Thoughts on Coaching A Novice High School Heavyweight Wrestler

I came across a few notes I made when I was a volunteer wrestling coach at  Mandeville High School.  It was a very rewarding experience, but I am sharing these as I thought there were some useful nuggets regarding training in general.

 

Who is likely to be a heavyweight wrestler in high school:

  • An athletic football player – tends to have already played sports and can understand coaching
  • A boy who has just grown into his body, so he will be very awkward when he has gained two inches and 25 pounds. I think of them as the big puppy as they do not necessarily understand their new growth.  
  • The kid who grew up fast, so he experienced a big advantage when he was younger. So while he learned how to use the body, his fight style may be influenced by subliminal messages received throughout his younger days about “not beating up on little kids or bullying” – creating a “gentle giant.”
  • The kid who played no sports nor does he understand the rigors of wrestling or even the challenges of moving his body. He may want to wrestle because of TV fighting (MMA) or his friends doing some other martial arts.

Techniques to Teach:

Standing:

  • What not to teach: Do not immediately teach a single or double leg (Stay with Blast Doubles)- most big wrestlers will have problems coming up off the ground, especially if they let go of a leg and plant an arm on the ground. They may get discouraged and will be less willing to learn the technique until they have some success with fighting off the bottom.
  • What to teach: teach hip toss, over-under positions, bear hugs, or even old school blast doubles from a collar grip, Russians, etc. 
  • The focus is on movement and angles, as if heavyweights don’t move, they are subject to certain setups from more experienced wrestlers.
  • A heavyweight wrestler should not stand in the same spot for more than 3 seconds, and if this is not broken earlier, it’s hard to “unteach” later. (I would teach hip toss after they mastered other positions.)

Referee’s Position:

  • Always emphasized teaching confidence in the bottom before teaching any top techniques. A bigger kid will struggle to get up, so the fear of being out of position should be addressed first. As beginner top wrestlers will tend to push more weight onto the hands of the bottom wrestler, this makes “fat man rolls”, sit-outs, somewhat easier to execute.
  • Top position – remember to focus on pushing through, and not over the bottom position. While this sounds easy, the bigger frame can occasionally lead to wrestlers getting out of position easier.  

Escaping from pins:

  • Generally, larger heavyweights are less flexible, so may give up a pin that a smaller, nimbler wrestler may not. As such, they may need more reminders regarding pin escapes as they have the potential for giving up a fall if they are out of position or fatigued.
  • The focus should be a progression on pins here and then incorporated with escapes to reinforce both positions. Stress pin escape drills that last 20-30 seconds to create a clear feeling of progress and control points.

 

Some Mental Aspects:

  • Do not stress that heavyweight wrestling is boring.  This can create a negative message to your wrestler to not try as hard, or his contribution is not merited.  In many ways, the creation of “boring” heavyweight wrestling is a lack of teaching sound standing techniques, which may result in wrestlers remaining locked in a clinch for most of the round.  
  • Some big guys will rely upon up outmuscling their opponent, which may result in initial victories, but without additional technical development, they may see frustratingly slow progress.  This default towards outmuscling tends to lean itself to a slower match. A better focus would be on footwork, teaching the wrestler that movement will generate more opportunities, especially if they are in better shape than their opponent.
  • The heavyweight wrestler should learn to use his weight to “wear out” his opponent where possible while catching his breath in a match.
  • Big guys can fall into a counter wrestling mindset, as they learn that their size will enable them to counter techniques from other, smaller wrestlers. Avoid this at all costs, as they will turn into wrestlers who will only be able to beat opponents who make mistakes. They will learn to be less aggressive and will actually move less, as they wait for the other person to screw up.

A Special Note on Football Players

If they play football, wrestling should teach:

  • Beat the man in front of you.
  • Leverage and footwork can outperform weight only.
  • They will likely quit wrestling to focus on football if they feel this wresting is too hard, or if they completed a football season and want a break. The problem is this these players may lose the gross motor skills and mental disciple that wrestling will afford them, both in high school and beyond. And their opponents are not taking training breaks.

