Mason Manville (75 kg, Army/WCAP) had been on several World-level squads during his days as an age-group competitor, so the concept of focused, intense training camps is not foreign to the 20-year-old. There is just not a whole lot out there Manville hasn’t experienced. He’s traveled to different parts of the globe throughout his still-young career and has gotten a taste of what elite competition is all about. But things are a little different now. The Penn State-bound Manville is a Senior World Team member for the first time, earning his spot after downing fellow young star Kamal Bey (Sunkist) in two straight matches back in April.
Since the Trials, Manville has already attended numerous camps — the “base training” jaunt in Eagle Creek, Oregon; prep for Tbilisi; and Hungary’s nonstop live wrestling camp that was intended to push everyone’s limits. But this is “World Team Camp”, the final gut-it-out training phase for the Team USA Seniors before the World Championships in Paris next month. The ratcheted-up training Manville is going through between now and next weekend is designed to prepare him and his teammates for the gauntlet awaiting them at the Worlds. US captain Robby Smith said that so far, World Team Camp has been a challenging grind. Smith would know — 2017 represents his fifth World-level team appearance as a Senior.
Given that this is Manville’s first Senior Greco-Roman World Team Camp, we wanted to touch base with him to glean his perspective and find out what he has been gaining from it thus far and most importantly, how he feels camp will prepare him for the World Championships.
2017 US SENIOR GRECO-ROMAN CAMP REPORT — MASON MANVILLE, 75 KG
5PM: How does this World Team camp compare to the others you were a part of?
Mason Manville: For all of the Cadet World Team camps that I’ve been a part of, there had a been an emphasis on the World Team, but it wasn’t as stringent, you know? Like, the two’s and three’s still got pretty equal treatment. Here, it is very important that the World Team members get whatever they need, whoever they want. It’s a real honor to be given the best opportunities while I’m here. I get the best training partners I can get, whoever I want, and then there are all of the recovery options, too. I can get massages and stuff. It feels good to be treated like a World Team member, to be treated important.
5PM: This was a process that started with the base training camp in Eagle Creek a couple of months ago. Then there was a short break before Tbilisi and Hungary. Next you guys came back and now you’re here. How did all of the stuff leading up gear you towards the intensity of World Team camp?
MM: The first two camps definitely put on a lot of good conditioning, a lot of good technique, and a lot of good mentality training leading up to this camp. This camp ain’t easy, but after having gone through the first two, they really prepare you for the World Team camp. Those prior experiences were really good and helped prepare me for this.
5PM: For you personally, what are you trying to draw out of these two weeks? Obviously, there is a team component, a stamina component, an intensity component, whatever you want to say. But for you, what is it you’re going after in terms of your own training?
MM: I’m trying to be as physically and mentally tough as I can be coming out of this camp. I need to be in the best shape I can be in. I need to get my technique and my basic game plan finalized. And I need to keep studying all of the guys who I’m going to wrestle. I’ve been doing all that, I’ve really been focusing on all of those areas and improving wherever I can, every little bit.
5PM: How has all of this rolled together? The last time we talked was right after Trials. Does it feel like these last couple of months have gone by really quick? Or has it felt like a slower moving ordeal happening in phases?
Mason Manville: I mean, it kind of comes in phases, but it’s just been an enjoyable experience, so I don’t want it to rush by too quickly. I’m enjoying each and every second preparing for the World Championships, and I’m going to enjoy each and every second leading up to it. I’m excited for the whole thing.
It hasn’t gone fast, but I wouldn’t say it has gone slow, either. I would just say it has been an enjoyable time that I really want to continue. So I’ve got to make another World Team to have a similar experience again.