Each week we will give you the opportunity to ask questions via Facebook, Twitter or the Gophers Inner Circle. This week we had seven questions and Head Assistant Coach Brandon Eggum gave his responses
Nick: What does the staff do specifically for the new freshman to get them ready for college wrestling? Individual technique sessions or just throw them in the fire? I'm curious to hear their plan.
-We hold specific technique sessions weekly for our freshman and/or incoming transfers. Besides working with them on their individual strength and weaknesses we cover a set of basic skills we fell are important in their development/transition to college wrestler career.
Jerry: What is the probability that we could have four freshmen starting on this team, say by the beginning of the Big Ten season?
-Hard to know, we have a number of freshman, a true freshman, and other underclassmen that are battling for a handful of weights this season. A lot of growing as a wrestler between now and March as you know the individual that looks the best in the room isn't always the best competitor.
Sven: I'd like to hear from Coach the answer to an odd question: To what percentage does a successful coach want to be respected by his players/athletes, and what percentage does he want to be liked by his players/athletes???? Is there a correlation between this question and winning?
Hard to answer in percentages, but in my opinion I would want to have 100% of my athletes respect. Regardless if every decision is right/wrong or agreed with I would want the athletes to know and trust it was for the best interest of the program.
I believe most of the athletes (if not all of them) here are friends with the coaching staff. Friends will have differences and sometimes a good friend will tell you what you need to hear versus what you want to hear. There is a strong correlation between this question and winning.
Sven: Also, what is the fundamental difference, mentally, in winning a championship versus becoming a repeat champion? Why do so many win championships, but so few repeat? What's the difference mentally and regarding focus (and preparation/discipline)?
You could write a book on this type of question and people have. There are some circumstances you can control and some you can't. Understanding that as an athlete is important. You can control your preparation, conditioning, technique and mental focus....you can't control judgment calls, how you match up style wise with you next opponent in even who that that opponent will be in the following round. A world champion caliber athlete creates his own breaks, but with luck may be given a break as well based on a call, whistle, out of bounds, end of period etc. As you mentioned winning two or multiple championships is uncommon for all these reasons.
Andy: What is different about practices this year than in years past?
One of our changes is our structure and schedule of practices this year. Training and technique are always evolving and staying up to date is important. We have added more individual workouts to meet individual needs.
Andy: How has Jake Deitchler looked during drills in the early on?
He looks great. No problems at all. We expect him to compete at the Bison Open on Nov. 12.
Ryan: Nelson tended to struggle with losing close matches to tough opponents last year. How will he improve on that this year?
Tony lost eight matches last year against great opponents as a freshman. He turned around and beat most of those guys the next time around. As he continues to grow and improve things will open up.