It is the week of the 2020 Pan-American Olympic Qualifier, which serves as the dominant topic for Episode 34.
On the heels of a smashing run to the team title at the Pan Am Championships last week in Ottawa, the United States Greco Seniors are now mere days away from their most important objective of the season — qualifying the six Olympic weights so the US has a presence in Tokyo. Co-host Dennis Hall shares his thoughts regarding implications and advantages from the result at the Pan Ams, and what it all could mean for the US come Friday morning. In addition, Hall also relays what his approach was during the 2000 Sydney Olympics’ Pan Am Qualifier.
In the next segment, All-Marine Wrestling stud Terrence Zaleski (87 kg) joins the show. Zaleski ran the table in explosive, dominant fashion at the Armed Forces Championships last month. He details an injury that sidelined him for much of this season and the process he endured to get back in competitive shape. The conversation moves on from there, as the Marine Corps officer explains why he feels team duals should be a part of the Senior Greco landscape, and more importantly, how he is preparing in advance of the Olympic Trials set for early-April.
A Few Highlights
Hall on why he founded his newest endeavor, Truth of Wrestling
“I struggled with the way wrestling is being coached. A lot of the coaches out there are teaching technique and the kids today aren’t strong enough to hold their position for what they are being taught. That’s how the Core Program, the Ludus Program, the Spike Program — whatever you want to call it — got developed.
“Another thing with Truth of Wrestling is that I’m trying to slow kids down when they drill, because a lot of times the kids want to go quick and they don’t realize that it is those little moments in time when you get the feel. It’s not going quick when you get the feel; you have to slow it down so you know where his body weight is, and when to change.”
Hall on how he feels the US Team needs to approach competition on Friday
“I think the biggest thing is they need to take one match at a time. I know it’s an old cliché, but you have to get the guy who steps out on the mat in front of you and take it to him. The advantages from wrestling those guys (at the Pan Am Championships) is that you can make adjustments in a week. They should be watching film, seeing how the guy was leading, what he’s weak on. Study a lot of film this week and go out there to execute the plan. It comes down to going out there and taking it to him.”
Zaleski on coming up to 87 kilos and winning Armed Forces
“Man, the weight gain. I gained a couple of kilos and I’m still working on gaining a little more weight. I’ve been in the gym. I felt good. I felt strong, explosive… I felt quick. There were a couple of things I want to work on coming back from Armed Forces with Coach (Jason Loukides) and my training partners. But besides that, like I said, I’m on a mission. 87 is not a cakewalk. It’s a tough freaking weight. I have to bring my ‘A game’ when it comes down to the Trials and let them know, Hey, I’m here and you better pay attention to me.”