You cherish those moments when you can learn from a great one. The old heroes of the sport. Kelly Ward is one of those heroes in wrestling. He wrestled when the NCAA finals matches were still on network TV, not an offshoot of ESPN or an internet-based streamed network. We forget that wisdom comes from experience. We assume those that were great were great without obstacles and pitfalls.
We spoke with Ward and got his take on what it takes to be a champion wrestler. Here are seven ways to reach your highest potential on the mat.
There are a few schools of thought on the best approaches to teaching young athletes sports. First, you have your old-school system: drill, drill, drill and drill some more. Practice isn’t supposed to be fun. It is practice. Practice, by definition (Dictionary.com), is “repeated exercise in or performance of an activity or skill to acquire or maintain proficiency in it.” Often, over time, many of these young athletes lose motivation and desire to train. It is rote repetition needed to learn skills and techniques in any sport, let alone wrestling. However, there are more enjoyable methods of skill acquisition.
Here are five dynamic warmups to help wrestling build athleticism in wrestling.
Dustin Myers knows wrestlers. A former wrestler himself, he has worked with some of the best in the United States and the world. Kyle Snyder, Logan Stieber and Joey McKenna, to name a few. Myers is the Ohio Regional Training Center’s strength and conditioning coach and former strength and conditioning coach for the Ohio State wrestling team. He is also the owner and co-founder of the Old School Gym, a strength program and equipment supplier for wrestlers.
MatBoss caught up with Myers to talk about what wrestlers need to do to maximize their performance. Everything done in wrestling starts at the midline or core. “A major function of the core muscles is to keep the body in a good position as an outside force (your opponent) tries to manipulate you into a disadvantage,” Myers says.
Myers could give you countless exercises to strengthen the core. However, he wants wrestlers to consider core training by placing them in three categories: core stability, anti-rotational, and rotational power. He emphasizes “perfect form” and quality over “powering” through, in his words, an exercise. And Myers advises taking a break when you “feel your abs” instead of going to muscle fatigue. Learn about three strength training exercises for all wrestlers by downloading this free guide.
Today, with the help of the NWCA, the WIBN has twenty-eight chapters throughout the country. The WIBN has three guiding principles. First, how can wrestlers do business together. Second, how can WIBN help wrestlers find careers. And lastly, how can the WIBN help grow the sport overall.
Jake Hunter, the chairmen of the WIBN Philadelphia Chapter and member of the WIBN National Executive Committee, says the business network is a way to tie local businesses with the wrestling community. The WIBN is a resource for all wrestlers, parents and supporters of wrestlers. It is a gateway for those finishing their competitive careers and entering in the workforce.
Here are five reasons that all wrestlers should be a member of the WIBN according to Hunter.
The transition from high school wrestling to college wrestling can be a challenge. College wrestlers are more physical and stronger. Their skill level and experience are higher than many high school wrestlers. However, there is a gap that needs to be filled. There aren’t many “gimme” matches at the collegiate level. We spoke to Kerry Regner, Director of Coaches Development for the National Wrestling Coaches Association, on his thoughts on shortening that learning curve from high school to college. Download the free guide now.
In 2020, there were nearly 260,000 high school wrestlers. Surprisingly, there were only 14,000 college wrestlers in the NCAA, NAIA or junior colleges. That leaves around 5% of all high school wrestlers who wrestle in college. Those numbers are low compared to other sports. There are many reasons why these numbers do not correspond to football,
basketball or lacrosse. Obviously, it is statistically challenging to compete at the college level in wrestling, so here are some critical factors that college coaches tend to focus on during the recruiting process.
How often has your team gone out in a match flat and not ready to compete? It is frustrating as a coach and negates the long hours spent in the practice room. We all know the programs and wrestlers who seem to have it together at the right time. They are prepared and ready for battle. However, there is a fine line between doing too much and not
We talked to Jon Laudenslager, head wrestling coach at Wilkes University, about how he prepares his team for competition. Coach Laudenslager is entering his 20th season as the head wrestling coach at Wilkes. His teams have won nearly 300 matches while he has been at the helm. Wilkes is regularly one of the top Division III programs in the nation.
