- Created on Monday, 14 July 2014 10:55
- Written by Lt. David C. Lloyd
Annapolis, Maryland - Members of the SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman (SWCC) Scout Team and SEALs assigned to various East-coast based SEAL teams participated in the 2014 SEAL Wrestling Training Camp at the United States Naval Academy, July 6-13.
The weeklong wrestling camp offered 130 high school students from across the country the opportunity to work closely with the SEALs and wrestling coaches from the academy. The demanding program is designed to motivate as well as provide the wrestlers physical and mental training opportunities and introduce them to the career programs available in the Navy special warfare community.
"From a philosophical standpoint, the camp teaches the kids how to commit to something," explained Daniel Song, the U.S. Naval Academy head assistant wrestling coach. "Here, you're all in and having the SEALs participate brings legitimacy to the program. The kids draw a little more energy from their presence, it's intangible, but it's palpable. You can feel it, you can see it, and the kids respond."
Commitment is exactly one of the characteristic traits that the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community looks for in individuals interested in becoming one of the Navy's elite.
"It means a lot for me to volunteer and give back to the NSW community and kids," said one of the SEALs assigned to an East-coast based SEAL team. "Wrestling is a team sport but also a one-on-one sport. You're out there and if you quit, you lose. Wrestling has helped me while at BUD/S (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) to never quit."
The SEAL Wrestling Training Camp is highly intensive and one of six wrestling camps offered at the Naval Academy over the summer. Unlike the other wrestling programs, the SEALs put the wrestlers through two grueling daily work-out routines similar to the Navy's BUD/S training course in between the technique sessions in the gym. The training sessions are intended to reinforce a strong work ethic, teamwork, determination, and the fortitude necessary to reach the wrestlers' potential.
"This is really as good as it gets," said the three-time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association and three-time All American and National Champion Navy SEAL Lieutenant volunteering at the camp. "Aside from family, wrestling and the Navy are the two most important things to me, so having the opportunity to do them both together with a great group of guys who have been working hard all week long is excellent."
This week's SEAL Wrestling Camp is the sixth consecutive summer held at the Naval Academy.