Last week, Team USA traveled to Bulgaria to compete in the Dan Kolov tournament, one of the toughest international events of the year. Jordan Burroughs, Alex Dieringer, Kyle Snyder, and Tamyra Mensah-Stock all took home gold with a boatload of other competitors making their way across the world to test themselves.


When you put events like this under a microscope it’s very easy to learn from these athletes. After spending ten days in Budapest at the World Championships in October and spending time around a lot of high-level athletes I learned that they are not just great wrestlers. They are great people, they are extremely humble and you can always learn from them.


I will share with you three lessons I learned from the Dan Kolov:


  1. The best athletes need to find situations to replicate high-level competition. Over the years Jordan Burroughs has received a lot of criticism for not competing internationally often and some say it has bit him when it comes to the stage at Worlds. That being said, JB traveled across the world to test himself and took home gold.
  2. The best wrestlers forget the last match they had against an opponent. Before last week, Burroughs and Chamizo(ITA) had wrestled 3 times and they were all very narrow bouts. At Kolov, Burroughs didn’t take that knowledge into his matchup with Chamizo and completely dominated the match in the second round, winning 9-2. Burroughs also defeated Bekzod Abdurokhmonov(UZB), who defeated him in the Olympics.
  3. You need to treat all opponents the same. Regardless of the circumstances, wrestling your best, against the best, you will have great results.
  4. Similar to the first point, you need to find opportunities to put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Although his circumstances may seem extreme, Jordan Burroughs left his wife and 2 kids to travel across the world while cutting weight to make scratch weight two days in a row against the best in the world. If that’s not grit I don’t know what is.