USA Greco

Here Is the Plan for Senior Pan Am Games Camp

ildar hafizov, 2019 pan am games camp
Ildar Hafizov -- Photo: Mark Lundy/Lutte Lens

Tomorrow morning at the US Olympic (& Paralympic) Training Center in Colorado Springs, the Senior Pan American Games Camp is slated to begin. The six Americans who will be competing at the event next month are those who occupy the Olympic weight classes on this year’s World Team — Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP), Ellis Coleman (67 kg, Army/WCAP, world no. 15), Patrick Smith (77 kg, Minnesota Storm), Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/Chicago RTC), G’Angelo Hancock (97 kg, Sunkist, world no. 3), and 2018 World silver Adam Coon (130 kg, NYAC/Cliff Keen, world no. 2).

The Pan Am Games is a high-profile multi-sport event that carries extra significance in the eyes of both the national governing body and the USOPC. It is held every four years, and more specifically, in the year preceding the Olympic Games. In addition, and as pointed out by Dennis Hall in the forthcoming episode of The Five Point Move Podcast, there is another matter to consider.

While it is true that several of the South/Central American Greco-Roman programs have improved, it all still boils down to Cuba and how those potential head-to-head matchups play out — and if they don’t unfold in the US athlete’s favor, there are implications later on regarding Olympic qualification.

“If for some reason we don’t qualify at the World Championships in a weight class, we’re going to have to figure out how to beat the Cubans,” Hall said. “So it’s another crack at the Cubans and we have to learn from it when we wrestle them. We have to figure out how to beat them, because in order to make the Olympic Games next year, we’re going to have to beat the Cubans at the Pan Ams (Olympic Qualifier).”

Three of the six US athletes who currently hold United World Wrestling top-20 rankings — Coleman, Hancock, and Coon — tangled with Cuban opponents at the Pan Am Championships in April, though Coon is the only one of the trio (and only US athlete, period) to have emerged victorious. Coleman fell to 2015 World/2016 Olympic Champion Ismael Borrero Molina (CUB, world no. 13) in his final; likewise, Hancock was downed by Gabriel Rosillo (CUB, world no. 13) and had to settle for silver; and Coon starched Angel Pacheco Romero (CUB) in the semifinals.

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Such is the assignment. Of course, it is also worth mentioning that Coleman, who is in the midst of the best stretch of his career and is perhaps the country’s best overall, was engaged in a competitive affair with Borrero before giving up a match-ending bodylock. Hancock, all season long easily one of the most active and successful Greco wrestlers on the planet, lost to Rosillo in a surprisingly messy (and questionably officiated) bout.

But it is all enough for the squad to understand the glaring fact that Cuba is still, in effect, Cuba, and this is despite the standout team victory for the Americans four years ago. And though there would have been a Pan Am Games Camp anyway, US National Team head coach Matt Lindland has installed a training plan intended to adequately prepare the athletes for a repeat while still ensuring they are primed for the Worlds some five five weeks and change later.

“It’s about putting in the volume with the technical with the recovery,” explained Lindland. “We have clearly been focused on several areas, I don’t want to get too specific, but some par terre and on the feet areas we’ve been focused on. Very specific, targeted situational areas that won us some matches at the Pan Am Championships, that I can tell you. If you want to see an example, check out the match that Max Nowry won. He got put down late in the match, got turned, and then scrambled out on top and got a reversal, and ultimately gutted his opponent to victory.

“That is one of the areas we’ll be working on and we are going to continue down that path of attacking from the bottom. Then we are going to keep adding skills in these areas that are part of our year-long plan that began with January camp, the first Pan Ams camp, and now we’re back in July with the Team selected. We are going to continue to build on those skills while adding new ones. It gets me excited because I think these are some areas where we can win some matches, and guys showed me at the Pan Ams that they were important areas. That was our first real test event to see if what we were doing is working and I came away from it very encouraged that we’re moving in the right direction.”

2019 USA Greco-Roman Pan Am Games Camp

July 10-20 – Colorado Springs

SCHEDULE

Wednesday, July 10
Travel day and registration/check-in

Thursday, July 11 
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Wrestling skills
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Friday, July 12
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Wrestling skills
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Saturday, July 13
7:00am-8:00am — Breakfast
10:30am-11:00am — Video review
11:00am-12:00pm — Run and sauna
1:00pm-2:00pm — Lunch
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Sunday, July 14
Recover

Monday, July 15
7:00am-8:00am — Breakfast
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Live wrestling
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Tuesday, July 16
7:00am-8:00am — Breakfast
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Live wrestling
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Wednesday, July 17
7:00am-8:00am — Breakfast
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Live wrestling
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Thursday, July 18
7:00am-10:00am — Breakfast
11:00am-2:00pm — Lunch
3:00pm-3:45pm — Video review
4:00pm-5:00pm — Wrestling skills
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Friday, July 19
7:00am-8:00am — Breakfast
8:00am-8:45am — Pan Am Team member and partner warm-up
9:00am-10:30am — Live wrestling
11:30am-2:00pm — Lunch
4:00pm-5:00pm — Live wrestling
5:00pm-8:00pm — Dinner

Saturday, July 20
Check-out/travel day

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