Cary Kolat breaks down how to transition from youth wrestling to high school, from high school to college wrestling, and from college to the senior level. A lot of kids are successful at the youth level just by being stronger or more aggressive than their opponents. If a coach isn’t preparing them by teaching technique and strategy they will have a have a hard time transitioning on to the next level. Overall, youth wrestling is more about socializing with other kids, falling in love with the sport, and learning the core disciplines of wrestling.
Youth to High School
Transitioning from youth wrestling to high school can be a major leap. Fan bases go up and arenas get bigger. The main difference is you see the kids who have been specializing in wrestling and the kids that have done numerous sports or just started wrestling. In order to transition to high school wrestling, you have find the areas you’re coming up short. Then you have to have the discipline to practice and work on those areas. Finding a club to get extra practice and coaching from can be one way to do this.
High School to College
The biggest gap is transitioning to college as a student-athlete from high school. In college, everyone was one of the best in their area. You’re joining upperclassmen who’ve had access to facilities, training, nutrition, and coaching since their freshman year. You have to prove yourself. Your previous accolades don’t matter. Seniors want no part of being replaced by a freshman. There are only 77 division 1 wrestling programs with an average roster of about 30 wrestlers. Just because you were successful at a lower level doesn’t mean you will be at the college level.
College to Senior Level
Now you’re not only talking about the very best the United States has to offer but the entire world. It’s a very small pool of people that will ever make a World or Olympic team. Wrestling at the senior level requires an entirely different mindset. You have to be open to the possibility of losing. Kolat learned from his losses but also his wins. You can’t go into a match trying to protect something. You’re learning every match and when you beat guys you thought you couldn’t you analyze how you did it.
Finding Training Partners
Kolat won his Silver Medal during his senior year at Lock Haven University. He didn’t didn’t fly in elite level training partners. There wasn’t a guy that could outmatch him. What he did was have 3-4 training partners rotate so he could wrestle against fresh guys. This would give him a simulation of what it will be like when he’s in a tournament exhausted. The public doesn’t make excuses for whoever wins. They don’t care if you had better or worse training partners. Champions find ways to get over hurdles. One NCAA Champion can change an entire program and bring their teammates up with them.
Where to find ASK KOLAT
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