The Balancing Act Between Hard and Fun
I always feel that the scale between hard and fun is the ultimate balancing act. If the focus is too far on fun, then you lose a lot of the discipline and hard work that goes into winning high-level matches. If you only focus on being "hard" with sprints and yelling at the wrestlers, then they only learn how to run and not wrestle, and their self-esteem drops and it's difficult to get that long-term retention. But once you find that sweet spot between the hard work and the fun, and the kids are winning big matches, it makes practice fun for both the wrestlers and the coaches.
I respect my wrestlers so much. The captains and leaders have worked tirelessly to make sure that every younger wrestler knows the expectations, that there is no downtime, that we are an efficient machine built around hustle, even during fun activities. It's because of this that our practices don't feel like a chore or get boring.
These kids are about the work. Some of them are in that room up to 9 hours a week, plus tournament days on the weekend. They don't have to keep that schedule. They are encouraged to take breaks from the extra practices when they need to, but most don't. They love the grind. They love studying their heroes and role models and then studying themselves. They know that in order to achieve their dreams, they have to take it from every other kid in the state or country with the same dream.
Team Hammer is all about the work. You get what you put in. So get up and grind.