Where Dedicated Wrestlers Become Champions

DRILLING FOR WRESTLING

Drilling is the number one way to improve your wrestling ability. Hands down, there is no other activity close to it. In order to be able to successfully hit any move, you must drill it over and over again until your muscles remember how to do it. You should be drilling for wrestling so much that you don’t have to think about the moves, you just do them. That is when you can go into a match with no plan and simple react to the situations that present themselves.

A major mistake wrestlers and grapplers tend to make is that they only drill one shot at a time before letting their partner shoot on them. Switching after each shot breaks up the flow way too much. This makes it harder for your muscles to remember what they need to do to complete the move. When you are drilling for wrestling make sure you do the move three or four times before you let your partner do his shots. It is much easier to correct the slight mistakes you make right after you go each time.

I used four takedowns my senior year of college when I won the NCAAs and every day I was drilling those moves over and over again. Those four shots were a fireman’s carry, a low single leg, an outside single leg and a front headlock. I repeated to myself over and over again if these shots cannot take down the best wrestler in the world, they are not good enough yet. I concentrated on each shot every time I was drilling for wrestling. Anytime my mind started to think about other things in my life I made myself stop and focus on the task at hand. Sometimes I drilled my shots with my eyes closed just so I could feel how it felt. Once I was able to execute a shot without the aid of my eyes I knew I was making great progress.

When you are drilling for wrestling and your partner is doing his shots, do not zone out and wait for your turn. Don’t think like a dummy even if your body is acting like one. You have to place your hands in the right spot and think about exactly what you would do if you were in a real match. For example when someone shoots a single leg takedown on me, my hands instinctively go for a whizzer, I drop my shoulder lower than my opponent’s chin, positioning myself to stop his shot if I wanted to. You still have to let your partner drill his moves without much resistance but knowing you can stop it if you had to, is empowering.

Drilling for wrestling is one of those rare situations in life where you can never do it too much. It’s sharpens your skills more and more with each repetition.

The equation is simple: The more you are drilling for wrestling, the better you become.

 

61 Comments

  1. July 8, 2011    

    Wrestling for me has always been about listening to my body, not my mind and eyes. Drilling is a great technique, there’s no doubt about that.

  2. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 3, 2011    

    how many times should i drill on a move percisley. i thought like 50 my coach makesdo about 30

    • September 6, 2011    

      Brandon,

      There is not an exact number of times you should drill a move. I would like to have at least a 30 minute drilling session of all of my moves, every day. The more drilling you can do the better, as long as you are drilling the moves correctly.

      • brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
        September 21, 2011    

        ok thank you and i was wondering because i had fractured my shoulder and i only had 3 practices since 5 moths which was my last in season how long would it take for me to get back my technique and improve from there

        • September 21, 2011    

          That depends on a few things. The good news is that your body will remember a lot more than you think it will. I took off a year and a half from wrestling and came back stronger within a couple of months of hard work.

          With your shoulder surgery the main thing will be learning not to baby it. You have to assume it’s fixed and workout and drill like it never happened.

          • brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
            September 21, 2011    

            can u drill for 3 hours because that is what i was going to do every friday with my friend

          • September 21, 2011    

            You can drill as long as you can keep your focus. If your head is not in it then I would say stop. Taking breaks after each half hour or hour would be better than drilling straight through for three hours.

  3. September 21, 2011    

    I agree with Michael, a half hour session per day is the best way to achieve any long term goal you’ve got set for yourself. Sometimes I alternate between 25 and 45 depending on my other exercises during the day.

  4. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 21, 2011    

    it also would be helpful to give me some cross fit and cardio workouts and Michael how many reps and sets should i do for strength training

  5. Kevin McAllister Kevin McAllister
    September 21, 2011    

    And does having little fat on you and still athletic does it effect your wrestling still

    • September 21, 2011    

      You need fat. If you’re in high school I always recommend going up a weight and focusing on your wrestling more and weight cutting less.

      • October 27, 2016    

        That’s really thnniikg at a high level

      • November 4, 2016    

        Haha. I woke up down today. You’ve cheered me up!

  6. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 23, 2011    

    i was wondering if cross fit will make me a all around better athlete and would it help me tremendously.Also i was wondering if you can weight lift 2x in a day one for weightlifting and one for defiancy.And how many reps and sets do u think i should do for weightlifting to get stronger

    • September 26, 2011    

      I’m not a cross fit expert. From what I have seen, cross fit would benefit many athletes including wrestlers. I would look for a cross fit blog and pose this question on it.

      • brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
        September 26, 2011    

        Ok thankyou

  7. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 24, 2011    

    Does shadow wrestling make me have better technique and actually makes me more quicker and more conditioned

    • September 26, 2011    

      Shadow wrestling is beneficial. It definitely can help with things like your stance, especially when you’re tired. But if you have a chance to drill and wrestle with a partner you should choose to workout with someone.

  8. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 26, 2011    

    Ok can you give me drills that should do every day besides the normal like your normal moves from feet,and normal ,moves from top,and normal move from bottom and defense from all of those positions.And can you i was wondering if i can weightlifter 2x a day one for weight training and one for deviancy.And i would also would like to say thank you very much for answering all of my questions quick and just even answering my question im very grateful for you thank you.

  9. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 26, 2011    

    Ok can you give me drills that should do every day besides the normal like your normal moves from feet,and normal ,moves from top,and normal move from bottom and defense from all of those positions.And can you i was wondering if i can weightlifter 2x a day one for weight training and one for deviancy.And i would also would like to say thank you very much for answering all of my questions quick and just even answering my question im very grateful, you thank you.

