I recently went to the NCAA Wrestling Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, to watch three days of the best wrestlers in the world do what they do best. I am always excited to watch these competitors put everything on the line after years of training and hard work for this one moment. Although I have not wrestled competitively since the early to mid 1990s, I often reflect back on my experience as one of the things that shaped who I am today and taught me great lessons about life, and the experiences of wrestling during my childhood and high school days have taught me how to be a great teammate and to push myself personally to do things that I never thought I could accomplish.
Wrestling is a team sport that has team implications, and team scores are kept for dual meets as well as tournaments, ultimately climaxing at the NCAA tournament for college wrestling. However, each wrestler is an individual who scores individual points, but they have to do that in a match one-on-one with another competitor alone on the mat.
In a work environment or on a team, it is essential that each individual do his or her absolute best, and trust the teammates around them. It is the exact same experience as being out there on a mat by yourself knowing that you have to trust your other teammates and the training that you and they did prior to that match, and trust that each of you is going to do your best in your individual match. I will always be grateful to my wrestling coaches, as they taught me the discipline and the awareness that keep me motivated to work hard and smart on behalf of my clients in my law practice.
Regardless of how the wrestlers did in Cleveland, they are set up for the rest of their lives to be great teammates, employees, and employers, because they have learned and understand what it takes to accomplish incredible things both individually and as part of a team.
God speed to all the wrestlers who competed, and thank you to all my coaches, wrestling teammates, and competitors for helping to make me who I am today.
Jeffrey Bellomo, Esq.