Raising Wrestlers Who Win ... On and Off the Mat.

“Who the Hell Is That Kid?”

“Who the Hell Is That Kid?”

I love hearing people’s stories. Not necessarily stories about how they trained, competed, and eventually won – but more stories about how they became who they are. George St. Pierre’s story in his book The Way Of The Fight was awesome. Here was a kid who grew up in St. Isidore Canada. He had very little, got bullied, and eventually found a coach who believed in him. Believed in him so much that he started bringing in much more experienced fighters (including UFC veterans) to train with George at the young age of 16. As the story goes, George would beat them every time. These grown men would walk away thinking “Who the hell is that kid?” This is a story that I think we can all pay attention to. Here are 5 big steps that St. Pierre took – that I feel were instrumental to him reaching his potential. Steps that both you and I can take with our sons. Cultivate a close relationship based on love and respect – For me, this is why wrestling is even on my radar. I want it to be an opportunity to bond with my son while also teaching him discipline and preparing him for a tough world. St. Pierre had both of these with his coach. A fatherly love – where he knew his coach truly cared for him and a respect where he would give 100% and never question his intentions. Make gymnastics a staple in his training – I’ve thought about this since my days in gymnastics and read about it again in St. Pierre’s training regimen. He... read more
3 Sports That Will Make Your Wrestler More Dangerous (hint:  it’s not MMA)

3 Sports That Will Make Your Wrestler More Dangerous (hint: it’s not MMA)

I was at a practice recently with my son and had a parent come up to my wife and me. She asked us if we knew what we were getting into …. She started going on about all of the travel, all of the time, and all of the costs involved with competing in this sport. My wife and I asked who her child was – and she pointed up to 2 National Championship banners hanging from the ceiling. Her daughter had won the national championships for her age division … twice. I’m guessing she was 12. While it seemed like her daughter enjoyed what she did, I’m guessing this won’t be the path for my son. I wanted to tell her – This is only part of his journey … not the destination. It got me thinking, what other sports could round out a wrestler. Better yet, what could make them a hybrid athlete – dangerous on multiple levels? Here are my thoughts: Rock Climbing – My good friend Dr. Anton Dietzen (www.trainingforwrestling.com) was an avid rock climber before coming to University of Illinois. It was rumored that he had never really lifted up a weight before college … but his strength was superhuman. I remember seeing him do sets of 10 pull-ups with 100lbs hanging from his waist. He eventually translated this into a mean front headlock series.  His poor opponents had no chance of getting their heads out from under his massive arms and lats. Rock climbers generally have grip strength that is superhuman. These guys can hang for minutes from 2-3 finger tips. I plan... read more
Top (Preventable) Reasons Why Your Son Might Quit Wrestling After High School

Top (Preventable) Reasons Why Your Son Might Quit Wrestling After High School

I’ve saw a lot of talent come into the room while walking on to the University of Illinois wrestling team in 1998. Multiple time kids, state, even national and world place winners in the Cadet and Junior divisions. Some of these kids started later (like me) and some had been wrestling since they were in diapers. In most cases, those who started younger were more advanced than those who had started later … but not all the time. What always rattled my cage was when a good wrestler would quit … seemingly out of the blue. Thinking back, these are some of the top reasons these wrestlers decided to leave their shoes on the mat too early … and what we (as father’s) could do to prevent this. Injury – I’ve seen wrestlers be forced to quit because of multiple concussions, shoulder injuries, and back injuries – just to name a few. Being a chiropractor, I know that these are often preventable … but this prevention starts years before your wrestler has the opportunity to get seriously injured. Solution: My top suggestion to prevent injury from forcing your wrestler to quit is to enroll them in gymnastics. They will be less likely to land on their head (concussion), ruin their rotator cuff, and their core will be much stronger. Feeling No Progress – This goes back to what motivates a kid to work hard and I was actually threatened by this one in college. Feeling like everyone around you is getting better … except you can be hard on wrestlers self-esteem. This is especially hard when the room is... read more
5 (Unique) Goals I Have For My Wrestler

