The case for Greco

Posted on May 11, 2010 in Practices, Technique

When it comes down to it, there are two reasons I think all young wrestlers should learn and compete in Greco-Roman wrestling: It’s fun! And it will make them better folkstyle wrestlers.

I didn’t learn about Greco-Roman wrestling until college. Many of my teammates wrestled Greco in regional and national tournaments growing up and I thought there may be something to it as I took my lumps in practice. I wrestled in my first Greco tournament as a member of our spring wrestling club and remember the exhilaration I felt when I hit a 5-point throw. That was FUN!

I developed a true passion for this style of wrestling and saw first-hand how it improved both my folkstyle and freestyle when I spent a year on one of the best Greco-Roman teams in the country – All Army Wrestling.  Here are some of the things I learned and how they apply to our young wrestlers.

1. Greco is tons of fun to wrestle. Sure, there’s often less pressure in off-season tournaments and it’s always cool to learn new techniques. But more than that, throwing and lifting guys is fun stuff for wrestlers of all ages.

2. Greco teaches great position and control. Folkstyle wrestlers often use upper body control positions to set-up and score takedowns. Greco teaches young wrestlers to establish and feel more comfortable in those positions making them better on their feet.

3. Greco builds their wrestling foundation. This style demands certain skills and fundamentals that will help young wrestlers get better in all aspects of the sport. Lifts, backsteps, and back arches are some of the skills that develop body control and explosiveness that translates to all styles of wrestling.