Friday, November 29, 2019

Guest Article: The Pressure Pit

THE PRESSURE PIT at CONSTANT PRESSURE TRAINING CENTER 
by Joe Barnabei

WHAT IS THE PRESSURE PIT? 
The Pressure Pit is a venue for wrestlers to get 20 live matches in a 2 hour span while also receiving the coaching they need to improve their technique. The Pressure Pit is similar to a round robin tournament format except that there is no officiating or scoring. In addition, matches that end in a pin are restarted since everyone “gets caught” from time to time.


WHAT INSPIRED THE PRESSURE PIT?
The idea of The Pressure Pit came by way of personal experiences and listening to the complaints of other wrestling parents. How many times have we drove two hours to get two matches with unequal competition? How many poorly ran tournaments have we attended where it’s 8-10 hours in a gym? How often do we search for opportunities for our wrestlers to get truly pushed?

HOW IS THE PRESSURE PIT DIFFERENT FROM A TOURNAMENT OR A PRACTICE WITH LIVE WRESTLING?
The Pressure Pit is laid out in brackets with unique opponents and on assigned mats. During The Pressure Pit, scoring is what’s important, not the score. Referees are not needed as the goal isn’t winning but rather improving. If medals are the goal, your $20 entry would be better spent ordering a bag of medals from Maxwell Medals. We want improvement and growth both physically and mentally. We do, however, offer a pretty awesome shirt available only to those who make it through (we might have stolen this idea from JROB)

WHAT WE WANT TO ACCOMPLISH 
We want to offer parents who invest significant time and money into the sport a different option. We want to offer a venue that’s consistent and respectful of your time. We also want to make sure the investment of your time is rewarded with the most efficient and constructive format possible. With over 1500 matches wrestled so far, we have received amazing feedback and have not wrestled a minute over the scheduled times. The lack of officiating and score keeping actually removes the anxiety many wrestlers often feel and lets them truly focus more on experimenting and improving and less on not losing. It also keeps the overly intense coaches/dads/moms pretty relaxed too. Most importantly, we want the wrestlers to benefit and enjoy the experience. It takes a ton both physically and mentally to push through, but they all feel a sense of accomplishment and camaraderie at the end. They also receive one-on-one coaching from their own coach and can work on technique in live action.

ARE THE WEIGHT DIFFERENCES DANGEROUS? 
Wrestling is sometimes a dangerous sport and sometimes stuff happens. We do advise each wrestler that if there is a talent or weight discrepancy, leverage that specific match as an opportunity to perfect technique. Likewise, we encourage the less talented wrestler to go all in and work hard without any expectations. For experienced wrestlers, the weight differences have not been an issue and the wrestlers have done an amazing job of being respectful of each other’s disadvantages when they are present.



FEEDBACK AND MISSION 
We want to hear feedback and put good ideas into action. Our interest is solely in making the sport of wrestling bigger and better. While we are charging a fee for The Pressure Pit, we ultimately want a model where the entry fee only covers the cost of the event and facility use. Constant Pressure Training Center (and NBWC) is member owned and funded and does not have any coaches or staff that receive a paycheck. Every single penny is returned back to the facility and the youth programs operated out of it or is given to charitable causes. We love this stuff.


TESTIMONIAL
“My boys took a cat nap for 20 mins on the way home and woke up saying they could wrestle 10 more. That mentally pushed them and physically pushed them to believe they can do anything. The mere thought that they had a chance to pin each one of the guys they wrestled no matter how good they were, or score points or just make them work super hard to beat them, made them so much tougher. They said they are in for anymore that we can make it to. We had way too much fun. They were comparing bruises earlier at dinner and goose eggs lol. My wife said it was really stupid how much they enjoyed the pain but they woke up and said that they were sore and they knew they made so much muscle. We will talk about the pit for years to come. So awesome.”

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