Building a Family Atmosphere

Travis Holt and Becker Wrestling

By Brian Jerzak

Wrestling is such an individual sport. There are tons of wrestling tournaments – even if a team score is kept – the winner is based on how well each athlete does outside of a team setting. Team national championships at all levels of college competition are based solely on the individual. Each year at the Minnesota state wrestling tournament, the individual finals – not the team finals – draw the most people into the arena. New Becker Bulldogs' wrestling coach Travis Holt – working within that team concept - is trying to bring a team and family atmosphere to the program.

The importance of building the family or team atmosphere in the wrestling room was engrained in Holt's mind early in his wrestling career. Cambridge-Isanti wrestling coach Neil Jennissen and St. Cloud State wrestling coach Steve Costanzo ensured that.

"They instilled a team sport mentality," Holt said. "You can get so caught up in the individual aspect of wrestling – you can forget to build those teamwork skills and building a family-like atmosphere. Being part of a family was huge when wrestling at Cambridge and St. Cloud State. All the guys I was competing with were like my brothers. That is the same philosophy I try to instill in my wrestlers – we compete for one another – not just for ourselves. It makes wins feel more special because you can celebrate them with everyone else, but also, you know your teammates have your back in every situation."

Although supportive, Holt's family had very little to do with his start in the sport.

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