Student-Athlete Journal: Chad Lampert, Wrestling

Excitement builds as the first competition for the Anchormen wrestling team draws closer. Saturday, Nov. 10 [at the Roger Williams Invitational] is the first look at outside competition, and many of us are eager to get our first taste of victory this season.

You can see it on the faces of the veterans and freshmen alike in the wrestling room. Emotions are beginning to run high. Wrestling amongst each other in the practice room is becoming increasingly physical, that’s how you can tell everyone is ready to compete.

The first weeks of practice are usually the toughest, getting down to competition weight, working the rust out and getting into wrestling shape. We all work out in the off-season and concentrate on getting in shape a few months before the season, but nothing gets you in shape for wrestling than actually wrestling.

The coaching staff [Head Coach Jay Jones, Assistant Coaches Scott Baum and Bob Smith] pushes us from day one and the soreness sets in not long after. Going into the wrestling season you might think you’re in good shape, but good isn’t where we want to be. The goal of the coaching staff is to have us in the best possible shape. Wrestling requires aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, and throughout the season we work hard on both.

An everyday practice starts with a run or a sprint workout on the track. The run is a minimum of three miles and is great for increasing cardiovascular strength and getting warmed up for practice. The sprint workouts are aimed at increasing anaerobic conditioning, and are usually not looked forward to. Coach Baum usually brings a stopwatch and he likes to use it.

This first part of practice usually takes around a half an hour, but is an excellent warm-up for the rest of practice. After a quick stretch, usually timed to optimize our practices, we jump into what we call a countdown which includes jumping jacks, push ups and sit ups, starting at 40-50 and counting down to ten or five in increments of ten or five.

Throughout the season we do more push ups and sit ups than I care to count. The rest of practice is devoted to wrestling, drilling (practicing certain moves), instruction or live wrestling. Live wrestling is usually, and should be, the hardest part of practice; everything else is just preparing us for this part of practice.

The competition in the wrestling room is always intense, but it’s the only way to prepare for outside competition. Black eyes, fat lips, scratches, cuts on the inside of your mouth and cuts on your forehead are par for the course.

After live wrestling, with your head pounding and heart racing, we finish practice with one of several final exercises, either sprints, the seven-minute drills (consisting of more push ups, sit ups, and other exercises for seven minutes straight), or some other combination of spins and calisthenics. Throughout the season practices become even more intense as we all get in competition shape.

The only way we’re able to make it through the whole season punishing our bodies is by feeding off each other. We push each other every day in practice, and without everyone working hard together it would be almost impossible to make it through our workouts. This inevitably produces a mutual respect wrestlers have for one another, one seldom seen in other sports. The people you’ve wrestled with for years become like brothers, people you would do anything for.

With a hungry freshmen recruiting class and seasoned veterans, the anchormen wrestling team looks forward to another season competing against and becoming New England’s best.

Chad Lampert is a senior co-captain from Georgetown, Massachusetts.


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