5 (Unique) Goals I Have For My Wrestler

I’m a big believer in goals now as an adult. I can’t say that I have always been however. It’s hard to believe in something that you have not personally experienced. These were goals for me. Something that other people did … that really didn’t apply to me. Then my wife and I started giving them a try in our business. Year after year, we started hitting these (seemingly) random goals that we would set for ourselves. Before long, I was sold on the power of clear and decisive goals. I don’t want my wrestler (or yours) to have to wait 30 years before figuring this out. Better yet, I already have a few goals on my mind for him. Here are 5 for starters: I want my wrestler to be able to kick my butt by the time he is 18. This one makes me laugh because now my son it such a little peanut. He’s maybe 45lbs soaking wet. I think all parents want their kids to be better than them – and not just in sports. I estimate that he’s got about 6 months before he passes me up in gymnastics … so he’s already way ahead of schedule. He’s also got a stiff right hand that could have probably knocked me out as a 10 year old. (He’s only 5.) I want my wrestler to love fitness. I recently read a statistic (here) that this next generation (our kids) will be the first with a life expectancy that is actually less than ours. A big part of this is lifestyle induced. In my opinion, a... read more
5 Ways FlowWrestling.Org Will Help Your Wrestler Win More Matches

5 Ways FlowWrestling.Org Will Help Your Wrestler Win More Matches

Maybe it’s just my personality, but I’m always looking for an edge. When it comes to my kids, this is even more true. In wrestling, there are a few things that most people know will help an athlete get better. The right gear, good coaching, and an adequate training facility are things that most people think of. The beauty of wrestling is that there isn’t a ton of expensive equipment that is needed to get going in the sport. I come from a blue collar background and consider wrestling to be a blue collar sport. There is one “secret weapon” however that I’m guessing most people don’t initially consider. One that can open up a new world to your wrestler. Simply put, one that will help your wrestler win more matches. I recently purchased a FlowPro annual membership. I figured, my love for the sport of wrestling isn’t changing anytime soon – so let’s do it for a year and see how much I use it. Initially, I purchased the membership more for entertainment. I soon realized that my wrestler could also benefit from this membership. Here are the 5 ways FlowWrestling.Org can help your wrestler as well:  Technique – This one is obvious. Remember, the stages of learning wrestling technique. (If not, see my previous blog post here.) Your wrestler can work through the first stage of learning (the cognitive stage) by watching literally the best in the world demonstrating technique. These are the best – often showing their best. My suggestion is to pick 1-2 wrestling techniques every few months and take them into the room and... read more

Your Wrestler Needs to Understand This to Win More Matches

I recently took my son Junior to a wrestling camp at the local high school here just 2 weeks ago. He (and I) was excited to start what I hope will be a long and rewarding journey. In my opinion, its camps like these where kids get good. This camp brought me back to one training camp in particular that I attended in Colorado Springs back in the late 90’s. One of the senior level wrestlers took about 10 minutes out of his day and worked with me on a trapped arm gut wrench – a technique that I probably used 100’s of times and one that allowed me to beat kids that were actually much better wrestlers than me. I always wondered …”what happened different during this camp – that allowed me to learn so effectively?” Today, I’m going to talk about something that I just recently really understood … and something that you and your wrestler need to understand to win more matches. Learning wrestling technique happens in 3 stages. Understanding that these stages exist and the goals of these stages will help your wrestler become a quicker study of the sport. This means they will win more matches. Here we go: Stage 1 of learning a new move: The Cognitive Stage This is where all wrestlers start when learning any new wrestling technique. The question to be answered during this stage is the following: “What actions need to be taken in order to achieve the goals of the task?” – according to Schmidt and Lee in the book Motor Control and Learning. During this stage your wrestler... read more

How You Can Help Your Son to Finally Beat His Arch Rival

Losing can be hard … especially when it comes from the same kid. In high school, there was one kid who always seemed to have my number. To make things worse, I saw him at all of the summer tournaments.  I would get close to beating him, but somehow … he would always squeak out a win. In my head, this kid was just a better wrestler. It never crossed my mind that maybe (with some intention and lots of hard work) I could have knocked this kid off. I’m guessing your son has had this experience also. But, this is where you come in Dad. With a little bit of work (and another chance) – your wrestler can beat that kid who has always dominated him on the mat.  Here are 7 steps to make it happen. Step 1 – Record the match. Whether you use your iPhone or an old fashioned over-the-shoulder deal, just get the footage. This is going to lay the ground work for everything that has to be done in the future. This is going to be your roadmap. Step 2 – With a knowledgeable coach, break down the video. I’m not talking about spending hours here … and a good coach can probably watch it once or twice and know exactly what has to be done. There are a few specific things we are looking for in the video. Step 3 – Identify how your son is getting beat. This is going to be much harder if he got beat 10-0 than if he was beat 6-4. Either way, you can still get... read more
7 Ways Wrestling Will Help Your Son Kick Life’s Ass

