Before we had a high school to practice in, we spent our off-season summers practicing in a garage. We didn't make excuses for not having a large facility and we got the work done with what we had.
When Avery was three years old Helen Maroulis had just won the Olympic gold medal and beaten the undefeated Saori Yoshida from Japan. The entire United States was excited...including little Avery Brynn Mena (coach Tony's daughter). We made this video to show Helen how much of an inspiration she is to girls around the world and to thank her for everything she has done for the sport. Helen even responded to us on Twitter and said Avery was so cute!!!!!!
Once upon a time...Halloween fell on our usual practice night. Instead of taking the night off, the kids all wanted to practice early and then Trick-or-Treat. They didn't want their opponents to out work them. We couldn't be happier with the choice that they made.
We decided that we needed a team building weekend to create a family atmosphere and so that the kids could build some positive memories out in the country. So we headed up to Coach Willy's family farm in Hamilton, Missouri and wrestled a tournament and then had fun with the kids running around and the parents bonding together, plus there was birthday cake!
While we love when kids make the commitment to wrestle year round, we also believe that kids should try lots of new things and make as many friends as possible. A lot of early Team Hammer kids all played football together. This helped them learn new skills, learn how to be coachable by others, and let them make new friends. Some of their football teammates wrestled for other teams, which made wrestling tournaments a lot more fun for them since they always had someone to talk to or play with, no matter what team colors they were wearing.
We love hard work. More than winning, or titles, or championships, we just want the kids to fall in love with seeing what hard work can do for them in all areas of their life. But we also believe in playing and being imaginative and creative. So we made this video to show that while our kids are extremely tough, they're also very normal and like to play outside (or get so loud and obnoxious in the house that they get forced outside to burn off their energy.)
Work hard. Play hard.
Here's a highlight of some of our offseason workout activities. These kids are fearless in pushing their boundaries and seeing what they're capable of. And these workouts are tough...but they always come back for more. Absolute dedication. We can't wait to see what they do next season. Always improving.