It seems that everywhere we look anymore we are forced to see politics, from ads, to signs to social media conflicts and beyond. It used to be that one of the places that politics seemed to disappear was in the competition circle of a wrestling mat. When you crossed that line the world could be left behind, it was your hard work and grit that was about to determine what happened next. But, as we experienced last March, government authority has expanded into realms we never thought imaginable. Even we in the wrestling world watched helplessly as the Division I National Tournament was canceled and the Olympics were postponed due in large part to decisions being made by those in government. I am sure the broad consensus of that moment would be that these were the safe and correct decisions due to the information that we were given on the coronavirus. But, here we are seven months later and it seems as though the role of government is on the verge of becoming as vigorous as it has ever been in the United States(I will choose not to divulge further into this matter at the present but I for one am for less government involvement).
As pertains to the upcoming and perhaps in many places pending wrestling season, we as coaches (and parents) must be the absolute best versions of ourselves and prepare our students/children for their future. We as coaches must continue to recruit, train and inspire our athletes despite so many new and even perhaps unknown variables we are all being dealt. Throughout the years I have always preached to my student/ athletes to focus on the variables that we can control and let the things outside of our control work themselves out while recognizing that chance favors the prepared mind. These days the variables can seemingly change from day to day making this process exponentially more difficult. However, as wrestlers, we have the foundation to succeed despite all of this and this success will depend upon the very same foundation that determined our fate before, namely that of our hard work and grit.
Finally, on the subject of the title of this blog, I will like to mention that political issues have trickled there way down to also become a concern for a demographic which beforehand was almost unheard of, namely our children. A number of factors are more than likely contributing to this such as smart phones, media, social media and table talk. By table talk, I am referring to what our children hear and see us discussing on a daily basis. And if you think that political and societal issues are troubling to us as adults, imagine being a child with the extra vulnerability that comes with being a minor brings. Seeing and recognizing problems is one thing and seeking and finding solutions is another. So, I am going to suggest that now as always it is going to be important to filter what we say in front of our children and perhaps more than ever we need to discuss with them in a healthy manner about what is going on in the world around them. This I think is a starting point for the endeavor we are currently undertaking. May God continue to keep and protect all of us, His children, and may He provide us as coaches and parents the wisdom and patience to navigate the current times to protect and raise our own children into their full healthy potential.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."