Dan Gable’s Intensity, Likability & Subtle Genius

I was going through some old boxes and came across a few memorable photos. When I looked at them, I began to chuckle because several curious things stood out to me…

The first is the team picture is from 1996, when I was a Senior at the University of Iowa. At the top of the picture you can see “The Box.” There were numerous reasons you could end up in “The Box,” but if you were in there, you could go ahead and assume that you weren’t getting the job done in some fashion…

It could be in the wrestling room, the class room, or in competition. If you were in “The Box,” you were forced to sit and watch practice rather than participate. Trying to get out of practice? Not so fast, my friend! If Gable thought you wanted in the box to get out of a workout, you would never end up there. He would find another way to get his point across to you…

Second thing that caught my eye, oddly enough, was The Legend’s stylish footwear…

Coach Gable was the only coach that had his wrestling shoes on, even though he was still in his dress pants =P… Just as it wouldn’t be uncommon for a doctor to have a stethoscope nearby at all times, Coach was never far from his Asics… This was right in line with his unabashed intensity and respect for his craft..

 

Coach Dan Gable on The Penalty Box

Great stuff, right?!?

The next image is a team picture after the NCAA Championships in 1996…

We had just won the team title and you can see Coach Gable raising his hand in celebration! You can also see the tape he had put on his hand so he could properly assist in Joe Williams warm-up routine without hurting hiself..

Let me explain..

You see, before Joe would take the mat to go treat someone poorly in front of their friends and family, he would stand in front of Coach Gable and get a few open hand wake up calls as though Coach were trying to slap the very lips off of him…

This flipped the switch for Joe and is something he insisted upon…

As a result, Coach Gable had to tape his hand so he wouldn’t hurt it against Joe’s chiseled jaw:).

1996 NCAA Championship Team Photo circling hand tape

Gable’s Love Tap

H.S. and Youth Coaches, I don’t recommend this motivational tactic unless you want a frying pan to the back of the head from an upset mother:)

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