We are coming closer and closer to the 2017 Superior International Camp that is hosted by the Northern Michigan-Olympic Training Site in Marquette, Michigan. This year marks the fourth running of the camp and it has grown exponentially each year. The first one, held back in 2014, saw 70 wrestlers participate. 2015 ushered in a tick more. And then last year, the Superior Camp hit full capacity with over a hundred attendees, leading NMU-OTS head coach Rob Hermann to be forced forced to turn people away. “I hate to have to do that, but space is limited with three mats,” Hermann said at the time.
The registration deadline is approaching for 2017 (May 29th) and it is looking more and more like the attendance is going to be right up there with last year’s event. With the Superior International Camp being such a valuable asset to US Greco-Roman wrestling development, we figured it might be a good idea to point out some of its most important attributes so that Cadet and Junior competitors who might be on the fence understand why this is an excellent opportunity. To that point, we have enlisted Hermann’s help to come up with a list.
1. International training partners
American Greco-Roman wrestlers, specifically at the age-group levels, do not typically get a chance to work with athletes from other countries. Simply put, Greco in Europe and elsewhere around the world is a different sport. These wrestlers tend to be more technique-oriented and offer a different feel and acumen to compare against. They also usually have a lot more experience, especially since they are not coming from a folkstyle system and have only wrestled Greco (or in some cases, freestyle). If a US Cadet or Junior is a candidate for World competition or just wants to expand their abilities, international partners are a must, and that is something the Superior International Camp provides plenty of. Once again, Sweden is sending a delegation of athletes for that very reason.
“You don’t have to travel overseas to wrestle with these guys, you can get this competition in your own country,” says Hermann. “You get the international flavor of what they do over in Europe with the Sweden team. Plus, you get the Swedish coaches’ input and you’ll learn techniques that may not only help you at Fargo, but also at the World Championships. You are going to improve on your gutwrench, you are going to improve on your throws, and take those improvements home with you.”
2. A lot of matches
Any wrestling camp worth its salt provides opportunity for competition and it’s no different at Northern. Wrestlers can expect to get in eight matches over the last two days of camp (two in the morning and two in the afternoon). And it’s not just the number of matches but also, who those matches are with. Everyone in the room is sharp. Wrestlers aren’t just mixing it up with European partners, but also many of the most experienced age-group Greco competitors in the country. Even if an athlete is not a UWW Cadet or Junior World Team member, the overall exposure to the concentrated level at the camp can sure make a difference heading into the summer and also, nicely round out a wrestler’s overall profile for the rest of his high school career.
In addition, there will also be a USA versus Sweden dual meet on the Wednesday of camp week (June 7th). There will be 13 matches and the US team is expected to be comprised mainly of current World Team members.
“The good thing about that is even if you’re not in the dual meet, you get to watch good wrestling,” Hermann observes. “Last year, we had our Junior World Team wrestle and I believe the Superior Camp helped us win two medals (at the World Championships). I think it helped and whoever shows up this year, it will help them. This is a great opportunity to get the kinks out and get to where you need to be so you can win a medal.”
3. The instruction is next-level
Hermann himself is one of the most accomplished and reputable coaches in the country, having been on staff for numerous World and Olympic teams, including being the head coach for the 1996 Olympics.
With him now at Northern is Andy Bisek, the two-time World bronze medalist who stepped away from competition following the 2016 Rio Games last August. Bisek has made quite an impact at NMU already and as such, will be an integral part of the instruction at the Superior Camp. Joining Bisek on the US side is new USA Greco-Roman Programs Director Gary Mayabb, who will be a clinician on the Wednesday of the camp. The week closes out with Sweden taking the reigns.
“Andy Bisek will run the first two days, both mornings and afternoons,” confirmed Hermann. “Gary Mayabb will run Wednesday, so campers will get to know and meet Gary. Then the Swedish coaches will do Thursday. We’re going to utilize all of the coaches in the camp and what they are known for. I am going to oversee everything and offer my input, as well.”
4. The camp is open to any wrestler looking to improve at Greco (in other words, not just the elite)
One of the biggest misconceptions about the Superior International Camp is that it is only for high-speed kids who have already amassed an extensive amount of experience. That is certainly not the case. The camp is open and available to any Cadet or Junior Greco-Roman wrestler who is interested in improving, regardless of skill level. It just so happens that most of the better Greco age group talents in the US make sure that they attend. But if you want to improve and feel that a highly-specialized camp is the way to jumpstart your skills, you’re welcome to register.
“My philosophy for the camp, just like it is for our room here at Northern Michigan, is that if you want to get better at Greco, we want you to be a part of this,” Hermann says. “We want to help you prepare for Fargo and we want to help you reach your goals. We want the best to be at the camp, but we also want anyone else who is looking to get better.”
2017 Superior International Camp
Monday, June 5th-Saturday, June 11th
(travel days June 4th and June 11th)
Practices take place inside of the Superior Dome on the campus of Northern Michigan University. Attendees will stay at Meyland Hall on campus.
7:30am — Breakfast
8:30am-10:30am — Morning session
11:00am-1:00pm — Lunch
3:00pm-5:00pm — Afternoon session
Cost: $350 (includes meals and housing)
If you have any additional questions, please get in touch Coach Rob Hermann.
NMU-OTS Head Coach Rob Hermann