Here are the top 10 traits nearly every championship wrestler has. If you are lacking in one of these areas you either need to focus on improving or realize your success will be limited.
1. Stamina: If you aren’t able to wrestle in the first period like you can in the last you will never be a great champion. Champions do everything in their power to have “gas” throughout the match.
2. Max Strength: Champion wrestlers maximize their strength inside their weight class. If you aren’t getting stronger someone will out muscle you somewhere on the mat and championships will be won or lost.
3. Speed: Championship wrestlers move faster on the mat than everyone else. If you aren’t fast to position, take downs, escapes, reversals aren’t possible. Speed kills in all sports.
4. Power: Power = Mass X Acceleration. With wrestlers being of equal weight, it is the athlete who can explode into another that will powerfully perform on the mat.
5. Core Strength: The ability to manipulate another human being is dependent upon the strength of the core. If your core muscles aren’t at their best, the ability to perform throws, bridges, and pinning combinations is greatly diminished.
6. Grip Strength: Championship wrestlers grab their opponents and it feels like a vice is clamped down on them. Focusing on creating a grip that is inescapable will provide you the ability to dominate your opponent.
7. Proprioception: The ability for your body to understand where it is in space. Championship wrestlers don’t lose track of their bodies regardless of what is happening on the mat. Being comfortable upside down, in the air, falling and moving through space is vital. Cartwheels, rolls, flips and assorted movements help athletes build this ability.
8. Balance: Stacking core strength and proprioception together provides wrestlers with great balance. Being on one foot, throwing an opponent all rely on balance and strength from balance. Without balance your likelihood of success takes a steep drop.
9. Physical toughness: When people talk about toughness they often speak only of mental toughness, but the physical ability to take punishment is just as vital. Strength training and conditioning hardens the body and preps it for action. Physical toughness also establishes a resistance to injury vital to every athlete.
10. Flexibility: No matter who you are, at some point you have been in an awkward position on the mat. Having the flexibility to perform a variety of maneuvers allows athletes to remain calm in any situation. Some wrestlers are capable of full splits when their leg has been taken, if your body can perform this, it can be the difference between a takedown and you maintaining position.
As the line between skills blurs at the championship level, the best athlete will be able to force his way to a win. If you aren’t developing your physical qualities to meet your skill you are only maximizing half your talent. Focus on these areas on watch your competition bend to your will.