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Transformation Tuesday: Tyler Wilps

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One-On-One with Red-Shirt Senior Tyler Wilps

Q: How have you grown as a wrestler from freshman year until now at the University Pittsburgh?

Wilps: "When I came to Pitt as a freshman, I always had that basic hard work mentality. My way of thinking was simple, grind it out and get better every day. But starting last year, I finally found a good balance between being relaxed and working hard."

"The mentality you need to have if you want to excel in almost anything is finding that unique balance. In my opinion, you can only improve when you are feeling more relaxed--instead of being too hard on yourself, or focusing on the wrong things. It's important to not forget about the big picture and simply focus on getting better."

"Between last year and this year, I have had a more open mind at getting better in wrestling. Now, I try to come in and have more fun with practices. It now creates an environment where I can learn and get better at wrestling."

Q: Stepping away from the wrestling mat, how have you grown as a student-athlete over the past four years?

Wilps: "I have been pretty consistent with my school work throughout college. However, it was still a transition from high school to college. As a freshman, I told myself it was time to really crack down and I had to focus on my work."

"I have definitely matured in the classroom with my test taking abilities and in critical thinking. Now, I'm able to sift through the information a lot quicker, which I owe to prepping for the MCAT."

Q: How has Pitt's Academic Support helped you over the years? Specifically, how did they assist in preparing you for something as big as the MCAT?

Wilps: "As far as the intangibles, there is amazing support here at Pitt. They can't force you to study because that's something you have to do on your own, but the help is there if you want it. The mentality of Pitt's Academic Support--if you want to do well then they will be right there and take you as far as you need to go."

"It's not as if, they only focus on getting their athletes through college so they can participate in your sports. They take it a step further, if they notice if a person is really determined to do something then they want to help you achieve the goal."

Q: Do you reflect on your earlier years as an athlete? Right now, if you stepped back to look at the process of how you became the wrestler you are today, what would you have to say about that journey?

Wilps: "It was definitely a slow process, sometimes you improve, plateau or even decline. There's definitely not a clear path in my improvement."

"In terms of wrestling, I'm sure there are moments I would look back on and laugh at, but in terms of my approach I would never say my head was in the wrong place or that I would have done things differently.

"I have a little brother on the team, Noah Wilps, and he is obviously different than me, but I can also see the similarities and where he's improving in wrestling. It's interesting to see how he deals with the stresses of school and being a student-athlete. It's not far off from how I dealt with it as a freshman."

"Obviously, if I wrestled my freshman year self today, I would beat myself pretty bad." 

Pitt Live Wire Extra, Episode 14

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