Coach Matt Lindland here guys. I have not been posting as often as I would like to. We have been working hard qualifying weights for the Games this summer and preparing our athletes. The other reason I have not been posting as often is because of 5PM and Tim Hands. Let's talk to Tim and find out more about 5PM
What is 5PM?
Five Point Move is a website devoted to Greco Roman wrestling and the US Greco program, in general. There’s a couple of other content areas that offer different stuff for readers, but as far as actual wrestling coverage goes, it is all about Greco and providing exposure for the athletes.
What got you thinking there needed to be another wrestling website? What makes 5PM different?
It kind of happened in two parts, I would say. I remember going back to 2008, it started with a conversation I was having with Dennis Hall. It was like a week before the Beijing games and we were just talking about how the Greco team was basically operating in anonymity compared to everyone else. I mean, to be fair, the web in 2008 was a very different place than it is now, it was almost like “Web 1.0” if you put it up to how the Internet looks currently. So there weren’t so many media outlets at that point to begin with. But the question was, What if there was a platform where these athletes could be featured? What if there was a place where sponsors and brands could learn about the wrestlers, and who knows where that eventually leads? Maybe if more people could see exactly what these athletes go through and what they are all about, it could mean more opportunities for them. They certainly deserve their shot.
But yeah, there was a need and still is. There are people who definitely want this kind of coverage. It’s time to stop acting like Greco should be a throw-in. I know for a fact people want Greco because our numbers say so. To that point, if Five Point Move is different, it’s different in that it is 100% committed to Greco Roman coverage. It’s committed to helping provide exposure for the athletes who so richly deserve it, and it is committed to helping build awareness of the sport.
What was your plan? What made you decide to do this now?
The conversation I had with Hall always stuck to me and also having known a couple of wrestlers who were resident athletes and National Team members. I’d say it happened in phases. I remember at night going on the computer or my phone, whatever, and wanting to read Greco stuff, US Greco stuff. And the outlets we have in the US, I mean, don’t get me wrong, they are excellent at what they do and if something notable occurs in Greco they’ll try to have something on it. But that’s where it ends. You can’t find features or news everyday; they leave that to the folkstyle or even freestyle content. That’s fine, I get the climate. But for me, I’d be interested in reading Greco news.
More than anything, I guess to bring a spiritual component to all of this, is that I’m a praying man. And I went through this period in 2014, I wasn’t unhappy or anything, quite the contrary, but I didn’t have anything kind of pushing me. I wasn’t an athlete, certainly, at least not anymore. I didn’t have something to pour my energy into. So I just prayed for the inspiration to do something with a part of my life that I loved. I didn’t know what that even was or what it meant. I wasn’t praying for anything specific. I just wanted to be inspired to go after something. And then, I don’t know how long into this, but it wasn’t too long, all of this hit me. It all came together at once practically. It was the idea, boom, the name, boom, the logo, boom. It all hit, so to me, Five Point Move was divinely inspired.
I registered the domain pretty much right away. Only, it took a while to get things together. I do have a family, kids, plus writing and editing. However, I was content mapping for the site immediately. My career has been a big help. I’m a writer, I’m a literary nerd, for sure, but I work in digital content, so I had gained the confidence to be a webmaster, although I do have help with the more technical side of things. And then over the last nine months we started to piece this all together, the layout, the content plan, and then a month before the Olympic Trials the site was “live.” It officially launched I guess the week before Iowa City.
Well I am a praying man, too, and it’s almost as if you answered my prayers because I have this Coach Lindland blog, which was to get news out regarding the US Greco program, talk about the wrestlers, and what we’re doing. But as the head coach of the program, I have so many things to do. I have trouble getting stuff up here consistently, but then you came along and have done it all for me. But people do want to know what is going on with Greco in this country and it’s important that there is a place where they can find out what they need to know and what they want to know.
Oh wow, I appreciate that, thank you. Of course, you have been extraordinarily helpful by agreeing to do the Weekly Report, which is big for us. And all of your help with access and even just encouragement has been incredible and meant a lot. Look, people want this. They want to know, they are interested and also, many just want to learn. They want to learn what it is the really well-known Seniors are doing, they want to know about approaches, lifestyles, coaching, and where the athletes are going next. All we are trying to do, my contributors and I, is ensure that we provide the information they are looking for. And hopefully, they stick around because of our concentration on offering high quality content.
You know, I don’t know which approach is better. There are people who are more into taking action first and then moving forward and learning as they go, and then there are those who have a plan in place and execute that plan. You seemed to have had a plan and then went for it.
