With the 2016-17 season over, coaches and wrestlers from across the country will begin reviewing their feats and failures from this past season. Many coaches and athletes will agree that the best way to improve their goals for next season is to get more mat time and learn new techniques. How can that be achieved? The answer is simple…compete in the off-season.
Unfortunately, many coaches shy away from summer competition as they feel folkstyle wrestling is the only solution to improving their tactics and rarely rely on freestyle or Greco-Roman. However, that is a major mistake as some of the best wrestlers in the U.S. have had successful careers in freestyle or Greco-Roman. Here is why competing in the off-season is beneficial.
The More Matches the Better
The more matches one can get after the scholastic season is over the more useful the off-season will be for a wrestler’s success in the future. Competing against wrestlers with different skill levels and techniques will allow the wrestler to be prepared and know exactly which wrestling maneuvers to apply in their matches going forward. Some wrestlers can get as many as 50-60 matches during the off-season. While that much competition isn’t necessary, all wrestlers should take advantage of the local tournaments run by USA Wrestling every week and compete in them. Not only is it great cross-training for folkstyle, they could find out they are best suited for freestyle or Greco-Roman.
Staying in Shape
Staying in shape is crucial to the success of any wrestler. After the season is over, some wrestlers will continue training in the art of wrestling, while others will choose to participate in other activities. If a wrestler decides not to compete in any off-season events or other sports, this wrestler could be jeopardizing his future success on the mats. Not being active and becoming a couch potato could lead to weight gain and becoming more easily fatigued. Denying your body exercise could result in one being behind the competition at the beginning of the season and taking longer than others to get up to speed.
International Wrestling Translates Easily to Folkstyle
As wrestlers begin to compete in the international styles of wrestling, they will become more competitive and confident when stepping on the mat. They will know that they have busted their behinds to become better during the off-season and are eager to display what they have learned. Most basic moves used in freestyle and Greco-Roman can be used in folkstyle. Your basic 2-on-1, drags, under hooks, front headlocks, and duck unders, are wrestling moves used in both international styles that can be applied in Folkstyle. Knowing them and utilizing them during the scholastic season, could help a wrestler achieve their ultimate goals.
Better Chances of a Scholarship
Everyone who is a wrestling fan has heard of Fargo Nationals, the tournament where a good weekend can help one get exposed to many college coaches from across all Divisions. Once the wrestler has competed in the qualification process of their respective states, all wrestlers should begin concentrating on the tournament. As mentioned above, an All-American award from Fargo could help one land a college scholarship. Yes, college coaches do take notice of one’s accomplishments during the scholastic season. However, they also keep track of those wrestlers that show they can compete with the best in international styles of wrestling.
Clearly, the message is, wrestling is wrestling. Whether one prefers folkstyle, freestyle or Greco-Roman, competing in any style of wrestling is critical for a high school wrestler’s development and success. However, the more you incorporate different wrestling styles to your wrestling technique, the better the opportunities for success on the mat.