We’re nearing the end of the year and that means reflecting on this year’s tournaments and gearing up for competition in 2017. We spoke to Sons of Thunder coach Jeff Estrada about his tried and true techniques to get the best out of his wrestlers. Jeff says he tries to push his kids just over the edge of what they think they’re capable of –a little bit more each practice day. This way, Jeff says, they can be “prepared to battle in the harshest conditions, whether that be in the early morning or late at night.” In addition to pushing his wrestlers while training, Coach Jeff makes sure to start preparing them six to eight weeks before a national event, adding that some of those national events serve as warm ups for tournaments with increasingly higher stakes.
This is where RMN events come in. “I think that if I were to place RMN events on a scale of 1 to 10, they’d be a 9 or 10 as far as competition.” RMN events stand out because they are slightly tougher due to their age group divisions, Estrada claimed. “The age groups vary; RMN Events is a good challenge because we are wrestling up an age group.” Another reason for the high rating? The owners, including Ed Gutierrez, personally take care of each team that competes in their tournaments. “He calls me after tournaments to ask how everything went, they always listen to what we have to say,” said Jeff of the way RMN events are run. According to him, this is what makes event organizers stand out among other wrestling event businesses: It’s not just about the revenue, it’s about ensuring the wrestlers are having a good time and enjoying the spirit of competition on a national stage.
As far as goals for the Sons of Thunder team in 2017, Coach Jeff states that it always remains as simple as trying to get better. SOT competes in over forty national events a year, giving them platform after platform to improve technique and showcase their talent. On a more personal level, Coach Jeff says he wants to make sure his trainees are prepared for college. Within the scope of RMN tournaments, the SOT goal is to win as many tournaments as possible, including the Team and Triple Crown Titles. They’ve already amassed an impressive amount of trophies –winning every tournament they participated in one year. “Our trophy room is like no other,” assured Jeff.
Jeff’s coaching strategies have proven successful and he plans to take Sons of Thunder to cities across the nation. There is already a SOT branch in Idaho. When asked where else he has his sights set, Jeff replied, “We’re thinking of opening up one in California. One of the high schools down there already call themselves the bears of thunder. We’re also thinking about opening something in Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, and New York, but Colorado will remain our home base.” No matter how much SOT expands, however, the greatest lesson for all trainees is perseverance. “The biggest lesson I try to teach my kids is to just press on, win or lose. Life is about perseverance. I’ve seen some kids going through what we call a burnout. I think that happens when they haven’t been taught to handle losses. Of course, I want to win as much as anybody, but there is nothing to dwell on after a loss. You know what you did wrong after a loss, you reflect on it, and move on to do better on the next match.” Perhaps Jeff’s coaching is successful because of this focus on perseverance, win or lose, the kids learn that there is something valuable to gain from every match. Make sure to keep an eye on Jeff and Sons of Thunder in 2017, they’re sure to shake things up at RMN Events tournaments nationwide.