Other Sports

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


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


ICYMI: Bears shutdown Rams, Bulls embarrassed, Blackhawks lose eighth-straight, Baines and Smith elected to Hall of Fame


ICYMI: Bears shutdown Rams, Bulls embarrassed, Blackhawks lose eighth-straight, Baines and Smith elected to Hall of Fame

The Bears took the Rams with a masterful defensive effort, the Bulls suffered their worst loss in franchise history and the Blackhawks' lost their eighth-straight game. Here's what you may have missed from the weekend.


The Bears took down the 11-1 Rams, who entered Soldier Field No. 1 in the NFC playoff standings. While Mitchell Trubisky struggled in his return to action, the Bears proved that defense still matters, allowing just 214 yards and intercepting Jared Goff four times en route to a 15-6 win.

Can the defense repeat the performance in the playoffs? With Sunday's win, the Bears are now just one win away from clinching a postseason berth. 

While the Bears scored just 15 points on one touchdown, they did so in entertaining fashion. Backup offensive lineman Bradley Sowell caught a touchdown pass on 3rd & goal to put the Bears up 15-6, which ultimately was the game's final score. The play's name? "Santa's Sleigh."

Plus, while the offense didn't score many points, it did neutralize superstar defensive tackle Aaron Donald.

Kyle Fuller was one of the four Bears to intercept Goff, the cornerback's seventh this season. Fuller has let his play do the talking in 2018 after signing a four-year contract with the Bears in the offseason.

On the latest Under Center Podcast, Lance Briggs, Alex Brown, Matt Forte and Laurence Holmes try to figure out what’s next for the Bears.


Friday night, the Bulls picked up their best win of the season, beating the Thunder 114-112. The difference? Having Lauri Markkanen back in the fold, who scored 24 points in his third game of the season. The win was Jim Boylen's first as an NBA head coach, and he celebrated in a unique way.

The good times ended on Saturday, as the Bulls suffered their worst loss in franchise history. Boylen benched his starters for the game's final 21 minutes, a move that did not sit well with the team.

According to a report, some Bulls players debated attending practice at all. The team ultimately held both a players-only meeting and meeting between the players and coaching staff on Sunday rather than practice.

In brighter news, Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis, who have been out since October with sprained MCLs, could return to action Monday against the Kings.


The Blackhawks took their first lead in 527:14 regulation minutes Thursday night, going ahead of the Golden Knights 3-2 on an Artem Anisimov goal. The lead was short-lived though, as the Blackhawks fell to Vegas 4-3.

Sunday featured another close game for the Blackhawks, though Chicago ultimately lost to the Canadiens 3-2. The loss was the seventh-straight for the Blackhawks, who have not won since Nov. 24 against the Panthers.

Connor Murphy returned to game action Sunday night against the Canadiens. The defenseman missed the Blackhawks' first 30 games with a back injury.


Lee Smith, the Cubs' all-time saves leader, was elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday night. Smith is third all-time in saves in MLB history as well.

According to a report, the Cubs are not making slugger Kyle Schwarber available for trade. However, Theo Epstein is reportedly working to add a "professional hitter" to the Cubs lineup. 

In this week's edition of Bryce Harper to the Cubs rumors, MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac predicted that Harper will sign with the Cubs. The Nationals' owner doesn't expect to retain the right-fielder, seemingly eliminating Washington them from the Harper sweepstakes.

But what would the ripple effects of the Cubs signing Harper look like? And if he signs a mega-deal, how can Harper improve live up to it?

Could pitching help be coming for the Cubs through their farm system? Fangraphs predicts several pitchers will make their MLB debuts with the Cubs in 2019.

Former Cubs' catcher Miguel Montero is on to his next endeavor: baseball agent.

In tragic news, former Cub Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo died in a car accident Thursday night in Venezuela. In his latest column, Doug Glanville wrote about how the loss of both players is a reminder how quickly things can change for baseball players.

White Sox

Former White Sox All-Star Harold Baines was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf is ecstatic with the move.

With the Winter Meetings kicking off this week, the White Sox are reportedly contenders for both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Will they hit the jackpot in Vegas this week?

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien, Ryan McGuffey and Chris Kamka make their predictions for where the top-15 free agents will sign this winter

ICYMI: Bears rally but lose in OT; Markkanen returns; Blackhawks' skid continues


ICYMI: Bears rally but lose in OT; Markkanen returns; Blackhawks' skid continues

The Bears' winning streak got snapped, the Bulls got a key player back from injury and the Blackhawks continued to lose. Here's what you may have missed from the weekend.


The Bears entered MetLife Stadium with a five-game winning streak, but left with their fourth loss of the season. Chase Daniel struggled in the first half, but rallied the team into overtime before the Giants won 30-27. Tarik Cohen had a huge game and joined some elite, exclusive company.

The Bears managed to still have fun in the loss. Cohen threw a trick play touchdown at the end of regulation and Akiem Hicks, of all people, had a rushing touchdown.

Mitchell Trubisky, meanwhile, is still day-to-day.

Elsewhere in the division, the Packers fired longtime coach Mike McCarthy.


Christmas came early for Bulls fans on Saturday. Lauri Markkanen made his season debut in his return from an elbow injury. He struggled shooting the ball in Houston, but showed his versatility in another Bulls loss. The Bulls have now lost six in a row, but with Markkanen back in the fold, and Bobby Portis and Kris Dunn coming back soon as well, things will change going forward.

On Friday, the Bulls lost to Detroit, but Wendell Carter Jr. continued his impressive rookie campaign with some big numbers.


The Blackhawks are on a four-game losing streak and continue to slide out of the playoff race. On Saturday, the Blackhawks lost 5-2 in Nashville after giving up four goals in the first period. The team is running out of ways to explain the poor starts it has had.

A day later the Blackhawks did give up the first goal, but were tied after a period. Still, a five-minute penalty kill doomed the Blackhawks in a 3-2 loss to the Flames.