Anatomy of a World Champion

Posted on May 11, 2011 in Competitions, Practices, Technique, Wrestlers

Zeke Jones’ recent article in USA Wrestler about his analysis of the best wrestlers at the 2010 World Championships is well worth the read. He and several members of the USA Wrestling staff spent days watching the medal matches and analyzing every scoring action. The results of this research, while not surprising, should be required reading for serious wrestlers at all levels. I say it’s not surprising because the best wrestlers in the world, like the best wrestlers at the state and national levels, are winning with fundamental moves and superior execution.  Take a look at the results:

Set-ups – They use 2-3 setups in concert.  80% of which are open shots, snaps/chops/pulls, or underhook push/throw by. 20% of the setups were shrugs/shucks, posts or duck unders.

Attacks – 87% of all scoring attacks are single legs, counter offense, core attacks or double legs

Finishes – 75% of the time medalists finish their takedown on the mat and 25% of the time they use a push-out to finish. 85% of all finishes are push-out, knock down, go behind, double leg or core finishes.

Push-outs are an important part of Freestyle competition although there was less than one per match in medal rounds. The primary push-out skills are: single leg, double leg, underhook, seat belt, wizzer kick, front headlock.

If you have a chance, check out the article. It’s a quick read but provides quite a bit more detail.