My goal with this one isn't to make a point, but just generate some discussion. As I watch the US Freestyle wrestling team put on a good but not great performance at this years Olympics, I'm wondering how does the program take the next step to be with the elite of the world? The bonus fund of $250K for Gold at Olympics, and $50K for Gold at Worlds is a good start to retain talent like Jordan Burroughs, but how does the US as a country develop more talent that can consistantly score medals at major international events.
The suggestion that came to my mind first is that the NCAA should switch to the international Freestyle rules. Every year American high school, and College wrestlers spend hours and hours of practice time on Folk style techniques, rules, and scoring that do not come into play on the international scene. Former gold medalist like Cael Sanderson, Kevin Jackson, and John Smith are high level college coaches, and many other college coaches have international experience so I think it would be a very smooth transition, and could show rapid results. Talented college wrestlers like Kyle Dake, Ed Ruth, and David Taylor could only benefit from a change like this.
I'm hesitant to expand Freestyle to high school, just because I do not think the Coaching, and officiating is currently in place around the country. I know from my personal experience at a small high school that my coach did not have much knowledge of Freestyle, and the guys from my school who did Freestyle in the off season went to a club team to train.
I'd like to hear some feedback on my though... and other thoughts.