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Coach Nieman

Be the bracket buster

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As a coach at a small school that doesn't churn out state qualifiers, I have a request for all the underdogs on the 13th.

 

Don't worry about who you've drawn at semistate. Nobody's past wins, losses, or accolades mean anything once the whistle blows. You've busted your butts all year, more than anyone not involved with wrestling could possibly comprehend. Your blood, sweat, and determination have gotten you this far. Let nothing stand in your way. Fight for victory with every fiber of your being. Win or lose, if you know you have left it all on the mat, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

 

Many great wrestlers have imparted profound words of motivation to the next generation of wrestlers. But I think the strongest words I've ever read have been from a world-class runner, the late Steve Prefontaine. "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

 

Have a great week of practice, and give 'em hell, boys.

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Great post. You never know what's gonna happen. My son's junior year, we were just hoping for him to qualify. Toughest guy in the bracket got spladled; opening the door. He went on to win semi state, had a good draw at state and went on to place 3rd. To this day, that was the most fun/joy I've ever experienced in my kids' wrestling experiences. More years to come, but so far that tops the cake. He was the underdog and wrestled without the pressure of expectation. The underdog has nothing to lose, no pressure, and everything to gain! Have fun with it boys! There is nothing more exciting than a community rallying behind the local kid in high school. College wrestling is great, but it's very difficult to match that family/community experience you get in high school. Leave everything on the mat and leave your fear at home.

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