Techniques for incorporating football players into the middle of a wrestling season:

  • Start them on the stand-ups and bottom first. Once they are conformable in not getting pinned, then start with standing and turnovers. This is because the other kids will already have had the benefit of two months of training, so you have to get them where they feel they will see progress fast, which means “you are not being pinned!” If they know they can escape, they are more comfortable learning how to wrestle.
  • Also, many will quit if they get repeatedly pinned after a few days of practice, so one has to learn to manage expectations.   Football is not wrestling: one is a team sport, the other, an individual sport on a team.
  • Several will see powerlifting as getting them stronger. It should be stressed they can still do both.  Oh, if I had the recovery time of my 18-year-old self!!

What To Carry In a Laptop Bag?

After traveling for work (i.e., with a laptop) for a long time, I have settled on what I carry in my laptop bag.  This is my standard packing for all trips, assuming that overnight trips will have personal items in a separate bag.

The broad categories: Power, Audio,

Power items (All the charger cables are in a separate GREEN bag)

  • Power chord for laptop    
  • Charger cable for personal phone 
  • charger cable for iPad   
  • charger cable for iPhone 
  • backup portable charger 
  • small multiple outlet adaptor
  • power converter (if traveling overseas)

Audio  (All these cables are in a separate orange bag)

  • Headphones with mike/boom and 3.5 audio jack (Don’t want Bluetooth devices to die or worry about them not being charged)
  • Converter lightening to 3.5 jack (for calls on iPhone) 
  • USB-C 3.5 jack (for Teams meetings on iPad)

Other computer supplies (in a red bag)

  • a USB/flash drive
  • Mouse 
  • USB hub
  • Generally have a few AA/AAA batteries

Knowledge creation (sometimes you need to write something down!)

  • Bag with pencils/pen/highlighter  (in a blue bag)
  • Notebook   (I use the TUL system)

Personal Items

  • Tissue packets
  • Aspirin 
  • Eyeglass cleaner/eyeglass repair kit
  • Business cards

I am curious to learn what others.  Seems like everyone has their own list of “must-have” items!

 

2020 The Asterisk Year

We tend to think in nice round numbers, such as fives, tens, hundreds.  Despite being a nice round number, 2020 will always be the year with the asterisk.

Researchers will seek to account for the social, economic, and political events of the year by assuming 2020 can be “normalized”.   This is too simple a concept.  If the economy can be represented as a factory that can be stopped and started, then concerns over 2020’s prospects are unfounded.  However, this ignores the many activities that require multiple years to complete, such as capital programs, public services, or other planning and permitting activities.  The challenge will be to see how activities with longer horizons perform during 2020.  It may be many years to get to the new “normal”.

What is "Smart Transportation"

In talking about automation, emerging technologies, telecommunications, Internet of Things, we are witnessing the evolution of “Smart Transportation”.  And in many ways, they are correct, but for something to be smart, the implications that the current system is “dumb”.  I don’t think “Smart” describes the complexity of transportation.

Transportation began with a man/woman carrying something from Point A to Point B.  Seeing everyone in the tribe carrying their own materials, someone says “We could carry more if we lashed the object to a pole”.  Together, they can now effectively carry more.  The concept of efficiency, per-unit costs, time, etc., became more manageable as people understood transportation allowed for the construction of structures, the movement of food products, minerals, and ideas.

From a technology perspective, we harnessed the elements:  wind drove our boats, fire forged the metals that become bolt, nails, airplanes.  Over time, we learned to understand risks creating commercial laws/traditions that supported the movement of goods and people.  Eventually, humans learned to use boats, animals, sleds, wheels, air, internal combustion engines, etc., each innovation requiring new technological knowledge to be gained and shared. (The history of the wheel!)

In that perspective, in the year 2525, some critics may talk about how simple “our smart technology” will appear.  In their mind, today’s “smart innovations” will be the future’s “dumb” system that needs improvement.

 

What Attributes Are the Most Important When Starting A New Transportation Service

Many have postulated what generates transportation corridor development, especially regarding new service options.  Often, these discussions involve many users seeking someone to help them solve “their” problem. For example, the shipper will want service alternatives that are reliable and/or at a lower cost than their current operation.  Carriers want more cargo on their network.  Public sector groups want to see more economic activity,  expressed as freight traffic, through their region. (The same could be applied to intermediaries, such as labor, freight forwarders, brokers, etc.).  There seems to be no single word that encompasses the “why” regarding how transportation services start and continue over time. 

In organizing my thoughts on this topic, I came up with two alternative lists to distill what maybe needed for a transportation service to begin and remain successful.   I really don’t know which list is better, so they are presented here for your consideration. 

First, the 7 C’s.  (I was thinking of something catchy.  I think this works..)

