These days, Andre Brenner is selective about the instruction he gives.
A two-time Ukrainian freestyle wrestling national champion, Brenner has made a name for himself as a coach and trainer in the United States for the last 10 years.
But when he sees dedicated parents like Ted Loggins of Athens and Mike Bruno of Huntsville, Brenner has to take notice.
That’s why Brenner is spending two days in the wrestling room at Loggins’ home, directing camp activities for 10 aspiring young wrestlers.
“This year I’ve restructured my camps where I’ll go to a big camp and go there for one day, teach a session or two, so that kids see I’m a quality wrestler and a quality coach, “the 31 year-old Brenner said Tuesday while sitting in the shade near the pool at the Loggins’ home.
“A two-day visit like this is unusual. This is the second one I’ve done in my life.”
Brenner’s visit is the result of an invitation from Loggins, whose 10 year-old son Nick is gearing up for the Junior Olympics at the end of the month in Colorado.
“We had been traveling for years going to clinics and working with different Olympic clinicians, but we go to these clinics and there’s 350 kids, “Loggins said. “There’s never any personal time at the clinic with those particular clinicians.
“So we got the hare-brained scheme that we would bring them to us. We’ll have handpicked kids, who were groomed to be here. These are seasoned wrestlers, and they are pretty tough.”
Loggins and Bruno are running the camp for 10 wrestlers throughout this week. Brenner is in town for two days of instruction Tuesday and today. Campers include wrestlers from Huntsville High, Bob Jones, Sparkman and Athens.
For Loggins this is only the beginning in an effort he hopes can improve the quality of wrestling at Athens High School.
“We want to continue to do this, “he said. “We want to try to have camps in the future. I’ve talked to the middle school coach and the high school coach here. I would like to work out some way we can get some programs going toward the high school.
“If we don’t try to build our program, we’ll be forced to take Nick to a private school in Huntsville. We really want to see this program work, but we need to spark the interest in our coaches here. If two men can come up with the Ukrainian champion, I imagine a team could come up with somebody just as good.”
Brenner has time to spend at camps like this because he is in the business of marketing a training method using resistance bands and jump ropes.
The resistance bands, along with jump ropes, are a training tool used by Soviet wrestlers for years, and a training method Brenner is introducing to athletes in the United States.
“When I was just a little wrestler, I started late, and I was getting beat up for the first couple of tournaments, “Brenner said. “When I asked my coach how I could get better, he invited me to work out with the older wrestlers.
“When I got to practice, I saw them using two simple devices – the jump rope and the rubber cables. What amazed me was that the rubber cables did not reproduce traditional weight training exercises, but specific wrestling movements.”
Brenner’s rubber cables and the workout program, which goes along with it, can be picked up at www.abbands.com