Re: El Puma/Warpuma Chronicles
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
I would like to start by sharing an article I have in my training archives by a wrestling coach. The sports may be different but they both involve the same concept of strength,speed and endurance.
We had a philosophy the permeated every wrestling drill and competition we had. Everything we did was based on these three elements of our philosophy:
These words were said, by me, to our team maybe 100-200 times at each and every practice. I will explain what their meaning is!
1. Pressure. The wrestler must keep pressure on his opponent every split second of every match he wrestles. This is whether he is on top, bottom, or on his feet! Pressure, pressure, pressure! Unrelenting pressure must be applied. The wrestler must also be able to handle pressure mentally and physically when it is applied to him. Referees will make mistakes. The crowd will taunt him. The opposing coach will say negative things at times. The wrestler must maintain his cool. He should never show emotion of any kind! Stone-face and stoic! When you show emotion in competition, the heat of battle, it is compared to a shark smelling blood! If you display emotion during the battle the shark will smell the blood and attack that weakness. We taught our wrestlers to search for physical and mental weaknesses in their opponents and attack them! If you are to have success with pressure then you must put all three portions of the philosophy together. And it must be implemented into every drill and scrimmage during practice sessions. There is no way you will pressure in a match without practicing pressure in every drill in practice.
2. Position. If the wrestler applies pressure to his opponent while being in poor position he will surely not have good success. All strength is angle specific. A great wrestler puts himself into positions of strength. This is whether he is on his feet, bottom or top position. Having good position is not just being in an athletic stance. It is his position in relation to his opponent. Cutting distance down so he can work his offensive technique and also be able to have a good defense when his opponent attacks is paramount. This is true in all sport whether it is strong man competitions, Olympic weightlifting, Power lifting, tennis, golf, football, basketball or wrestling. In the lifting sports it is gravity, resistance and the object to be lifted that is your opponent. The great wrestler continues putting himself into positions of strength in his sport. This is why being a strong strength room guy is not as important to him. The strength you receive from the strength room will only benefit the athlete if he has paid the price with technique of his sport. There are a lot of wrestlers that don't appear strong. However, they realize their strength potential in wrestling by putting themselves into positions of strength. Teaching a wrestler how to use his body with total body power and strength lifts will help him use his strength in wrestling. Out of season we would focus on the power cleans, hang cleans, squats, standing presses, chins, dips, etc. In-season we placed more focus on lifting our partners within the technique of the wrestling drills. That way we hit two birds with one stone. We worked on our strength specific to the sport of wrestling! However, in-season, we still did our lifting two days per week.
3. Motion. A wrestler is not in good position if he cannot move. A wrestler cannot run as fast or move as fast on his knees, butt, back, sides etc. as he can while he is on his feet. Shooting takedowns and staying on your knees will stop your motion. I am not saying you should not shoot to your knees. However, don't stay there if you cannot finish quickly while there. Learn to hit on the knee and get off of it quickly or work on your takedown technique by not going to your knees. We found we had more success by not allowing our wrestlers to go to their knees on double leg and single leg takedowns. Their technique for the setups and penetration was much better by doing this. We did allow them to go to their knees while doing fireman's carries.
There is one other thing we did at UT Chattanooga that no other wrestling team did that I am aware of. We made our wrestlers bow as they entered and exited the wrestling room. This was not done as some religious sort of thing. . The only clothing we allowed our wrestlers to wear in the room was t-shirt, shorts, jock, socks and shoes! No sweats or rubber gear! We emphasized to our wrestlers that they need to come into every practice with the intent to leave the room in some way better than when they walked in. Did they get better at technique, stronger, better condition, more mentally tough? Better and better everyday was our motto. A wrestler cannot get better if he knows everything. He must come in with an empty glass to learn and improve. If he walks in with a full glass, if he knows everything, he will not make changes needed to become a champion! Bowing as you enter and exit the room promotes humility. Humility allows the humble to learn and get better!