7 Ways Wrestling Will Help Your Son Kick Life’s Ass

Every once in a while, I remembered my high school wrestling teammates and I would start to feel sorry for ourselves.  Especially when we were cutting weight or training hard. Then my wrestling coach would put things in perspective by telling us that were weren’t in war … and nobody was trying to kill us. His point was that things could be much worse. I appreciate this now because life can be hard … and most of us hadn’t seen hard yet. I’ve come to realize that the sport of wrestling (and a great coach) has helped me become more successful in more ways than one. With the right coach, I’m confident that your wrestler will get these same benefits. So here are 7 ways that wrestling will help your wrestler kick life’s ass. (This is much better than the alternative … which would be your wrestler getting his ass kicked by life.) Wrestling helps teach about losing. It will happen … we all will eventually get a whoopin’ both on the mat and in life. In wrestling this might be much clearer cut than in life. Some of us learn to struggle, fight, and come back harder. Others learn to roll over and die. Those people were not wrestlers. Wrestling helps teach goal setting. I’ve heard that only 5% of the population has a goal. For wrestlers … they all want to win the championship. A good wrestling program (and coach) will look at strengths and weaknesses and get strategic about what needs to happen to reach that goal. This way of thinking is helpful for other areas... read more
5 Things I Wish I Knew About Training (When I Was Still Wrestling)

5 Things I Wish I Knew About Training (When I Was Still Wrestling)

My good friend Anton Dietzen (www.TrainingForWrestling.com) and I got to go to a Perform Better Seminar in Chicago this past weekend. While we were there, we were catching up about our families, our careers, and the “old days” back at University of Illinois. Both Dietzen and I have followed very similar career (and family) paths. Likewise, we both have strong interests in trying to give back to the wrestling community. Anyways, it was good to see this old wrestling buddy. It was also good to pick up some training tips from some of the best trainers and exercise scientists in the world. You see, when I go to these things I am always thinking: “How does this apply to wrestling?” “How would I have used this principle when I was training?” or “How can I teach this to my son to make him a better wrestler?” So here they are, 15 hours and about $300 worth of (what I felt) was the best wrestling “stuff” in this seminar. I hope you get something out of it. Wrestlers need to train how fast they relax. This tip was given by the world known back expert Dr. Stuart McGill – who has worked with top athletes (like George St. Piere of the UFC) to get them better. He found that the world’s most elite performers are able to relax 6x faster than lesser athletes. This way, they don’t fight their bodies when attacking their opponents. Running can really hurt your wrestler. This one hit home because I liked to run … and did a lot of it while wrestling. While running... read more
My Plan To Work Less – and Why You Should Join Me.

My Plan To Work Less – and Why You Should Join Me.

I recently spoke with my Mom about my Dad – who passed away in 2002 from cancer. During the talk, my mom made a statement that blew my mind. She told me that my dad wished he had worked less and enjoyed life more. While this brought tears to my eyes (he died at 48) … it also lit a fire under me. My Dad was never able to make this a reality – but with some discipline (and planning) you and I can. We can be there for our family, our kids, and (hopefully) wrestling. There are a thousand reasons why I personally want to work less. I want to be around for the little things. I want to help my wife more with our 3 (soon to be 4) kids. I want to be able to put my kids to sleep and be home when they wake up. I don’t want wake up one day at age 65 (God willing) and regret missing out on my family. To be completely honest, another big motivator is wrestling. I want to be around the sport with my son. I want to be there for his big wins, his losses, his questions, and his injuries. So here is my plan to make this happen. Hopefully you will get something out of it. 1. I plan to push hard during my work time. Because my wife and I own our business – it is really easy for me to be relaxed on how I spend my time at work. My wife is my boss – and to be honest – she... read more

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Contact Me To Get Involved

8 + 12 =