For the third episode of The Five Point Move Podcast we welcomed in multiple-time World Team member Joe Betterman, who many remember as one of the most tenacious and successful competitors from the mid-aughts until his retirement from Greco-Roman wrestling two years ago. One of the items that sets Betterman apart from most is his unfiltered honesty pertaining to all subjects related to the sport. He’s a straight shooter. Betterman understands the competitive mindset as well as anyone, which serves as a foundation for the expert analysis he provides when discussing the 2017 World Team Trials, the centerpiece topic for this episode.
A range of other subjects are also broached. Co-host Dennis Hall breaks down his protégé Ben Provisor‘s (85 kg, NYAC) performance against Joe Rau (Minnesota Storm) in the finals from Las Vegas (“Ben kept his composure, got to Rau’s body and scored a takedown”). To go further in that direction, Hands brings up the fact that Provisor trained rather uniquely for the Trials, choosing to work with noted collegian and freestyler Pat Downey as opposed to preparing with a room full of other Greco athletes, and that brought about some interesting conversation.
A few highlights
On Provisor training with Downey
Hall: “They work great together, they make each other sharper. They were studying both sides, you know? Downey would be taking shots on Ben, Ben would have to counter the shots and Ben’s working on his off-balances and following it up, and how to create angles to get to the body.”
Betterman: “Realistically, freestyle wrestlers should be training more Greco and Greco wrestlers should be training more freestyle. And that’s how we’re going to create the optimal athlete. Downey shooting and Ben having to defend, that’s going to help him be a little faster and a little more fast-twitch when defending some of those more explosive guys.”
On Mason Manville
Betterman: “As your career goes, you start to see glimpses of greatness. He might surprise the World in Paris. Or he might need to sharpen up those skills on the international scene. It was really good to see him do well.”
The correct throw
Hall: “Our biggest thing in Greco is that they want action. You know what? Reward the guy that is being active. Part of the problem is that guys don’t want to take chances because they are afraid to lose. Award the guy who has the courage to go out there and try something.”
Betterman: “We’re at Worlds in 2011, I take Dennis with me. I do all this extra, I’m thinking, I’m doing great, I did all this extra, all this extra sauna, I’m gonna be underweight right now. And then I stepped on the scale and I was still over by .3, and I broke for a second (laughs). And Dennis (says), “Let’s go!” He’s real positive. It could have been “Get your ass back on the bike!” But I was able to get the weight off. Kids have to be more professional.”