Thank you Joe Mehling for writing such a nice article.
Cheney won gold! Congrats to him. Now it is time to refine and refocus. Olympic Trials in 6 weeks in Iowa City, IA, April 9 and 10. Hope to see everyone there! Below you can watch the matches and interview from the Pan-Am’s this weekend.
Interview after semi-finals win:
Interview after Gold Medal Win:
Cheney left this morning to compete in the Pan-American Championships in Frisco, Texas. He will be competing at the 80kg weight class while representing the USA. This is a great opportunity for him as he will have the ability to get in one last competition before the Olympic Team Trials in April and the fact that it is foreign competition is just icing on the cake. This will allow him to assess where he is at on his goals for the year and will allow him to refocus on his next 6 week training cycle. Nothing is more exciting than competition when you truly love want you are doing.
He will weigh in tomorrow and wrestle Sunday February 28. To follow him and the rest of team USA please visit the website below:
Watch the rest of team USA March 4-6th at the Pan-Am Qualifier as they compete to qualify the weight classes for team USA to compete in the Olympic Games!
Thank you for following and supporting Cheney on his journey!
The Senior Nationals were early this year due to the Olympic Trials being on April 8th. The nationals were in Las Vegas, NV on December 18th. Below you can see my matches from the event. I placed second.
Find my bracket by clicking link below and follow these steps:
- Enter Event
- From drop down menu on left select GR, WM Day #1
- Select GR 75 KG
You can see my matches below:
I wanted to give everybody an update on how my recent training and competitions have gone. Since my last update, I have competed in the Bill Farrell International in Manhattan, New York, traveled to Finland for two weeks where I competed in both the Haavisto International and the Vaanta Cup, and competed in a dual meet against the Finland team after completing a four day training camp between the two competitions.
I started out at the Bill Farrell by losing my first match 2-3 against a Japanese wrestler. It was a disappointing loss, but I was able to bounce back by winning my next 6 matches to place 3rd in the tournament. After reflecting on that loss, I realized that I was too hyped up and I was trying to just walk through my opponent. I was trying to force techniques that weren’t open and I ended up burning myself out because of it. I decided to relax and not put too much pressure on myself for the rest of the competition. My goal was to just go out there and work on the stuff I’ve been working on the last couple of months. I definitely felt like this change of mentality drastically improved the way I competed after the loss and my results confirmed it. Following this change in mentality, I defeated every one of my opponents by either pin or technical fall with the exception of my second to last match which I won 4-0. I believe that the fear of losing can get in the way of how I perform if I let it, and I definitely feel that it played a part in my first match.
I competed in the Vaanta Cup in Finland two weeks after the Bill Farrell tournament. I ended up losing my first match 4-1 to a Polish wrestler. It was a single elimination tournament, so I was bumped out of the competition after the loss. It’s always frustrating getting knocked out so early in a tournament especially after traveling so far to compete. As much as I dislike losing, I think that losing can be a very valuable lesson if I am able to learn and reflect on my loss. Losing can expose my weaknesses which can show me what I need to work on. That is why I believe it is so important to compete. I don’t think anything can give me a more honest assessment on where I stand and what direction I need to take going forward than competition itself. It allows me to see what is working for me and what is not. What I saw from my loss is that I am really not where I need to be as far as my par terre is concerned. My loss came down to the simple fact that I got turned by my opponent and I was not able to turn him. I was moving well on my feet and I felt like my positioning was better than his, but I was not able to score when I got my opportunity on top, and I was not able to defend when he got his. This lesson was confirmed five days later in the dual meet and in the Haavisto International the day after.
The day after the Vaanta Cup, I had a five hour bus ride up north to Ilmajoki where I had a camp, dual meet, and the Haavisto International tournament. I had a great camp and was able to train with a number of top level European wrestlers. The day after camp, I had a great match against the number one wrestler from Finland. I won the match by technical fall in the second period. The day after the dual meet, I competed in the Haavisto International and finished 2nd place. I felt like I performed very well in both of these competitions on my feet. I was able to score take downs and force a number of passivity points on my opponents. I still had the same problem in par terre. I was not able to score on top and I was giving up points when I was down. This is something that I am going to put a lot of effort into moving forward. I am going to continue making an effort into improving on my feet but I’m definitely going to be putting a lot of effort everyday into fixing my par terre game.
All in all, it was a great trip and a great learning experience. On top of that, I was able to qualify myself for the Olympic Trials by being the top USA placer at the Haavisto International. I have one last competition before the year ends which is the US Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 18, 2015. I have definitely got a few things to work on, but I am very motivated by the progress I’ve made up to this point. Once again, I want to thank everybody who is following me. Your support means a lot!
Results and Videos:
To Locate Bracket see link below and follow steps:
- Click on link
- Enter Bill Farrell International 2015
- Select GR from drop down menu
- Select 75kg
- Select Consolation Bracket and View
Video links below:
First Match vs. Tomohiro Inoue, Japan, loss 2-3
Second Match vs. Michael Hooker, USA, win 9-0
Third Match vs. Colin Schubert, USA, win 9-0
Fourth Match vs. Kangseok Oh, Korea, Fall 1:48
Fifth Match vs. Corey Hope, USA, win 4-0
Six Match (Third Place Match) vs. Youssef Karim Ibrahim, Egypt, Fall 3:38
I wanted to update everyone on how my training has been going and on my upcoming events I have planned in preparation for my Olympic Gold.
