Black Flag Days

Philosophy:

Wildcat Wrestlers are not only competitors and athletes, but they are also warriors survivors. We regularly engage in conditioning drills that enhance and reinforce wrestling skills. These drills include PTAs (“Pain, Torture, Agony”), zippers, and live wrestling, and are designed to build champions. They force our wrestlers to acknowledge the fact that the limitations they think they see every day in practice are finite and breakable. We push ourselves daily to find our limits and to break through them. Wrestling teaches our athletes a mental toughness that is nearly impossible to find in any other sport.

Each year, we periodically engage in a special practice called the “Black Flag Day.” In these practices, we look beyond our successes and our comfort zones. Black Flag Days are meant to reinforce the idea of being a “mental giant.” Limitations exist only in our heads; they keep us from accomplishing great things, and they mock us when we set lofty goals. Black Flag Days are our answer to that mocking and limiting mindset. During these practices, wrestlers are expected to push themselves beyond what they think they are capable of doing.

Practice begins with various drills to condition the wrestlers and to allow the coaches to get a feel for which wrestlers are ready for the Black Flag honor. The coaches will then choose 4-5 wrestlers who have demonstrated that they are ready candidates, and these wrestlers are given the Black Flag t-shirt right then and there. These selected wrestlers must then survive the rest of the Black Flag practice if they want to be able to keep their shirts.

The team then splits up into groups of 5. Each group has one Black Flag wrestler. That guy wrestles live the entire time in a systematic rotation that is designed to maximize mat time. Essentially, the Black Flag wrestlers will wrestle for 48 straight minutes. Coaches walk around the practice room to ensure that the Black Flag guys are getting in some quality wrestling, that they’re not stalling or gassing out. Their teammates are there to make sure that they don’t have an easy time earning the shirt. After the 48 minutes is up, the 5 Black Flag guys lead a cool-down routine (jogging, light conditioning, etc.). At the end, if they have survived, the Black Flag wrestlers get to keep their shirts.

“It’s a psychological thing… they fear it but they know they can do it.” —Dan Gable

2014-15.Black Flag.Survivors

2015-16:
black flag01
December: Austin Moore (freshman, 160), Zach Jones (senior, 152), Dustyn Rizzo (junior, 220), Chris Turner (senior, 138), Hunter Bindi (freshman, 106)
black flag02
January: Thad Hendrix (sophomore, 113), Owen Staver (junior, 170), Mason Koechner (junior, 220), Zac Meyer (junior, 160), Blue Caplinger (freshman, 145)

2014-15:
wpid-2015-02-13-12.25.00.jpg.jpegJan. 27: Jordan Crowder (junior, 170), Nathan Keegan (sophomore, 113), Bradley Trageser (junior, 285), Tucker Batten (freshman, 126), and Will Ridley (freshman, 145)
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Jan. 2: Kyle Allen (freshman, 120), Lyndon Smith (sophomore, 195), Anders Vance (junior, 285), Dillin Roberts (junior, 160), and Dylan Meyer (sophomore, 132)
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Dec. 8: David Bindi (sophomore, 113), Ryan Adams (freshman, 138), Brenton Wrigley (senior, 195), Zach Knox (senior, 132), and Ben Hupp (sophomore, 160)

Survivors
2013-14: Nathan Keegan (fr.), 106 lbs.
2012-13: Ben Powers (jr.), 138 lbs.
2011-12: Ben Powers (so.), 138 lbs.
Austin Hood (sr.), 126 lbs.
Austin Caskey (sr.), 145 lbs.
Email Coach Bovaird if you would like to be added to the LHS Wildcat Wrestling mailing list or if you have any questions.
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