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badabing85

Wrestling Stiff / Developing Flow

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One of the main criticisms I get wrestling is that I wrestle too "stiff" so I thought I'd open that up to other guys: did other people have that problem as beginning wrestlers?  Why do you think you were stiff and how did you overcome it?  For those of you who developed good flow, what steps did you take mentally or training-wise to get it? 

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Don't think of wrestling as a bunch of moves but instead think in terms of positions.  From this position I go to this position, from that position to this next position, etc., etc.  If you think of it in terms of "moves" from start to finish, when you wrestle and your opponent stops your "move" then it's always a pause to think of another "move".    If you think in terms of positions, then you react to the position you're in not where you started going.

 

If that makes any sense at all.  Hard to explain in print.

 

Do motion matches with your partner, 50% speed/effort rolling around, moving from one position to the next.   No right/wrong, no pressure to do something a certain way, just move.

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Play wrestle is right. Going about 50% with both guys scoring and getting into all kinds of positions.

 

Also, in live matches... Make it a conscious point to relax. I had the same issue you do, I think, and not just as a beginner. ake a second to disengage, take deep breaths, and just think about wrestling well. Too often a match becomes a fight with both guys just hopped up on adrenaline banging on each other's heads. It's hard to explain but you want to get into the zone where you aren't thinking about the pressure or score and just wrestling well like your best moments in practise.

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I think what really helped elevate my wrestling this and last year, though I am not a high-class wrestler by any means, was to relax and flow more, as previous posters are saying. Once you stop thinking and start wrestling, that is when you will open up more. 

 

All of the set ups we are taught are on the basis of chain wrestling - not, do the set up, take a second to make sure you're okay, then go. Sparring, or "play-wrestling" as many call it, is a lost art. Going 50%, giving some leeway to partner and getting the same, helps build muscle memory and confidence when you're in a match. 

 

Also, try to find the fun in practice! Try things out. Don't go for the lateral every time you lock up with your partner, but open yourself up a bit. It's practice. Who cares if someone beats you in the room! It helps take the stress off of competitive wrestling day in and day out during the season, and gives you a new dynamic to work with.

 

 

I wish the best for you in your goal to improve!

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I think the key is to stay relaxed in your stance.  When they refer to stiff most of the time they mean your stance.  Most beginning wrestlers assume it's better to be stiff when in actuality it's better to be loose and relaxed.  Look at the Russians, their stance is very laid back and relaxed.  It makes you faster and gives you a better ability to react.  My suggestion is to get in your stance and as you are motioning shake out your arms so you stay relaxed.  Let them dangle a bit really loose.

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There are a lot of world champs that average American coaches would consider stiff.  Just because some Russians wrestle loose doesnt mean its the best way to do it for everyone.  There are plenty of ways to skin a cat.

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I've found beginning wrestlers (and some older ones) have trouble learning to be relaxed, yet ready to react.  When you tell them to loosen up, some will go almost completely limp, and get snapped down and collapse like a soggy loaf of bread, or blown across the mat with a shot, and then when you ask them what the heck that was all about, they say "You told me to relax!"

 

You can only learn by practicing.  But you can indeed learn to be very relaxed in your stance, yet ready to respond to anything your opponent does.  But when the situation arises, you absolutely need to be ready to forcefully react, whether it be a tie up, setup, shot, or defensive positioning.  The key is learning how to stay in good position while using as little unnecessary energy as possible.  The reason many kids gas out during matches is that they have spent all their energy in the first several minutes simply staying in their stance and moving around.  It's tiring to move around when you are constantly flexing all muscles.  

 

Best advice if you want to loosen up while not getting overpowered is what has already been suggested above by others.....find a drill partner that has similar goals, and spend 20-30 minutes every practice "play wrestling", which means you aren't going live, but you aren't doing standard drilling either.  You tell your partner to respond realistically but not live, and basically you guys are wrestling around, but sort of letting each other hit things from realistic positions.  It should flow like a real match, so don't stop to trade off single legs or anything like that.....just wrestle.....but don't keep score.  Somewhat difficult to explain to new guys, so the key is to find a workout partner that is on the same page with you, and you guys can figure it out as you go along.

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