It should come as no surprise that Illinois is fast at work gearing up for the upcoming age-group Greco season, and next week one of the state’s most well-known Senior athletes will be returning to drop some knowledge.
Joe Rau (87 kg, TMWC/Chicago RTC), both a University and Senior World Team member in 2014 along with winning the Olympic Trials two years later, is set to appear at Lakes Community High School for a clinic next Sunday, March 17th. (Coincidentally, the 17th of March is also Rau’s birthday — Ed.)
“I like doing clinics, because the attention to my own career that is necessary to be successful at this level keeps me from coaching an actual team full-time, “Rau said. “So, clinics are perfect.”
Illinois coach and Lakes County Wrestling Club founder Chris Haag is responsible for hosting the event. As someone who has known Rau for quite a while, Haag insists enlisting the multi-time National Team came as a no-brainer.
“Joe Rau is the epitome of blue collar wrestling and an Illinois Greco product,” Haag said. “He loves to wrestle more than anyone else that I have ever known. Joe has one of the greatest eyes for detail, and anyone who wants to get better in wrestling needs to spend some time with him.”
Chicago native Rau is no stranger to giving back to age-groupers. He has tried to remain involved with the Illinois program as much as he can since elevating to the Senior level. The difference this time around is that he’s back in the neighborhood after joining Northwestern’s regional training center last year, although his availability will eventually become limited due to the US Senior schedule in the spring. In other words, youth wrestlers interested in picking up tips from a legitimate Senior star might want to jump at this opportunity.
“Come April, I’m going to have to turn a lot of people down and really hone in on the US Open,” explained Rau. “It’s nice, but also difficult. So many people who were a part of my career ask me to do clinics for them, which I really appreciate. However, I need to always make sure I am putting my career first and not spreading myself too thin, and that could happen very easily.”
Joe Rau Clinic
When: Sunday, March 17th — 9am-12pm (CT)
Where: Lakes Community High School — Lake Villa, Illinois
Cost: $30 per attendee