Ever reach that point in life where you are not reaping the product you are desiring. Not getting the results you wanted to achieve? Many times in life we find ourselves cultivating our dreams, goals, desires and visions in a field of thorns. In the bible Gods word tells us; that we often reap what we sew. In Jeremiah 4:3; it states that we should “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns”. Addictions, self loathing, deceit, anger, resentment, sexual desires, self doubt, crime, hate and so many things often get in the way of what people want or desire. I am preparing for another wrestling season and as I was reviewing some notes I had my guys send me about what the wanted to accomplish this season it made me think about a wrestler I had several years back and his plight.
This young man came out as a freshman and like most typical first year kids he was learning the ropes of the sport. That involved building a base of basic moves, counters, and take downs that he could use to try and win as much as possible. He worked his tail off in practice but was just a little heavy for his class so he had to wrestle bigger, stronger and older guys. That frustrated him but he never quit, kept working and understood the value of gaining experience whether it was a win or a loss. Every second in the practice room and every second on the mat during a match made the difference and could help him close the gap. His 9th grade goal was lofty and it was to have a winning season. Well, he fell short of that goal and had a record of 6-14 overall. He finished the season with a couple of good wins and knew his one main weakness was strength and being on his feet in what wrestlers call a “neutral position”.
Along comes off season workouts and camps and “Bobby” decides he will have a winning season his 10th grade year so he kept working on moves and getting better but didn’t focus on his glaring weakness which was strength and neutral position. For those not familiar with the sport, when you are neutral you and the opponent are on your feet and both have no advantage and can score a take down. Takedowns was Bobbies weakness. He did not have the confidence to go for it and didn’t work at it because of that lack of confidence. 10th grade year comes along and now Bobby is 10 pounds heavier and moves up a weight class. Many of his opponents were once again bigger, stronger and older and his year goes against his plan. He keeps working hard and wrestling hard and gets much better. However, his failure to attack his weaknesses in the off season come back to bite him once again. Bobby finishes his 10th grade season with an improved record of 13-18 overall.
Junior season is now on the horizon and he is really frustrated so I sat him down and explained to him where he was falling short and gave him some ideas to improve in that area. If Bobby was a better neutral wrestler he probably would have been 18-13 instead of 13-18 as a 10th grader. He had spent two years getting better at everything other than his weakness of strength and neutral wrestling. Bobby had been sowing his seeds into the bushes and briar patches and was reaping a limited crop because of it. I gave him some specific workouts to do at home, took him to a great local summer camp, got him to summer football weight training and off season workouts. Now Bobby is working on his area of weakness which was his strength and feet movement. Bobby came to workouts, lifted weights, ran and went to a summer camp to learn more moves.
11th grade season comes along and Bobby grew a few inches and is now a 215 pound kid that was a skinny 160 as a 9th grader. He is in a class where the boys are big and strong and can weigh up to 220 pounds. Bobby set his goal of getting his weight down to 195 so he could wrestle in that class. As football season is coming near an end Bobby starts what I call Sunday running. That is going out on Sunday afternoon and running five to ten miles to shape, strengthen and make the body lean and ready for wrestling. Bobby has a good football season but at 5’9 215 he was limited to what he could do with that so he turned his focus on wrestling and his new goal. That new goal was not to have a winning season, but to actually make the regional and state tournament. Big goal in a tough class in our area. Bobby ran, did body weight exercises and cut out all sugary drinks.
11th grade wrestling season comes and Bobby has been on a three week running binge, doing body weight exercises and eating right and now he is a lean and mean 192 pounds at weigh in. Bobby also found time to pull his teammates and friends over to roll around in the yard or wherever they could find a place to get better. Bobby has a great 11th grade season with a winning record of 35-7. Bobby also met his main goal of placing in regions and making the state tournament. He finished 3rd in regions and 8th in states. He was disappointed by that last lost in what we call “blood rounds” in the wrestling world. Once you lose once you then have to battle all the way back to the medal rounds without losing an match. Bobby battled all the way back to the consolation semi-finals and lost in overtime 6-5 to the eventual 3rd place state finisher; Bobby like most people was highly upset and distraught over losing out. I coached him up, told him to be proud and use that feeling to inspire him going into his senior season.
Bobby did just that and he kept plowing “unplowed” ground learning new moves, technique and built his ability as a neutral wrestler to his advantage. He refused to keep going back to that infertile briar patch and instead choose to sow good seeds in fruitful producing land. Along comes 12th grade and wrestling season comes along. Bobby comes out of the gate 5-0 the first week of competition and in the process beat a real good kid from a higher division in the 220 pound bracket. Bobby now stands 6’0 tall and weighs every ounce of 220 pounds. He is strong, agile on his feet and loved to attack the other wrestler. All that work, time, patience and energy was now paying off. Fast forward to the end of the season and Bobby is on a tear with a record of 41-0 and has whipped everyone he wrestled. He had become very dominant and a great wrestler on his feet in neutral position.
Bobby won every tournament we entered, became a conference and regional champion and a 2X state qualifier. Difference is this time he was regional champ and went into the state tournament 44-0. Bobby wrestled well and worked his way through the field in route to the state title match. He was now 47-0 and sitting right at the verge of that goal he had set way back when he was a 9th grader. His opponent was a stud also with a 51-0 record and was the defending state champion. Bobby and this kid beat on each other for three rounds for a tie at 1-1 each. This kid was just as big and strong and great on his feet also. Here comes overtime and the first person to score wins. The referee blows the whistle and they go after each other. They are wore out, sweating, breathing hard but still attacking one another. Bobby now a confident take down wrestler attacks that other kid and goes for a take down and as they get close the out of bounds line the other kid counters Bobbies move and finds a way to score two points winning the match 3-1.
Bobby was heart broken but what a great year he had. He had a great career and is now part of history and did something through sowing good seed and working hard that few can accomplish. As I said above, if we sow good seeds in good ground we will reap a healthy, happy and prosperous crop in life. Those that choose to sow the same seeds over and over with addictions, poor decisions, bad behavior, crime, hate, anger, resentment will continue to get limited crops until they change over to the unplowed ground. There is so much potential in that unplowed ground just sitting there waiting to be plowed, sewn, cared for and reaped.