Those United States Senior Greco-Roman athletes who are currently in Croatia have completed their first week of a massive multi-national training camp.
Taking place in the city of Porec, the camp began on Monday in the aftermath of the Grand Prix Zagreb Open “Ranking Series” tournament in which two Americans finished 5th — Ildar Hafizov (60 kg, Army/WCAP) and Mahmoud Sebie (82 kg, NYAC). Although the competition itself carried with it a sense of prioritization given its ranking points implications and how they might correspond with seeding at the Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, the training opportunity in Porec was, is, just as important to the American program. With dozens of top foreigners populating the workout area, USA Greco wrestlers are hoping to get the “looks” they need to further hone their skills in preparation for the aforementioned Olympic Qualifier, the Trials, and beyond.
US National Team head coach Herb House is, of course, on-site with the delegation in Porec and took time out to answer a brief battery of questions about how camp has been going thus far.
5PM: What type of conversations have been had on the heels of the first “Ranking Series” tournament?
Coach Herb House: After the first Ranking Series tournament, everyone has been talking about what went wrong and how to fix it for the upcoming Olympic qualifier. The main focus of the discussions have been on not getting too caught up in winning or losing, but instead on making a solid plan and executing it well. The idea is that if we do things right, the wins will naturally follow. We’re also taking the opportunity to learn from the mistakes we made in the tournament and use that knowledge to improve and perform even better in the qualifier.
5PM: How has the first week of camp gone thus far and what are some of the premier objectives you would like to see accomplished during the remaining time in Porec?
HH: The first week of camp has been amazing. We’ve been working hard to improve our weaknesses and collaborating closely with our partners. Our training sessions have focused on executing our plans effectively and dedicating ourselves to constant improvement. One of the most exciting things about this camp is that we have more than 35 world medalists, multiple Olympic medalists, World Champions, and Olympic Champions here. Their experience and knowledge are incredibly valuable as we prepare for the upcoming Olympic qualifier. I also want to mention that Cuba has brought their full team to this camp, which adds to the excitement and competitiveness. We know that the Olympic qualifier will be a tough challenge for both teams.
Our main goals for the remaining time in Porec are to keep fighting hard and giving it our all. We’re determined to qualify all six weight categories, and we’re fully committed to achieving that. We’ll use the remaining time to fine-tune our skills, strengthen our strategies, and make sure that we’re in the best possible shape for the qualifier.
5PM: How has partner distribution been during practices? Are Americans satisfied with the variety of foreign workout partners?
HH: During our camp practice, we have placed a strong emphasis on partner distribution. We believe in the power of collaboration with athletes from various countries to enhance our performance. This allows our athletes to gain exposure to different defensive styles and make necessary adjustments. By experiencing this diversity, they can identify areas where they can improve their partner defense.
However, one challenge we face in the United States is the limited opportunities for our athletes to train with international partners. Due to the geographical spread of our athletes, they miss out on the valuable experience of facing opponents who can challenge them in unique ways, especially in terms of lifting and gutting techniques that may differ from what they encounter domestically. To address this, I have been working diligently to bring foreigners to the United States or find foreigners currently living in the United States to help train our team and provide them with the different perspectives and techniques they need.
5PM: How has health and recovery been overall between practices?
Coach Herb House: The health and recovery of our athletes have been overall good between practices. We have a dedicated trainer and coaching staff who closely monitor the situation and make necessary adjustments for the athletes. If an athlete is dealing with a minor issue but still wishes to fully participate, we ensure that they receive the necessary rehabilitation and rest to aid in their recovery. Our goal is to make sure that the athlete recovers in time for the Olympic Qualifier while managing their workload overseas.
Notice: Trying to get property 'term_id' of non-object in /home/fivepointwp/webapps/fivepointwp/wp-content/themes/flex-mag/functions.php on line 999