  1. Capital-It takes money to get something started.  There are barriers to entry, costs of renting/purchasing equipment, etc., as transportation may require large upfront costs before the first shipment occurs.
  2. Carrier-A carrier (or multiple carriers) must be willing to offer that service, possessing the right equipment, skills, etc. to satisfy a shipper’s needs.
  3. Connectivity-The trade lane must service a network, or be tied to networks, so that the cargo does not stop at a midpoint.  For example, there are many ports in the U.S., but not all are served by multiple Class I railroads.  This could put these ports at a disadvantage for rail dependent cargos.  (There are other connectivity issues related to pipelines, roadways, shipper locations, channel characteristics, etc., so don’t think I am only picking on railroads!).
  4. Cargo-There has to be cargo operating in both ways (to spread out the revenue costs for the carrier) or someone is willing to pay for the empty movement, but cargo must be available and willing to pay for that freight service. 
  5. Collaboration-For the carrier, shipper and other engaged parties, the service must be seen as an important relationship, not a “one-off” item, to encourage shippers and carriers to be confident the service will continue into the future.  This may also require a champion to ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal. (Yes, Champion is a “C” word, but in this context, it is a visionary pushing for collaboration.)
  6. Costs-There is no free lunch.  Costs must be set at a level where carriers benefit while shippers receive their desired service levels, and where possible, there are little significant cost on other users/groups.
  7. Climate-Does the business climate support this service?  Can the service handle any disruptions or adopt to changing conditions?  Given discussions on resiliency, climate may be a good word when discussing risks outside of operational activity.

My alternative term is OARS (like row your boat?)

  1. Operations – The right equipment, permits, labor agreements, etc., to make a transportation service run,
  2. Assets – This category includes the actual transportation equipment and infrastructure (roadways, vessels, trucks, cranes, docks, etc.), and the labor (truck driver, train, customs, services…),
  3. Reliable– Everyone has to commit to making the service “work”, where service risks are minimized, and revenue streams can be managed so that everyone benefits.  
  4. Support– Everyone involved understands their role, and works to ensure the cargo, equipment, service, etc., work as expected.  In some ways, this final category may be the hardest to maintain over the long term as markets/costs, can change over time.

In reviewing these two lists, there exist many nuanced concepts, but one “C” word seems to be an unspoken, but vital, element: commitment.  This requires a commitment to provide the service (carrier), use the service (shipper), and to support the service (public sector/other agents). 

 

Damaged Pizza and Potholes

In October 2018, I made a presentation on the challenges of funding highways in Mississippi.  As the Domino’s Paving for Pizza campaign started earlier that year, I suggested that Mississippians should only eat Domino’s pizza.  This would be a win for everyone, Domino’s sells more pizza, people have better roads without having spent money on highway/vehicle related taxes.  (I really liked the pizza/pothole meter, although think of what is happening to your car when you hit a pothole!)

Domino’s fixed two potholes in Jackson, but I am sure there are other potholes in Mississippi.

The Car Has Taken the Kids – Parenting in the Future

There have been plenty of discussions on the adoption of autonomous vehicles.  Often, these topics depend on one assumption:  these decisions are made by reasonable, functioning adults, but what about its relationship to travel for our children.  There is a need to discuss this emerging topic, but it seems forgotten in the “hysteria” surrounding adopting the technology. And when I did some research on this topic, it remains a large gap, as suggested by Ben Morris. 

Wired Magazine published a short six-word story in wired 27.06 on a future parenting dilemma.  The story “The Car Has Taken The Kids” got my mind racing.  Here is the page, scanned here for comment purposes only, and unfortunately, I could find no way to link back to this image on the Wired Website.)

Page from Wired Magazine – used for comment purposes

 

There have been many questions about the future of autonomous vehicles, mostly focusing on adoption of regulations, permits, etc., but what is the social acceptance of autonomous cars as related to parenting?

So, here are some things that concerned me about the topic:

A.  At what age should a child travel alone in an autonomous car:

  • I assume we would let unaccompanied children ride in a car when they are five years old, as is the case with airline travel.  However, that oversight may be waived for short distances to visit family or for childcare purposes.  Over time, that boundary may change if convenience wins out over safety.   
  • But that raised a different question, do we still need a driver’s license?   Over time, the age of receiving a driver’s license has increased, but everyone is riskiest during their first year of driving. 

