Elite Youth Wrestling Teams

Ben Askren sits down with Kyle Snyder for a 2 part exclusive interview series. The conversation begins with Snyder telling his history with Cary Kolat. Around 5th grade Snyder started to see Team Kolat competing at the different tournaments he was attending in Maryland. Snyder admired the toughness and skill level of the kids on Team Kolat. He then began training there periodically throughout high school.


Askren asks Snyder to talk about some hardships and adversity he’s faced in his wrestling career. The first major hurdle Snyder faced was getting pinned in the NCAA Finals his freshman year. Before that, growing up, he would mostly wrestle older kids that were at his size and skill level. Wrestling older kids was not good for his win-loss record but it was good for developing his skills and mindset. Askren brings up J’Den Cox. While living in Columbia Missouri, Askren noticed how unique and good Cox was at a young age. Seeing Cox and Snyder going head to head in high school is what first got Askren’s attention about how good Snyder is. These two are ultimate competitors which made the Snyder vs Cox matches throughout their high school careers extremely entertaining.

Making the Move

Kyle Snyder did something in high school that was not as common as it is today. He made the move to be able to train at the Olympic Training Center. Looking back, at the time it didn’t set in how big of a decision it was for Snyder and his family. There weren’t high enough level training partners for Snyder at his high school so the decision was easy. Especially with the level of coaching he would have access to from Coach Brandon Slay and Coach Bill Zadick.


The conversation shifts to how Snyder ended up at The Ohio State University and what he was thinking of making the leap from high school to college. Initially, the top school he was looking at was Virginia Tech. This stemmed from Virginia Tech being the first school to really reach out and begin a recruiting process with Snyder when he was junior in high school. He was invited down to participate in camps and got to know the coaching staff. Snyder had visited a handful of college programs and was ready to commit to Virginia and become a Hokie. His dad asked if he would visit one last school, Ohio State. What really set Ohio State out among its competition was the availability of the Ohio Reginal Training Center. During Snyder’s visit to Columbus, he participated in an RTC clinic. He got to wrestle against elite older competition. Ohio State already had Bo Jordan and Nathan Tomasello coming in so Snyder knew the potential was there to win an NCAA team title.

The Early Committing Process

Speaking on the trend of earlier and earlier college recruiting. Snyder committed early his junior year of high school. Being a head coach wouldn’t be Snyders dream job. The idea of recruiting and spending a big chunk of your day on the phone attempting to get the best athletes to join your program doesn’t entice Snyder. He would rather be on the mat wrestling. Askren understands why coaches are forced to recruit kids at an early age but he doesn’t like it.

Ohio State

Freshman year, Snyder roomed with Nathan Tomasello. They lived together for the next 3 years as well. Also during Snyder’s freshman year, he got the opportunity to wrestle and drill with 2x NCAA Champion, Ohio State Alum, and Askren’s co-host from the T-Row and Funky show, Tommy Rowlands. Askren’s strategy when wrestling against college guys is to slowly ramp up the pace and gas out his opponent. Part 2 of the exclusive Kyle Snyder interview will be released next Tuesday. The pair will share more stories including Snyder’s wrestling career post-college and the upcoming Yarygin tournament.


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.