Ohio State Wrestling - Building Life Champions

Tom Ryan, Head Wrestling Coach at Ohio State, is integrating virtue into his program and doing a great job. Below is a portion of his newsletter.

We need more college coaches to step up and lead in the same way. The need is urgent.

Coach Ryan’s Corner
Pre-Season Is Underway!
We are now two full weeks into our pre-season prac- tice and we sure are happy that our No. 1 recruiting class attended summer school and trained for 90 days in June, July and August. The freshmen, and there are a lot of them, all came in prepared for the challenges of a Big Ten wrestling program. 

As is expected, the rigor of the daily life can be very challenging. My favorite quote is posted on the wall of The OSU wrestling room, “There are 2 pains in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.” Either way, life is going to be tough and demanding. The men in this program who not only make it, but fight to standout are the ones who will lead us. The focus of pre-season to this point has been on weight control (getting athletes down to their ideal training weight), a strong base of conditioning, our culture and general skill needs. I am not sure there is any time of the year other than the NCAA’s that is more fun than when the team returns in the Fall.

As we continue to train hard we are preparing to move into daily wrestling practices. Currently, under NCAA guidelines we are only allowed to work with the student-athletes eight hours per week of which two of them can be skill related. We will began our formal training Monday, Oct. 10th, so now we are up to 20 hours per week. In addition to the athletic side of our practice, all of our freshmen and other student-athletes with below a 3.0 GPA must turn in a weekly class attendance sheet, as well as attend eight hours of study hall. The coaches are not only in the wrestling room, but on campus doing random class checks. The culture and standard is simple. It’s about excellence on and off the mat.

The last piece of the puzzle is the building of future leaders. Our motto is “Building Life Champions.” Each week we study a new word before our Tuesday practice. To date our team members talked about the following words: Grateful, Boldness and Toughness. We heard from Logan Stieber who mentioned how Grateful he is for all those who have assisted him in all aspects of his develop- ment. Cody Magrum shared with us about the Boldness required to have the strength to not follow the crowd down the wrong path. Cody is a two-time NCAA qualifier and has earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar honors for his 3.8 GPA, as well as Academic All-America honors. He is one of our three team captains along with Nick Heflin and freshman Logan Stieber. 

Every week we text the word of the week to the team and then discuss what it means to them and a scenario that would define it in their lives. College life has so many doors that can be opened, but also so many challenges for young men. Freedom is a blessing and these men, although sad to leave home (LOL), they also must manage their free time and many choices that are made each day.

To close, we are all very pleased with the progress of this team. Although most of our squad of 31 student-athletes from around the country do not quite shave yet, we are all fired up about their passion to succeed and pride they bring to Buckeye Nation. We hope to see you at our Varsity wrestle-offs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20th in the French Field House. The wrestle-offs are free to the general public.