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Joey Miller

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Joey and team      Joey and Nicole

Joey with team members in 2001

Joey Miller Joey Miller, 15 year-old girl wrestler (~93lbs); Woodward, Oklahoma, USA. She dedicates all her life to wrestling. She has been wrestling since she was 5 years old. She has wrestled in 19 states and all over Oklahoma and has won the most of her matches against boys and girls in the three wrestling styles - free, folk and Greco-Roman. She has created the huge WEB site dedicated to the sport of wrestling. Her goal is to represent USA in the Olympics in wrestling.

in wrestling actions

Joey in action Joey in action Joey in action

Joey on the "AAU La Femme" national tournament in 2001

Freestyle match:

Joey in freestyle Joey in freestyle Joey in freestyle

Greco-Roman match:

Joey in Greco Joey in Greco Joey in Greco

Triple winner in 2001
Winner award
for the tripple title

Joey in 2003

Joey in action Joey in action

Joey in action Joey in action Joey in action

Joey in action Joey in action Joey in action

Why did you choose wrestling rather than other sports?

I always looked up to my older brother and wanted to do what he did. When he bought me some wrestling shoes when I was 5 I decided I wanted to wrestle because he did. I also played soccer, softball and football but quit those sports to wrestle. It is my goal to be the best and wrestle for the USA in the Olympics in 2008.

Why do you love wrestling?

Wrestling is the most extreme sport. It keeps me in shape and most of my friends are wrestlers. I like the feeling you get when you win. When I lose it's my own fault and I have to work harder to get better.

Besides wrestling, did you participate in other sports?

I used to play softball, soccer and football but wrestling is the only my love.

What are your best accomplishments in wrestling?

My biggest accomplishments were winning and getting third positions three times on the Kids State championships and the third position on the Junior High School State championship. I won the National Championship of USGWA (United States Girls Wrestling Association) four times. During the past 7 years I was defeated just by guys, often by heavier ones - since nine years ago I have only lost to one girl and that happened when I was eight. I am also proud of making Oklahoma's boys team the last 2 years and of participating in All American tournaments - once in the Schoolboy Duals Nationals and once in Schoolboy Nationals (5th place).

Which accomplishment you more proud about?

I guess, the best thing I have achieved in wrestling is being accepted as a wrestler, not just a girl wrestler. It is great getting e-mail of support and girls that look up to me. I have had quite a few girls that said they are still wrestling because of me.

What your parents (especially your mother) think about your fascinating with wrestling?

They both are my biggest supporters. They take me to tournaments every weekend .Most of them are 200 to 600 miles from here so we spend a lot of time on the road. They help me to raise money to help with some of my bigger tournaments. My mom drives me to my practice that is 125 miles (one way) 2 times a week during the summer. That is 500 miles a week - every week for 3 months and a tournament that is 200 miles every weekend. My parents even bought wrestling mats to play and practice on and allowed to put them on the living room floor.

What is your favorite wrestling technique?

In Folkstyle I like tilts and stacks. My favorite move is the turk. In Freestyle I like the leg lace.

Which your match was the most interesting and exciting?

There was a 3 time Texas state champ that beat me pretty bad so I decided that I wanted to wrestle him again and I only lost by 2 the next time then I wrestled him again and lost to him in overtime and know I could have beaten him. That was my most exciting match

Don't you think a girl (a woman) might get a wrestling trauma easier than a boy due to her more complex body structure?

No. I stay in shape and don't wrestle out of my zone. I know my limits and try not to get into any move that I'm not comfortable with. So far I have not been hurt and have wrestled a lot of good wrestlers and some have tried to hurt me but it makes me wrestle harder.

What do you think about coed matches with boys? Do you feel any discomfort when wrestling a boy? Does a boy do?

I don't care if it's a girl or boy. I just want to wrestle. I have been wrestling for 9 years and 95 per cent have been boys so it is no big deal. The guys I wrestle don't seem to mind and most are my friends before and after the match but during the match it just another wrestler.

Do you wrestle boys of the same weight category or lighter?

I wrestle the boys that are the same weight as me and usually double enter when I can. That means I wrestle my age and the age above me. In girls matches I now wrestle in the high School div even though I am in the 8th grade.

Tell us about your most successful matches with girls.

I was beaten by a girl when I was 8 but have never been beaten by another girl since then. That was 7 years ago.

Tell us about your most successful matches with boys.

I won Oklahoma kids State when I was 6 and weighed 37lbs and have got 3rd 4 times and 6th 1 time since then. I was the first girl in Oklahoma to win state.

What techniques are more effective against boys?

Bar-arm half, Cradle, turk and tilts.

What do you feel when get pinned?

Just like anyone. I don't like it. I have only been pinned 5 times in 9 years.

Should you use different techniques against girls and boys?

Boys come straight to you, so you do low leg singles (getting an ancle) and hit shots from the side; girls do single legs and double leg shots. Boys usually come move straight forward whereas girls usually circle and wait for an opening to take a shot. Boys are stronger and girls are more flexible.

What the main difference (psychological and physical) between boys' and girls' wrestling?

Right now Boys are stronger, so I have to overcome strength with technique. The girls I wrestle are not as strong but make up for it with flexibility.

What is the main difference between freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling and how they affect women's participation?

