Stay Connected!

How to outslow your opponents

A lesson on how to outslow your opponent.

Sound counter productive?  Read on then.

“I’ll just use my quickness on you,” said the collegiate stud preparing to wrestle my aging, partiallly-crippled assistant coach with bad knees and an arm that didn’t straighten all the way.

“Well, I’ll just outslow you then,” my assistant replied, shortly before handing the college stud a humbling beat-down.

Tis not always about the faster, nor the stronger.  Sometimes there are *other* factors at hand.

Such was the case for Brian (name included to protect the guilty).  

Brian wasn’t gifted with an overabundance of talent…

  • Wasn’t particularly quick…
  • Nor strong…
  • And didn’t do anything “naturally” (You always hear about those kids who are naturals.  Brian was NOT one of them).

What he lacked in athletic ability, he made up for in perseverance.

Every time I opened my doors, he was here.
Camps, clubs, personal training, you name it.

One attribute I picked up through three decades of training athletes was being able to quickly assess what any particular athlete’s shortest path for success is.  With Brian, I knew he was likely to win most of his matches on the mat.

For him, I had a special series in mind….

one that has been around a long time but is seldom used, for reasons I’ll circle back to shortly.

Brian developed this one series, paying special attention to every precise detail

I could tell he had mastered it when he slapped it on me one day in practice and I couldn’t get out of it!

This series is like many others….

The finer points make or break the whole thing.

That’s why this series isn’t widely utilized, even though, done right, it is a complete game changer.  You can lock up top level athletes with it and they can’t get out – no matter how strong or skilled they are.

But miss just one precise detail and its just another move – and won’t work on average athletes, let alone top athletes. 

Most wrestlers “know” this series – but can’t execute it for this reason.

This one series nearly single handedly punched Brian's ticket to the state tournament.

When he was finished with his career, Brian had achieved high status in his wrestling-rich school – he was his school's all-time near fall leader (a title he held until another wrestler from his school visited me.)

One of the biggest problems with most camps is, they aren’t really about teaching – they are about showing off (and collecting your $).

A clinician comes out, shows his favorite moves, then leaves.

Next session, new clinician, same routine.

They could show you the Worlds Most Magical Move – it won’t matter because the devil is in the details – and it takes repetition to master anything worth learning – as well as a dedicated trainer helping you master every precise detail.

This powerful, game-changing series will be taught this summer and you will have ample opportunity to master it (anything worth teaching is worth mastering, meaning you never see anything just once.  You drill it to precision.)

Your goal, after all, is always to achieve Phase Five.


PS:  Want to truly excel using my powerful system?  Summer Camp is where it all happens.

PPS:  Remember this lesson – you never know when you will need to outslow your opponent.

The ‘don’t touch him’ advice a 3X state champ gave his buddy
The ‘don’t touch him’ advice a 3X state champ gave his buddy

Long long time ago in a galaxy not-so-far-away, I was working with a group of kids, along with mixing it up on the mats with them.

One of them, I call him Jeff (although his dad calls him Jeffrey), a particularly talented athlete (ended up winning 3 state titles), had just scrapped with me, and his buddy was next.

His buddy asks him, any advice?

Jeff replies, Yeah – just don’t touch him.

His way of saying he was about to get owned in handfighting.

Every since I became a competitor, I’ve loved handfighting – and have seeked out winning methods from near and far to add to my arsenal. Through my years competing in high school, college and international style, plus an additional 30 years of training athletes (woo, that’s old!), I’ve carefully crafted a system of handfighting that has helped wrestlers stymie top level opponents for decades.

So much so that it has helped many a ‘lesser’ athlete control and defeat athletes far more gifted than themselves.

Which goes hand in hand with this fact: most of the really talented athletes are lacking in handfighting skills. It leaves them vulnerable to athletes who learn how to handfight effectively and can tie them up in knots as a result.

Case in point, last year’s Big Ten championships where I observed a top level former national champion struggling to control his opponent, missing wide open handfighting opportunities – and losing as a result.

Here’s how you can tell if you struggle in handfighting….

