Beat The Streets - New York City Wrestling

On Saturday, October 21, Coach Jacque Davis, BTSNY Girls Development Director, visited Beat the Streets Detroit to give a clinic. 

This was a trip organized by Fermin Mendez, BTS Detroit Board Member and fulltime BTS Detroit Coach. Mendez had reached out to Jeff Marsh, National Coordinator, and Brendan Buckley, BTSNY Executive Director, to ask if Davis could travel out and do a clinic for the BTS Detroit athletes. Since a significant number of Mendez's athletes are female, he wanted them to meet and work with somebody who could demonstrate how strong girls and women are, on and off the mat. Once Davis heard the idea, she was all in. 

Davis left NYC early Saturday morning to reach Detroit before 8AM. From the moment she landed, Mendez and the BTS Detroit staff showed Davis what Detroit had to offer. After a tour of the art and food scene in Detroit, Davis was taken to the recreation center where BTS Detroit has been running practices for the last eight years. Davis felt that the “awesome” center had anything a kid would want inside of it-- " including a BTS Detroit Training Center."  
 
Unlocking the storage closet, Mendez switched on a lever that lowered the mats from the ceiling. The bright blue old school mats seemed to be about a thousand pounds, but had the best kind of cushioning and support. 'Beat the Streets Detroit' was written in huge lettering across the mats. By the time mats were in place, kids started trickling in. 
 
50-60 athletes, including many girls, were in attendance. Davis started the group with short, fun warm-up of rolls, crawls, and footwork drills. Davis continued the clinic by teaching them how to do a duck under and a cement job. This was followed by a few games where the kids got to play, scramble, and go live. Davis noted that for the age group she was working with, sitting still was not the way to go.  "We did about a million wrestling related games i.e. get behind without getting off your tummy, grabbing an ankle, knee tapping, touch the belly button, bear crawl, etc.," said Davis. Davis then finished the session with her favorite game that has nothing to do with wrestling-- "National Champion." This is a game that requires players to run around the room and get into four possible positions that can get yelled out any time; the last group to get into that position and sit still will be declared out. "The kids were incredible--just screaming, running, colliding, and smiling," recounted Davis. 

After the clinic was over, the group took pictures with Davis. She talked to the parents while the kids ate pizza.  

Davis felt blessed to have this experience. "It was truly special getting to see and work with another BTS staff and set of kids," said Davis. Despite observing that Detroit kids are in similar situations as BTSNY kids, Davis felt they still have completely unique mindsets, work ethics, and personalities behind it all.  

Davis took this visit as a learning experience for herself, as well. "It taught me so much about the job that all of us do at the BTS chapters around the country and about the kids that we serve," said Davis. She is grateful to Mendez and everyone on the BTS Detroit staff, as well as the BTS Detroit kids, that she got to work with. "They truly made me feel like part of the family," said Davis. 

"Jacque's presence was not only energizing, but inspiring. Having her there not only showed our BTS wrestlers that girls and women can wrestle, but that they should wrestle. Our girls confirmed that with the barrage of hugs, smiles, and high fives that came Jacque's way when practice was over," said Mendez. 

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