As a Coach or Parent it is advisable to avoid the common phrase “Give up One and not Two.”

If you are coaching inexperienced wrestlers I have no problem with this phrase. In fact, it is an important lesson to understand.

However, any intermediate or advanced wrestler is well aware that it is better to give up one point than two. Physically and logically this makes a lot of sense.

But what does it do to our wrestlers mentally?

First of all, it shows no confidence in the wrestler on top. Sometimes we forget that the Top position is also called OFFENSE! Give up 1 and not 2 puts the top wrestler in a Defensive Mindset. I prefer the phrases “Solid Breakdown” or “Put him away here.”

Also, we want our wrestlers thinking more about what they want to do rather than what they don’t want to happen. Get the wrestler thinking about getting to his first move, breakdown, then turn of choice. Look to score rather than avoid being scored on!

Lastly, this phrase changes our mindset on top. Maybe our wrestler is a leg or crab rider. Maybe these wrestlers are more likely to give up reversals (2 not 1) but the last I want my wrestlers doing in a close match is questioning themselves. Live by the sword die by the sword in this case! Confidence, Clarity and Consistency will most often prevail over Hesitation and Uncertainty. Don’t change your approach/mindset late in the match! Unless you can do so confidently and deliberately, stick with what you do well and what you trust.

Experienced wrestlers do NOT need to hear the phrase “Give up 1 but not 2” anymore. Focus on getting a solid breakdown  even in a close match or with little time. Give up NOTHING but take EVERYTHING!