The most common question wrestlers ask when first learning the sport is the age-old conundrum, “How do you win?” Depending on who the question is addressed to, one may receive a variety of answers that involve both technical and philosophical elements. Simply put, there is no one “right” answer to this question. However, there are many things that you can do in both the preparation of and actual wrestling competition to keep victory within your grasp. This guide will provide you with several tips that will help you increase your overall winning percentage.
1. Be Aggressive, Score Early
It may seem like a “no-brainer,” but you need to score points in order to win in wrestling. This means that you can’t sit back and be passive. You must wrestle aggressively and work to generate an offense from the very start of the match. This also means that you should be hungry to score the first takedown.
In the wrestling community, it is widely understood that the wrestler who scores the first takedown will win the match. Although there are no specific studies on this concept, the observation has come to be that the wrestler who scores first wins the match most of the time. So, be sure to set the tone of the match and let your opponent now that you came to win by scoring the first takedown.
2. Stay In Shape
Conditioning is one of the most important aspects for succeeding in wrestling. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most overlooked aspects by beginning wrestlers. The best wrestlers in the world train hard day in and day out, keeping themselves in the best physical shape through strength training, running sprints, wrestling live, etc. Being in shape affords you many benefits, including:
- The ability to set the pace of the match
- Preventing both mental and physical fatigue that may hinder your performance
- The opportunity to take advantage of your opponent’s fatigue late in the match
3. Stay Focused
In addition to your physical skills, you must also possess a strong mind. The mental aspect of wrestling is extremely important. If you don’t possess the skills to keep a positive and focused state of mind, your chances of beating the best wrestlers will be slim to none.
With this said, no matter what happens before or during a wrestling match, you must keep your focus on the task at hand: Your current opponent. This is especially important when the match isn’t going as you’d planned — maybe you got put on your back early or taken down several times. Whatever the scenario may be, you must understand that if you don’t believe that you can beat your opponent, chances are you won’t. Don’t fixate on mistakes you’ve made or anything negative. Keep a positive state of mind by always thinking about what you need to do in order to win.
Olympic Gold Medalist
4. Use What You Practice
Another mistake beginning wrestlers make is going into a match with no game plan or trying to force maneuvers that are not open or that they are not competent with. In short, the techniques you use in a match should be the same ones that you have practiced and are familiar with. Although you may not have “mastered” any techniques in the earlier stages of your wrestling career, you will have a better chance of winning if you use the techniques that you know best. Don’t make up maneuvers on the fly or try moves that you think look cool. Win with what you already know!
5. Play to Your Strengths
Similar to the previous point, in order to be successful in wrestling you must force your opponent to wrestle your match. In other words, play to your strengths. Controlling the positions and situations of the matches you wrestle will grant you more victories in the long run. Wrestle where you are strong, and try to stay away from positions and situations that you are weak in.
For example, say you have strong takedown skills, but are inexperienced in the top position. Instead of taking your opponent down and attempting to turn him to his back (and risk getting reversed), let him escape so you can take him down again. This will allow you to be successful by emphasizing your strength and eliminating your weakness.
Keep Wrestling, Keep Learning!
Although there is no exact formula to winning in wrestling, following the basic tips in this guide will increase your chances of winning. Furthermore, if you are passionate about being successful in wrestling, be sure to take an active approach to learning all of the important aspects of the sport. Check out iSport Videos and Guides to increase your knowledge and keep your quest for success going. Good luck!