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the secret to avoiding burnout

Tis the most wonderful time of the year for wrestlers.

Sectionals, Districts, and State coming up…everything you’ve worked for.

This is what every wrestler (should be) looking forward to.

Yet every season at this precise time, I hear the dreaded word kicked about:


Coaches can help in many ways:

  • doing some crazy things
  • shorter practices and lots of situations
  • transition training

especially transition training.

The true secret why we see no burnout from our dedicated athletes?

Because it is way too much fun to do THIS….

transition like a beast

Example:  last night at Small Group SWEATbox (the third workout this week for some of our most dedicated), we transitioned from specific setups to specific shots, first and second level finishes, followed by specific turns.

Or in attack system-ese:

Clear the arm to sweep single, opponent stops you, snake and run it to finish, to elbow tilt, to bottom guy standup cut through double.

That’s all one transition.

Having the capability to precisely execute at such a high level, and with the speed and intensity of olympic style wrestling, is so much fun, you don’t have time to think about being burned out!

Why most are not ready to take advantage of this amazing drilling system

In order for the above to happen, you first have to learn the elements of the system that make it come together. 


having a system of training where athletes learn specific skills, and train throughout the year to fine tune those skills…

so when that sequence is barked out by me…the athletes in my room have already drilled each skill to near-perfection.

We have used transition training to reinforce multiple setups to multiple shots to multiple finishes, followed by our countering system (including leg counters, spiral counters, cradle counters) and down series such as power sits and standups…as well as top series turns as varied as high level tilts to cradles to leg turns.

Now the bad news:

this is probably not going to be very effective elsewhere.

Here’s why:

this style will not work in the following places:

  • rooms that take drop-in athletes  
  • rooms that promote a ‘special guest’ every week to show moves
  • rooms that just show moves and don’t teach systems
  • rooms that don’t drill core skills repeatedly so you actually learn it and can hit it ‘in your sleep’ instead of having to think it through and attempt to pull it outta your hat at the most crucial times

So yeah.

That eliminates a lot of folk.

Here’s one folk who is benefiting, and he passed this along to me at last night’s workout:

I’m ready to win this weekend at Sectionals and I am confident.  In fact, I haven’t lost a match since I started training with you.

Your journey to learning a system that allows you to smoothly transition from takedown to turn, and know exactly what to do next, starts right here


PS:  I’ve seen a big uptick in folks jumping on board.  They see the success of the attack system athletes who are “All In" and they want to be a part of it.  Since my room has limited space, now’s the time before they close out.

Why anger management is a crock

True Story:  I was in my sophomore year in high school, wrestling the biggest tournament of my life…40+ teams and lots of prestige…

when I injured my finger.

almost broke it, according to the doc.  He advised me NOT to continue wrestling…but left the decision up to me.

Well, I said wrap it and go!

and go I did.

The rest of the tournament (unlike the beginning, pre-injury part), I wrestled, not with the pre-determined hesitation and worry (like many do in big events)…rather, with an underlying anger

and some attitude…

Taking it out on everyone I wrestled, like it was their fault I got hurt.

I proceeded to win the next 4 matches, including:  defeating a multiple state champ…a multiple state placer…and an undefeated (until that tournament) state champ.

Those are 3 different opponents, for those wondering if I am employing funny math.

The best part…

I was a 2nd year wrestler.

Good thing I had a little edge, a little anger running through my veins.  There’s a strong probability that if I hadn’t, those results would’ve been different.

Sometimes, in the name of trying to get our athletes to ‘control themselves’ (and I’m not advocating for thrown headgear and punches), we take the edge off – the same edge that can be cultivated and utilized to our advantage.

Advice:  wrestle with controlled anger…some attitude, and some edge.

It beats the heck out of wrestling scared.

Speaking of edge, here’s how to get the edge on your adversaries this spring

That’s the way to put’em away!

Take a gander at this:

this is from last night’s dual meet.

