Stop Holding Hands – Start Developing Independence In Your Athletes

“I’m not really lying to you, I’m helping you. It’s all a part of the process.” 

These are the words behind NCAA and Olympic champion Coach Dan Gable’s tactics to keep his athletes in the match when they’re shot. He’s used it to push Lincoln McIlravy to three NCAA championships, and he’s adjusted it to develop that same drive in young novices. But what’s the power behind a white lie, and how can you use it in your programming?

If you have issues achieving match-like intensity in training… or you have a young athlete struggling to overcome adversity, then today’s episode is for you. 

In part two of our conversation with Coach Gable, he shares his innovative ways to engineer success in athletes. 

Episode 16 of Attack Style Wrestling podcast dives deeper into varying independence and dependence based upon the experience and personality of your athletes. 

By the end of today’s episode, you’ll feel like a coaching wizard. With tricks up your sleeve for every situation, you can generate total buy-in from your athletes. Maybe it really is magic. Maybe it isn’t, but it doesn’t matter – it works. 

Here’s what else you’ll learn from today’s episode:

  • How to get your kids to feel successful again after a big defeat (3:40)
  • Why dropping the stubbornness act can lead to a championship (5:50) 
  • Breaking down proven tactics for developing your wrestlers in a way they can understand (7:45)
  • Gable’s biggest mistake coaches make when teaching independence (11:55)
  • Why dependence and specificity help build a dominant wrestling style through tough conditions (13:58)
  • How his style of coaching can actually program your athletes to adapt in competition (16:50)
  • Do you use enough positive reinforcement? Learn Gable’s rule on how many points to score in practice (Hint: it’s a lot) (18:30)
  • Learn when exactly to shift your style for elite wrestlers and demand execution when fatigued (20:47)

Stay strong,

Coach Daryl Weber 


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