Archives For State

State Series Checklist

April 30, 2014


Did you do everything you could to prepare for this night?

Did you do everything you could to prepare for this night?

The magical period where dreams are either realized…or crushed. In order to help you do all you can to be prepared, here is a small checklist highlighting a few things I make sure my athletes’ stay on top of as the time approaches.


Is your conditioning in order? Have you been pushing yourself in practice and not holding back? While I believe the absolute best way to get in shape for wrestling is to wrestle, you must also make sure you are doing extra work on your own as well to continue developing your work capacity. While it’s very important to have high intensity days, it’s equally important to have some lower, moderate intensity conditioning workouts. Things like light drilling, jump roping, moderate bike riding, etc. will go a long way in increasing your ability to recover during a match and recover on days when you have multiple matches.

One thing I like to do with my wrestlers is attach a rope to the prowler sledand do a push pull drill in the tabata protocol form. 20 seconds they pull and/or push with 10 seconds rest. Repeat 8 times for a total of four minutes straight. This gives me a great gauge on their pulling strength/endurance and leg drive strength/endurance, two very important parts of making it to the top of the podium.


When you know that you have done EVERYTHING possible to be the best version you can be when competition time comes, it’s easy to be confident. As State draws closer, every day matters. If you’re not preparing the way you should be now, you won’t wrestle the way you should when the time comes. Every wrestler I have worked with that has won a state title has had laser focus the last month or so leading up to the tournament. If it isn’t constantly on your mind, if you’re missing workouts, or taking shortcuts in practice you will not make it to the top of the podium.


Are you stretching and foam rolling enough? If you’ve had a nagging injury have you had it looked at, or are you just “toughing it out”? It’s hard to compete at high levels when you’re not 100%, especially when a lot of small injuries are preventable like lower back stiffness (tight hips, hamstrings, or weak trunk) and sore shoulders (too much internal rotation). Make sure you are stretching and taking care of your body.


This is a big part. If you’re tired from your weight cut and dogging it in practice because of that, just know that:

Every day you should ask yourself who's working harder and making better choices; You, or your opponent?

Every day you should ask yourself who’s working harder and making better choices; You, or your opponent?

Whether it is skipping practices, cheating on your diet, staying up late and not getting enough rest, or not doing extra conditioning because you want to hang out with your friends, just remember that the one who is the most disciplined is probably the one who will get their hand raised when it counts.


This is an incredibly important aspect. If your diet is clean, not only will you feel and perform better, but you will also make weight cutting much easier on yourself. For more info on weight cutting, check out this post.


Make sure you sleep and recover! It is great to “Embrace the Grind” you must also remember that working too hard and not resting will have a negative effect on you. The goal is to work very hard (a period in which you will be fatigued) but then back off a bit so you can peak for state! You want to be fresh, not burnt out for your big tournament.


Notice the RECOVERY portion

Make it count

And finally, Make it count. You put all this work into achieving a goal that the worst thing you could do is wrestle “not to lose” instead of wrestling to win!! Go out there and put it all on the line. Good luck!!



*This is part #1 in a 3 part series on how I see the current state of “performance” or “strength and conditioning facilities”. Check back for part 2.


A week ago, I received an email from a parent interested in bringing his son to train at my facility, OA Athletics. He had a lot of questions on the methods I used, and what I do for my athletes. After communicating over a couple of emails, I realized that sadly, he knew more than about 80% of the strength coaches out there and is my inspiration for writing this article.

Before we begin, let’s get a few things out of the way. First, what is the definition of performance?



a :  the execution of an action

b :  something accomplished :  deed, feat


a : the execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc.

Performance is execution or accomplishment. We know that. However, let’s dig deeper in that definition for a strength/conditioning/performance coach. What performance are we trying to increase? Continue Reading…

Freestyle State is this weekend for Illinois. For those of you competing, and for future reference, here are some weight cutting guidelines.

First and foremost, let me address diet. Even the best weight cutters out there will benefit from a proper nutrition regimen with lean meats, green veggies, fish, eggs, and select fruits. That being said, lets gett to the fun part.

1. Be realistic. A recent JSCR article on weight cutting found that when wrestlers cut more than 5% of their bodyweight, they were mentally, but NOT physically fatigued. On average, we cut around 3-7%, with extremes of 10% but generally no more than that a week out. Obviously, those used to the cutting process have a higher tolerance.
Continue Reading…