Ideal Wrestling Partner
The ideal wrestling partner is someone whom you can learn from. That has to be the number one priority. They should also be someone whom you can teach something to. In any interaction if the information and help only flows one way, it is not going to last long. There has to be give and take.
Your wrestling partner should be someone whom is committed to wrestling. They may not have the same goals as you but they must have something that they are working for. Going through the motions when you are drilling is a huge waste of time.
Wrestling Partner Skill Level
If you have to choose between working out with someone better or worse than you, always choose to workout with someone better than you. In a perfect wrestling room everyone would have two wrestling partners. You need one partner that you are better than and one that you are worse than. In this situation not only would your physical wrestling skills grow but also your mental game. Your wrestling partner should be within a weight class or two of you as well. Anyone can see that any high school wrestling room could never attain this idealization for every one of its members. One of the reasons I recommended going to a wrestling school was to be able to find partners that meet these needs.
In college, especially a big time program your odds of the ideal situation go up a lot. Even if you are not at a major Division I wrestling program, which I wasn’t at Rhode Island College, your wrestling room would more likely offer what you need.
My Wrestling Partners
I have been lucky with my wrestling partners through the years. I’ve taken something from every one of them. My first wrestling partner was Anthony Montes, whom in my opinion is the best high school wrestler Nutley ever produced. We drilled together for three years until he graduated after my junior year. He took me under his wing and pointed me on the right path to become the wrestler I wanted to be. My high school senior year workout partner was Joe Dwyer. He worked extremely hard. We pushed each other all the time and helped one another become better through our dedication to wrestling.
In college I had more of the ideal situation, having two wrestling partners each season. In my final year on the mat, Kevin Sutherland and Mike Martini were the guys that helped me hone my craft, day in and day out. They always challenged me and never let me slack off without paying for it.
Having good wrestling partners in a room is the reason why good teams always stay good. Success does breed more success. I hope my drilling partners picked up as much from me as I did from them and they passed the knowledge on to their future partners. That’s the plan. Always improving and expanding your knowledge base. I would go as far as saying that your wrestling partners are more important to your wrestling than even your coach. So choose your wrestling partner or partners wisely.