If you get out of position (head down or away, elbows away from body, etc) when the opponents:

  • Grab your head
  • Get a two on one
  • Grab your wrist
  • Put a hand on you
  • Get an underhook
  • Get an over/under

Then you are potentially missing out on a ton of points and wins due to handfighting.

Even more:

If you struggle to flip ANY of those positions to your advantage, well…

Handfighting Superiority can help you

Even if you’re not convinced yet that you want to wrestle the Olympic styles of freestyle and greco – joining the club to supersize your handfighting skills is more valuable to your wrestling bottom line than just about anything else you can do.

Its a big reason why Freestyle and Greco will help you accelerate your handfighting skills to higher levels that are nearly impossible to reach without them.

Especially in my room where:

  • I don’t take 100 kids or pack it in as tightly as possible
  • I keep the number of athletes I accept to a level where every athlete gets my attention
  • Have a question? I will always make time for you (stay after, see me at water break time – we’ll make it happen)
  • Our culture here is built around support – veteran wrestlers often help less experienced athletes with their skill (my training regimen is designed to make this even more possible)
  • Video training throughout the spring to re-enforce what was taught in the room
  • Freestyle/greco essential DVD that every club member gets (and includes some excellent handfighting in it even though I rarely talk about that
  • Systematic fast implementation training methods developed over decades, meaning you have an opportunity to retain important details at a much higher level than ever thought possible
  • A full travel schedule that allows you to test your skills against athletes far and wide, not just in your back yard.

Speaking of numbers….

Because I insist on working with every athlete, and only take as many as I can work with in sessions, I strictly limit the spots available in my trainings.

Further, we are rapidly running out of openings. If you want in, grab your spot now before its gone.


The power of One
This local kid was wrestling in a tournament recently when his opponent threw legs on him, quickly broke him down and promptly “ripped him a new one.”

This local kid was wrestling in a tournament recently when his opponent threw legs on him, quickly broke him down and promptly “ripped him a new one.”

You have exactly 1 second, from the time legs are in, to counter.  If you counter successfully, no problem.  In the next few seconds you can be scoring an escape, reversal or more –  quickly and efficiently.

But this kid froze.

Later in the match, same athlete ended up with a 2 on 1.  

Didn’t score.

Again:  he froze.

In both cases, instead of immediately moving to the next step…

He hesitated.

During our Olympic Styles training, we have a saying:  He who hesitates gets tossed.

That same hesitation will also get you beat in folkstyle more often than not.

In the match above that I watched with my own 4 eyes, This wrestler froze because, instead of instinctively doing what he’s been trained to do…

He was trying to think of which thing to do.

This happens often when a wrestler is exposed to multiple solutions to the same problem.

Example:  Five different trainers may – probably will –  show you 5 different ways to hit a single leg.  Even if all 5 of them are right (most of them are probably flawed but that’s for another time), which one will you hit?

More likely than not…

None of them.

Hence, I introduce you to the Power of One.

As in, One System of doing things.

When in critical situations, you have exactly No Time to Think – Only react.

Learning one proven, highly successful system of winning wrestling takes you down the path to:

  • Fast implementation of moves
  • Reacting rather than thinking
  • High confidence level, knowing exactly what to do next

Athletes who train here this summer will automate THIS ONE system so completely, that I will proudly display, with full confidence, their training via the Final Exam (we even record it as proof that I’ve done my job).

It is a thing to behold.

An entire room of athletes, speed drilling through the entire system taught in just one week – and excelling at it, too.

Most camps don’t DARE to attempt this – because the result would be an abject failure.

Here, the expectations are high – and the results on full display for every parent to see at the last session.

Learn more here


Wrestler jumps into mosh pit and loses more than his toes

I recently stumbled across this article about moshing, and how many injuries occur at these things.

Especially at rock concerts.

Paul Wertheimer, president of a concert crowd management company, recommends steel toed boots at these events because, apparently, more toes are getting smashed than pumpkins.

“There is no way to crowd surf or stage dive safely consistently,” he said.
(source:  ABC  Mosh pit or death pit?)

