Cael Carlson

This week, we'll travel to Pennock, Minnesota, to talk to Cael Carlson, a freshman wrestler at Willmar High School and a Black Hat winner from our Iowa Intensive Camp. Congratulations to Cael for placing 2nd at 113 in last weekend's Minnesota AAA State Wrestling Tournament!


What was your favorite part of camp and why did you choose to come here?

My favorite part of camp was competing, I also really loved resting and hanging out with my roommate Michael Otomo (another Black Hat winner). I chose to come here because I knew that if I wanted to win I had to take a step to get ahead of my opponents.

Who is a role model that you look up to and why?

My role model is my father, Chad Carlson, a former Golden Gopher wrestler. He is my role model because he has always been there for me and pushed me even when I didn’t want to be pushed. He always does everything as hard and as well as he can. That’s what makes him the person I want to be like.

What/who is your inspiration to wrestle and why?

My mom is my inspiration, I see her always doing things to better us kids and do the right thing. She knows what has to be done and what is right.

What is the most valuable thing you learned at camp?

I learned how to work hard but make it fun, and I learned how to push myself to the very limit.

What's the most important quality that a successful wrestler must have?

The right mindset, and determination.

To improve as a person I need to…

Learn to say no to get better at the things I love and learn to be for those who need direction and leading in their lives.

What was the hardest thing about camp?

Getting up every morning and giving the day every ounce of energy I had and being away from home.

What advice would you give to a future camper?

Sometimes counselors seem like they’re being really mean but really they’re just being that way to push you and make you better.

What makes wrestling different from other sports/activities you participate in?

It’s hard. It takes a mentally strong person to be able to do well in the long run. Wrestling is always changing and so you need to be able to problem solve and adapt.

Who was your favorite coach at camp and why?

My favorite coach was Joe Nord. He always pushed me. He always seemed to know what I needed to work on and would help me with that. He’s an awesome guy.

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