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Wrestling with Leadership

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Wrestling with Leadership


It’s a funny feeling when your facing down a opponent on the wrestling mat or if you have a platoon of new cadets staring you down looking for direction. Either situation can make you or break you in a split second if your not careful or if you hesitate. But then again it can do either whether you want it to or not. So how do you handle a better wrestler or 20 kids yelling and screaming while all at the same time keeping your cool? I ask myself this question very frequently.

Thankfully, I’m a strong-willed person and hate accepting defeat or failure. I always loved a challenge, it gave me a reason to better myself and help out others along the way. Then again it did always get me into a lot of trouble, like trying do parkour with a distant cousin of mine, which resulted into tears, scrapes, bruises, and a lengthy lecture by my grandmother.

I remember the first time I became a platoon sergeant for my company in JROTC. The day, what company, what platoon, I remember everything. Its makes you think differently when actually put in the position. I’d see the platoon sergeant giving commands and I would say “I could do that, its so easy.” Next thing I know I have the platoon in front of looking at me for the next command. Its kind of like staring down a herd of buffalo running towards you at full speed. Miraculously, I did surprisingly well and became permanent platoon sergeant the following year. Fast forward to junior and senior year. I am the First Sergeant, basically a platoon sergeant with more freedom, and one of the best in my battalion. You could say that my self confidence and discipline got a huge makeover over the course of four years.

Being held in a uncomfortable and often painful position can ruin any person’s day. Well wrestling will do that to you my coach once said to me. I think I have him to thank for getting me into it. Its different than any other sport, just you and the kid on the other side of the mat. This sport really taught me responsibility and accountability because I can’t blame anyone if I lose. Its not like football were you can blame the guy next you. What ever happened landed squarely on my shoulders. Practicing mad me better physically but mentally it made me more humble and taught me not to judge one by how they look. It also showed me how much better I became losing every match freshman year to being 24-13 my junior year. Its truly amazing.

In retrospect I wonder if I hadn’t done any of this, would I be sitting in jail with my cousin right now or somewhere else. Who knows and honestly, who cares. I exceeded everyone’s expectations and living up to my own my way. So how do I handle a better wrestler or 20 kids yelling and screaming while all at the same time keeping your cool. When I found out I’ll be sure tell you what it is.





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