I ask myself that sometimes. What if I were Gable? What if I came into a program that was failing by my standards? What if it was up to me to create a system better than any other system? I have no precedent. I don't know exactly where to go or what to do. I don't know who to go to, who I can count on. All the people I count on may have their own failures but they may have something they are very good at. Would I know what to take and leave the rest? Would the culture of where ever I am stop my system from succeeding? Could I build enough support to change the failing system in place? Would anyone follow me or would they say "great idea, not for me"? Is there any way to keep the system alive when I am gone? Maybe Gable just got lucky with Iowa at the time being the perfect place for wrestling. Or maybe Iowa got lucky with Gable. Either way a system was put in place that equated Iowa with wrestling not just in the United States but throughout the world. Just like I know that Dagestan is the place to be for wrestling in Russia or Mazandaran is the place to go in Iran, the rest of the world knew that Iowa was the place to be for wrestling in the US.
Is the system in place failing or succeeding right now? what is our measure of it? Celebrity? Being in the mainstream? The fact that a wrestler can't survive on wrestling alone? Programs that don't reach an audience beyond themselves? Is it the medal count? The number of weight classes? Are we competing with Ultimate fighting for a market? I do not know. But I do know that if you choose to take part in a system you have to ask yourself that question. What if I were Dan Gable? Can you look at the system and see a better one to put in place? If you choose to take part in a failing system, their failings will soon be yours. But if you can see the failure, then even from the humblest position you have the opportunity to create change.