let the winning take […] More

  • It’s Not About You

    It’s not about you. That’s right, this sport is not about you. For the vast majority of competitors who have committed to the sport of wrestling, there will always be someone better or someone who has simply accomplished more. There will always be phenoms on the rise, other wrestlers who obtain the focus and attention […] More

  • A Tale of Two Boys: Why Mental Toughness is so Important

    We have heard it time and time again: when it comes to wrestling, mental toughness is key. But I don’t think we recognize just how important it actually is. I personally understand the pressing significance of mental toughness as a result of my own experience as a wrestler. You see, I was not mentally tough. […] More