I had the opportunity to make a trip to Las Vegas in September to watch the world championships. It was an extremely motivating experience for me. I saw some great wrestling and I got a chance to see how matches were being won and it gave me a lot of ideas on how I need to approach the way I train. As good as the competition looked, I still walked away with the confidence that I have what it takes to accomplish my goals.
After the world championships, I took a couple of weeks for some mental recovery from the last year’s season. I got back on the mat at the beginning of October. I definitely feel like I have a strong base under me now compared to what I had last year when I first stepped back on the mat. My progress has been slow, but it has been consistent. My conditioning is feeling great; my takedown ability, my par terre offense and defense have made drastic improvements since I’ve started. There are always things that I can improve on and there probably always will be but I honestly feel like I am technically the best wrestler that I’ve been in my life. I know if I can keep progressing as consistent as I have been that I will be where I need to be when the time comes.
I have a busy schedule the next month and a half with a training camp and four competitions. First off, I will compete at the NYAC international tournament on November 6, in Manhattan, NY. Following that, I will be making a trip overseas to Finland for two international competitions and a week long training camp. I will start the trip off with the Vantaa Cup Invitational in Vantaa, Finland on Nov. 21. Following the Vantaa Cup, I will attend a week long training camp with a number of competitors from the competition. Then, I will finish the trip with the Arvo Haavistio tournament in Ilmajoki, Finland on November 28. Lastly, before the year’s end, I will compete in the US Nationals in Las Vegas, NV on December 17-19.
Although I always like to do my best when I compete, it will be important for me not to put too much pressure on the results of these competitions. I will use these competitions as tests on where I am at and what I need to work on for the Olympic Trials which is ultimately the most important competition before the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Everything prior to the Olympics I consider training for my ultimate goals.
I put the link to the National Championships and the Fliers to the Finland competitions below.
Thank you for your support!
Please click on the links below to access tournament information for upcoming events:
(After clicking on above link, click on 2015 Bill Farrell International Open. This will take you to events page where you can select, Results, Brackets, Greco and 75kg to look at the live bracket. Brackets should be posted late Thursday evening the 5th of November.)
The following are links and flyers for the upcoming Finland events:
November 21, 2015 Vaanta Cup
November 28, 2015 Haavisto Tournament
November 22-27, 2015-Training camp in Finland
I just returned from Las Vegas, NV where I competed at the US National Championships. As always, I was hoping to bring back the gold, but unfortunately I fell short by losing a close 0-1 bout in the quarter finals. I bounced back quickly and won my next 4 matches to get 3rd place. By not qualifying for the finals, I have eliminated my chances of making the world team this year. Only the top two wrestlers from the nationals get to wrestle off for the world team spot.
While not making the world team this year is a big disappointment for me, I am proud of my performance. This competition proved to me that I am making PROGRESS which is the most important thing to me right now. I was wrestling fearless in my matches and I was taking risks and putting points up on the score board. In fact, if you add the points up in all of my six matches, I out scored my opponents 45 to 6. As I have had the time to reflect the last couple of days, I have come to a conclusion that my one loss was actually more beneficial to me than harmful. I became aware of a weakness to work on. Being exposed like this is a good thing because it shows me where I have room to grow. Knowing where I’m lacking is a great asset to me because now I’m confident that I’ll be getting better by really focusing on growth opportunities.
I’m going to take what I’ve learned from Nationals back to the practice room and continue to work hard towards my goal of winning the GOLD at the Olympics next year. I will be training back at Colorado Springs for the next month. After that, I am hoping for an opportunity to return to my alma mater in Marquette, MI from June 27-July 3. The Iranian National team will be there and this would be a great opportunity for me to train with some of the best. I have yet to map out my training/competition schedule for the rest of the summer, but I will be sure to keep everyone posted.
Thank you for all the support!
I just got home from my trip to Zagreb, Croatia tonight and would like to give you an update on how the competition went. I won my first match 7-0 against Croatia then I lost my next my next match 0-1 against Serbia. It was single elimination unless the opponent you lost to made it all the way to the finals in which case you can get bumped back into the tournament for a chance for third place. The opponent I lost to lost in the semi finals which bumped me out of the tournament.
This obviously was not the results I was hoping for but I am staying positive and am still happy about the experience I’ve gained from this trip. I got some great training with the Croatian team and I learned a lot about what I need to do in my training going forward. I will not compete again until the US open which will be help in Las Vegas in May which gives me plenty of time to get to work.
I just wanted to give an update on the trip I’m on in Zagreb, Croatia. This is the first overseas competition I’ve been on since before I retired in 2012. I arrived on Monday and will be competing on Saturday. We have the opportunity to train with some Croatian wrestlers this week and it’s been a great change in pace of my normal routine. I had the chance to train with world medalist Nenad Zugaj on Tuesday. I’m feeling the best I’ve felt since I’ve came back and I’m very grateful for this opportunity. The competition is a Grand Prix which means I can expect to see some tough competition. My game plan here is not so much on winning but on putting points on the board. I’m keeping my goals long term because my ultimate goal will be on the 2016 Olympic Gold. I feel that putting too much emphasis on short term results will limit my progress in the long term. If I can score points in all my matches I know I am making progress so it will be important for me to take some chances here and test my skills. I’m feeling confident right now and I am excited to challenge myself in this event to see where I stand on the world level. I’m hoping to take away some positive learning experiences from this trip, so that I know what I need to work on when I get back to the states.
I would like to thank everyone who is following me on this blog and are showing their support. I’ll be sure to post my results after the competition.