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What does the future hold?  By Richard Rockwell

Sitting here in silence, this is usually one of those times I can focus on rankings, updating wrestling history projects and writing articles about our sport. However, with our future held in limbo, it can be hard to focus.

In these uncertain times, what does the future hold for our sport? A sport that has stood the test of time. A sport that time and time again, has been tested by fate and came out the victor. While other sports are scrambling to figure out how to survive, we've already done it. We've survived college and high school AD's who have despised us since day one due to their lack of understanding or their willingness to work together. We've survived Title 9 and actually prospered due to womens wrestling massive growth. We've survived dangerous weight loss issues, skin infections, poor officiating, poor coaching and even the crazy ex's who never did understand why we continue to wrestle. We've survived all those things, yet here we are, fighting for survival once again. Other sports are trying to survive without fans in the stands and here we are like "welcome to our world." We survive that every season. And even with the little fans we do get in the stands, will we ever hear mom screaming "pin him" over and over again, at the top of her lungs? We will here the dads talking about their boys just "getting caught?"

Adapt and overcome.

With the freestyle and greco season all but cancelled, along with most major wrestling events in the future, we've been forced to make hard choices. We are not the types to just sit on our hands and do nothing. So we adapt, we overcome. At our home alone, rather than sit around and do nothing, the kids made a pull up stand to workout on. We brought make shift mats to put on the front lawn for any kind of practice. The grass will come back. We've seen coaches online, offering streaming practices for those at home, lost without our sport. We practice on grass, dirt, carpet, wood flooring and even concrete, if need be. Even on our death beds, we'll still be offering life lessons for anyone who is still listening. Coaches need to coach because that's what we do. And lastly, as a coach, I'd say this is a perfect opportunity to show your worth as an athlete. There is so many things you can still be doing on your own, even without a mat. There is more to perfecting your craft that just competing every weekend. Study the sport online and utilize those resources still available to you. Step outside or wherever and practice your skills. Repetition is important. Hours and hours of repetition of one single move, will do you wonders as you prepare for whenever we're out of this mess. Work on your setups, your finishes, little things like position, hand fighting and strength. Anything that will improve your skill. 

Adapt and overcome.

Other sports may have to make those hard choices in the future, as its rumored they will likely be able to compete but without fans. The pro athletes are already grumbling they will not be able to compete without fans. Why not? Are you not competing to win? What does a fan have to do with whether or not you can score a TD, shoot a basket or hit a home run? I can just as easily hit an over under, a blast double or cradle without a single person in the stands because we do it all the time. If anything, this should test your love of the game versus the love of yourself. As a former athlete, I'm almost embarrassed to call them athletes. Not because I don't appreciate what they have accomplished or the talent they have, but because of how easily they have given up. How's the quote go? "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." -Jimmy V  Do those athletes even understand what that quote even means anymore? I couldn't even imagine a wrestling coach ever telling me or anyone else to just give up. We compete sick, hurt and with broken bones and still are told to find a way to win. Find a way to compete. Never give up. There's a life lesson to be learned in all that. A lesson that many have yet to learn, it seems.

Adapt and overcome.

As a part time media person, I chat with other media types about what's currently going on and they are most certainly worried. Journalists are being laid off, left and right but it doesn't mean you have to give up. There is still plenty of things to write about as our countries love of sports has not died off. There are still plenty of people out there yearning for some sort of sports headline to talk about. There is plenty of untold history we could all be writing about. Think about all those article ideas you've put off and now is your chance to bring them to life. As many stories as we've been told about the likes of Dan Gable, I'm sure even he has more history to offer us all. Currently, I'm even researching different ways to keep my mind busy with the sport and other ways I can bring it to life for not only my state, but for any wrestling nut out there, like myself, who just loves the sport. Loves the history, loves the stories and loves the battles. I have a few ideas already in mind that I think others will like that will enhance the sport in Oregon. I am forced to change with the times. So will we all. In the end, I feel the sport will benefit from it all.

Adapt and overcome.

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