That’s the way to put someone away!

My man Alec was front and center at my special Pinning Combos event for High School/Junior High/Older Youth this past Tuesday, and this is one of the techniques we showed:  pinning from the head & arm position (one of the 3 most common pinning positions in wrestling, besides the half and the cradle).

Now for some back story…

Alec had him on his back a few times earlier in this match but couldn’t finish it.  He didn’t have the details on finishing him off, however….

This time, he did it exactly as I showed him Tuesday.

Seconds after this picture, the ref slaps the mat and raises Alec’s hand.

I’ll be showing a group of K-3rd graders this tactic next Tuesday…along with the hidden Half tactics that are a secret to the rest of the wrestling world but leave your opponent begging you to put him outta his misery.

the path this average wrestler followed to state semis

He was an average athlete by all accounts

a natural 215 lber with some belly (could’ve alpha’ed down at least two weight classes) – and feeling frustrated and beaten down.

This junior was running out of time.

He and his dad made a decision:  We’re going to commit to Attack System training

He trained here every chance he had…personal training, small group training, spring training, summer camps, fall camps, fall club.  Every time I opened my doors, he was here. 

There was a lot of work to do.

  • He wasn’t skilled at hand fighting.
  • He only had one attack (a slideby that only worked when people he hadn't wrestled before, hung on his head)
  • He didn’t have a shot.
  • He didn’t have a system of scoring (or even an offensive attack) on top
  • He wasn’t particularly skilled at bottom either.

However, he possessed something most lack:  a determination to commit to a systematic wrestling lifestyle.

When he made his decision to come here, he also made the decision to shun every other training center in existence.

His dedication to F.O.C.U.S (follow one course until successful) was richly rewarded.

He improved fast…developing a system for hardcore, top level handfighting…leg attacks hit exactly and precisely…a system of escapes and counter attacks…and a top system that turned him into an instant threat on top.

the day he shocked even me

Right after sectionals his senior year, his dad called me and dropped this bombshell: “We won Sectionals and we’re going to the districts…for the very first time.


Until that moment, this fact had escaped me…he’d never made it out of sectionals before.

Now as a senior, it was finally coming together.  He had dominated 3 top ranked wrestlers en route to his sectional championship.

District Stunner

Several top 5 ranked wrestlers awaited him at districts.

Again, ignoring rankings and all the other chatter that don’t matter, he handled every opponent on his way to the District Championship….stunning the (so called but often wrong) pundits and prognosticators.

State tournament time

If he’d have paid any attention at all to rankings, he’d have had plenty of reason to worry when he showed up at state.   EVERYONE he faced was ranked.  He wasn’t even mentioned in the top 25 (not even on the ‘also-ran’ list).

He won his first two matches, earning his spot in the state semifinals and wound up 5th in State.

Far cry from falling short every year in sectionals.

“My son Brock was a decent wrestler but he was lacking the skills to attack. We decided to pursue private training and what a difference this made in only 9 months. I wish we could have started years ago with Randy, because he’s not only an excellent coach, but he is also an excellent human being. My son couldn’t even get out of the Sectionals, and now he’s a State Semifinalist!” -Rod and Debbie Rickert]

If only he’d have “gone everywhere” instead…

a prevailing myth in wrestling is regarding your quickest path to success.

Brock’s quickest path was training one place and learning one system

That’s how he was able to accelerate his learning curve quickly.  If he’d have fallen for the ‘go everywhere’  myth, he’d have never made it.  Instead of knowing exactly how to react in every situation, he’d have done what many do – try to pull something out of their ‘bag o’ tricks on the fly.

Mathematical fact:  the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Proven factyour quickest path to success is always following one path.

This is the path he took in the spring

I’ve seen others – even in my own roomreject the path and suffer the consequences.  Its agonizing to watch but I can only show you the path to excel at your highest level.  The decision to follow it is yours.

This your quickest path to putting it all together