Yes, there definitely was a plan in place and it was just a matter of being able to unroll it. Even now, we have a content plan that we stick to, for the most part. Sometimes, news just pops up and we have to account for it, or something will happen with an athlete that needs to be talked about, so we will engage the subject. There is flexibility that way. At the same time, there is always learning as I go. You know, your audience tends to tell you what they want from you. Before the site was officially launched, the original content plan was in place and still is. In fact, it hasn’t even been revealed in full yet, which is really encouraging. But we pay attention to what readers want when it comes to their US Greco news. And sometimes, preferences change and you have to adapt so that they are still getting what they want. But thankfully, the people who dig Five Point Move are super loyal and into it and it’s such a great feeling to see that, for sure.
How has the response been within the Greco community and the wrestling community as a whole?
It strikes me, I must say, with incredible humility, the response Five Point has received. I get a lot of “thank you’s” from the athletes and from other wrestlers, families, and fans of the sport. It has all happened really fast it seems. The amount of support we have gotten thus far has been both humbling and gratifying. You know, we’re doing this for them, for everyone. There is also just a slight attitude of defiance mixed in. It’s like, we all have to stick together right now to build the sport, build exposure for the athletes. And quite honestly, I think people who are devoted to Greco Roman are done accepting it being looked at it with second-tier status in this country and Five Point Move is hopefully seen as sort of a mouthpiece for that sentiment.
As for the wrestling media outlets that might be more folkstyle, freestyle, there have been a few journalists from other places who have reached out and wished me luck or have complimented what we’re doing. Some have actually been very nice, Jason Bryant had me on his “Short Time” podcast, which was a a thrill. He’s supportive, no doubt. Others are interested and have reached out, you know? It’s funny to me in a way, because I think most people really do like Greco. Or I should say, I think everyone loves Greco, they just don’t know it yet. Or they haven’t discovered it in the right way, or need to re-discover it, what have you. Part of that is probably because of misconceptions that have been passed down, but part of it is also the packaging and how it’s presented. To me, if everyone is going to point out how Greco isn’t like anything else, then why hide from that? Yeah, it is different. It’s harder, it’s more exciting, and globally, more popular.
It’s the original style, it’s the original Olympic sport. When two guys who don’t know anything are about to fight, they grapple upper-body. It’s an instinct. They don’t go diving at each other’s legs. I have seen it with humans, I’ve seen it in nature. And right, it’s the more popular style of wrestling overseas. But with folkstyle here, it’s as if coaches and athletes are hesitant to learn more about it even though, like I said, it is competed more often on the World level. But that is one of the reasons why Greco doesn’t get the coverage from other outlets in the US.
I think that they try to include event information but miss the overall picture. It comes off begrudging, as if their hands are being forced, they have to throw it in. Some of them are kind of supportive and do highlight athletes on occasion, but the sum of the overall parts is underwhelming, to say the least. But yeah, I mean, you are right on. When two people are about to throw down, they aren’t shooting single-legs. They are going up top. It’s just how it is. You’d know better than anyone. Where and how do you control a fight? You close them up, get in their face. And one of the things I’ve always loved about Greco Roman wrestling is that it is a fight. There might not be punches and kicks, but there is more contact practically, and it has a natural component, like you mentioned. Greco represents our natural inclination to brawl it up and when you mix beautiful technique with par terre scoring, there really is nothing better than that.
Well I would just like to thank you for helping get the word out and for helping grow the sport. Part of my role for the program is to promote awareness, but it’s a process and it is building. We’re all volunteers for this cause and trying to bring it to critical mass. So it’s great to have a Greco-only website in our country that supports our athletes and what we are doing, and thank you very much for being a part of that.
No, thank you. And also, thank you to the athletes. All we are trying to do as a media outlet is provide the platform and tell the stories. The stories are what this is sort of all about. It’s a movement. It is a growing movement and I am extremely pleased to be involved with it. There is work to be done, absolutely, but we’re getting there. It is happening. Greco is getting stronger in the US and people are becoming pumped up about it. Five Point is around to document this, it seems. It just feels like everything is coming together. There is enthusiasm and unity. It’s a pleasure.
I don’t know if it’s timing, if it’s an attitude thing, or if because an awful lot of hard work has begun to get noticed. But it has been exciting so far and definitely a blessing to be involved. And thank you for talking to me about all this. I appreciate the opportunity, as you know, to discuss Five Point and hopefully, more people check out what the site is all about. So once again, thanks to you and to our readers. We’re all in this together.