 B.  And where would you send your kids in the autonomous car:

  • There will be a desire to send children to visit family, such as grandparents, or aunts and uncles.  Regarding divorced couples, the autonomous car may prevent disagreements over parental visits, as there is a clear time log when the child left one parent for the other. 
  • Do we send the kids in autonomous cars for childcare or after school activities?  So, the parents do not necessarily have to do these trips, but there will still be a vehicle in the traffic stream, and there may or may not be carpooling!
  • School? Would this create more backup around the unloading lines, or would this be faster than parent yelling “I love you”, “Did you forget”, etc.?  But would that cut down on bullying if kids are not on a bus?

 C.  And how far could you send your children?

  • 0.01 mile: to the bus stop, to get the mail?
  • 1.0 mile: Elroy and Judy had short drops off at school. (Click here for the singalong!)
  • 6 miles: New Orleans, LA to Jefferson, LA
  • 79 miles: New Orleans, LA to Baton Rouge, LA
  • 135 miles: New Orleans, LA to Lafayette, LA
  • 348 miles: New Orleans, LA to Houston, TX  (There are direct flights, so one could simply have the car drive to the airport (14 miles from New Orleans to Kenner.)

(The following map is from Rand McNally)

There so many concerns over what is a safe distance for a child to “roam”.  That discussion has spurred some legal actions, such as in Utah.  Adding unaccompanied minors in an autonomous car will raise that question again, similar to the comments made about the mother who let her son ride the subway.

D.  How will parents know their children will be safe?

  • Do we put bio engineering safeguards in place, such as voice activation?
  • Should parents have to report this to police/traffic centers if the child is going over a certain distance?
  • Can there exist feedback loops and apps for the parents and the expected party to monitor the vehicle (temperature, speed, location, fuel, potty breaks)?
  • What if the vehicle makes a wrong turn?
  • Who would be able to respond in time to ensure the child’s safety? 
  • Will this require some group to geocode the entire trip, and if so, who monitors that movement?
  • What would prevent the kid from “stealing” the car, once they know how the “car” works? 
  • Who bears the liability for that decision if something failed?

E.  Will this movement result in more or less traffic, or influence parking/land use?

  • Will the car be parked while waiting, such as at school or other events?
  • Will the car return to the parents, and then move back to get the child? 
  • Will these put additional empty miles on the network or will the car become a commodity/resource consumed in the “shared economy”?

There will be a point when people will accept young children in autonomous vehicles, but it will be slow process, one of the points raised by Dr. Tremoulet.   This raised another question concerning activity to Virtual Reality, “do children even need to go anywhere?”.  In Ray Bradbury’s “The Veldt”, where the children play in a virtual reality world, which results in the death of the parents.     

No one will say that chauffeuring kids around is a task that could not be automated, but there may also be something that is lost, TIME.   My kids may not have appreciated their parents driving them around, and we all have complained about operating a “taxi service”, but that driving reinforced our family bonds.  A bond that was strengthened mile by mile on road trips, to\from swim meets, or running errands.  We all have road trip stories, although they may not be as dramatic as driving the car off the road, as in Family Vacation!

 

Visiting the Port of Zeebrugge

While attending a course on Maritime Supply Chains at the University of Antwerp, we visited the Port of Zeebrugge.

There is a saying that if you see one port, you have seen them all. Others will say, if you see one port, you have only seen one port. I would add when you see one port, you see one port for that day, as traffic patterns can change quite a bit. That was the issue here, as several presenters discussed the lower traffic in the port was the result decline after a surge of cargo moved to Britain prior to the last Brexit deadline.

After a great introductory presentation, we drove around the port, which handles a lot of autos! We first toured the facilities in the morning, while it rained, only to see it clear up later that day.

One auto storage facility, we saw in the afternoon! No rain!
Yes, typical bus tour in the rain! Notice the cranes, COSCO shipping will move to Zeebruggee, but there was little international containers when compared to the containers moving to/from Britain.
We even watched a ship pass the sealock outside the port administration building.

The question of Brexit remained a constant topic. The Port of Zeebrugge is a major gateway between Europe and the United Kingdom. Traffic through Zeebrugge remains integrated into supply chains for British retailers, even to the point of handling larger trucks, which are allowed in the UK, but not in the EU.

It was a great visit, hearing the presenters talk about importing fresh fruit, how interdependent the UK was for EU firms stocking their shelves, and how the port itself developed. (There is a lot of rail in Zeebrugee. They can build European block trains at the port.)

