Athlete of the Week: Wrestler Emma Schmidt

Emma Schmidt has been one of the Tigers most successful wrestlers this year for the girls wrestling team. Women’s wrestling was announced as a sanctioned high school sport at the Iowa Girls Wrestling State Tournament last weekend


For you, what was the highlight of your most recent competition?

The most recent match would have been the 2022 girls wrestling state in Iowa City. A major highlight of the state was the announcement of sanctioning girls wrestling. This has been a long time coming, and I can’t wait to see all of the many opportunities that these girls will get to participate in, in the upcoming seasons. 

What makes your sport special and different?

Wrestling is a very different sport from the rest. You are constantly trying to make weight for each meet. You practice in a room that is over 100 degrees just to be able to lose that weight. Although it is nothing like any other sport, it is very rewarding to see the progress you make throughout the season. 

How long have you been into this sport, and what were the early days of your participation? 

I have been around the sport of wrestling for a long time. From watching my cousins to watching my sister wrestle, it has been in my life for a good portion of it. With only competing in wrestling as a Cedar Falls Tiger for one year, it has felt like I have been around the sport and doing it for a lot longer than I have. 

How did/do you cope with any setbacks/losses you’ve experienced in your sport?

Wrestling is a very hard and technical sport. One false move or grab can lead to you in a very bad position and could lead to getting pinned, so when dealing with a loss, I know I went out and did my best and to not let that affect the next/matches to come, as every match is equally important. 

Who has been particularly influential in helping your growth in this sport?

There have been many people that have helped me throughout my growth in the sport. My parents, uncles, coaches, other family members and even my sister all played a major role in the success I had throughout the season. 

What do you do to prepare yourself before a game?

Before a match I normally have my headphones on, playing upbeat music to get in a good mindset that will carry on to the mat. I also warm up by getting some good shots and drills in and getting my body moving to make my warm-up like my first match.

How do you work on improving your skills in this sport?

Every day coming into practice with a good positive mindset ready to learn and try new things helps with improving skills, but watching film and seeing things that I need to work on and taking them into practice, then doing them over and over again to get it till it feels right that I know I can take it as a skill to use out on the mat is something that has helped me improve on many of my skills this season. 

What’s a personal skill that you are targeting lately?

One of my favorite skills that I have won a lot of my matches with this season would be the Butcher. It is a move that I can do very well, and I can get it nice and tight, so when I use it as a pinning combination, there is no getting out. 

Do you have plans to play this sport after high school?

I do not. If I play any sport in college, it will be rugby at the University of Iowa. 

What’s the most rewarding thing about your sport?

The most rewarding thing about wrestling this season is being able to get the sport well known by many colleges. Colleges are now having separate girls teams and with it now being sanctioned, seeing the next girls step into the sport knowing girls wrestling is here to stay in Iowa is something that makes me happy to see. 

What has been a highlight for you/your team so far this season?

A major highlight I had this season was beating the Bettendorf girl at the Battle of Waterloo. By pinning her I tied up the dual for my team and forced the winner to be chosen by the team with the most points, which ended up being us.

As you see it, what are the biggest tests remaining for you/your team yet this season?

With girl’s state wrestling already happening, we have one final tournament coming up, so knowing that it is our last time wrestling as a team together, going out and giving it our all one last time is something that we all are ready to give. For me, due to an injury that happened at state wrestling, I am not able to compete, but being there and cheering on my teammates is something I am looking forward to. 

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