This week’s Athlete Focus is on World Team Member Helen Maroulis – find her on Twitter @helen_maroulis.
We caught up with the Helen to get her thoughts on what wrestling means to her and some advice she has for young wrestlers.
Why do you love wrestling? I love wrestling for many reasons. I enjoy wrestling because the sport is one that demands discipline, strength, technique, skill, strategy, hard work, and dedication. There is nothing that challenges me the way wrestling has these past 15years that I’ve been involved in the sport. I also love wrestling for the opportunities and lessons it’s provided me. With wrestling you can’t really master the sport, there is always room for improvement. It keeps you coming back for more because there is always more to be done and I think many people enjoy and crave this challenge, so that is why I love the sport!
What are 3 things every wrestler can focus on for improvement? Every wrestler can always focus on improving their technique, evaluating their own style, and focus on adding new elements to their training or competition routine. Also, body position is extremely important, and I think it gets overlooked by a lot of wrestlers and coaches.
Who trained you or influenced you? Growing up, my coach was Mike Desarno. He was the biggest influence in my career primarily because he stood up for me when other coaches objected to allowing me to join one of the best programs in Maryland. Once I was able to join thanks to Coach Desarno’s persistence, his strict coaching and very skilled ability to teach technique and body positioning helped take my wrestling to the next level. He prepared me for the junior and senior scene at an early age.
Outside of wrestling, what can people do to improve? What does your cross-training, nutrition, mindset look like?
Inside and outside of wrestling there is always room for improvement. I guess my best advice would be to be real with yourself and admit your flaws and then work on them. With myself, sometimes I want to keep working on stuff I like the most (or am naturally good at), like technique. I often put my strength training aside for more technique sessions or for cutting weight purposes. I really don’t like lifting weights, but I have made it a priority in my training right now, because I believe being stronger will help me with my technique and style of wrestling, especially since I am kind of small for my weight class.
What are the biggest mistakes and myths you see in wrestlers trying to improve? I wouldn’t really say I know how to judge what mistakes or myths I see in wrestlers trying to improve. Right now I try to focus on myself and in determining what mistakes I have/ or am making in my training. I don’t have the answers for anyone else and wouldn’t want to lead anyone astray. I think every wrestler is different and needs to figure out what works for them.
What is your next big challenge? My next big challenge I would say is the NWCA dual match against a Venezuelan opponent and then the Golden Grand Prix in Azerbaijan after that.
Thanks to Helen for sharing her thoughts, advice and love of wrestling! If you’re a fan of Helen’s, make sure to check out her AWESOME World Team wrestling t-shirt.