November 24, 2011

Gym Rats: Mercyhurst 'Golden Child' Ian Wild

by Matt DaSilva | LaxMagazine.com | Related: Fitzgerald; Rodgers; Berger, Appelt

Ian Wild, a key player on Mercyhurst's lacrosse and football teams, insists he's not super talented. "I always say to myself in my head, 'Do the right thing. Do that extra set. Do some extra work.'" Wild said.
© Ed Mailliard (All)

Ian Wild's Mercyhurst football teammates call him "Golden Child." It probably has something to do with his 4.0 grade point average as a double major in accounting and finance.

His Mercyhurst lacrosse teammates call him "Man Child." It probably has something to do with his linebacker-like ability to bulldoze opponents and score without making it look pretty, as he did during a four-goal outburst in the Lakers' 9-8 victory over Adelphi in the NCAA Division II championship game.

Wild, a Pittsburgh native who once dropped lacrosse in high school to focus on football and academics, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player the same weekend he earned the NCAA's Elite 88 award for having the highest cumulative GPA of any player participating in championship weekend.

None of it, he said, comes naturally.

"I'm really the most average person you could meet, but if you do everything right, then you're going to be successful," Wild said. "I always say to myself in my head, 'Do the right thing. Do that extra set. Do some extra work.' I'm really not a super talented. If I just walked onto field with natural ability, I wouldn't be that good at anything."

Wild could have played Division I football. He drew interest Boston College, Maryland, Michigan State, Northwestern, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh, among others. He received offers from Army, Eastern Michigan and New Hampshire. When the NCAA's policies on player compensation came under the microscope of scandals at BCS football-rich schools like Ohio State and Miami, Wild watched the news with a mix of bewilderment and bemusement.

"Grades are still the most important part of college," he said. "This talk of the NCAA paying players is ridiculous."

Amen, Ian. That's why they call you Golden Child.

Q&A with Ian

What's your diet like?
It's pretty steady. I want to gain weight in offseason and try to maintain my weight during the season. I always eat breakfast between 8 and 9 o'clock — eggs, bacon and toast. I eat lunch around noon, a snack before lacrosse practice at 2 and a snack after at around 5. Dinner at 8 o'clock is probably my biggest meal. I'll also eat a little something before bed. Every 2-3 hours, I try to get something to eat, even if it's just peanut butter and jelly and chocolate milk.

Which came first: football or lacrosse?
It was football first. In Pittsburgh, we're better known for football. There's a higher standard and better recruiting. Lacrosse, not so much. It really wasn't even a factor until I chose Mercyhurst because I'd have the option to play both.

What kind of music motivates you during a lift?
Everyone always puts on rap. I put '80s hair bands on Pandora to piss them off. I like '80s hair bands. That always gets you going.

What else motivates you?
In high school I was getting recruited and teams would tell me one thing, then not come or lie to me. I'd use that as motivation. In college, a city newspaper claimed in one report that the quarterback "trucked me" after my helmet fell off. I don't think that was the case. I hung it in my locker and looked at it.

You're a Steelers fan. Did you vandalize the locker room during NCAA championship weekend at Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium?
It was funny playing there in the home of the Steelers' archrival. We were in the visitor's locker room. If it was the Ravens' locker room, I may have.

Suggested Workouts

Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Press

  • This exercise works not only your shoulders, but also your entire upper body.
  • Use an overhand grip to hold two dumbbells touching your shoulders.
  • Wild starts with 55-pound weights and works up to 70-pound weights.
  • Lift the dumbbells straight up with your shoulders, keeping your head forward and neck straight.
  • Wild's rule of thumb: with smaller muscles, decrease weight and increase reps.
  • In this case, go for three sets of 8-10 reps each.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skull Crushers

  • This exercise works your triceps, which will strengthen your shot and also provide support for other lifts that work broader muscles.
  • While biceps are good for the beach, triceps are better for performance. "If you have bigger triceps, for instance, your bench press is going to be better," Wild said.
  • Find a bench and barbell. Since triceps are smaller muscles, aim for less weight (Wild uses 95 pounds) and more reps.
  • Grip the bar overhand with index fingers shoulder width apart.
  • Keeping your elbows perpendicular to the ground, lower the weight to the top of your hairline.
  • Push up with your triceps and forearms to return to start position.
  • Do three sets of 8-10 reps each. Rest, repeat and adjust weight as needed.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Power Cleans

  • This exercise develops explosiveness in muscle movement.
  • Start with a barbell on the floor in front of you, touching your shins.
  • Absorb the weight by sitting back on your heels.
  • Bring the barbell up to your knees as you would for a dead lift.
  • In one hard motion, raise your calves, shrug your shoulders and bring the barbell up far enough to get your elbows underneath it.
  • This completes one rep.
  • Form is key. Keep your back straight and your chest up at all times.
  • "Explode from the ground," Wild said. "A lot of people bring it up slowly to their knees and jump from there. That's poor form."
  • Wild warms up with 135 pounds and maxes out at 315.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A version of this article appears in the November issue of Lacrosse Magazine.  Previous Gym Rats included UMBC coaches Kelly Berger and Amy Appelt, Team USA goalie and Marquette assistant coach Scott Rodgers and Northwestern's Erin Fitzgerald. Don't get the mag? Join US Lacrosse and its 350,000-plus members today to start your monthly subscription.


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