NWCA Featured Content: The Boss Weighs In… From being accessible to both serious & casual wrestlers to how they help build lasting relationships–at MatBoss, we think wrestling clubs are worth it But, what do you think? Thanks to our friends at the NWCA you can grab our latest article and weigh in along with fellow […]
Check out seven reasons why your wrestlers should join a club.
There is a relationship in wrestling between cause and effect. The way you train, your diet, and your workout partners directly affect your performance. A poor practice partner will affect your drilling, preparation, and execution on the mat and ultimately may determine the outcome of a match. Check out our five ways to develop your wrestlers into good teammates.
Parents are an ever-present factor when coaching a wrestling team, so optimizing your communication with them is critical to a smooth and successful season with your athletes. Check out our top ten ways to improve communication with parents.
Free Coaching Guide: Six sure-fire ways to develop toughness in your wrestlers. It has long been believed that some wrestlers are tough and others are not. Almost like it solely is a product of good or bad genes. But in reality, toughness is learned. Like learning double leg takedowns, toughness is developed through practice and repetition. So why are some wrestlers tough and others fold like a cheap suit under adverse conditions?
Check out our eight common technical errors and bad habits. Once you prioritize “fixing” these errors, your team will have more success. As a result, the “buy-in” will increase. Your wrestlers will drill harder with more focus on doing things the right way. Although nothing in this guide is a massive surprise to the seasoned coach, a higher level of awareness from paying attention to these errors can elevate your wrestlers. Smart wrestling wins matches.
The best five ways to interact with your team to maximize performance. A modern-day buzz term in education is “growth mindset.” Unfortunately, it is frequently an overstated solution to problems in the educational system. “Teacher/coaches need to have a growth mindset in dealing with children in the 21st century or in a post-covid environment.” Indeed, it is a true statement. Teachers and coaches must be willing to adapt and grow. Times change. People change. Society changes. The solution isn’t necessarily having a growth mindset. A growth mindset is an attitude. The key is that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get the best out of your people. Check out our top five tips for maximizing your team’s performance through interaction.
This year’s NCAA Division I tournament was arguably the best ever. If not the best, it comes pretty close. Spectators and fans saw a tournament filled with upsets from the first session. Anytime you see a seed in the 20s and 30’s knock off a higher seed, it is exciting. We have a tendency as fans to think the higher seeds are safe during the early rounds. The 2022 tournament showed otherwise. Check out our free guide for some key coaching takeaways from this year’s event.
Here are nine suggestions I believe are essential for designing an effective offseason
wrestling strength and conditioning program.
The question is how do we develop a winning culture? By winning I am not necessarily
referring to your record and stats. Certainly that is a part of any program and why we even
compete. However, winning matches or games is a by-product of a strong culture. Winning
becomes like your mission. It becomes your expectation and standard when you have an
established culture in place.
Here are six ways to create a winning culture in your program.
Our sport can be confusing and complex at times, even for those coaching and competing. There are constant changes to the rulebook and different interpretations. Download our free guide for a list of often confused or misinterpreted rules.
The following are 10 techniques, positions, or areas of emphasis to help your program. The
list is not exhaustive. I know more can and should be included if you are looking for a
comprehensive list. Also, there is no particular order of the list. There is only a list that runs
through my mind each day that I want my team to know.
We can learn a lot about the mindset of an individual by listening to them talk about their performance. The best time is to listen is when they are unedited and honest. Think Spencer Lee after the NCAA final match last year. “Excuses are for wussies.” Right there is Lee’s mindset. We can learn from that one simple statement. Not what he said but his beliefs. He believes in not making excuses and those that make them lack mental toughness. Or A.J. Ferrari. Looking at the content, aside from the comical display and 600-pound deadlift, you can tell he is open and enjoys wrestling. He wrestles like he is having fun, which translates to a higher level of mental toughness few have. He wrestles to win with no apparent fear of losing. Download our free guide for developing mental toughness with your wrestlers and let’s explore this topic together.
