GREAT FALLS — Bill Zadick’s wrestling connections run worldwide, and the head coach of Team USA dipped into his rolodex of top talent to bring some huge names to Great Falls this week for the annual camp he hosts with his brother Mike.
UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will be the guest clinician on Wednesday, but on Monday they brought in Bo Nickal, a three-time NCAA champion at Penn State who just claimed the Dan Hodge trophy as the nation’s top collegiate wrestler back in April.
His message to campers is simple: work hard but don’t make wrestling bigger than life.
“Just have fun with it. I think that often in wrestling, it’s definitely a very serious sport, but at the end of the day I think you have to have a foundation of enjoyment with the sport and have fun with it,” Nickal said. “That’s what I try to do, and I hope the kids that participate in it enjoy it, as well.”
The Zadicks’ goal in bringing in high-profile wrestlers is simple. They want to offer young, developing wrestlers in their hometown access to techniques and perspectives that they otherwise may not have.
“When you see some of these people that you only see online or only see on TV, it seems like it’s mythical it’s so far away,” said Bill. “Hopefully that’s one of the aspects of bringing these guys in. They can see Bo and talk to him and understand what a great guy he is and what a great person he is off the mat, and Daniel the same and kind of connect with some of the ideals that have led them to be successful in their lives.”
The camp runs through Thursday at the University of Providence.