When I was asked by BRUTE to write a blog, I had some hesitation. We just started the school year here at Oklahoma State University and time was of the essence. Then I found out it came with a one week deadline and I really had reservation. Yet after visiting with one of our wrestlers who just returned from an international competition I found inspiration. I realized that I did not have to write an entry. I only had to convey in words the passion he feels for being the best.
The entry was supposed to be titled, “ How people can get engaged in the Olympic movement”. Immediately the coach and father within me, realized that “Why” should proceed “How”. I’ve shown my children how to brush their teeth, but it takes a cavity filling or pulled tooth to understand exactly why it is needed. I have explained how to make weight properly, however sometimes it takes an under whelming performance for an athlete to embrace why they must exhibit discipline in their diet. With that said, answering why we should all engage in the Olympic movement, is a great tale. Then the how portion, will not seem like such a journey.
Olympism is a way of life. It is the promotion of a balanced body and mind. It marries sport with education and culture. It emphasizes the joys of effort, not the burden of result. Olympism gives us hope. It teaches us to strive for excellence. It requires that we demonstrate respect, all while celebrating friendship.
The Olympic movement takes us all back to a simpler time. Our modern society has our time and attention spread thinly amongst the many different requirements that it tells us in which we need to be engaged. When you walk into an Olympic level competition, domestic or international, an Olympic regional training site or one of our countries Olympic Sports Training centers something amazing happens. Life becomes simple again.
You enter the confines of those walls and are instantly surrounded by positive, motivated individuals whose focus is giving all they have that day, whether it be competition or practice, to be the best in the world at their chosen discipline. Upon gaining Olympic berth, ascertaining an Olympic medal or even when falling short. We do not hear thank yous given to the social media apps on our smart phones, the breaking news updates to our emails, nor do we learn about what happened on the last episode of a reality TV show. We DO hear many thank yous extended to coaches, family, friends, mentors and support systems. The Olympic movement promotes healthy relationships.
On these occasions, credit is never given to extra hours up late playing video games or surfing the web. There is no credit given to petty drama. We DO learn that rising up early, staying late, altering what had previously not worked, embracing the tough times, staying positive, time management and learning to receive criticism were part of these individuals Olympic journey. The Olympic movement promotes great life skills.
We are naturally drawn to these characteristics. Whether we have ever engaged in sport or not, we all want to be around those who strive. Even more so we know it is paramount that the generations to come gather these lessons and bear the fruit that comes from their implementation… in or out of the sporting arena. We should engage in the Olympic movement because it teaches the young and reminds us old, of what striving looks and feels like.
Now on to how…
- Attend an Olympic level practice or competition. There are regional training sites scattered all over our country. If you have a child is in sports nothing could be more inspiring.
- Grassroots involvement: Volunteer. Coach a youth club, referee a high school wrestling or club tournament, volunteer at a competition in your area, it takes a village to raise an Olympic hopeful.
- Every June there is an Olympic Day celebration. In 2012, 200,000 people participated in Olympic Day in 529 communities around the country. Olympians visited schools, hospitals, sporting events, community centers, car dealerships etc.., all volunteering their time to support your community.
- Contact the USOA via www.teamusa.org under programs: There are Olympians living in every state. All of them have a story. A story of commitment, perseverance, struggle, triumph and humility. The USOA connects Olympians to communities and community events. Request one to speak at your next meeting or child’s sport club.
- Donations: Support your local team or club. Many do great things with very little resources. On a national level, wrestling’s national governing body USA Wrestling www.themat.com reinvests every dollar raised back into the sport of wrestling. Giving opportunities to age group wrestlers as well as our current Olympic wrestling hopefuls.
In the Olympic spirit,
Author: Eric Guerrero
Associate Head Coach at Oklahoma State University
3x NCAA Champion, 4x US Open Champion, 2004 Olympian
Hello wrestlers, coaches and fans. For those that do not know me, I’m Leigh Jaynes. I’ve wrestled under the name Jaynes for over twelve years. I began wrestling as a senior in high school on a dare. When I placed All-American at the US Girl’s Wrestling Association Nationals, I was recruited by for Missouri Valley College in 1999. At that time MVC was only one of five colleges offering scholarships to wrestle.
Upon completion of my four years as an undergraduate, I remained on campus to pursue a Masters degree and follow through on my ROTC commitment. Fortunately, I’d made progress competing and was picked up by the New York Athletic Club for a few years followed by Gator Wrestling Club; which offered me overseas opportunities. Then the US Army, who put soldiers like myself on Active Duty, paid me to wrestle in a special assignment called the World Class Athlete Program.
Women’s Wrestling has taken me all over the world. I’ve made 6 national teams, 3 world cups, 2 world teams, and boast 1 senior national championship wrestling for Terry Steiner and training as a resident at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Recently, I married Olympian Ben Provisor and had a little baby girl. We both want to continue wrestling through to Rio 2016. We will see how tough we are when this little girl has us wrapped around her finger!
My relationship with Brute seemed to fall into place with what I’d wanted to accomplish for myself as a competitor. Competitively I worked a lot on focus and obtaining the zone. I realized that a huge factor on losing focus for me was the fact that my competition singlet didn’t fit properly. It was a high cut version for the men, but still to low and loose for women. During my MA program my final project was to survey female wrestlers and learn what they would like to see adjusted in the fit of their competitive wear. I collected the data and made a packet, complete with drawings and explanations on a better Women’s Singlet.
Years later, I’m in my dorm room at the OTC organizing an old file cabinet and came across my project and started making calls to see if anyone would be interested in helping me get a better fit. First call was a major company in wrestling. They claimed that there was simply “no market” and they were not willing to “extend their resources.” I wasn’t really looking at the market for a new product. I just wanted something better. But when I evaluated the situation from a business prospective, I determined that there is a market and it’s grown ten-fold since I began wrestling. That’s huge and it will continue to grow especially after new acceptances for the sport on all levels leading up the Olympic Games.
Brute Wrestling saw the potential and we started working together. I can honestly say we are making an impact! I’ll be sharing a monthly women’s wrestling blog here on brute.com. If you there are topics you would like discussed, please let us know. Check back monthly to see what’s happening in women’s wrestling.
Author: Leigh Jaynes
Wrestler. Business Owner. Mom.