Intermodal trains at the Port of Zeebrugee

It was a great visit, but at the end of a long day, sometimes you are just ready to take the bus back!

Thoughts on Sharing a Cross-Country Drive in 2050!

Summer is coming upon us. As a nation, we hit the open road for vacations or road trips.   Traveling brings some unexpected pleasures (such as the Grand Tetons during sunrise, or driving in the Ozarks during a summer lightening storm) but also the agonizing delays (one of which was a distributor cap that fell off a rental truck in central Texas at 3 am).  For much of us, a summer trip shared with family and friends remains a beloved memory.

In 2015, I drive my daughter’s stuff cross-country. I flew out to Oregon, rented a straight truck, and once we were loaded, drove from Oregon to Louisiana. I made a few stops along the way, such as visiting Winslow Arizona for a photo at a corner and Albuquerque, where I ate a burrito at Twisters, the restaurant that served as “Los Pollos Hermanos” in the “Breaking Bad” franchise. (And yes, some woman ran in, took a lot of pictures, and left.. Tourist!) The irony is that for most of the ride, my daughter’s dog sat as I slogged through conference calls, audio books and podcasts.

That was the last cross-country trip I made from the West Coast.

If I redid this five day trip in 2050, it would probably be a different trip.

  • For example, if I rented a truck from UHaul, Penske or Ryder, would the truck be partially or fully autonomous?  Would we have loaded the truck, only to watch the truck take off without any passengers to a destination?  Would I be able to ride with the stuff, although I will just another item on the manifest?
  • Could I tell the vehicle I want to make a side trip, stopping along the way to catch vistas, tourist traps, or whatever catches my fancy?  (My daughter still laughs about one trap where we ate breakfast at 20 years ago!) 
  • Would I even remember how to drive, especially if all I did for the next thirty years would be to drive an autonomous small car, a la Mr. Incredible?
  • Would my daughter have even owned as much stuff, or even wanted it moved cross-country?  For example, in a shared economy, what would people own outright?  Would some of what we loaded and moved would have instead been 3d printed while we were going cross-country, or new rentals waiting for us at our destination?  

In 2050, I think I will probably be sitting like Zoe, staring out the window, unconnected to the road or the journey (much like this girl in the video).  In many ways, one could argue that a last frontier, the open road, may be transformed into something different from the experience that captivated Walt Whitman.  He closed his poem, “Song of the Open Road”, with the following challenge.

     Camerado, I give you my hand!

     I give you my love more precious than money,

     I give you myself before preaching or law;

     Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?

     Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

 
I agree with Walt Whitman. A journey shared is always better, even with a  dog!

Joining a Panel on “Conceptualizing the Economic Impacts of a Mississippi River Avulsion”

I hope you can join me at  Challenges of Natural Resource Economics and Policy
6th National Forum on Socioeconomic Research in Coastal Systems


May 19-21, 2019 • New Orleans, LA • Royal Sonesta Hotel

The Mississippi River is normally considered to be a fixed entity.  Old Man River just keeps Rollin’ and Rollin’, but really the river is a dynamic entity, creating and responding to the environment through which it flows.  There have been many discussions regarding the Mississippi River and especially the Lower Mississippi River, as a international corridor.  The supply chains that depend upon the River are many, but so too is the socio-economic relationship of the river to the region.  I hope to do more with this work, as there is much to explore concerning supply chain risks and understanding the associated response to large asymmetrical events. (I gave a similar presentation to the New Orleans Regional Planning Council Freight Roundtable a few years ago.)  I would love to hear any comments you have on this topic, as I plan to do more research along this line. 

Here is the draft session agenda, but you can access the full agenda here. http://www.cnrep.lsu.edu/2019/index.htm

Conceptualizing the Economic Impacts of a Mississippi River Avulsion (Draft Agenda)


Tuesday, May 21, 2019
1:30 am to 3 pm

Moderator:  
Lynn Kennedy, Louisiana State University

Discussion Panel

James Barnet, Mississippi Department of Archives and History (retired)  
Patrice Lazard, Louisiana State University  
Bruce Lambert, Metro Analytics  
Chris Mclindon, New Orleans Geological Society  
Michael Miner, Water institute of the Gulf  
TBA    

Attached is an image from the New Orleans Board of Trade, which I hope you find is an interesting graphic.