Own Your Journey

By Jill E. Wolforth –


Recently I was at a conference where I had the opportunity to listen to Jordan Burroughs speak.  Unless you’re involved in the sport of wrestling, you likely don’t recognize his name or know his story. 
That’s about to change.
Jordan Burroughs is the most decorated American wrestler in the history of the sport.  He claimed sole possession of that title this past September at the World Championships in Belgrade where he won his seventh combined Olympic/World title.  He was previously tied at six with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist John Smith.
Listening to Jordan as he talked about his journey, there were several pieces so powerful that I was compelled to share them.  Yes, seven titles is impressive but as often is the case, there is a great backstory.
How did his path to becoming the most decorated wrestler in U.S. history start?  Well, not like most would probably imagine.  Jordan grew up and wrestled in the state of New Jersey.  He was a good young wrestler. Good enough that you would think he would have some college interest.  Even Jordan was sure that on July 1st, when college coaches could officially call, he was likely to have many calls. There was one problem, no one called.  Later that year, he goes on to win the state championship and guess what, still no calls.
In April of his senior year, Jordan’s father suggested he take part in a showcase in Pittsburgh. His father believed if Jordan had a good showing at this event, he would have a chance at a college offer. Jordan didn’t just have a good showing, he won.  In attendance at that showcase was University of Nebraska wresting coach Mark Manning who offered him a scholarship.
Jordan’s comment form this early experience – “Control your own destiny.  Don’t wait for the phone to ring, make the phone ring.”
He’s made it to Division I.  So, does he now take off?  Not exactly.  His freshman year he had a record of 16-13 finishing 3rd in the Big 12 and qualifying for nationals.  He was solid but certainly not “The Guy”.  He continued to improve and his sophomore year he finished 3rd at the NCAA’s.  It wasn’t until his junior year that he claimed his first NCAA title.
As he entered into his freestyle career, he again dealt with ups and downs.  He won a Gold medal in the 2012 Olympics and entered the 2016 Olympics as the favorite only to be defeated in the quarter finals, stunning the wrestling world.
His takeaway “Failures become moments for character building.”
As he wrapped up the discussion on his competitive career, he finished with a very powerful point.  Yes, he’s the most decorated American wrestler in history but he pointed out it took him 12 years to become a 7-time World/Olympic champion. John Smith though had claimed 6 championships in 6 six years.
Jordan’s final comment on this – “Own YOUR Journey”.
In today’s world where it seems like every 13-year-old, other than ours, has a verbal commitment somewhere (yes, I’m exaggerating a little to make a point), it’s important to continue to hear stories like Jordan’s.  Rather than the exception, they’re more often the rule.


– – – – – – – – – –

Important TBR Updates


  • Registration is now open for our Fall/Winter Elite Pitcher’s Boot Camps.  We host one camp each month between now and February.  Make plans now (especially for holiday camps) as spots are filling up quick!  Click here to read more and to register.


  • Our  fourth annual Elite CATCHERS Boot Camp is scheduled for December 9-11th.   This event is SOLD OUT.  Please call (936)588-6762 or email Jill@TexasBaseballRanch.com to be placed on the waitlist.


  • December Coaches Clinic information:  Professional Coaches Symposium Dec. 1-3 (limited to 40) and Amateur Coaches Symposium Dec. 16 & 17 (limited to 60).  Email Jill@TexasBaseballRanch.com to request information.  Please reference which event you are interested in attending.  


  • Our Alumni Camp will be held January 7&8, 2023.  This camp is only for players who have been to a previous Ranch event.  The $500 Early Bird savings is good until November 15th.  Click Here to learn more and to register.  




Previous post:

Next post: