A Heartfelt Letter from Tyler Self
2016 Recipient of the Tyrone S. Woods
Tyrone S. Woods Foundation,
My new journey into college wrestling has been both extremely challenging and rewarding. I have found a lot of success in my first year at Western State Colorado University. While I am a redshirt wrestler this year, I have had the opportunity to compete in a number of open tournaments in Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas. I have managed to place in a number of tournaments as well as battle my way up to the second position on the team depth chart at 174 pounds. I have also found success in the class room, having decided to pursue a degree in Pre-Medicine in hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Wrestling in college has given me a new perspective on the meaning of perseverance and hard work, both in the class room and on the mat. An attribute that Tyrone demonstrated in his life. This new chapter of my life has truly allowed me to expand my horizons and develop myself as a person who strives to live with the upmost character and integrity.
Having heard many amazing stories about Tyrone, from those that were close to him, it is clear to me that he was a man who exemplified the highest degree of bravery, loyalty, and grit. Wrestling taught me that to be the best, you must emulate the best. Tyrone was clearly a man of the highest caliber, who should be emulated in every aspect of life. For that reason, receiving the Inaugural Tyrone S. Woods Memorial Trophy was one of the biggest honors I have ever received. I am extremely humbled and grateful for the opportunity to be the first name on that trophy and the experiences it has led to. I am constantly amazed by the number of people that I have met that ask me about winning the award, and about Tyrone. Meeting Tyrone’s family and friends, and being able to share in their stories has been one of the biggest blessing from the whole experience. Though I never personally met Tyrone Woods, I believe I know him. To me, the Tyrone S. Woods Memorial Trophy represents the value of living your life by the highest moral standard, and exhibiting true courage, grit and determination in the face of challenges in all aspects of life. This is the way Tyrone lived, this is the way Tyrone gave his life for our country, and this is the way we should all remember Tyrone Woods.
I would like to give a heartfelt thank you to the Tyrone S. Woods Foundation for the experience they have given me, and to Cheryl in particular for sharing her amazing stories and memories of Tyrone with me. I have the picture of Tyrone given to me by Cheryl and Kirk sitting on my desk at college as a daily reminder to exhibit the same kind of courage and passion for life that Tyrone exhibited. My experience with the Foundation has inspired me to push myself passed where I am comfortable and to attack life with a passion and determination that I believe would make Tyrone proud, for that I am truly grateful. I am excited for next recipient of the Tyrone Woods Foundation to be announced and join this very special and distinguished brotherhood. It will bind all of us together forever with Tyrone and the moral code that he exemplified that we must continue to promote as the next generation.
Personal Story from a US Navy SEAL
Wrestling is Unrivaled as a Sport that Builds Genuine Character
by US Navy SEAL Nate N.
My introduction to testing the limits of my mental toughness, tenacity, and team focus began as a wrestler. The challenges I encountered on the mat helped create the personal attributes that helped me become successful as a US Navy SEAL. Those valuable lessons I learned as a wrestler have served me well in my military training and also down range with my brothers-in-arms. Along with the sweat, pain, and successes, probably the most important character builder was the failures that I left on the mat and which contributed to making me the man I am today.
Among the impactful wrestling lessons learned through my coaches and competition that I still carry with me today is to take personal responsibility. Your individual success or failure is up to you. Win or lose on the mat, you are responsible. Your mental toughness and iron will are life-altering keys to success as a wrestler and in life. In training and in the fight, be willing to push yourself further and harder than your opponent. As a character builder, the way you handle failure is extremely important, even more important than how you handle success. Whether you win or lose, treat your opponent with respect, look him in the eye, and shake his hand. It is not just about you. The team’s success depends on cohesion and selfless effort.
Thank you to the many coaches that help carry the sport of wrestling forward. The impact you have made on me and continue to make on the lives of thousands of young people like me is immeasurable and enduring. — January 8, 2017
A Testimony for Youth Wrestling – The Jaime Miranda Story – January 26, 2017
A homeless teen needed help. Then he came to Iowa and wrestled.
Jaime Miranda spent a portion of his childhood homeless, sleeping in cars as his mother stayed up all night to watch over him and his siblings. Once a troubled kid, Miranda has gotten his life on track and now wants to help troubled youth.
You can read the rest of Jaime’s amazing story at:
Wrestling can change lives, improve lives,and perhaps even save lives. And that is why TSWWF is so dedicated to youth wrestling. Many times in Tyrone’s life when faced with a huge challenge, he pulled strength and determination from those hundreds of hours that he spent on the mat. His former friends from middle school and high school have shared anecdotes about how important wrestling was to him, even to the point of his encouraging them to join the sport. And they have never forgotten the influence and badgering from him that gave them the push they needed to become part of a wrestling team. No regrets.