Making his return to the Five Point Move Podcast for Episode 37 is none other than “Wildman Sam” Sammy Jones (60 kg, NYAC/NTS). One the country’s most excitable competitors, Jones appeared in his third-straight US National final this past December, making him a premier name to watch at the Olympic Trials — which, of course, were postponed.
With co-host Dennis Hall taking a short sabbatical (you can follow him at Truth of Wrestling), it’s all about Jones’ perspectives in this episode, highlighted by how his faith has shaped his career outlook. A devout Christian, Jones discusses the ways wrestling has strengthened his relationship with God, and why he focuses more on the journey at this stage of his career rather than simply the results from tournaments. In addition, we dig into a few topics related to the current situation facing wrestlers from all over the globe. Jones shares what he has been up to while at home and what he has been doing to stay sharp; and naturally, what it is like to maintain that hard-to-miss mop of dreads.
A Few Highlights
Jones on the space created by the Olympic Trials postponement
“There’s always a positive to it, for sure. And I think with the benefit for competition, it makes you hungry. It makes you miss the training everyday, the competition. I think for me, it has made me very grateful for the opportunities we do have, and for the facility we have, the relationships with my teammates. Those are things that I hold more precious to me now because I don’t have them — and I think that’s probably how everyone is feeling, whether they wrestle or not.”
Jones on how faith impacts his view of competition
“I would look at competition and say, Yeah, this is something that God has gifted me with, but I was definitely pursuing it for personal gain. I was giving credit to God for giving me this gift, but going into competition it was still something that was about me. As my relationship with God has grown, I have realized that it’s not about me. Not at all.
“Knowing that God has gifted us with different abilities and talents, for us to use that talent for our gain is only half of the joy we get out of it. But if we use that gift and that talent — and pour ourselves into it — there’s so much value in expressing that gift and bringing it before God. There was just a switch in my mindset where I asked if every time I practice, every time I cut weight, every time I’m going to the grocery store to buy groceries for my diet to make this new weight cut, and every time I compete — am I doing that with the heart of, Hey God, I’m thankful for this opportunity to wrestle, I’m thankful for this gift, and I’m going to do my best because You gifted me? That was the switch that over the last few years I have realized in this sport.”