Wrestling is a grueling sport that requires you to use all the muscles in your body for an extended period of time. During a match you will often be so exhausted that you are relying purely on muscle memory. This means that in order to be a successful wrestler, you need to practice the fundamental techniques until they’re second nature. CoachUp Wrestling Coach Andrew R. (Denver, CO.) says, “Each move needs to be as natural as tying your shoe or brushing your teeth. There is no time to think about a move during a wrestling match.”

You need to be able to react quickly to your opponent’s moves, identify his weaknesses, and take advantage of them. This needs to be done without thought because if you are overthinking your next move, you will let your guard down and put yourself in a vulnerable position. In order to develop this second nature muscle memory requires dedication to your wrestling training, Andrew warns that you will have to “continuously drill yourself—almost to excess.” 

In order to get the most out of your wrestling training, Andrew suggests that you “drill when you’re fresh as well as when you’re exhausted at the end of practice.” This will help simulate a match environment, and better prepare you for how you’ll actually feel at the end of the third round. To challenge yourself further, Andrew recommends “Drill your weak moves for 50 reps to each side, paying closing attention to your form and finish. This won’t be easy, and at times it will be really tough to do after a hard training session, but it hurts less than losing.”

Due to exhaustion at the end of the match, it’s more likely that you will be in a position that you are uncomfortable with, and therefore force you to use your weaker moves. That’s why it’s so important to practice your underdeveloped moves at the end of practice. Wrestling training is one of the most difficult of any sport. If you want to be successful, you’ll need to learn to train even when all you want to do is catch your breath and get water because that’s how you’ll feel during a match.