Barbara Finlinson, Staff Writer, @bubblestweets
Recent Western Wrestling Conference wrestler of the week, Avery Garner, uses unique visualization techniques to prepare for a match.
They may be unorthodox, but following his routine resulted in a second-place finish at the Western Wrestling Conference tournament last year.
Garner, UVU’s 141-pounder, hopes to do better this time around at the event hosted at the UCCU Center March 8.
“After each practice I spend some time with the coaches to work on technique in some areas that I feel I need to work on,” Garner said. “I watch film, and stay healthy.”
He’s staying focused and uses every minute before a match to prepare.
“After the weigh-in, I will rehydrate and eat food until I feel good,” Garner said. “Then I will lay down somewhere for 20 minutes and I visualize some of my idols and then I envision myself wrestling like them.”
His idols are some of the greats: Cael Sanderson, Tom Brands and Zeke Jones, to name a few.
After visualizing, Garner takes action.
“I usually warm up, get a few practice shots in and when I get sweaty and warm I relax,” he said. “Then I go out and kill.”
Garner wrestled for Boise State University for a year, then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When he returned, he discovered UVU’s wrestling program fit his personality.
“He overlooked Boise to come here. It was a great gift to us,” head coach Greg Williams said.
Garner is glad he made the switch.
“I was intrigued by the young, growing program and what they had to offer,” he said. “All the teammates, when I met them, were just really awesome guys and I felt the same way about the coaches.”
On Feb. 1, UVU wrestled against his old teammates and coaches at Boise State.
“I know a lot of the coaches and a lot of the guys on the team so there is kind of a rivalry there,” Garner said. “We were tied; whoever won that match won the tournament.”
The match ended in favor of Garner after he scored three takedowns on BSU’s Bryan Owen, a three-time state qualifier, and secured a win for the Wolverines.
Garner brings experience and maturity to his team.
“I am always trying to be on task, doing 100 percent,” he said. “I feel like that example radiates and other people catch on and follow. “
According to Williams, Garner is dedicated and has a wonderful work ethic.
“He does everything that is expected of him. He works hard every day,” Williams said.
That attitude is central to Williams’ coaching strategy.
“My philosophy is basic. I want them to use wrestling as a tool to be the best person they can be in all facets of their life,” he said. “I want them to graduate from here feeling like they are ready for the world, whether it is as a father or in their careers.”
Garner plans to take the MCAT in May and is looking forward to his future career, but he’s grateful for his time and experiences on the team at UVU.
“It’s been a great opportunity and really humbling,” Garner said.