Whether it’s wrestling during or outside the holidays, family plays a big role

Updated: December 27, 2010

Editor’s Note: Cody Hummer is a native of Savannah, Mo., and is not the best prep at his weight in the country, yet. He wrestles for a small school in the northwest corner of the state of Missouri, while competing with a club team in Kansas City, which is located an hour south of Savannah. But the Missouri state champ is a top-end, college-bound high school wrestler who is representative of many preps who devote year-round training to the sport. WIN editorial staff wanted to give wrestling fans an inside look this year at the time and commitment level required to be one of the top high school wrestlers in the country. Cody’s next installment will be available on-line at WIN-magazine.com on Jan. 6, 2011.

After winning a Missouri state championship last year, Cody Hummer (center) was surrounded by his family, including his grandparents (left), three brothers and his parents.

WIN: High School wrestling takes place during the midst of the holiday season. How hard is it to stay focused this time of year?

CODY: I find it extremely hard. For example, here was my day yesterday. I got up at 5:45 a.m., ran before school then went to school. Then high school practice took place 3:30-5:45 p.m. I came home and took off for a third practice, 6:30-8:15 p.m., for one-on-one training with a friend. Then I got home at 9 p.m., met another friend and we studied for and advanced alegbra test until 3:30 am.

WIN: Family is also a big topic this time of year. Let’s talk about how your family affects you during the wrestling season. First, let’s start with your parents. Does your father and mother serve different roles for you during the high school season and what are they?

CODY: My parents are my biggest boosters. This is a quote that I read along time ago from Dan Gable. Parents need to be the wrestler’s biggest boosters and give the wrestler the best opportunities to be successful and my parents do both. Whenever we feel as if we need a break from practice, we can use a “Gold Card,” which means we can have the break that we need. It is usually used for homework or to just balance everything back out in our busy lives.

WIN: Your father wrestled. Does it help or bother you if he speaks about his past experiences?

CODY: My father rarely ever speaks of his wrestling experience. He does introduce me to several of his wrestling buddies that he was around when he was my age. One is current coach Gary Mayabb of Staley High School (in Kansas City). My dad, of course, lost to him in a dual with Cameron (Mo.) High School.

WIN: I’m not sure how much your mother knew about wrestling before you got involved in the sport. Does she have a hard time watching you wrestle? Was she ever over-protective of you in a mixed-martial arts sport like wrestling?

CODY: No. Growing up with three other brothers, not too much scares her anymore. Fights are a common thing around our house. So wrestling is a controlled way to fight and is legal pain.

WIN: We talked about weight cutting in the last issue. How do your parents help you deal with the weight-cutting issues? For example, does your mother prepare a menu that helps you keep your weight down and stay healthy?

CODY: My mother is the best wrestling mom a wrestler could have, seriously. She helps all four brothers with our clothes and with keeping us focused on eating healthy. She also helps my brothers with homework. She pushes us with our grades as well. She really wants us to make the honor roll.

My mom prepares our menu and does a wonderful job with it. She gets rid of all the fattening foods in the house when the wrestling season begins. Although my little brother, Michael, sneaks off to my grandma’s house and gets ice cream cones. Don’t let my dad know.

WIN: Speaking of which, describe your diet during the high school season. What do you avoid? What do you recommend?

CODY: During the high school season, I try to avoid high fat and high carbohydrate foods and mostly focus on proteins and vegetables as much as possible. My favorite food to eat at any time of the day is a bagel with cream cheese. Altogether though, it all comes back to the help of my mom. She is a great leader for our family to follow.

WIN: Now let’s talk about your relationship with your brothers. How much does it help to have brothers wrestle? Wrestling and brothers is historically a big thing: the Brands, Smiths, etc. Have you studied their relationships?

CODY: In Missouri we have a set of brothers I look up to which are the Purler brothers, Tony and Nick. I have been training with them for six years. They have been a great pair of mentors for brothers and for Missourians. Tony has told many stories about his brother Nick. One was how they went to Tulsa Nationals and went 0-2. They sold their motorcycle and bought a wrestling mat and trained together for a year and came back and one of them won it.

We train together all the time. We try to do a silver or a gold workout two to three times a week together as brothers. A silver workout is 25 takedowns, 25 down-blocks, 25 turns on top and 25 bottom moves. This normally takes around 20 minutes. Gold workout is the same thing, but with reps of 50.

WIN: Do you feel like a role model for your brothers?

CODY: Yes I do, I don’t necessarily realize it all the time though, but I understand that I’m blazing the trail for what they are going to experience throughout high school. They also remind me all the time of the records I break in high school and that they are going to break them behind me.

WIN: How much are your brothers like you?

CODY: We all have our own characteristics and we are all very different. But we all have the same last name and we all work hard and have the same goals.

WIN: Regarding your family, do you ever find yourself thinking that you are representing your family? If so, do you feel pressure with that?

CODY: Yes I know I represent my family everywhere I go and so do my three brothers.

WIN: Are there other family members that help you during the high school season? For example, is there a grandparent or perhaps an uncle/aunt who has an impact on you and maybe you dedicate your season towards?

CODY: My grandpa Hummer is one of my biggest supporters when it comes to wrestling. He is also the loudest. You do not want to sit next to him at a dual because he moves so much in the crowd it is like he is wrestling his own match in the stands.