There is an old saying that goes, “Nothing worthwhile comes easy.” They should have added that nothing worthwhile comes quickly. In today’s day and age everything comes quick and easy. Our society is addicted to the next technological gadget that will make life more convenient or easy. We want results immediately. I see this attitude carry over into the wrestling room with my students more often than I’d like. Many wrestlers want to be great after one season and some even one week. Unfortunately, when it comes to being great in the sport of wrestling, you can’t simply download it in less than 2 seconds like the latest 4G phone. It takes time… it takes a long time, and that is not easy.
Time and time again, the wrestlers who stay committed over the long haul (sometimes several years) are the ones that achieve greatness. The ones who want instant or short term results usually fade away and have minimal success. I once had a fairly successful wrestler come to train at Valdez Training Gym for a week. After a week he quit coming. When I called to ask why he stopped coming he said that he didn’t think he had improved very much in that week so he didn’t see any point in coming back. After trying to explain to him that improvement takes time he simply wasn’t convinced and I never saw him at the gym again. I believe that too much success too quickly can be detrimental to a young wrestler. They come to expect quick results and like the young man who quit after one week, when those results don’t come quickly, they don’t know how to persevere.
Many of my best wrestlers didn’t become great, or have much success at all for their first few years. I truly believe this was beneficial and a huge part of their later success. These wrestlers learned how to persevere through the long tough times. They learned how to get back up time and time again even when there seemed to be no hope. In the end, they were able to achieve greatness, but it didn’t come easy, and it certainly didn’t come quickly.