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How Would You Respond If Someone Asked You To Detail Your Philosophy Of Wrestling ?

As you begin to ponder this question, you realize that there are many different ways it could be answered. Your answer could be very detailed or short and to the point. For example, you might say your philosophy is to pin your opponent. Or, you might say a wrestler must be able to dominate his opponent on the feet and be able to escape to win. Both of these would be appropriate answers, but my reason for asking this question is to make a point.

I feel that it is extremely important to know why you are involved in the sport, what you are trying to accomplish, and how you plan to achieve it. Your philosophy will serve as the guideline for the way you train and for the method you use to achieve your wrestling goals. I would guess that there are many young wrestlers and quite a few coaches who have not established a sound wrestling philosophy.


My wrestling philosophy is a culmination of all my wrestling experiences. I feel very fortunate to have had excellent coaches and positive mentors assist me throughout my career. I have learned a lot from other coaches and from the wrestlers whom I have coached. After thirty years of intense involvement, I am still enthusiastic and humbled by how much more there is to learn. My wrestling desires are the same as most who are involved in the sport. I have a passion for the sport and I like to win. The majority of athletes and coaches involved in wrestling feed off of the ongoing challenge that wrestling presents. We are constantly searching for the most effective way to achieve success. The ones who have the most knowledge, the best system and work the hardest, will generally achieve the highest levels of success.


A philosophy should be the framework that guides your training process. It must have an objective and it must be flexible to account for the differences in all of us. Having an objective will allow wrestlers to stay focused on a goal. Flexibility will allow wrestlers to adapt to different opponents and to ever changing rules and techniques.

It is important to have a philosophical foundation that will allow a wrestler to develop the skills necessary to win at any level. A system that allows for technical growth and continuity will benefit wrestlers throughout their careers. Once a wrestler has established an effective technical foundation, he should be encouraged to work from the foundation up. For example, a wrestler should not work on a Fireman's Carry before he knows how to get into a proper stance, knows how to penetrate properly, and knows how to work from the Inside Tie position.


I believe that one must start with the objective of the sport of wrestling before developing a philosophy. That objective is to pin the opponent. If a wrestler is constantly working toward getting the pin, this would indicate that he is attacking his opponent from every position. If a pin cannot be achieved, then the objective should be to win the contest by scoring more points than the opposing wrestler. An effective system will help a wrestler achieve both of these goals.


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Using a systematic approach will allow a coach and his wrestlers to make maximum use of practice time. A systematic approach will also enhance technical efficiency and give wrestlers a better understanding of what they are attempting to accomplish. Before any coach or wrestler starts to establish his philosophy, he would be wise to look closely work t the highest levels in our sport. This should be a guideline for every coach and wrestler.

Wrestlers should be encouraged to work toward achieving success at the highest level available for their age group. Great wrestlers do not depend on flashy or highly complicated techniques to win. Most of them win by performing basic techniques to perfection. Therefore, a philosophy that includes the development of a strong foundation from each one of the three wrestling positions is extremely important.

A philosophy that includes low-risk / high-success rate techniques will give wrestlers their best opportunity to become champions. This does not suggest that wrestlers should not try high - risk / low - success rate techniques. There will be times when risky techniques will be necessary. However, I am suggesting that over the long haul, low-risk / high-success rate techniques will help wrestlers achieve a greater degree of success. Keep in mind that the more a wrestler works toward perfecting any technique, the less risky the technique will become.

It is important to have a system in place for each one of the three wrestling positions. Those three positions are:

( 1 ) Standing or Neutral Position; ( 2 ) Top Position; and ( 3 ) Bottom Position.

Establishing a system of attack from each one of these three positions is important. A wrestler will have a plan and will be able to react better to many situations he will encounter on the mat.

As a rule of thumb, we teach our students to attack the opposition from every position . Initiating the attack from all positions including the bottom position keeps the opposing wrestler on the defense. If the opponent is constantly reacting to and defending against your attack, he will have few opportunities to initiate his own offense.

I do not believe counter wrestling by itself is a very good strategy. Defensive wrestling may work against some opponents, or it may work for a wrestler who has invested a lot of time honing his defensive skills , but it would be unwise for a wrestler to depend solely on his defense. Once a defensive wrestler has been scouted, it will be more difficult for him to score defensive points . Also, if a defensive wrestler gets behind in points, he may run into problems trying to convert to an offensive posture. I have found that even the best defensive wrestlers have problems against top competitors .


Another important area a coach must concern himself with is the physical conditioning of his wrestlers. Physical conditioning should be given as much consideration as any other aspect of training. The methods for achieving the type of conditioning a wrestler needs to become a champion may vary from person to person. However, the result must be the same. My philosophy of proper conditioning for wrestling is a simple one. Wrestlers need to have the strength and cardiovascular conditioning that will allow them to do all they need to do, as hard as they need to do it, for as long as they will have to do it in a match. Later in these posts I will detail some of the training methods I have used to achieve the type of conditioning it takes to become a champion.

Each coach or wrestler must work to define his own philosophy of wrestling. The more you know about the sport the easier it will be to define your philosophy. I feel that it is important to identify what you would like to achieve from each one of the three wrestling positions. you can begin to put together technical systems to achieve your objectives.




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