Like most sports, the main goal of wrestling is to overcome the opponent. However, before you can win matches consistently, you have to put in hours of training and hard work. If you feel like you’re not making any progress, there are several things to help you get better at wrestling.

Here are a few things you can do to improve your wrestling abilities:

  1. Train with the proper athletic stance.
  2. Switch things up or incorporate chain wrestling.
  3. Practice your drills on both sides.
  4. Dominate your opponent and the match.
  5. Go back to the basics.
  6. Have a positive mindset.

Regardless of where you are in your career, this article will discuss in great detail how you can take your wrestling game to the next level. 

1. Train With the Proper Athletic Stance

There are three different types of athletic stances to use. The ideal one should feel most natural to incorporate it in every training session. 

Below are the three styles to choose from:

  • Universal: You have to perform this stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, lean forward and bend your knees slightly. Lastly, place your hands in front of you as though you’re about to grab your opponent.
  • Staggered: In this stance, your feet should also be shoulder-width apart. However, one of your legs should be slightly ahead of the other, as if you were taking a short step forward. Now, bend forward until your back is almost parallel to the ground and extend your arms out.
  • Parallel: This stance is similar to the other two as you have to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. However, you have to bend your waist until your back is parallel to the ground.

2. Switch Things Up or Incorporate Chain Wrestling

Have you ever watched a wrestler attempt the same move over and over, only for the opponent to defend it? Well, adding chain wrestling to your arsenal can help you avoid this problem.

In chain wrestling, you plan out certain moves for specific scenarios, such as when you’re in a hold. Rather than repeating the same actions, you employ chain wrestling to gain an edge over the opponent. 

It’s similar to a chess game and involves making a series of moves to defeat your opponent.

For instance, you may prepare a specific move to counter a hold and then have several movements to follow that one. All of them will help you pin your opponent.

Here’s a short YouTube video that explains chain wrestling in detail:

Ultimately, learning new moves increases your chances of winning significantly. You’re more versatile and equipped, and you’ll catch your opponent off guard. After mastering the moves, you can go to more difficult ones.

3. Practice Your Drills on Both Sides

Doing drills on both sides is key to getting better at wrestling. 

Most wrestlers are familiar with various skills, but they prefer to perform them on one side. So, even if they can hit an outside sweep single on the right side, they can’t do it perfectly on the left. It’s one thing to know how to do a move and another to have drilled it.

Drilling on both sides also gives you more alternatives in different positions without requiring you to learn new moves. It can present an advantage when fighting opponents that like to swap up their lead legs. 

It can also be beneficial when a flurry of activity and an opening or opportunity appears. You effectively double your offensive arsenal by hitting all of your takedowns and pinning combinations on both sides.

Plus, if you keep doing the same drills, you’ll eventually get to a point where you feel like you’re not making any progress.

4. Dominate Your Opponent and the Match

The ability to impose your will on your opponent despite their best attempts has been a crucial part of wrestling. While they may not be experts in every position, most wrestlers learn being unstoppable and unyielding from an early age.

However, to improve your wrestling skills, you have to break down bouts into positions and then concentrate on dominating them. 

Most newbies fail to concentrate on little details and dominate in matches. They simply go through the motions and fight because they have to.

For example, if the opponent collar-ties them, they just collar-tie them back. Any experienced wrestler knows that doing this doesn’t provide any extra edge.

Instead, you should attempt to place yourself in a better position than your opponent at all times. 

In the case of the above example, you can turn the situation into an advantage and score by hitting an overtie to a double leg.

Focusing on dominating your opponent in different positions can take your wrestling career to the next level.

5. Go Back to the Basics

If you feel like you’re not making any progress in wrestling, it may be time to go back and work on the basics.

Before becoming elites, many wrestlers have had to relearn stance, hand control, shot defense, escapes, etc.

Ask any pro, and they’ll tell you about how mastering the fundamentals can help at higher levels of wrestling, such as the NCAA national tournament.

You rarely see wrestlers win matches in this tournament by making complicated and wild moves. Even the best of the pros keep working on the fundamentals of wrestling to ensure they’re in top shape. So, nothing is stopping you from doing the same.

And don’t just learn the basics. Practice them until you can perform them instinctively in matches. 

6. Have a Positive Mindset

As an athlete, it’s easy to base your power on your muscle strength. However, a big part of what you need to defeat your opponent is in your mind.

Having a positive mindset and attitude automatically gives you an advantage over your opponent. 

If you feel like you’re in decline, the issue may be psychological. Keeping a diary, setting new objectives, reviewing old ones, or listening to a motivating podcast can help prepare your mind.

And according to this study, mental visualization may help in sports like wrestling. So, before a match, take some time, at least 5 minutes, to visualize yourself defeating your opponent. 

Also, regular practicing is key to becoming a better wrestler. You can reflect on your mistakes in real matches during practice and work on them. Not only does it help you build up your skills, but it also sets your mind right and keeps you confident.

Final Thoughts

Incorporating these tips in your training and matches will make you a better wrestler and set you up for success. However, no one becomes the best overnight in wrestling. So, you have to be patient and persistent.

Here’s a quick recap of the key points I mentioned in the article:

  • Practice with the correct athletic stance.
  • Add chain wrestling to your arsenal.
  • Drill on both sides.
  • Dominate your matches.
  • Relearn the fundamentals of wrestling.
  • Develop a positive mindset.
  • Practice consistently.

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