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Dziewa knows it's go time

BY CODY GOODWIN | FEBRUARY 05, 2015 5:00 AM

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Sometimes, when he needs to clear his head and remind himself of what’s important, Josh Dziewa will turn off his TV and lie in his bed. Once there, he closes his eyes and pictures himself wrestling hard for seven whole minutes.

“A lot of guys are like, you know, imagine yourself getting your hand raised,” Dziewa said. “But that’s not enough. You have imagine yourself getting in on a single, picking your head up across his body, taking him down, putting him down, and turning him for the fall.

“The process — that’s what gets your hand raised.”

Dziewa, as well as Iowa wrestling coach Tom Brands, would like to see his hand raised more, of course. Flowrestling ranks him at sixth nationally at 141 pounds, and he’s 18-5 overall. Of those 18 wins, 10 have come in bonus-point fashion.

More recently, though, Dziewa, a native of Yardley, Pennsylvania, has struggled to the tune of a 6-5 mark in his last 11 matches, a stretch that began with a loss in the quarterfinals of the Midlands Championships in late December.

In those 11 matches, he’s averaged just 3.4 points per match — a drastic step down from the 9.5 average he scored in his first 12 matches of the season, all of which were wins, including four by fall.

Those numbers show Dziewa’s capability of being an All-American threat come March, but Brands would rather see that aggressiveness all year. During this 11-match slump, Brands has harped on Dziewa about “letting it fly” while on the mat.

“He’s got a lot of ability to do things that we really haven’t seen yet. I think you know what I mean by that. He’s got offense. It’s just a matter of believing it,” Brands said. “You can go back and count the number of times he’s executed his offense, going to the legs, those types of things and misdirection and combination-type stuff. It would be in the tens of thousands of times.

“So now it’s just time to let it fly. He’s a senior. What are we waiting for? Let’s do it.”

That’s a fact that’s very apparent to Dziewa. On numerous occasions this season, he’s made it known how many days, exactly, he has left in the program — that number, as of this writing, is 43; the NCAA championship, should Dziewa get there, will begin on March 19.

But Dziewa would rather solidify his spot at the national tournament, and possibly be seeded, which means he needs to start picking up the pace in his matches. To do that, he said he’s read some books recommended to him by both Brands and associate head coach Terry Brands.

“We got a 10-minute mental toughness book that Tom also gave Nick Moore, and we’ve both been skimming it,” Dziewa said. “I got a couple others. Titles aren’t really what I’m looking at. I’m really just opening them up and looking at the passages.”

One passage that’s really stuck with Dziewa was, “Focus on the process, not the result” — which is fitting, if only because he said if he does the process is done right, the result will take care of itself.

The ultimate result is leaving the program with a national championship, but before then, Dziewa wouldn’t mind building on wins in order to better position himself for a possible title run in St. Louis.

“You know, what’s funny is I feel like I’ve been putting the work in the whole time, but it’s not translating,” Dziewa said. “Why isn’t translating? Because you actually have to do it. Just because you work hard in the room doesn’t mean it’s going to happen out there. You have seven minutes to work hard out there.

“If not now, when?”

Follow @codygoodwin on Twitter for updates, news, and analysis about the Iowa wrestling team.


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