As dangerous as mosh pits can be, here’s something even more dangerous if you're a wrestler:

Jumping into the mosh pit of wrestling camps.  That mosh pit often looks like this:

  • Stars eager to give you their autograph
  • Different moves and clinicians every session
  • No system, just random moves
  • Fancy Clinic moves that look great but don’t work against the good kids
  • No re-enforcement of technique
  • lots of merchandise shoved your way
  • You leave camp and wonder, “what did I learn?”
  • You’re no better off (but your wallet is lighter) than when you started.

When you’re done with camp, if you can’t speed drill with precision through the entire camp’s technique – you probably wasted your time.

Even worse:  there's a better than even chance that your wrestling skills got crushed like toes at a Metallica concert.

This summer, you can avoid the mosh pit and adopt this proven, highly successful wrestling system as your own.


Why legalization is a huge mistake
I'm not one who wades into the political spectrum very often. However, Ohio's vote on the legalization of marijuana, is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

I'm not one who wades into the political spectrum very often. However, Ohio's vote on the legalization of marijuana, is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

As a trainer of athletes throughout the past several decades, I have seen athletes…really good athletes…fall by the wayside more often than I’d like to remember.  The 3 vices that bring down wrestlers the most, and cause them to fall short of their goals, are: 
  • Wine
  • Women
  • Drugs

Let's take a closer look at each of these.


Drinking alcohol is already illegal for those under the age of 21, and the effects have been well documented. Drinking can lead to poor conditioning, impaired judgement, accidents, greatly decreased athletic ability and a host of other issues. There aren't many people who need convincing that alcohol use is a bad decision for youngsters.


Ask yourself how many times you've skipped a workout because of a significant other. Having a serious girlfriend can have serious consequences for an athlete. His focus shifts to something other than the task at hand. Anytime I see a wrestler holding hands with a girl at a wrestling meet, I know he's not focused on the meet. In life, it is imperative that we prioritize. Young athletes struggle to prioritize, especially when it comes to the opposite sex.


While the above two are well-known, the third one is the only one on the ballot in Ohio, where the state is considering legalization.

While much of the emphasis has been on medical marijuana, recreational marijuana would also become legal.

The True Story you must read

For those who argue that pot is a “harmless” drug, allow me to share with you this true story…

Years ago there was a young man who trained with me… came to camps, as well as my club. Had an edge to him but I liked him and enjoyed working with him. He was a likable, gregarious, outgoing young man.

As many athletes come and go, he did as well. I didn't hear much about him until about a year after his graduation…

That's when I saw his obituary in the paper.

A call to his coach told me the rest of the story…

He had started smoking pot early in high school, and continued after graduation. He slowly drifted, losing interest in everything in his life, except getting high.

They found his body next to the train tracks. They weren't sure how long he'd been there – perhaps 3 days. He was 19 years old.

A gateway drug

Marijuana is a 'gateway' drug…it often leads to the use of harder drugs. While I am well aware that many people smoke pot, lead constructive lives, and manage to do fine in life, there's no question that it has a dulling effect on the senses, causing one to care less about goals, plans, and life in general. And I know from personal experience the effect it can have on a young person. Quite frankly, in the position I am in, I have seen many athletes ruined by pot use. Too many to ever convince me it is a harmless recreational endeavor.

Here's my biggest concern with the legalization of pot…It condones use of drugs and it sends the wrong message to our young people. Even if the voters reject the legalization of pot, just having it on the ballot tells our young people that, on some level, we condone its use and don't think it is harmful. That's not the message we should be sending.

If you don't agree with me, that's fine. If you don't believe me, ask the mother, or the father, of a young person who died from the use of drugs, whether their child ever smoked pot. I can be pretty sure what their answer will be.

Don’t ever tell ME I’m not competitive
Don't ever tell me I'm not competitive.

Don't ever tell me I'm not competitive.

For a change of pace, and to support my kids, I volunteer in the local community to coach soccer every fall.  This has been a mostly positive experience, with youngsters whose chief motive is having fun, and most of the coaches and parents being supportive of that venture.

However, this season, an opposing coach decided to ruin it for everyone by bending the rules (to the point of breaking), then bragging about his team being “undefeated” after he cheated for most of the season.

