The Emotions of a Wrestler
By Kevin Rogers
Oregon High School, Oregon, Illinois
February 07, 2003

Wrestling truly, is one of the oldest sports in our worldís history.  It dates back to the Olympics when the Greeks were in power.  The Greeks began the sport of wrestling because it was a sport of brutality, and still is today.  However, besides being the oldest sport in history, it is a sport that is still enjoyed today.  I have come to enjoy wrestling myself, because of its characteristics.  Wrestling is hundreds of different emotions at one time.  Wrestling is wondering if the guy across from me is better, or a harder worker than I.  Wrestling isnít a sport a person might be naturally good at.  Wrestling is a sport that a person can start at the bottom of the pole, and work his way up to being the best wrestler in the room.  Wrestling is not an activity for the modest heart or the weak minded, and it takes great dedication to become a great wrestler.

   Wrestling means time, time away from school work.  It is time away from friends and family. It is hours after hours that I spend shooting singles and double leg takedowns--hours that Iíve spent after practice working to lose some extra weight for tomorrowís weigh-in. Wrestling is time, time I can only gain back through the rewards of victory of my own, and of my team.  Wrestling is also hours that I take to help an underclassman or a teammate who wants to stay after practice to put in the extra work needed to become a better wrestler.

   To be a great wrestler means to have dedicated coaches who are committed to spending all of their time with us wrestlers.  Our coaches spend a tremendous amount of time to do things for us. Our coaches spend unbelievable time away from family and friends, which shows they are anything but selfish. They work eight-hour days and then coach us until 5:00 after school, and then little kids until 8:00. On nights that we have wrestling meets the coaches donít get home until 9:00 p.m. regularly. Not to mention on the weekends when we have tournaments all day long. They are all very dedicated to teaching us a great sport. The more time I spend with them, the more I realize this.

   Wrestling means bonding. We as wrestlers spend so much time together that we form certain bonds. We sweat together bleed together and hurt together. We all work together to achieve common goals. We spend so much time together that we know everything about each other. From every bruise on our bodies, to every one of each otherís parents names. We are in short, brothers for a brief period of time in our lives. In the four months that wrestling lasts this certain bond survives through anger, loss, defeat, and victory.  In achieving these goals we experience ups and downs, and help each other to work through them. For example, last year I lost in the semi-finals at sectionals to the eventual runner-up in state at 152 pounds. I built on this experience and I am working harder than ever to go past semi-finals this year. My teammates have helped me to work harder. They have pushed me to sweat and bleed wrestling. In pushing on through these tests of our spirit, we have endeavored to work through the tough times, and built character along the way.

   Wrestling is pride. Wrestling has helped me build a sense of pride for what Iím working for. I also have a deeper sense of pride for my school. We as wrestlers for Oregon are also trying to bring back a big trophy each year to help strengthen the pride within the town limits. Pride is taking all of our state trophies over to the elementary and junior high schools, and showing them off to the little kids, so they can see what sense of pride they have a chance to be a part of. Prideís a certain feeling that I receive when walking off the mat with my head held high. To know that there is a sense of pride in my parents, and my brothers, and my coaches when my little brother or I walk off the mat victorious. I donít know if Iíve ever felt a deeper sense of pride than when my brother took first at the conference tournament under incredible odds. He incredibly overcame his opponents and came out victorious.

   The Oxford English Dictionary reads, to wrestle as ďto fight (especially as a sport) by grappling with a person and trying to throw him to the ground, or to struggle, to deal with, or overcome". Being a wrestler I know that this definition fits perfectly to the real aspect of wrestling. Wrestling is a fight, a struggle to throw the opponent to the ground. Wrestling will also serves as a lesson for later in life. For example, when I will be competing for a job, I will already know how to work harder than my opponent also competing to get the job. I will put in the extra time and commitment to make sure that I come out on top.

   Wrestling is fighting. It is; pounding, jerking, sprawling, grasping, ripping, yelling, wrestling is anger, and defeat. Itís a struggle against a person in physical combat to accomplish something, a conflict to overcome or destroy. Itís a contest to see who is quicker and stronger. It is an inner struggle to stay mentally focused through the end of the four months. It is a struggle to become a better person and athlete through all of the hard work and time put in.

   Wrestling is attitude, attitude that is taken onto the mat. Some wrestlers bring an attitude on the mat that is too intense. For instance, the wrestlers that are too intense get themselves into bad moves because theyíre not thinking; theyíre just going crazy. There are other wrestlers who are cool, and quick to think, while having a relatively good level of intensity to their form of wrestling. For example, I have a cool and responsive way of thinking while Iím in a wrestling match. Iíve wrestled opponents that have crazy attitudes that are very sloppy wrestlers. They usually end up on their backs losing matches. Most of the calmer, but alert wrestlers are much better at wrestling. Wrestling is the attitude that you develop. For example, getting hit in the mouth and bleeding profusely and not stopping-just getting meaner and meaner with my opponent. In the same way this attitude is needed in practice, for when it is time to use this attitude, it is already developed.

   Wrestling is the movement of an ocelot, quick, agile, illusive, deceptive, fast, flexible and stealthy. Wrestling is movement up and down, side to side. It is getting in on a single or double leg takedown so quickly, and so deep on the opponent, to know the feeling of being cat like. Wrestling is being quick and deceptive like a predator on the prowl.

   Wrestling is also respect. To respect all of the wrestlers who are going to be your opponents on the mat. There is a famous saying on our wrestling team, ďFear no one respect everyone.Ē For instance, I went out to wrestle a state champ completely scared. I wrestled with fear, and I shouldnít have. I obviously respected him, but I feared him which was my mistake. When we wrestle again it will be a completely different story. The time is getting closer as we speak, only a few more weeks.

   Finger nails clipped, ankles taped, and singlet straps up, "Do you have a clean shave son?" the official asks. Hereís the test of my real know how of wrestling. Itís time to wrestle, and I ask myself did I work harder than my foe this week? Did I improve my quickness, my attitude, and my work ethic? Am I ready to wrestle, like a fight to the death, because that is what itís going to take to overcome my opponent at the end of the match? I shake my coachesí hands, and Iím out to wrestle for six minutes.