Friday, February 22, 2008

Three Wins to Cedar Rapids

Gettysburg senior 149-pounder Matt Shank is one of the favorites to win the gold medal at the Centennial championships at Ursinus on Saturday. Today, Shank shares with us what is going through his mind - and others - in preparation for the season's big day.

As the Centennial Conference wrestling tournament approaches, my mindset begins to change. Back in the early part of the season I put a lot of effort into getting into better shape and maintaining my strength. I did that by working hard during practice and doing some additional morning running and lifting.

However, for a couple weeks leading up to the tournament the coaches and wrestlers have placed a lot more emphasis on cutting back exertion during workouts in an effort to peak at the right time. The notion of ‘taking it easy’ is difficult indeed for your typical wrestler, but it’s necessary. All the nagging injuries that have accumulated over the past 5 months of the season can be given a little time to heal and our rested bodies will hopefully be ready to go.

Come Saturday, beginning with the first match, everyone will be as ready as possible both physically and mentally. Every wrestler is competing for ONE spot per weight to get to the big dance. There can be no lapses of focus or ill-advised attempts, because your opponent will be as ready as he’s ever been to capitalize.

Over the past four years, I’ve watched the level of competition within the conference steadily increase and I look forward to going at it with the best that the Centennial has to offer this Saturday! After all, there is nothing I would enjoy more than spending my spring break in frigid, barren Cedar Rapids, Iowa… I think I’ll leave the board shorts at home.

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