    • May 13, 2016    

      Your post is a timely coiuinbttron to the debate

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    • October 19, 2016    

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  10. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 27, 2011    

    This is a very important question.I was wondering if you can please give me the best what to get better at wrestling FAST!! because the reason why is that i fractured my shoulder and i missed all of off season and i know im not giong to be good at all this year (9th) grade,so im just trying to get threw the in season and make the whole summer a bout wrestling.And im trying to get better know so when im done with this season ill be better to begin with before i do all of my off season.So please give me tips,cardio workouts, and drills.

  11. September 27, 2011    

    Unfortunately there are no shortcuts in wrestling. The only way to get better is to wrestle and drill as much as possible. My advice when you are drilling is to make sure your mind is focused on what your body is doing. Also worry about getting better on your feet first, then focus on bottom, and finally on top wrestling. That’s what worked for me. Good luck.

  12. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 28, 2011    

    Thank You.Thank you for answering all of my questions once again and i also was wondering how many moves should i have from feet

    • September 29, 2011    

      Ideally I would say three to four takedowns and a great front headlock/defense. At the very least you should concentrate on having one attack to each of your opponent’s legs to keep him off-balance.

    • Doc Doc
      May 14, 2016    

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  13. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 30, 2011    

    so im sorry.one on each leg and a great front headlock defense

  14. brandon elroumy brandon elroumy
    September 30, 2011    

    o ok i got it lol im sorry im stupid ok

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    September 30, 2011    

    And i also wanted to know what GPA did you have in high school to be academic all american

  16. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 4, 2011    

    And i would like to know if it is beneficial to wrestle a person 20 ponds heavier than you are . Because ive been wrestling a kid 20 pounds heavier than me and i would like to know if that is beneficial and what it would do for me.

    • October 6, 2011    

      Yes it is. It is also good to wrestle smaller guys as well to speed you up.

      • Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
        October 12, 2011    

        Ok thankyou.And can you give me speed,agility,balance and coordination workouts i can do on my own

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        • June 4, 2016    

          this is a great idea… I can’t wait to try it! I am incredibly guilty of changing my mind/style every 5 minutes, so maybe this will finally help me figure it out! Thank you so much Brooke G recently posted..[]

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  17. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 14, 2011    

    do you think its a good idea to play another sport and when i in the others sports season I still wrestle and do everything I need to do.But i feel that it woulkd be an advantage if i only wrestle and focuse on that

  18. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 22, 2011    

    And is there workouts you can do to think your better than any opponent that you vs or confidence workouts to think that you are the best

    • October 23, 2011    

      Working hard gives you confidence. If you’re doing something you don’t think any of your opponents are doing you will be more confident. One thing I did was put the treadmill on 10 mph and run for at least 3 miles. Floyd Mayweather works out in the middle of the night to help his confidence. You have to find something that works for you. Good luck.

      • Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
        October 24, 2011    

        Thank you and wjhats really killing me is my cardio and a little bit of spee. you think you can give me speed and cardio workouts i can do specfcally for wrestling

  19. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 22, 2011    

    The thing i just asked u about Is REALLY IMPORTANT!!!! because 99.9 percent of the time when im fully confident i win the match amnd dats a fact so please help me out with that one

  20. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 26, 2011    

    And i was also wondering if i can play another sport to im thinking to go into mma

    • October 26, 2011    

      You should do whatever you want at your age. The most important thing is not burning out because wrestling is a grueling sport. Make sure you have some fun, if that means playing another sport, do it.

  21. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 27, 2011    

    ok. What you mean by that is that it keeps me commited and and i did get a little bunrt out but now i think playing another sport just to have fun and get away from the pressure and competitiveness. And do i do 3 mile jogs everyday and cross fit 6 days a week and lift 3 times a week. And im scared if i play another sport its gion to interfere with wrestling and i wouldent go as far in wrestling if i played 2 sports. And did u play 2 sports and do you know any olympic wrestler that played 2 sports

  22. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    October 31, 2011    

    Im sorry i mean that if i play 2 sports it will keep me commited for wrestling and im kind of confused what to do for my weight class im 117 and i dont know what wait class to go to and what should i do if im 113. And is 9 th grade important cause im not ready for the season

  23. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    November 2, 2011    

    And im really nervous for the wrestle offs im not so much about the dual meets and tournys what things can i do to be the best one in my weight class quick. Like i told you i missed all of my off season due to injury should i just face the fact that im not gion to be good this yoear and focus on next years wat should i do

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  24. Brandon Elroumy Brandon Elroumy
    November 3, 2011    

    ASnd also my weight

  25. Derek Derek
    November 18, 2012    

    This section on drilling turned into a one-on-one with Mike, so I would like to bring it back to the original concept.

    I wholeheartedly agree that drilling is the most important training activity, especially the way Mike has explained it. One of the ‘keys’ is drilling with little or no resistance, striving for perfect technique and then increasing speed. The partner’s responsibility is to give you feedback in that regard. When I was in high school and college, we drilled five(5) moves each.
    There is also the various setups for each major takedown that should be incorporated into the drilling. Thirty minutes is the minimum amount of time.
    Takedown drilling should be done to completion, that is, including the finish. Too many ‘near takedowns’ are seen in live competition because of improper drilling by not finishing. You are in essence drilling for failure.
    Properly executed drilling sessions can also help cardio, prepare you for live wrestling and prevent injuries.
    I guess you can tell I am a believer. I could go on for hours.

    Derek

    • November 20, 2012    

      Thank you for your comments. They bring up great points.

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