Senior Spotlight: Nate Jackson (NJRTC)

Nate Jackson is a senior level wrestler that currently trains at the NJRTC under Reece Humphrey. While he’s not training himself, he coaches wrestling at Princeton. He is currently going to world’s as a practice partner with fellow NJRTC resident Pat Downey.

I reached out to him to ask him some questions about wrestling and he was nice enough to take the time to answer them! Hope you enjoy.

Wrestling Questions:

What are your top career moments you’ve lived so far?

“When I was 8 years old I won a state title.  It really kick started my passion for the sport.  Not winning the chip in grade school and through my first three years of high school drove my work ethic.  Winning it all as a senior in high school was such a great experience.  I became so passionate about the evolution of my own wrestling and really began to love the sport.”

In what period in your life (before the NJRTC) did you improve most in and what were you doing to improve so much?

“In high school I made a huge jump in the summer after my sophomore year due to focusing on one sport as well as watching high level wrestling on a daily basis.  Anything that you constantly consume becomes more of who you are.  I became a wrestler.”

What has kept you wrestling so long, what do you love about it?

“Through college I never won a national title but getting on the podium helped set up my future and some things I learned thru my journey led me to college coaching.  Since I didn’t win and felt as though I could have I couldn’t quench my desire for competition.  After years of not winning a tournament, winning the Medved International title was pretty cool.  It was fun because I scored so many points against some of the best wrestlers in the world.  It furthered my belief in myself.  I’m not done yet.”

“I still compete because I still have so much to learn.  I know so many techniques but the combinations of the techniques are endless.  I am just scratching the surface of my own ability.  I also really enjoy it.  If I didn’t like blasting through my opponent I’d be done with it.  I love the parity in style, literally anyone can wrestle.  There is no set wrestling build or style, just do you.”

What is the best part about training at the NJRTC?

“The energy that the NJRTC brings is so refreshing.  Training and working hard and grinding can get stale after a while.  But we keep things loose and fun.  I look forward to early morning lifts and how you feel 100% affects the way you perform.  Good vibes always!”

What is Reece Humphrey like as a coach and why does he suit you well?

“I like Reece because he really believes in me.  He doesn’t sugarcoat the things that I need to change about myself to reach my goals.  He fosters the right type of atmosphere for me to thrive in.  He’s also my friend.  Coaching established men is hard to do when you come from a place of ego or robo-drill sergeant.  There is a place to be tough as a coach but on the senior level most guys don’t have an ear for that type of coach.  All Reece asks is for us to buy in.  Reece has so much experience and technique.  If we buy in, we win, period.”

What advice would you have for incoming freshman wrestling in college?

“Incoming guys, I have two things:

1. Buy-in to the product that your coach sold you before you got there.  Everyone at the collegiate level has succeeded at some level at some point.  If you can take something from them that they did well and implement it YOU WILL BE BETTER.  Inch by inch.

2. Take ownership of your success/failure.  The moment you blame someone or something else for where you are in your career is the moment you slide.  Make you own momentum, stay on the mat until you figure this out.  Make your best thing better and your weakness strong.”

Non-wrestling Questions:

Favorite artist?
“Drake.”

Favorite food?
“Pasta.”

Favorite opponent you’ve wrestled?
“Shapiev.”

Name your favorite country you’ve traveled to and why.
“Minsk, Belarus, because I won gold there!”

How many medals do you think the US will win at worlds?
“10! 🇺🇸”

Will Penn State win nationals next year?
“🤷🏾‍♂️ why not us?”

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