You’d have to run it all the way back to January to find the last time 5PM Podcast co-host Dennis Hall appeared on an episode prior to this week, so naturally, there has been a lot to talk about.
Hall, who late last year accepted a role on the Ohio RTC coaching staff in addition to running his World Gold Wrestling club in Wisconsin, is always busy and there was some fresh news for him to share at the opening of episode 25. WGW is moving to a significantly larger, amenity-filled facility in Wisconsin Rapids and he’s excited to get to work on putting the mats down.
That bit of news leads to the next topic: wrestling parents. Hall discusses what he thinks a parent’s main responsibility is pertaining to a young wrestler’s progress, regardless of age group.
Next on the docket is the 2019 US World Team and qualification for the Tokyo Olympics. It is a process Hall became more than familiar with during his illustrious competitive career, and he speaks to the pressure he felt attempting to accomplish that task.
Team chemistry and its perceived importance relative to a World Team serves as the final major subject brought up in this episode, as Hall relays examples of why athletes getting along on and off the mat can be critical during the grueling training cycle leading up to a World or Olympic event.
A few highlights
Hall on fathers who wrestled versus fathers who didn’t
“It’s tough, because the fathers who wrestled want their kids to be better than them, and the fathers who didn’t wrestle don’t understand how hard the sport is. Oh, just grab ’em and throw ’em down. Yeah, well, it ain’t that easy. The ones who have success don’t talk about wrestling all the time, they take a break from it.”
Hall on qualifying for the Olympics
“Hell yeah, there’s a lot of pressure. You don’t think there is? In 2000, I wrestled in the Pan Ams to qualify the weight class and I’m getting ready for the finals and I get fricking knocked out by Brandon Paulson while we’re drilling. Before the finals, he lands a hip toss on me, my arm gets caught, I land on my head, I get a concussion, my head hurts, and I’ve got to go out there and wrestle (Roberto) Monzon. I ended up beating him with :10 left. I scored a point somehow. I don’t remember a damn thing from that match. But there’s a lot of pressure.”
Hall on why (World) Team chemistry is important
“Everybody is going to feel like shit at some point during a World Team training camp. If you’re a leader or a teammate, you’re going to pick up the guy who had a bad practice or just got his ass kicked. The biggest thing they’ve got to do is carry each other. When someone is down, pat them on the back, pull them up, and tell them, Get it next practice. When I was coming up we had great team chemistry and I think that’s huge.”