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Three Ways to Score When Your Opponent Shoots on You

Three Ways to Score When Your Opponent Shoots on You


There is a legendary quote by Dan Gable that goes “I shoot, I score. He shoots, I score”. When you are wrestling, it is important to be able to turn your opponent’s shots into scoring opportunities for yourself. There are many different ways you can do this. Here are three different moves you can hit when your opponent shoots on you that will allow you to score on them. 

Front Headlock Pancake with Nick Heflin

When you are wrestling and someone shoots on you, most wrestler’s instincts are to sprawl and break the lock on the leg. This puts you in a short offense position. There are a lot of ways to score from here, but one great option is to hit a front headlock pancake which puts your opponent flat on their back. In this video, Nick Heflin shows us how he likes to hit this move.


As you can see in the video, this is a great way to put someone on their back after they shoot on you. Some key points to hitting this move correctly are you must have your shoulder in the back of their neck and be driving in with your feet. Notice that Heflin keeps a tight grip on the arm and uses it as he throws.

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Even though this is from the knees, this is still a throw and like other throws, when you go to hit it, you need to go all or nothing. If you try this move at 50%, it won’t work. Also, just as Nick talks about in the video, this is all about pressure and timing which will come with reps. 

Sitting The Corner with Ben Askren 

Another great way to score off your opponent’s shot, especially after they shoot a high crotch, is to sit the corner on them instead of sprawl. Here is a video of two time NCAA champion and Olympian Ben Askren demonstrating how to sit the corner. 


Sitting the corner really neutralizes an opponent after they shoot a high crotch in a couple of ways. First, it takes away the option of transitioning to a single leg or a double leg. It also takes takes a way the option for them to drive through you and lastly, it gives you an angle to attack them. 

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When you sit the corner, be sure to push your opponent to the outside. This takes away their ability to drive through you. Watch now Ben sits to the mat. He doesn’t just drop to his butt; he sits in a circular motion. Once you are down on the mat, you can lock in the crotch, around the waist, or pull them in tight to you. The big thing is to not give them space. 

From here, Askren shows a couple different options. The easiest is to post up and get your hips on top so you end up on top in a leg ride position or you can roll them and end up on top and hit a near side cradle. He also shows two great cradle options from the sit the corner position. 

Sitting the corner is a great move that can not only help you get more takedowns, but also possibly earn a pin when your opponent shoots in on you. 

Reverse Neck Pinch with Ed Ruth

This next move is called a reverse neck pinch and is great when someone shoots a single leg on you. In this video, three time NCAA champion Ed Ruth teaches the technique of how to do the reverse neck pinch. Check it out.


This is a defense to a single leg so the first thing you need to do is when your opponent shoots a single on you is stuff the head down and sprawl to take away the initial threat of the takedown. Once you the the head stuffed down the mat, watch what Ruth does with his hands and where he puts them. This turn is very similar to a three quarter nelson but the hand positioning is different. Lastly, watch how Ruth uses the neck pinch to take his opponent to his back. He is circling his feet and using the power from his entire body. This is not only a great way to defend a shot, but also to put your opponent on their back when they shoot a single leg on you.

Being able to score from any position, including when your opponent shoots on you, is very important in wrestling. With these moves, you can use your opponent’s attacks against you to score on your opponents and even pick up some back points. Remember, every situation can be an opportunity to score. 

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