Six Ways To Improve Your Wrestling
Just like with all sports, the ultimate goal of wrestling is to win. In order to win and achieve your goals, you must put the training time in. This not only means wrestling live, but also focusing on the small things that can make a big difference.
With wrestling, you might often feel that you go through cycles of growth where you are getting better everyday and then you may go through periods where you feel like you aren’t improving, or have even gotten worse. No matter where you are at in your wrestling journey, here are six things you can do that will improve your wrestling.
Drill On Both Sides
Most wrestlers know a lot of different moves, but usually favor doing them on one side. You may really like to his an outside sweep single on the right, but can you hit on one the left side? Knowing how to do a move and having drilled it are two different things. It is very common for wrestlers to drill certain moves just on the side they like. So one way to improve your wrestling skills is to drill moves on both sides.
This adds options for you in different positions without actually adding new moves. This can be beneficial when you wrestling guys who like to switch up their lead legs a lot or if there is a flurry of action and an opening becomes available. By being able to hit all your takedowns and pinning combinations on both sides, you essentially double your offensive arsenal.
Wrestling is essentially a series of different positions and although we cannot know every possible position, we do know many of them. So to step up your wrestling, start to breakdown matches as a series of positions then focus on what you need to do to dominate them. All too often wrestlers just go through the motions of a match. For example, if someone collar ties their opponent, they often just collar tie right back. This does not give either wrestlers an advantage. You should always try to put yourself in a better position than your opponent. So next time when someone collar ties you, instead of just going ear to ear with them, use it to your benefit and score by hitting an overtie to a double leg like this.
Or simply post it up and shoot like this.
Focusing on dominating positions instead of just going through the motions will really take your wrestling to the next level.
Drill Past The Finish
Another way to improve your wrestling is to drill a move further along into the sequence. An example of this would be shooting a double leg, then immediately breaking your opponent down flat and going right into a turn. It is easy to get into the habit of drilling moves, especially takedowns, where you only finish it to 90%. The problem with this is when you are hitting the same move out on the mat, sometimes 90% isn’t good enough. Learning to chain wrestle (stringing moves together) will dramatically help your wrestling.
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Get Your Mind Right
One big aspect of wrestling doesn’t take place out on the mat, it takes place in your mind. If your mind is not right, if you are not focused on getting better or your goals, chances are you are not wrestling a good as you could be. If you feel like you are in a slump, maybe the problem is mental. There are many ways you can get your mind right for wrestling. You can keep a journal, write new goals, read over old goals, take some time off to rejuvenate, or simply listen to a motivational podcast. If you talk to any successful wrestler, they will tell you that the mental part of wrestling is huge and if you are not focusing on it, you are limiting yourself.
Watch Wrestling Videos
Another way you can improve your wrestling is to watch videos of wrestling; both of yourself and of other wrestlers. When you watch video of yourself, you can see mistakes that you didn’t even know you were making. It may even be helpful to watch them with a coach or training partner to help critique. You can also watch old videos of yourself to see how far you have come. You may feel frustrated and feel like you aren’t getting any better, but if you watch a video of yourself from one or two seasons ago, you will notice a huge difference in the way you wrestle.
Watching high level wrestlers like Kyle Dake or J’den Cox can be very beneficial. Watching how they move and setup shots can help give you ideas of what you need to do when you wrestle. You can see the moves they are hitting against the best in the world and bring those moves into your arsenal. You don’t have to just watch them wrestle matches, most of them have a lot of technique videos on the internet that you can learn from. Watching video is important and can make a big difference in your success out on the mat.
Go Back To The Basics
If you ever feel like you are stuck in progressing, maybe instead of trying to learn more moves, you should go back and focus on the basics like stance, shot defense, hand control, and escapes. When you get to the high levels of wrestling, like the NCAA national tournament, it is the wrestler who has the better fundamentals that normally wins. Rarely do you see a guy win doing wild and crazy moves. Even at the high levels, guys are working on stuff like stance and hand fighting or getting hand control on bottom.
So if the top guys are continually working on the basic fundamentals of wrestling, you should be to. Maybe the reason you are not progressing like you want to be is because you have some flaws in your wrestling foundation. You are never too good to work on the basics.
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