How to Become a State Champion in Wrestling

By Jacob Buckenmeyer

Wrestling is one of the older, more challenging and rewarding sports in the world. It is also an attractive sport for athletes who want to determine their own success in a sport, rather than depend partly on a team with many members of different skill levels. A strong team will support a good wrestler and make him better, but unlike basketball, football and baseball, a wrestling state champion is alone on the mat when he wins each of his matches.

Build a solid foundation. Aspects of wrestling such as stance, balance and head position are all part of a good foundation. Building leg and core strength is also one of the more useful preparations you can make. Muscular arms may have an impressive appearance, but legs have much more natural potential for strength if they are trained correctly.

Perfect all the basics. A great wrestler does not need to know every fancy move ever conceived. But the basic moves must be practiced tens of thousands of times before they will be truly effective in a championship match. Some of these moves include the single leg, double leg, high crotch, fireman's carry, stand up, switch, two on one, head and arm, stand up, arm bar and dunk under. Build a variety of top, bottom and neutral moves. Practice them during live wrestling with as many different opponents as you can.

Put in the extra time. Dedication and after-practice work are a must if you want to win state. Ask your coaches to critique your form and for advice on improvement. Cross-train in the off-season. Fit an extra workout into your every-day routine.

Study each of your opponents. Determine their weaknesses. Within your weight class, identify the more-skilled opponents from other schools in your league, district and state. Find out all you can about their style, their strengths and their weaknesses.

Place high in tournaments leading up to the state tournament. Different states have different post-season tournaments leading up to the final state tournament. Usually, the top four wrestlers in each weight class move on to the next tournament. These tournaments include such levels league, regional and district.

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