The main difference between freestyle and Greco is simple. In Greco you tie up and try to get a throw and it's all upper body strength because you cannot touch below the waist and cannot use the legs. Women's strengths are in their hips and legs. That is why so many girls are able to compete with the boys in folkstyle and freestyle using leg/hip strength and good balance. It is hard to turn girls where boys use their upper body to get their turns. That is why I am able to beat some guys that are stronger than me. In Greco I wouldn't stand a chance. Since it uses mostly upper body strength girls have a difficult time competing against the guys; girls don't usually work very hard on that style. On the other hand, freestyle uses hips and leverage to turn your opponent which is more suited for the female wrestlers. This is all my opinion that is taken from my experiences. I'm not sure what other girls think. As for girls trying to do things just because it a guys sport is wrong. We have been given a style that is suited to us and is in the Olympics. We should get behind freestyle and support it. I think it will only get bigger where it will hurt if we try to do every style out there (I am talking about senior women).

Did you wrestle in the Greco-Roman style? Do you know any girls who did?

I know a few girls that do Greco and are successful but they use hip-tosses and headlocks which is harder to do as you get older. I also see them trying to do the same moves in freestyle and folkstyle and they get thumped. I am going to try Greco this year along with freestyle because it will get me more mat time. I think it will help me with my throws in freestyle. I will approach it like freestyle and use my hips instead of all muscles. I did ok in practice with Greco last year but never tried it in a match.

Did you wrestle Greco on tournaments?

I did wrestle three Greco matches at the national tournament "La Femme" orginized by the AAU (American Athletics Union) two years ago. None of us had wrestled Greco very much so I don't consider it a real Greco match. I did win all 3 matches by pin and I won 3 freestyle and 3 folkstyle matches to get the triple crown. I still don't know how I would do against a good Greco wrestler.

Many people still can't imagine how a guy can wrestle a girl in full strength. We were taught that women were weaker and always needed our protection. Do you think that a man must be gallant and attentive toward a woman even the woman is a wrestler?

In the 50's and 60's women in the US was told they were weak and they didn't question it. Now women know that they deserve to be in any sport they want to try. On the mat it is a battle. The boy should wrestle a girl just like he does another boy. The girl should know what to expect when she steps out on the mat. If either one expects special treatment they are in the wrong sport. Off the mat a girl wrestler should be treated the same as any other girl and the girl should not expect any special treatment.

Have you ever solved conflicts physically using your wrestling skills? Are you ready to fight or wrestle with someone in order to solve a conflict?

No. I don't have any enemies that I know of.

Can wrestling skills help you to defend yourself in case of an attack against you?

I think so. But I hope that I never have to find out.

What do you think about other combative sports like boxing, kickboxing, no-hold barred fighting? Are they as good as wrestling for women?

I don know. Here in Oklahoma wrestling is number 1. In my town we only have wrestling so I don't know much about the other sports. In my opinion wrestling is the best sport because it is in the Olympics. I also think Judo is good because some of my friends do it. But most like wrestling best

What do you think about non-competitive combative activities, in particular, professional wrestling?

I don't... I hate everything about it because pro wrestling is about sex and vulgar language. I never watch it.

Do you believe that women should do whatever men do?

I'm from a conservative family that doesn't believe in feminists for the sake of feminism. I do believe that if a girls puts in the same effort in a sport or a job she should be given the same chance a guy. I know that men are stronger than women, so that is why I like to see women in their own leagues in any sport once they are past their teens.

What is attitude of girls who don't wrestle toward girls wrestlers?

Here in my town they love it that I wrestle. I have heard of some girls in other towns that don't like girl wrestlers but I think it is because they are jealous or too lazy to try wrestling.

Do you have a hobby?

When I am not wrestling, I love to play on the computer - I has created the WEB site dedicated to the sport of wrestling.

Questions to Joey's dad Jerry. First of all you should be proud of having such a purposeful and organized daughter. Are you a wrestler too? Are you happy about her being a wrestler? Aren't you afraid that she might get a serious trauma?

I really appreciate the words of encouragement that you have given Joey. I never wrestled because football was my love. I approached it like Joey does wrestling. I lived, ate, and slept football. Joey is the same way about wrestling. All she thinks and talks about is wrestling. I coach her, so it is a thing that we can do together which makes us very close. She has goals that most 15 year old girls don't understand. She works everyday to find good competition so that she will get better. I am not worried about injuries because that is the risk you take to be the best at any sport and you have to accept it. So far she has never been hurt and I hope it stays that way. I'm so glad that women live in an age where they can do what they want to and are accepted. Joey is known here in Oklahoma, Texas and other states as a good wrestler, not a good girl wrestler. That is really the first step to being accepted in any sport that is not known as a girls sport.

Jerry, how big is your family?

Besides Joey, my wife Novell and I have three kids: Mary is married and has a son; Frank lives in Edmond, Oklahoma and works as a carpenter; Madison is our youngest, she is 19 months old and Joey is teaching her how to wrestle.

Thanks a lot to Joey and Jerry! We hope Joey will be successful in wrestling and will participate and in Olympics and win there.

January 2004

Joey accomplishes freestyle rechniques







Animations with Joey actions in 2002

Joey is wrestling Joey is wrestling

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