Photo provided by Wabash College 
Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable (right) wotches as two Wabash College Wrestling Camp athletes battle.
Photo provided by Wabash College
Former Iowa wrestling coach Dan Gable (right) wotches as two Wabash College Wrestling Camp athletes battle.
When it comes to wrestling, Dan Gable follows a simple teaching approach.

Perfection comes from mastering the basic fundamentals.

That's his philosophy.

Throughout his entire wrestling and coaching career, it's served him well - bringing him an Olympic gold medal, two individual NCAA titles and 15 NCAA team championships.

He's one of the most elite wrestlers and winningest coaches the sport has ever had.

This week, he's sharing that clear-cut way of thinking with hundreds of wrestlers at Wabash College's Brian L. Anderson Little Giants Wrestling Camp.

"I teach really little, tiny important essentials and that's what makes things work," said Gable, who won a gold medal at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany, and coached the University of Iowa's wrestling team to nine consecutive NCAA championships. "People take for granted and think everything in wrestling is holds. Holds can be broken down into 20 different steps - like eye contact, keeping your elbows in, angles, the position where you should be. That's my philosophy."

During this week's wrestling camp at Knowling Fieldhouse, which started Monday, more than 320 wrestlers will learn from some of the United States' most elite.

After bringing in two-time Olympic Gold medal winner Rulon Gardner and Olympic Gold medalists Brandon Slay and Kendall Cross last year, Wabash College wrestling coach Brian Anderson went after even bigger names for this year's camp.

Along with Gable, he added two Olympic Gold medalists (Bruce Baumgartner and Henry Cejudo) and two World University Championship silver medalists (Joe Heskett and Reece Humphrey) to the camp, whish runs until Saturday.

Baumgartner is the United States' only four-time Olympic medalist in wrestling, while Cejudo just earned his gold medal by taking the 121-pound weight class at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

A coach at The Ohio State University, Heskett is also a four-time All-American. Humphrey was a three-time Indiana High School Athletic Association State champion, wrestles at Ohio State and is a two-time NCAA National Championship qualifier.

Anderson stayed persistent to get them, especially Gable.

Gable, 60, is a legend among the wrestling world.

He finished his high school and college wrestling career with a 182-1 record, 64-0 at Waterloo High School in Waterloo, Iowa, and 118-1 at Iowa State University. He won two NCAA titles.

In the 1972 Olympics, he won every match and didn't even allow his opponents to score a single point.

Then, while coaching at the University of Iowa, he helped lead the Hawkeyes to 21 straight Big Ten Conference championships and 15 overall NCAA Tournament titles.

It's been Anderson's goal to have Gable coach at one of his camps since he started them five years ago.

He contacted Gable early last summer about speaking at the camp and even showed up at Gable's Wrestling Institute and Museum to talk to him.

"I stayed persistent," Anderson said. "I set a goal for myself to get coach Gable at this camp. When I saw him, he told me he was not sure how many more of these he was going to do."

But Gable was impressed with Anderson's persistence and dedication.

So, he decided to help out.

He's glad he did.

"I'm excited," Gable said. "I was not sure what to expect. I about died when I saw there were 10 to 12 mats out there. I thought he did a good job."

Incoming Crawfordsville high school senior Dylan McBride agreed with Gable's assessment of the camp and with his approach.

McBride, an IHSAA State heavyweight qualifier this past season, has attended the camp each of the last three years and is amazed with all the high-quality instructors.

He's picked up helpful technique ideas every time.

"[Gable] is right. Basic skills are what make you win - staying in good position, being smart," McBride said. "I think it will help me next yeark and us, as a whole team. For the guys that are here, it will help make us all better."

That's why Crawfordsville wrestling coach Chris Ervin keeps bringing his wrestlers back year after year.

Ervin has brought a group of Athenians' wrestlers each of the past three years.

This year, he brought 10 total - including nine high school wrestlers and one on the middle school team.

"The reason we keep coming back every year is because Brian does a good job," Ervin said. "He gets new clinicians every year and never repeats. They're also high quality and that amazes me - the quality and freshness."

Wabash College incoming sophomore wrestler Jake Moore has attended the camp each of the last two years.

After helping with the camp on Wednesday, the 2008 Southmont high school graduate already learned two valuable skills to work on.

He needs to be more physical on his feet and develop a more sound technique.

It's all about perfecting the basics.

"Little details count," Moore said. "If I can pick up a few things here and there, then I can start piecing them together."

Little Giants' teammate and incoming junior Graham Youngs acknowledged some of the lessons and techniques are the same ones Anderson uses.

But when they're coming from Gable and these other Olympians, it means even more.

"I've seen the technique before. But coming from them, they offer a lot of wisdom and experience," Youngs said. "A lot of it is not wrestling related - like how to live your life and how wrestling can carry over into it. Work ethic and dedication carries over to it."