Off-Season Wrestling - Why It Is So Important
by Ron McAdoo
Why It Is So Important
Wrestling is a lot of hard, hard work. As a wrestler, you can lay claim to, arguably, being one of the hardest working, most in-shape athletes in your school. And all of that hard work is pointed toward one goal: To be the best you can be, every time you step out on the mat for one-on-one competition.
This is the time of the year when the truly dedicated step away from the crowd. Sure, everyone is looking forward to a break from the six day a week scholastic practice schedule but if you really want to get better... now is the time to really dedicate yourself. Many wrestlers simply do nothing, wrestling wise, during the off-season. And you know what, they really won't be any better next year than they were this year. Then there are some that go to a wrestling camp in the summer. This is good, but if that's all you do... do you really think that one week of camp is going to make you a champion? No, if you really want to improve your skills during the off-season there are two simple ingredients: wrestling clubs and wrestling tournaments.
If you really want to be better next year then you should definitely join a local wrestling club and attend as many practices as possible. This is a great place to keep in touch with your wrestling skills, meet new friends and learn and perfect new moves. Practices are usually held only two days a week and are scheduled so they won't interfere with other activities like baseball or track. You can even use the club to learn Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling which are not only a lot of fun but go a long way in improving your Folkstyle technique. Check with your coach to get more information about clubs in your area. Oh, and if you can attend a summer wrestling camp... do so. This, coupled with joining a wrestling club, can be one of the best ways to learn new moves and meet some great wrestlers.
Practices can be really tough and I'm sure everyone will agree that a well organized, goal oriented practice schedule is absolutely necessary to perfect your skills. But wrestling is all about head-to-head competition and if you really want to bring out the best in yourself... you have to wrestle "live" as often, and with as many different people, as possible. Off-season tournaments are the very best way to do this. These tournaments give you the chance to wrestle from two to five matches in one day and there's a good chance that every match will be against someone you never wrestled before. Now, doesn't it make sense that you will learn something and improve yourself every time you participate?
But please don't think that this is all work and no fun. Tournaments can be a lot of fun, especially if you're there with your friends and teammates. Think of tournaments as a reward for all that hard work you put in at those tough practices. Talk to your friends and teammates about this and generate some excitement. Then plan on attending the tournaments together to have some fun and cheer each other on.
Now is the time to get ready for next year, don't wait. Anyone who truly wants to be a champion should strive to attend every off-season tournament they can find. Remember, in order to be a champion.... you have to win a tournament. Doesn't it make sense then to practice entering tournaments? The more you enter, the better you'll get. Don't worry about winning or losing, just get out there and compete.
So, if you're willing to work hard in the practice room, you owe it to yourself to follow through and complete the picture... Enter as many tournaments as you can!
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