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High school wrestlers can improve their wrestling dramatically by following the five tips I outline below.

1. Increase your knowledge base

This probably seems like a no-brainer, but it needs to be covered. While your coach and teammates are your best source of wrestling knowledge, you shouldn’t stop there. Consider attending a summer wrestling camp hosted by a successful college program. Read books about wrestling moves. You’re sure to find moves you haven’t heard of before or better ways to do moves you already know. Purchase videos of wrestling champions demonstrating their winning techniques. If you can’t meet Olympic champion John Smith in person, you can at least buy an instructional video from him. Use inexpensive resources like the public library, free Internet articles, and free online videos to expand your knowledge.

2. Develop superior fighting technique

Generally speaking, the fighter with the best technique will win the match. He learns as many moves as possible. But, more importantly, knowing how to do each movement correctly. Make sure you have impeccable technique on basics like single-leg takedowns, double-leg takedowns, lifts, swings, and armbars. Keep a close eye on your coach and teammates. Ask practice questions if necessary. And once again, read books and watch videos on proper fighting techniques. Practice makes perfect. The drill is moved over and over until proper technique becomes second nature.

3. Develop Superior Fight Conditioning

If two fighters of equal talent meet in a competition, then the better conditioned athlete will have an advantage. Remember that training must be specific to the sport. Training for wrestling is not the same as training for a marathon. Please note that wrestling is an anaerobic sport. Anaerobic means “without oxygen”. Wrestling involves many short bursts of high intensity coupled with less intense periods over the span of a six-minute match. For example, he can shoot for a takedown and then control his opponent for a while before applying maximum effort again in an attempt to immobilize them. You don’t need to do five-mile runs to get in wrestling shape. Sprints or interval training would be better. Also, when doing resistance training, keep in mind the muscles you use the most when fighting. For example, you need strong legs, a strong back, and strong forearms. Read books and browse websites related to wrestling-specific conditioning.

4. Practice proper nutrition

Some fighters prefer to reduce their weight to fight in a lower weight class thinking that they will have a competitive advantage. Whether or not this is true is debatable. If you decide to lose weight, you still need to practice proper nutrition. Make sure you get enough of all three macronutrients in your diet: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Fat is important to your body, so don’t cut it out completely, even when trying to lose weight. Remember that carbohydrates are your body’s preferred fuel source. Make sure you eat enough breads, cereals, potatoes, pasta, and rice. Make sure you stay hydrated. Water is a very important nutrient that your body should not lack. Try to limit junk food and “empty calories” in your diet. Try to make at least 80% of the food you eat natural, unprocessed, and healthy. Some good foods for wrestlers include bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruit, lean red meat, turkey, chicken, tuna, low-fat yogurt, and skim milk. Make sure your pre-competition meal is light and carbohydrate-based.

5. Build mental toughness

Even if you’re talented and in good condition, you can still lose matches if you don’t have confidence and focus. Some fighters find that having a pre-fight routine or ritual keeps them focused and calms their nerves. Try to develop a certain warm-up routine that you do before each game. Using positive autosuggestion can also be helpful. Try to tell yourself, “I’m talented. I’m in good shape. I know I can beat this guy.” You can also use the preview before a match. Visualize the moves you plan to make in the match. Visualize yourself beating your opponent and winning the match. Then go out there and win that match.

If you follow these tips your wrestling will surely improve and you will be a threat to your competition.

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