Following a prior 3-3 tie game, his team 'borrowed' some players (while sitting his own rostered players on the bench), and promptly beat us 5-0.  A thorough humiliation.

When I questioned his tactics to the league office, their response is “Well he's very competitive.


Wrong thing said to wrong coach.

I'm as competitive as anyone – but I believe in competing fairly and honestly.

After this particular defeat, I stepped up my game.

I stayed up until around 5 am the night after the game…studying formations, downloading e-books and guides, and watching instructional videos.

Then I scheduled an extra practice a week – voluntary of course – for my team.  Brought them out here to the Home Attack Field, just to get in some extra practice.

Practices had a different tone to them…more structured workouts…and a training system similar to what my wrestlers get every week and have gotten here for decades

I know – its only rec league – but we lost and I hate losing.

The system I installed could be defined as such:

1. study the key skills
2. teach the key skills
3. train athletes to develop these key skills
4. use skills in live practice situations
5. use them in live game situations.

If anyone recognized this pattern, it closely mirrors Phase Five that we've been talking about for a while now.

So the last game of the season arrives and we're playing the same team again.  They hype the game to their team as a “championship game” even though the league never called it that.  They're bragging about being undefeated, even though they 'borrowed” (aka cheated by snagging) other players not on their roster in order to secure wins.

We were given the option of not playing this team, due to their cheating ways.

Well you already know the answer to that.

Of course we played them.

And we beat them.

The skills we worked on for weeks paid off in a big way as we shut them down for most of the game.

Yes, I know it was only a recreational league game, but ultimately, that doesn't matter.

My team learned valuable lessons about perseverance, hard work, learning a system and implementing it.

I couldn't be prouder of them, but I especially have a message for anyone who makes the mistake of mislabeling me

Don’t ever tell ME I’m not competitive.
Why the Cleveland State saga should be a warning to us all

On March 30, Cleveland State University voted to no longer fund the wrestling program, and instead, add Lacrosse.  Fortunately, we have recently gotten word that CSU has reversed course and wrestling has been saved.  However, this should act as a wake-up call to all of us.

Let's start with Lacrosse.

If you are asking yourself why an Ohio college would pick up a sport like Lacrosse, let me throw some descriptions your way:


  • Exciting
  • Fastest growing sport
  • Inexpensive
  • Will bring in fans
These are all descriptions being used when describing Lacrosse.

Don't we wish these very same things were being said about our sport!

In the future, the very survival of wrestling could well depend on that very factor…yet here we still sit, stuck in the mud accepting what we've currently got.

And I know my thoughts may alienate a lot of people, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.

My vision for this sport is much brighter than the current reality, because I see a path to wrestling being that sport.

The sport that is so exciting you don't want to miss it.

Athletes who attack relentlessly, constantly putting the opponent on the defense and pushing the action.

If that sounds familiar to some of you, its because I've been pushing this up-tempo style for years now and training athletes to do so through my Attack System.

Its the way I believe matches should be wrestled, and its what I believe is the key to the future of our sport.

If athletes everywhere attacked relentlessly, how much fun would our sport be to watch?  Even better yet, how much more fun would our sport be for athletes competing in it?

Now, rules committees from college on down to high school have to get on board as well.  It can no longer be good enough to accept a boring, stalling wrestler being a champion.  We want people to look at a wrestler and say, “That's why he's a champ – because he attacks relentlessly!”

On the college level, some of the rules changes that would help are:

  • Bring back the 1 second near fall like it used to be, rewarding athletes taking chances on top
  • Don't reward riding time points unless near fall is scored (thank you to my friend Coach Jason for that one)
  • Take a point every time someone goes out of bounds.
  • Eliminate the horrible 4 point defensive lineman stance (if you get in it, you have 3 seconds to attack or you are stalling)
  • Eliminate stall tactics such as grabbing fingers and other blocks that don't lead to an attack.

That's just a start.  I'd like to hear from you if you have more rules changes that you feel would make the sport more exciting.  Send me an email and let me know.

My wrestling friends, we have to push the action!  Let's not wait until its too late!

I often ask myself, Is the wrestling world ready for this attacking system of wrestling?  If you'd like to read more about it, click the button below and read all about it.