1.) Know your PURPOSE:
Unfortunately, many of today’s wrestlers are participating in the sport to satisfy others. It is absolutely essential for all wrestlers to completely understand that they are in wrestling because they want to be and that they truly love the sport for reasons other than just winning. Kyle Snyder stated that “Winning isn’t guaranteed because if it was I would only have gold medals.” Therefore, it is absolutely essential to emphasize focusing on the process and performance measures in order to maximize the overall enjoyment and retention rate of your wrestlers. Encourage your wrestlers to participate in the sport by finding enjoyment in their progression, performance measures, building friendships and simply having fun. When your wrestlers participate because they want to be there and they are enjoying it you will automatically see much greater results on and off of the mat.
It is important for wrestlers to understand that the positions they struggled with most this past season are most likely going to be the positions they struggle with next season if they don’t spend time training them. A common misconception from most wrestlers is that they need to be great at so many different moves. The reality is that in order to be successful you must have and know your power offense. The power offense is comprised of your best 2-3 moves in neutral, top and bottom. Some of the best wrestlers in our country have had tremendous success at the highest levels of competition with this strategy. Jordan Burroughs has taken down hundreds of opponents with his double leg, Cael Sanderson’s ankle pick, John Smith’s low single and the list goes on and on. Bruce Lee once stated that “I don’t fear the man who knows 10,000 different kicks, I fear the man who has performed one kick 10,000 different times.” The ultimate goal is to master your best moves not to develop perfection in a wide variety of techniques.
3.) Strength & Conditioning:
Strength and Conditioning is absolutely essential to any wrestler’s overall development. However, it is not the most important aspect in the overall development or measure of performance during competition. It is important to remember that it is a wrestling match when the whistle blows, not a powerlifting or bodybuilding competition. Reach out to a certified strength and conditioning coach in your area to assist you in developing a plan specifically focused to improve your wrestler’s performance in the most common positions on the mat. It’s not about how much time we spend training in the summer. It’s about how we are spending our time training.
Running, biking, swimming, etc. are great ways to boost overall conditioning by incorporating various cross training methods. However, once again the best form of conditioning for wrestling is simply wrestling. Encourage your wrestlers to attend weekly open mats, wrestling clubs, tournaments, camps, clinics, etc. as this will offer them the most specific form of training to increase their overall conditioning for wrestling.
Many wrestlers make the mistake of consuming unhealthy foods throughout the summer months because they aren’t competing as often as the regular season. It is important to understand that a wrestler’s performance while training is directly dependent on the energy that the body has to offer. Treat your body as if it were your dream car and put the highest quality gasoline in it to enable peak performance and quality training. Dave Schultz once stated that he would always train at 90-95% of his competition weight 365 days a year. If wrestlers maintain healthy eating habits throughout the entire year then they can stay focused on only becoming a better wrestler when the regular season approaches and not on cutting weight when November arrives.
Wrestler Nutrition is a great resource to offer your wrestlers when helping them develop healthy food choices during all periods throughout the year.
As you may have guessed it and last but definitely not least is the importance of training your mind during the summer months. Most wrestlers, coaches and parents agree that wrestling is 80-90% mental. However, most choose not to train their mind at all and just spend their time developing their strength and technique during the summer months. If your wrestlers struggled with one of the most common Mindset Red Flags this past season, they are most likely going to experience the same difficulties this next season. This process symbolizes the definition of insanity, which is doing something over and over again and expecting different results. Wrestling Mindset is the only proven wrestling specific systematic training system designed to train the brain and achieve the wrestler’s best version of themselves in wrestling, school and life. We often refer to Wrestling Mindset as strength training for the brain. If you want to get stronger you simply get in the weight room and perform the specific exercises and repetitions. The brain works in very similar ways. So if your wrestler’s mindset is the number one component holding them back from competing at their maximum potential then it is essential to perform specific mental repetitions in order to overcome this common performance barrier.
Are your wrestlers currently experiencing any of the most common Mindset Red Flags?
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