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Wrestling with a Legend


Success of Cox and Snyder proves college & international are great fits


Editor’s Note: Dan Gable excelled as both a


wrestler and coach on the college and international level. He spoke to WIN Editor Mike Finn about how one style/level can help the other.


WIN: While it is great that Kyle Snyder


is excelling in both college and international wrestling, there may be some who wonder if he can do both and if it’s good for USA Wrestling, especially after he injured his rib in the NCAAs. Why is it important for him to do both? GABLE: There may be those who think


he should move on and make more money. I don’t buy that. Yes, Kyle can be on the Olympic stage every four years, but he is already on the biggest stage right now, the NCAA stage. Why would he want to pass that up? I think of some- one like Aaron Pico, who hasn’t been in any international-style competition since last year’s Olympic Trials. I think it would actually be better for his


professional career if he would have also been part of the NCAA Championships stage. No college-age wrestler needs to skip that stage. I


Dan Gable


NCAAs were superb. Even after he got injured, he knew how to protect himself. But as much as I believe their skills are


better, I believe their mental edges are even more important because they have competed on a bigger stage than in college.


WIN: With that in mind, shouldn’t more


college wrestlers compete at events like the U.S. Open or international events, simply to gain more of those physical and mental edges? GABLE: Absolutely. The more numbers


we have at every level is important, especially the highest level...it not only makes us more competitive, but also keeps them in the sport. When wrestlers go through the Olym-


pic system, even when you follow the school system, you are not going to get out of this sport. We’ve got to do a better job of making all of our wrestlers feel like a big deal. It’s not just Snyder and Cox. There are a lot of big deals out there, including kids, both male and female.


GINGER ROBINSON PHOTO


Despite a rib injury, Kyle Snyder was able to lift a much bigger Connor Medbery.


think college wrestlers learn the entire package of being a wrestler. WIN: How much did Cox and Snyder


EHQHÀW IURP WKH 5LR 2O\PSLFV" GABLE: I know that both Kyle and J’den


Cox have a mental edge big time, plus their skill level is better because they are working at a higher level in terms of tactics and techniques. For example, when Kyle shot on Wis-


consin’s Connor Medbery, who is much bigger than him, his solid position and skill level were almost perfect. There were many other exam- ples in the NCAAs where wrestlers got in deep RQ VKRWV EXW ZHUH XQDEOH WR ÀQLVK EHFDXVH WKH\ lose their technique. I like to think because of his experience at the Olympics, his tactics and techniques at the


WIN: Regarding women’s wrestling, there


are only something like 40 colleges that have women’s teams. What can USA Wrestling do to improve those numbers? Should USA Wrestling reach out to the NCAA and possible college programs more? GABLE: Women’s wrestling needs to


have its own NCAA Championships and we need to work at making that the next step. I do believe we are getting closer. I do believe USA Wrestling is all over this subject, not from an authoritative level, but from a simple philosoph- ical level.


WIN: Should wrestling create a hybrid


style from both folkstyle and freestyle/Greco? GABLE: Yes, and you need to take the


good things from both styles. There is so much more wrestlers learn by blending both styles. People claim Penn State wrestlers are “having fun.” That means they are learning more. Q


USA WRESTLER/WIN MAGAZINE 15


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