About Our "New" Coach: Seth Ciasulli
I am excited to take over the well renown Red Hawk Wrestling Club, starting May 1st, 2014. New is in quotations, because I've been around Red Hawk for two decades. Let me tell you a little bit about me, and why you should choose me to be your wrestling coach.
Born on April 3rd, 1987, I am the youngest of four; two brothers and one sister. Needless to say, my involvement with sports was inevitable. Growing up, before I could think about wrestling, my dad started the Red Hawk Wrestling Club to give my brothers better workout partners and an environment where they could thrive in this great sport of ours. I was too young however, so I traveled with my mom and played around at gymnastics, which is what my sister did at the time. When I was around six years old, I was brought into the wrestling room and I observed them practicing. Eventually I caught the bug, and by seven I was working out right along with them. Like any younger brother, I wanted to be with my older brothers.
In our adolescence, we soon found out that wrestling is an extremely technical sport, and in order for us to succeed we had to do two things, and do them well.
The Two Keys To Success
Number one: we needed to learn as much about the sport as we could. You cannot substitute skill for strength, size, or speed. We have a wealth of knowledge at Red Hawk, which we picked up from numerous coaches and summer camps through our upbringing. We molded a lesson plan similar to the one we have now, and started teaching and drilling all of these techniques. We continued to expand our lessons, adding more and more moves until we built the list of series you see at Red Hawk today. We also learned that the more you drill these moves, the more you'll use them in matches, and the more you will succeed.
My dad has always said: "In order to win matches, you must score points; in order to score points you need to do wrestling moves." Well, to do wrestling moves in matches, you must drill them in practice.
Number two: we needed to find and wrestle the best competition possible. Simple local wrestling leagues were not enough for us. After my brothers won the league tournament with ease (outstanding wrestler to boot), we knew that that could not be it. This country is big, and you won't find the best in any one area. So we toured the local states, finding as many individual youth wrestling tournaments as we could. This is not uncommon, there are many that do this same circuit. We quickly learned that those kids were the best. In order to be the best, we needed to wrestle the best, and beat the best. Unaware of the effect success at tournaments would bring, we started to attract wrestlers with the same mindset, and so the Red Hawk Wrestling Club started to grow.
My Early Years
At that point we were done with league teams and concentrated solely on individual tournaments to get us ready for the big ones: states and nationals. I was not part of a team other than Red Hawk until I was in high school. As a youngster, I got 3rd and 4th at New Jersey states and 5th at Eastern Nationals (MAWAs). By the time I was in 6th grade and my family moved into Pennsylvania I got 2nd at Tulsa Nationals, 1st at the Ohio Tournament Of Champions, and 1st at Eastern Nationals. Before high school began I won PJW's (Pennsylvania States).
I wasn't known in the area just yet, but that didn't bother me, because I was known around the country, which was worth so much more.
By the time I entered high school my oldest brother Andrew had placed 4th and 5th at Pennsylvania states and my brother Matthew was a senior and already a two-time Pennsylvania State Champion. The area knew our family and there were big expectations for me, but I learned my hardest lesson to date.
I was soft when I was a freshman, too nice, and I lost my wrestle-off to be on Easton's wrestling team. Keep in mind that at the time Easton was the #2 high school team in the country, second only to Blair. There were 6 of us wrestling for the spot at 103, so it was a tournament in itself. I got stronger mentally and was beating everyone at my weight, but I still didn't get a wrestle-off. I learned that you cannot take any match lightly, and if your coach has his say, you may not get another chance, no matter the results.
I spent a year on JV, completely demolishing every kid I wrestled, taking offense to what I had been reduced to. By the time I was a sophomore I was no longer nice. Anyone who wanted my spot, I took that as a personal attack; an attack to my well-being, my self-worth, and my life's work. Anyone who wanted MY spot was not my friend. They were my enemy, and treated as such. I took that aggression and the previous year's disappointment out on those I wrestled. In my sophomore year I only lost twice. I won the Reno Tournament of Champions, the Manheim tournament, Districts, Regionals, and got 2nd at states. I received "most improved" for the team, which again I took offense to, but it only helped to fuel me further.
Most improved!? I was that good, I just never got the chance to show it.
It's interesting though, who's to say that a year on JV didn't turn me into the wrestler I needed to be mentally? I guess we'll never know, but from that point on, I never lost another wrestle-off. I went on to win Reno two more times (with outstanding wrestler), Manheim two more times, another District and Regional title, and got another 2nd and a 3rd at states.
My high school career wasn't perfect, but it was enough to pay for my college education. I chose to spend my undergraduate years at Lehigh University, in which I was always ranked in the top 15 of the country. The highest ranking I received was #8. I qualified for nationals 4 times and won the EIWA's. I beat numerous All-Americans and plenty in the top five. I wasn't an All-American (top 8) at nationals, the best I did was round of twelve, one match before placing. While not all of my goals were realized, that doesn't make my career any less gratifying.
Why Would I Be A Good Coach?
I started giving private lessons when I was 16, eleven years ago. I started running classes and teaching our moves soon after. I already have over a decade of experience working with kids and teaching them how to wrestle. I know what it takes to be a champion; physically, technically, and mentally. I've been through the journey (recently), so I know what your kids are going through.
I know how they feel when you yell at them, and when you rejoice with them. I have tasted the sweetness of success, and the bitterness of defeat. I know how it feels to be criticized constructively, and not constructively. I know how you have to approach matches, whether they be wrestle-offs or tournaments. I know how to professionally watch my weight, lift weights, and train. I've been taught by the best coaches in the country, and picked up more moves and expanded my style in ways I never expected or thought of. I've cheated myself when I was younger, and worked myself to sheer exhaustion when I was older.
My Theory With Wrestling
My ideas on wrestling are not dissimilar from my father's. We have an ongoing track record proving that our system works, and I will not stray away from it. Just this year (2014) Mike McMullan and Mitch Minotti were All-Americans at D1 NCAA's. We totaled 14 Red Hawkers at D1 NCAA's in this past year alone.
We have state champions, we have national champions. I may repeat my dad a little, but my idea of how to be a good wrestler is to be able to react to any situation instinctively and positively. You take a shot, you get a takedown. Your opponent takes a shot, you get a takedown. The quicker you react to any one situation the better your chances will be.
This theory of mine will not change. I am as much a defensive wrestler as an offensive one. I was good in neutral, top, and bottom. I was known for top riding (legs specifically), pinning, and neutral scrambling. My goal is to create college level wrestlers at a young age, which I have so far been successful with through private lessons.
I will continue to add to our moves and adapt as the sport grows. Our lessons will receive new moves while some get removed when proving to be irrelevant. The sport evolves quickly, and I will continue to watch college wrestling to keep up with the times. This is a service that no one in the area and few in the country will actually provide.
How do you get your wrestler better? You take them to where they will learn as much of the sport as possible so they can be prepared for anything. You take them to the Red Hawk Wrestling Club.
Easton Area high school (2005)
- PIAA AAA Runner-Up (x2), 3rd
Lehigh University (2010)
- EIWA Champion
- NCAA Qualifier (x4)