Why Should I Keep Trying?!

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Giving up is conceding that things will never get better, and that is just not true. Ups and downs are a constant in life, and I've been belted into that roller coaster a thousand times.

Aimee Mullins

Teague Ryan

CLICK ON IMAGE: to view short video of Tom Ryan(2015 NCAA Coach of the Year!) and his inspirational story of how he was able to give in spite of the tragic loss his family suffered 11 years ago.


Some say that a coach's team takes on the personality of that coach. For one, I agree. And I can find no better example than the Head Wrestling Coach at Ohio State University, Tom Ryan and his 2015 NCAA National Championship Ohio State Buckeye Wrestling Team. Tom Ryan is a fighter, from his walk-on days at the University of Iowa(and NCAA runner-up finish his senior year) under Dan Gable to him deciding to run a marathon to prove that he could do it after he turned 40 years old.

But without a doubt, the best example of Tom Ryan- the fighter-was Tom and his family's ability to survive the death of their third child back in 2004, son Teague (5 years old at the time). There is not a day that goes by that the Ryan family doesn't remember and pay tribute to Teague. And although, he has not been with them in body for the past eleven years, he HAS been with them in spirit constantly throughout those eleven years.

Story of the tragic death of Teague Ryan-told by father/Head Wrestling Coach at OSU-Tom Ryan


Ironically, this year the OSU wrestling team suffered a similar loss, when wrestling senior (and walk-on football player) Kosta Karageorge died tragically early in the wrestling season. As many of you readers know, this event impacted so, so many people. And throughout it, Tom Ryan the fighter, who had encountered this type of tragedy so intimately before knew how to stand up and fight, to persevere, to lead, to empathize, to console....to BELIEVE. And in early March, the Ohio State Buckeye wrestling team won their first NCAA National Championship in school history.....and it couldn't have been for a better coach.......and a better man.


SportsLeader is thrilled for Coach Ryan and the OSU wrestling team! Even more so, we feel honored to have had the opportunity to be a part of Coach Ryan's program for the past four seasons. From mentoring and supporting Coach Ryan and the rest of the OSU wrestling staff, to conducting virtue talks, 1-on-1 mentoring sessions and leading team-building workshops with the OSU wrestlers-SportsLeader has been with the program, physically, emotionally and spiritually the whole way.

osu wrestling

CLICK ON IMAGE: of 2015 NCAA Wrestling Champion OSU wrestling team to view Coach Tom Ryan in action coaching technique at one of his OSU summer camp sessions.


Take a moment to reflect, readers. How much do you complain about your circumstances? Your lack of resources? Your lack of "support"? Your lack of talent, or buy-in? Does the ball bounce the wrong way more times than not? Do bad things happen for no reason?

Guess what....join the club.

Tom Ryan had one of the worst things imaginable happen to him and his family. The ball bounced way, way, way of course. Yet, he did not give up. He did not curse his God, or his circumstance, or his vocation. He suffered but clinged to the reality of bad things happen in this world, bad things happen to good people, that God loves no matter what..... and that's life. I would be a liar if I claimed it was easy for Tom Ryan, one of our favorite coaches. But he hung on, trusted and has been an incredible model and inspiration to his wrestlers because of that faith and perseverance.

Let's hope and pray that we can do the same for the people in our lives.

Congratulations to Tom Ryan, 2015 NCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year and the 2015 NCAA Wrestling National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. We did this together!

Chris Willertz 
Virtue = Strength!