Here are nine ways to enhance the qualities of your practices. When the quality improves,
so does its effectiveness. As a result, you get more done, and your team will be more
Check out the ten ways to make teaching wrestling more effective for your team. Teaching is an art and the best instructors make basic and advanced techniques simple to learn.
When it comes to coaching, Measuring success is different for everyone. Some define success as a winning percentage. Others by the lives they have impacted. Ultimately, a good coach develops a system they feel is effective, a consistent work ethic and a willingness to adjust and make changes if something isn’t working.
If you haven’t written your personal philosophy, I advise you to do so. It is your mission and “why.” And when times are tough, it will remind you of the reason you are doing it. Here are 12 questions to ask yourself that will guide you in developing your coaching philosophy.
Accountability is a modern-day buzzword. It is thrown around team locker rooms, business
meetings and in schools. But what is it really? Find out John Klessinger’s take on accountability by downloading our Coaching Guide.
John Klessinger reflects on his experience with The Program, a leadership and team-building company for high school, college and professional teams, and shares ten of his most critical takeaways.
Nine points of emphasis that I have found pay big dividends if you want to be a successful coach. First, however, it is time that you must put into it. Nothing genuinely worthwhile ever comes easy. Nor does coaching a successful wrestling program.
It is always about progressing and learning more. Getting better each day. As I watched the Olympics, my eye was on the little things. The small details that will pay big dividends later on.
For many wrestling programs, team captains are selected to be leaders of the program. The selection process — as well as the role of a team captain — can vary by wrestling program. But it’s role that is held in high regard by many wrestling coaches.
Every wrestling coach has dealt with that one parent who makes things difficult. In fact, many coaches may cringe when they think of the difficulties they have had with certain parents over the years. Use these tips to help when such situations inevitably arise.
Wrestlers aren’t the only ones who need mental motivation and training. Coaches too, in fact, also need mental training, and to learn how to focus on the mental aspects of coaching to become better coaches.
Selecting clinicians to instruct at a wrestling camp can be a difficult but important decision. Wrestling clinicians bring different backgrounds, philosophies and strengths to the table. So how do you choose a clinician?
Every season, college wrestling coaches around the country face difficult decisions on whether or not to redshirt incoming recruits or wrestlers who have not redshirted. These redshirting decisions have immediate and future implications on both the individual and team.
It happens in every sport, at every level: Kids transfer from one school to another. At the high school level, there can be numerous factors. A parent moves to a new city or new state to take a new job. A family isn’t happy with a child’s current situation, so they move them from one school to another. Check out our quick guide on how to best handle transfers.
According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, women’s wrestling is the fastest growing high school sport in the United States. In addition, the growth of women’s wrestling in American colleges has seen a 400 percent growth in the past five years.
With many camps of varying styles to choose from, selecting the right one can be a tricky and time-consuming process. Check out our helpful guide for choosing the best camp for your wrestlers.
Backups, or reserves, play a key role on a wrestling team, but it can oftentimes be a challenge to keep them motivated, especially if they are seeing very little action in competition. Learn how to get the most out of your backups and keep them motivated.
The use of film study has become increasingly widespread in virtually every sport, including wrestling.
Wrestling teams at all levels keep stats, but are you putting your data to work for you and maximizing your statistical advantage?
The sport of wrestling continues to change and evolve. Watch a wrestling match from the 1940s or 50s and it can look much different than a wrestling match today. As wrestling evolves, coaches must evolve as well, which means staying current on techniques and tactics from the developmental level to the Olympic level.daltonjensen680.jpg
We’ve compiled a list of great ideas for creating excitement around your home wrestling events. These ideas have already worked for some mat programs, and might just work at your school too.