74 kilos was loaded with mindset lessons.
First things first. Let’s give all credit in the world to Jordan Burroughs. He’s a great champion and person who had a ton of pressure on him. JB no doubt has a great mindset. We and his opponents know on a different day, everything could’ve been radically different with a Burroughs tech fall in the finals- it’s happened before.
Now let’s examine what happened at the Olympics and see what lessons can be learned. Geduev (Russia) has a great mindset himself. Last year at the worlds, when he lost to JB, Geduev and his coaches were genuinely disappointed with the loss. Clearly, he and his coaches fully expected to beat the #1 pound for pound wrestler in the world. Fast forward to the Olympics, when Geduev won, he did not do a victory dance or jump around. He barely smiled. This shows again, he fully expected to win. How many people step on the mat against a heavy favorite and EXPECT to win, especially against Burroughs himself.
A big disappointment was not coming back. Taking nothing away from Bekzod (UZB) World Bronze medalist in his own right. We got killed in that match. Again, anyone who wrestles, knows how hard it is to come back from an absolutely devastating loss. I know I’ve made this mistake before. We learn this and move on- like Brands always says- if you lose, get the next best thing. Of course, easier said than done. But let’s put forward a full effort. How many times has it happened to all of us where we let the same opponent beat us twice (metaphorically)?
Here’s a touchy subject, but we have to bring it up so we all learn. Wrestling Mindset constantly talks about staying away from the “hype” and avoiding the “fan mentality.” JBs focus was a little too much on social media, building a brand & legacy for our taste. He took pictures with many people in Rio and on his Flowrestling interview, JB spoke a lot about wanting to leave a legacy. I heard he did not like the draw he was given either. Our focus should be solely on our objective, not our legacy and certainly not on social media. We are not hating, we are big JB supporters & know that if any athlete learns from his mindset, they will be better for it. We’re all human. We all make mistakes. The important thing is we learn and move forward.
In the finals, Yazdani (Iran) came onto the biggest match of his life with a somersault onto the mat. This is what we call and element of fun- 1 of the 4 crucial elements of a solid pre-match routine. Geduev was up 6-0 at the half in the finals. Yazdani stayed very composted during all the injury breaks and consistently chopped away at the lead that Geduev should’ve been looking to build upon. We talk about this all the time too. If you’re up 6-0, you should be looking for the tech- it’s irrelevant if it’s practice, a summer tournament, season, state or Olympic finals. Step on their throat and be out for blood. Yazdani stayed on the offense and it paid off.
A lot of love and respect to Jordan Burroughs. I’m sure he’ll be back. Not that he has anything to prove to anyone. He is already a legend. Let’s all learn these lessons and remember that even the best fall down sometimes. Like Ben Peterson said to Frank Gifford in an interview in the 1972 Olympics, “they all can be beat.”