I was asked to "blog". To "blog" is not something anyone would have asked me 10 years ago, about the same span of time since I've wrestled my last match. But, the blog and the tweet and the facebook poke, etc. are things that have come about from our technologically dominated lives....mainly the internet. Which, to me, is one of the greatest inventions in history b/c it makes communicating and getting information a zillion times easier than ever.
These days, technology runs my life, I think, more than most. I am a trader now. You know, the stock market, pork bellies, gold etc. etc.. You might have seen those madmen on CNBC or something screaming at the top of their lungs. I'm one of them, but in our modern age I get to do my trading from an office that's as quiet as a library most of time. At work, I stare at 5 computer screens all day long and click a mouse to enter and exit trades. As serious as the business is, it couldn't look more like I was playing a video game..Then, I come home, and well, look at me now, for example....I'm on the internet "blogging".
I want to brief, thorough and helpful. Only moments ago, I was watching videos on the internet to figure out something I was trying to teach myself in music and that's when it came to me how I can help any young wrestler or coach with just a few words of advice.
I want to tell a very short background story. Early in high school I somehow got my hands on a few videocassettes of international wrestling. All the best guys in the world were on the tapes. And, to me, they were priceless. I have never been a sports fan, and that includes wrestling. I don't watch sports on t.v. but a couple times a year and I frequently turn down tickets to Cubs games, etc.. But, I watched those wrestling videos over and over and over again. I got better at wrestling by watching how amazing someone could really become. It raised my standards technically, and got my imagination going too. Just aiming to be at that level (on the videotapes), and knowing what that level actually looked like, gave me such an advantage.
If you're into acting, let's say, or music, or mainstream sports for that matter (NFL, NBA etc.) you've had full and instant access to see or hear the very best the world has ever seen at any time you want. LeBron's on T.V. 100 nights a year...The radio (and internet) play music and movies to no end. But, if you were me in 1987 and you really wanted to watch someone like 8x world champion Sergey Belaglazov compete, you were out of luck. There was just no access to it. Until I got those tapes, I was left to only wonder what the "Big Leagues" were like in my sport and that was not a good thing.
Now, with the internet, any one of you wrestlers or coaches can have the same exact matches I watched and 1000 others playing for you inside of a half a minute, without moving an inch from where you are right now! That's is an INCREDIBLE fact, I think.
I would never tell anyone to do anything, because what works for one person, doesn't for another, and I don't know who it is reading this, but if you think it might help, then get on the internet and watch some of the world level competition.
You don't have to wonder, like I did when I was a kid, what the very best wrestlers the world has ever seen are like when they compete. You don't have to wonder what would work against the best and you do get see what is really possible.
Alan Fried is a native of Ohio wrestling for St. Edwards and NCAA Champion for Oklahoma State University