July 27, 2012
It is day 28. The long wait is over. It is the last day of pushing to the limit, testing mental and physical toughness. The last day of intensity. Today, near 300 campers will find out if they “did it.” If they will receive the legendary t-shirt trophy.
The trophy is much more than a few pieces of fabric. The shirt stands for everything mastered at the J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camps. It stands for the seven elements, the J7, that are the heart, mind, body, and soul of training model: discipline, dedication, sacrifice, hard work, responsibility, accountability, and service. Mastering the J7 will result in a dramatic change to the way each camper approaches wrestling as well as life.
The fight for the honor began on June 30 when Gopher head coach J Robinson and his staff welcomed a slew of enthusiastic young wrestlers (ages 14-18) to the University of Minnesota east bank campus. Campers were put to work right away with technique-based and match-simulated practices, conditioning, and weight training sessions in both the morning and late evening. Wrestlers also participate in daily motivational speeches, spanning topics from mental attitude to goal-setting to combating peer pressure, given by counselors and staff.
Participation, efforts, and performances are weighed on a calculated point system. Each camper begins the month-long trial with 1,000 points. Anything of tangible effort, from forgetting a water bottle to running an extra mile, can subtract/add points to the total. This morning, a select few will take part in the 15-mile marathon as a last-ditch effort to earn up to 100 additional points. If at the end of the month a wrestler has managed to retain two-thirds of his points, the t-shirt, and the pride, is his.
“In the end, it doesn’t matter if you receive a t-shirt or not. What matters is that you’re a better person than you were 28 days ago,” said Robinson at a group meeting on Thursday. “If you feel a change, you’ve already won.”
For more information on J Robinson Intensive Wrestling Camps visit jrobinsoncamps.com.
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