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Advice on how to win an Iowa wrestling state title from Dan Gable and Mark Ironside

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Advice on how to win an Iowa wrestling state title from Dan Gable and Mark Ironside

So you want to be the best wrestler in Iowa? Well, lucky for you Dan Gable and Mark Ironside, a pair of Iowa wrestling hall-of-famers, have offered up their coaching strategy to CSNChicago.com that can hopefully help the 672 wrestlers competing in the state tournament in Des Moines. Each of these guys have won multiple state titles and went on to great success at the collegiate level and beyond.

So what’s the best strategy to have in the hours prior to the opening match?

Gable: Whatever you do normally for your best performances stick with that. If you try to change something, except for maybe just being aware of a couple little things, then you’re going to get off course. You don’t want to get off course.

Ironside: If I was a coach the main thing I would be concentrating on is keeping my athletes relaxed. Relax, relax, relax. You’ve got to stay calm. It’s too easy to get too worked up and caught up in the emotion of it all. Then you get on the mat and you’ve already drained yourself. You’ve already used all of your energy before the match even started. Or you wrestle so hard that first period and all of a sudden you’ve got nothing left. You’ve got to stay comfortable and collected and you don’t get into it until it’s your time to get into it. That’s obviously a lot easier said than done.

So stay the course and keep calm. Got it. What about the crowd and competing in the big Wells Fargo Arena?

Gable: You’re already off course when you walk into that arena. When you’re used to a high school gym with maybe 500-1000 people watching and now you’re going into a crowd of 15,000. You have all of the banners and you have all of the grand marshalls and the mats.

Ironside: As soon as you walk in the building, especially the night of the semifinals and finals, it’s just a feeling that kind of overcomes you. You’ll be able to feel exactly what I’m talking about. It’s a very unique feeling and situation. It’s something these kids will remember their whole lives.

This is going to be quite the atmosphere. Better stay focused. My hands are shaking and I’m pretty sure my heart is going to jump out of my chest. Have any more advice?

Gable: It’s like the nerves can beat a wrestler. I’ve had a couple. When you lose your focus or you lose your nerves you just aren’t going to be the same wrestler. That’s the bottom line. You don’t change a whole lot from what you normally do, except at the time be a little more disciplined in your lifestyle. That’s about it.

Ironside: There’s a fine line to walk. As far as being smart and aggressive. It’s a smart aggressiveness. You want to be aggressive, but it’s got to be a controlled aggressiveness. You don’t want to start taking shots without setting them up and trying to finish in a way you shouldn’t be finishing and getting out of position. It’s good to be offensive and on the attack, but you have to be smart about how you do it. You can’t cut corners and get lazy.

Any final tips?

Ironside: It’s also easy to get caught up in watching your teammates and watching kids from other schools because there are so many other matches. A good coach will concentrate on making sure the athlete is ready to go for their match and not really worry about them watching their teammates’ matches before them. Keeping them in the back. Keeping them relaxed. Then when they’re done get them out of there because a lot of times there isn’t a lot of down time between matches or rounds. By the time you get back to your hotel and you get your fuel back in you and your nutrition, you’ve got to go back and warmup again. You try to get some rest and prepare yourself as best you can for that next match and by doing that you have to take that athlete out of that arena so that they don’t get caught up in the big spectacle of everything. That way they can concentrate on what they need to do from a personal standpoint.

Alright. Thanks for the advice gentlemen!

Best of luck to all of the wrestlers competing the next few days. Hopefully getting some coaching advice from Dan Gable and Mark Ironside will serve you well before your first match.

A reminder to fans that the 2017 Iowa high school wrestling state finals will air on CSN at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and 6 p.m. on Saturday. It’s also be live streaming on CSNChicago.com via the NBC Sports App for CSN subscribers. Gable and Ironside will be on the call for CSN's coverage of the championships.

More Iowa high school wrestling coverage:

By the Numbers: Iowa high school state wrestling tournament

Iowa high school wrestling triva: How many can you get right?

Advice on how to win an Iowa wrestling state title from Dan Gable and Mark Ironside

 

UK outlines plan for English Premier League to resume play this summer

UK outlines plan for English Premier League to resume play this summer

The U.K. has put forth a plan for the Premier League to return this summer, but fans will have to stay home and watch on TV.

The British government detailed the steps in a report called “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy.

Inside the 51-page document it says the U.K. can begin “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact,” in Step 2 of the plan, starting June 1.

Before moving on to Step 2, however, the report states the U.K. must pass five benchmarks, including: seeing a declining COVID-19 infection rate, a declining death rate (due to COVID-19), being confident that they will be able to provide intensive care across the U.K., and being confident that the healthcare system will still have plenty of access to PPE materials.

According to ESPN, the Premier League will also have to present a plan to the U.K.’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport before they’re cleared to play.

As for fans in seats, the report says “while reopening outdoor spaces and activities… comes earlier in the roadmap because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, it is likely that reopening… venues that attract large crowds (like sports stadia)... may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.”

Soccer fans looking to watch games no matter who’s playing will have another option soon. Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, will restart play on Saturday.

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President Donald Trump calls for sports to resume play at UFC 249

President Donald Trump calls for sports to resume play at UFC 249

Last night, live sports returned in the United States at UFC 249. Held in an empty arena without fans, with a load of coronavirus prevention guidelines and testing, some normalcy returned to the sports world.

President Donald Trump addressed UFC fans during the broadcast in a video from the White House.

"I'm standing in a very important spot, right outside the Oval Office, and you're looking at the White House behind me," Trump said. "It's an honor to be here and an honor to salute you. I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC. They're going to have a big match.

"We love it. We think it's important. Get the sports league back. Let's play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back."

It's worth noting that UFC light heavyweight Jacare Souza tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout with Uriah Hall was pulled from the event, but the card continued otherwise. It's also worth noting that Trump and UFC president Dana White have a close personal relationship, with White speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016.

Trump has reportedly held calls with the commissioners of the major sports leagues about how to get sports going again. As of now, the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons are suspended, and there isn't a clear return date or plan in mind. Reports of options have crept out, but nothing concrete is in place.

The NFL released its schedule in early May and is planning on starting in early September, as usual. However, there are contingency plans in place if the season needs to be delayed.