Don’t Limit Athletic Performance

Ben Askren kicks off this week’s podcast by getting Matt Dernlan’s take on Certainty vs Truth which was Askren’s Mental Mondays topic. Dernlan agrees that if you’re telling a wrestler exactly what to do in a match, you’re limiting them. You should encourage your wrestler to be able to think for themselves. If you don’t learn to think for yourself when you’re in the middle of a match, you will not succeed. If a coach tells a wrestler exactly what to do, they’re only setting themselves up to be questioned later if that technique does not work.

Penn State vs Michigan

No. 1 Penn State defeated No. 5 Michigan 25-11 in front of nearly 16,000 fans in the sold-out Bryce Jordan Center. Askren would like to see the average attendance numbers from this season compared to 10 years ago. It seems like many big teams are selling out their venues this season.

Nolf, Next Topic?

At 157 lbs, Penn State’s No. 1 Jason Nolf took out No. 5 Alec Pantaleo 9-2. What Askren read online and social media was that Nolf utterly dominated Pantaleo but Askren didn’t feel that way when he watched the match. Starting the 2nd period, Nolf had two escapes and Pantaleo had a takedown. Dernlan thinks Pantaleo spent the match attempting to keep Nolf at bay and Nolf was more the aggressor. Askren believes this was a very winnable match for Pantaleo. He didn’t think he’d be saying that about any Nolf matchup this season but he’s excited about a possible rematch.

Vincenzo Joseph vs Logan Massa

Another No. 1 vs No. 5 matchup took place at 165 lbs. No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph beat No. 5 Logan Massa, 4-2 with a last-second takedown in sudden victory. Askren says every time these two meet it will be close. While Joseph brought the pressure Massa was actively attacking. Dernlan believes because Joseph was putting the pressure with his snap-downs Massa found the way to get out of that was to attack.

Mark Hall vs Myles Amine

No. 1 Mark Hall defeated No. 3 Myles Amine in a close 3-2 victory. Askren thinks Amine held his own in the scramble. That being said he doesn’t see Hall losing in a future match and thinks he has Amine’s number.

Mason Parris vs Anthony Cassar

Anthony Cassar had a dominating win over Mason Parris with a 19-8 major decision. Both Askren and Dernlan were extremely impressed with the power Parris showed as he flipped Cassar off of him in the first period. Overall, Askren believes in a year or two Mason Parris will improve technically and be really hard to beat. Cassar and Penn State have been working on attaining a sixth season via a medical redshirt. Askren talks about how heavyweight is only going to get tougher next year with new up and coming heavyweights including Parris and Gable Steveson. Parris never gave up during his match against Cassar. Dernlan is of the mindset that you should never fall down and take the rest of a match off even if you know it’s technically out of reach. Making your opponent wrestle you is the only way you can close the gap and figure them out for the next time you meet.

Rutgers vs Princeton

Rutgers’ No. 2 Anthony Ashnault got a major decision to win the dual over No. 1 Matthew Kolodzik. Dernlan and Askren talk about the Rutgers Athletic Center (Rac) and the energy it contained at that moment. Ashnault was able to control the match in every single aspect. Dernlan can’t recall a time where Kolodzik got dominated in that fashion.


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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.

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