Drills For Getting Better On Your Feet
Drilling is a very important aspect of getting better at wrestling. It is obviously important to drill takedowns, turns, and other moves, but likewise, it is also important to do drills that help make your movement better, decrease reaction time, encourage good positioning, and help you to see openings for shots. Here are some great drills you can incorporate into your training to help you get better on your feet.
In this first video, Mike Malinconico goes over the importance of stance and motion. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an elite wrestler, you should be working on your stance and motion. Your wrestling stance is the foundation that all of your offense and defense is stems from. So because of its importance, it makes sense that you should be doing stance and motion drills at every practice.
The more you drill stance and motion, the more comfortable you will feel while in your stance. You will also not want to come up out of your stance when you start to get tired in a match. Having the ability to stay in a good stance and move around when you are tired is vital for winning tough matches. There have been a lot of close matches lost because one wrestler got tired, came out of their stance, stopped moving their feet, and got taken down in the last seconds of a match. So put the time in when it comes to drilling stance and motion.
Another great drill you can do is a shooting drill. In this video, Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo shows a shooting/penetration drill. Most people are familiar with shooting shots through a partner’s legs, but in this video, Cejudo shows us his version of the drill with some changes.
When you watch the video, pay attention to a couple of things. First, look how much distance the wrestler is covering when he takes his shot. Anytime you are shooting, you should focus on shooting through your opponent, not to them. By covering a lot of distance with this drill, it helps to emphasize this important part of shooting a good shot.
A second thing to notice is how low he is getting when he shoots. Generally speaking, when you shoot on an opponent, you have to get past their first line of defense, which is their head and hands. So you have to either get an angle and go around the head and hands or you have to go under them. This drill really emphasizes getting a good level change when shooting.
Another thing to watch for is the wrestler is staying in good position throughout the entire move from start to finish. He starts in a good stance, he keeps his head up when his is shooting through the legs, and when he finishes, he his head and chest are up and his hips are under him. He also has his outside leg posted on the mat so he can drive across.
This is a great shooting drill to add to your training.
Another great shooting drill that will really help you get more takedowns is a shot reshot drill. This drill can be done both offensively and defensively. For an offensive reshot, shoot a shot and when your partner blocks your first attempt, stay low and in good position and immediately shoot another shot. For a defensive reshot, block your partner’s shot and when they start to come back up to their stance, you shoot in for the takedown.
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In this video, two time NCAA champion Ben Askren shows both an offensive and defensive reshot drill. This is not only something you should be drilling in practice, but you can also be using reshots during matches as well.
Just like it is important to do drills that focus on getting better offensively, it is also important to drill moves that help with your defense. In this last video, Henry Cejudo runs through a series of drills designed to improve reaction time while wrestling on your feet.
The first drill is basically two guys are in their stances with their hands behind their backs. They are both moving and trying to step on each others feet. This drill helps to build foot speed, decrease reaction time, and teaches wrestlers to stay light on their feet and always keep them moving.
The next drill is a blocking drill. Partners take turns faking a shot to one leg and the other guy reacts to it, by stepping the leg back, down blocking with the hands, and dropping their head to block. This drill helps develop a wrestler’s first line of defense by using the head and hands to block.
The third drill in the video is basically a defensive reshot. One guy shoots in for a leg, the other guy blocks it and then shoots back. Just as previously mentioned before, defensive reshots are a very effective way to score on your opponent.
The fourth drill that Cejudo shows in this video is a sprawl drill. Both guys take turns faking a shot to one side and their partner sprawls. Getting quicker at reacting to shots with a sprawl is very important and this drill helps a lot.
The fifth and final drill in the video is using the head to down block when your partner shoots on you. This is similar to the second drill except with this drill, you are really focusing on blocking with the head and circling when your partner shoots.
Check out the video to see all of these drills in action.
These are all great drills you can use to improve your wrestling. Once you get them down, you can flow quickly from one drill to the next. It is doing simple drill like this that can help take your wrestling to the next level. Take them seriously and get lots of reps in.
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