A pair of high-profile USA Greco-Roman World Team members highlight this episode of The Five Point Move Podcast, as Adam Coon (130 kg, Cliff Keen WC) and Ellis Coleman (67 kg, Army/WCAP) join the program. If you can get past co-host Tim Hands’s choppy audio quality, you’ll soon discover that this may be one of the best episodes of the show yet — with the credit for that going to the guests.
Coon, the now-former heavyweight star from the University of Michigan, is first on the docket. Despite Coon’s Greco World medal as a Junior four years ago — as well as his Senior National title in ’15 and runner-up finish to Robby Smith a few months later at the Olympic Trials — he is considered one of the “new guys” for the US program. What makes the 23-year-old stand out is that there are no ego issues when it comes to his place on the 2018 World Team. Coon candidly admits that he is doing all he can to immerse himself in the classical style and likens this summer’s training phase to learning a foreign language. Even with that, many observers in and around the sport can’t help but be tantalized regarding his chances, particularly now that he is fully focused on Greco leading up to the World Championships this October.
After the “wrestling talk”, Coon shares some knowledge about his educational background in aeronautical engineering. This leads to several follow-up questions, such as: “Would he join the new proposed ‘Space Force’?”; “Does he care that Mars is currently aligned closer to Earth?”; and “Can the circumstances surrounding Matt Damon’s The Martian ever become a reality?”
2012 Olympian Coleman earned his second-straight spot (and third overall) on a Senior World Team in June by defeating Alex Sancho (NYAC) two matches to none. Interestingly, Coleman has been getting work in with Sancho recently in effort to improve from par terre defense. But just as importantly, the WCAP wrestler is now becoming recognized as a legitimate leader for Team USA. Respected by teammates and coaches alike, Coleman has reached a stage in his career where others look to him to set an example. While his own needs as an athlete come first, Coleman understands the pressing need for team unity given Greco’s current domestic climate and opens up about some of the ways solid communication makes a difference among the group.
Like with Coon, there is a little off-topic banter involved with Coleman. Over the latter part of the spring, his wife gave birth to their second child (Elliara). Preparing to make a World Team is a hefty undertaking by itself, but doing so with a newborn in the house might seem like an even greater challenge. Not for Coleman — he benefited from a lot of help courtesy of his wife and it is duly pointed out how lucky he is for that to have been the case. In addition, he and co-host Dennis Hall also talk about what it’s like to be fathers who travel for competition while missing their families at home.
A few highlights
Coon on reinforcing his Greco knowledge throughout a busy summer
“I’m one of those guys who doesn’t necessarily like training hard all of the time, but being fully immersed in it I definitely like being. It’s the same thing as when you learn a foreign language. The best way to learn it is to immerse yourself in the culture to learn the foreign language. Well, Greco right now is a foreign language to me because I’ve spent most of my time these past five years doing folkstyle. I really haven’t had tons of immersion into Greco itself. So, moving on from camp-to-camp-to-camp, as long as I am getting those couple days of recovery each time, I actually love every bit of it because I’m actually training Greco full time, and this is the first time I’ve been able to really train Greco and get that solid foundation down like I did in Eagle Creek and just continue to build on that here.”
Coon on improving his postion
“I know that if I stay in good position I’ll be able to get to the spots I want and create a lot of action. That’s what I’ve always kind of prided myself on. I want to be the guy who is creating action, the one who is scoring a lot of points. I don’t want to be that heavyweight who is just leaning on people and belly-bumping my way to a 1-0 match type thing.”
Coleman on increasingly taking on a leadership role
“If I look back on it and recall my time being on Senior World Teams when I was the young guy on those Teams, there were a bunch of guys I looked up to. A lot of guys I looked up to, and I wanted to be like them. There were a lot of guys who were good leaders who helped me better myself as a wrestler and as a person. It’s kind of vital that I can play that role, too, and give back the same way they did to me. Especially with the talent we have on the Team, it would be hard to let that go to waste.”
Coleman on if he likes the heavy workload leading up to the World Championships
“Not really, but I feel like I don’t really know as much as the coaches do, you know? Coach (Matt) Lindland, he’s got medals, so he has been there and done that before. For me, I just keep my mouth shut and do what needs to be done. The big thing for me having (camps) back-to-back-to-back is just keeping myself fresh and not burning myself out, especially with my health conditions. Just try to monitor my training, and train hard and smart at the same time.”