I made some rules for myself yesterday. I've been living out at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for nearly nine months now. I tell myself that I'm going to do everything I can to get to be the best in the world but sometimes that isn't enough to keep me on track. When there aren't a lot of training partners out here it's easy to get disheartened. That's been an issue with freestyle while I've been here. There are so many different factors - money, loyalties to college teams, training partners or coaches, more personal freedom, families and friends - that many wrestlers try to find their own way. We are just starting to get more wrestlers out here. So I made up a set of rules for what I could do, personally, to not get disheartened or sidetracked. They are things that I personally need to do to get better. I posted them in my room so I can read them every day. I wanted to share them to make them more concrete.

Mike’s 15 rules of training at the OTC

1. Be more persistent and communicative in pursuing training partners and training opportunities

2. Wake up every morning with a plan for the day. Know how to accomplish it.

3. Focus on building strength in my weak points; grip strength, neck strength, gut wrench locks, ribs, and flexibility. Do something small every day for them and add any other weaknesses I find to the list.

4. Review my mistakes every day and write them down, be conscientious about improving them in practice.

5. Stay aggressive in practice. Score more points.

6. Wrestle continuously; refuse to ever give up easy points.

7. Don’t neglect my conditioning. Get a few extra sprints in or a short hard run after practice. Fifteen minutes extra a day of hard cardio could be the difference.

8. Eat, Eat, Eat; the only way to put on muscle is to take in more food. More calorie dense food. More at night, right before I relax and lower my heart rate.

9. Respect my sleep. Better sleep means better workouts and more time to work out the next day. Get sleep to wake up early and follow through with the plans I’ve made for tomorrow.

10. Create a social life in which I feel like an integral part of the community and the sport. If no one needs me, I will go on to accomplish only things that are unnecessary; nothing of great importance. Be needed by everyone.

11. Don’t worry about money. I’ll wake up tomorrow no matter how much money I have in the bank or how much available credit I have. I’ll have full meals and a place to stay as long as I live at the OTC. My only concerns are gaining recognition and building talent. Money will be a side effect of these.

12. Study the best. Watch video and visualize this as part of the plan. Wrestle them whenever the chance arises and learn their moves. Take some time in each day to reflect and review what I’ve been writing, videotaping, or learning in practice.

13. Keep a carefree attitude. Remember that I love this sport. Everything can be taken in turn. The actual wrestling is what matters; outcomes are only the result of it.

14. Do more. Wrestle with Greco, see the trainers, get recovery… Spend the day going from one thing to the next to the next; all of them directed towards my training.

15. I’m here to be the best in the world. Not everyone is. Remember that I’m not holding myself to their standards. If they are doing less, that is not an excuse for me to do less. I have to do what I need to do. I am training to be the best in the world; not hoping to be while training.

If it helped you at all, I'm glad. If it didn't sorry for wasting your time but you should have known never to read anything written by me. USA Wrestling as well as the NYAC have been very helpful in sending me over seas this year. I've competed in three international tournaments and I'm going to another in Poland in August. I have to thank JP Roberts, the Barnhisels, and my parents for supporting me. Good luck to all the guys and girls competing at the World Championships in September, I'm sure we'll bring back a bunch of medals in every style. I hope everyone stays fans of international wrestling.