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Q&A: Senior 197-pound wrestler Nate Schiedel

Three-time NCAA qualifier preps for final collegiate season

November 1, 2012

Q&A: Senior 197-pound wrestler Nate Schiedel

Nate Schiedel biography

Photos from 2012 NCAA Championship

Contact: John Hartrick (

VESTAL, N.Y.—Senior 197-pound Nate Schiedel, a three-time NCAA qualifier, moves up a weight class to 197 pounds this year and is ranked No. 13 in the country by Intermat. He went 30-10 last season and won two matches at the NCAA Championship. Schiedel answered some questions as he prepares to head into his final collegiate season.

You’ve bumped up to 197 for your senior year ... what precipitated the move and how have you altered your workouts, eating and general strategy to compete at that weight?

I found that getting down to 184 was negatively affecting my end-of-season performance and how I felt in general.  At the end of each season my body got worn down from heavy training and continued weight management. I was not at the peak physical performance level necessary for success at nationals. I discussed the situation with many people and came to the conclusion 197 would be a better weight class for me. Since making the change I’ve been able to train smarter, focusing more on my technique and not as much on strict weight control. I’ve been lifting hard all summer and feel comfortable wrestling the bigger guys.

You have been to NCAAs three times and have amassed 91 career wins. You won two matches at NCAAs this past season ... how do feel you’ve developed over your collegiate career and what sort of advice do you give younger guys?

I work to become a better wrestler each year.  It’s become a game of minor changes in technique and recognizing opportunities to score points.  Transitioning from high school to college wrestling is a big change.  A college wrestler can’t rely as much on strength to be successful.  The demands of the sport remain the same but everyone, especially at the D-1 level, is highly motivated and talented.  The newer guys have to learn fast that the difference between a win and loss often lies with mastering small techniques and having multiple match strategies. We stress that the younger guys must always work to have a positive attitude, to never give up or become satisfied with their performance and to take ownership of their careers. You must always stay in good position and build your lead

The program obviously went through a transition with Coach Popolizio and a few wrestlers departing in the off-season… along with the graduation of several leading wrestlers ... how has the change been for you and what do you think the team’s strengths are this season?

The change in coaching staff was a bit of a shock for everyone for the first couple of weeks. I understood where everyone was coming from and knew the decisions being made were beyond my control. The only thing I can control is myself. So with that being said I looked forward to working with the new coaching staff and have stayed positive. I have kept my ultimate goals in mind and worked on keeping team morale high.  I feel the team is all on the same page with our new coaches and their training style. Our biggest strength this year will be staying on the attack building our lead and breaking our opponents.

Who are your workout partners in the room and what have you learned from head coach Dernlan?

Cody Reed, Tyler Deuel, Caleb Wallace, John Paris and I all rotate wrestling each other throughout the week. The new coaches have brought a lot of positive things to the room,  providing us with different techniques and a positive hard working mentality. The new coaches have been working with each of us individually. They have gotten to know us personally and have determined what works best for each guy on the team.

What are your personal goals for this season?

To be a NCCA Champion, to wrestle hard and smart every match, staying on the attack and building my lead whenever possible.

What do you love most about the sport of wrestling?

I like the individual competition. Wrestlers are alone on the mat and are held accountable for all their actions during competition. Competing in a sport where there is nowhere to hide makes you more aware of your training and lifestyle choices throughout the year.

What do you think people would be surprised to learn about you? What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like driving in demolition derbies in the summer and I am a bit of a Craigslist fanatic. At home, I hunt and grow vegetables with my Dad.

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