How to Win a Wrestling Match Every Time: 7 Ways To Increase Match Toughness

7 ways to increase match toughess

Want to know how to win a wrestling match every time? I am all about giving wrestlers concrete tasks to follow rather than abstract concepts.  Finding a way to measure mental toughness and grit is a necessity if you wish to teach it to the masses.  With this in mind, I came up with 7 situations that win and lose close matches and I regularly remind my wrestlers they need to win these situations, every time, if they want to learn to wrestle to dominate and beat great opponents.

Teach your wrestlers to win these situations and execute the proper game plan in these positions and watch their success rate skyrocket.

Warning:  These are the right ways to wrestle, not the easiest.  There will be hard work involved.

So here you go…

1. Lift & Return When an Opponent Stands Up From Bottom.

Mat Return

Do: Lift and Return
Don’t: Pull them on top of you, Release them easily or drop to their legs and hold on. The Lift-n-Return is one of the prettiest moves in wrestling. You know you’re watching a tough wrestler when they relentless lift and return from the top. If you want to let your opponent go and they stand up on you, I suggest you lift-n-return and then release.  Be sure they know they didn’t earn the point… You gave it to them.

2. Constant Forward Pressure on The Top position


Do: Keep constant forward pressure while working for breakdowns and turns.
Don’t: Try to hang on or float on top of your opponent
The best rides are all executed with toes dug in the mat and grinding pressure. Even if you don’t get the turn your goal is to let them know who is in charge and get inside their head when you’re on top. MANY close matches are won by not letting your opponent out from the bottom or wearing them out with a tough grinding ride.

3. Relentlessly get to your feet Bottom Position

Do: Relentlessly get to your feet and know solid leg defense.
Don’t: Roll around and rely on trick moves.
Stand ups won’t always work, but they will often create the action that is needed to get away from tougher opponents.

4. Solid Shot Defense

Do: Square hips, toe down on the feet, and look to clear leg(s) to Front Headlocks
Don’t: Give away angles, sit to your butt or let them lift you.
Ideally, nobody should get to your legs but the fact is it is going to happen. Give your opponent as little as possible and look to score off their leg attacks. Train yourself to use the most fundamental shot defense techniques and you won’t give up as many takedowns and you will save yourself from injury.

5. Never watch the clock

Do: Listen to your coach for updates and train yourself to wrestle hard until you hear the whistle
Don’t: Never look to the clock in a close match during any action.
Train yourself to wrestle harder at the end of periods no matter what the score is.

6. Win The Last 20 seconds of every period

Do: Win these short goes or at least break even
Don’t: Never lose the last 20 seconds
Get the take down, escape or reversal when in the neutral or bottom position. Keep your opponent down or develop a safe & reliable quick turn to score with when on top. Never, get taken down or let an opponent escape or reverse you in the last 20 seconds of a period.

7. When On the leg(s) from a shot

Do: Get to your feet and finish, escape the weight, and finish or clear out.
Don’t: drop to your haunches, hold on or stand still on your feet.
Ideally, a wrestler will maintain continuous motion from set up to shot through the finish. But realistically many wrestlers get caught under their opponents and they need
a strategy to deal with this.  If you follow these rules all the time, no matter what the score is, you will learn to wrestle to dominate. Being relentless with your attacks and extremely stingy are the keys to wrestling success. Master these positions and scenarios and find yourself winning a lot more close matches and feeling opponents break as the match goes on.

If you follow these rules all the time, no matter what the score is, you will learn to wrestle to dominate.  Being relentless with your attacks and extremely stingy are two major keys to wrestling success.  Master these positions and scenarios and find yourself winning a lot more close matches and feeling opponents break as the match goes on.

Do you agree with these rules?  If so let me know and if not let me know why…  Please post below and thanks.

Coach Daryl Weber


12 thoughts on “How to Win a Wrestling Match Every Time: 7 Ways To Increase Match Toughness”

  1. Coach, I like how you highlight being “stingy.” Certainly not to be confused with being defensive, something too many wrestlers are, especially in a close match. Not giving up points is every bit as important as being able to score and often more demoralizing to a tough opponent. Great points! Thanks.

  2. Great tips and worth the effort to implement drills to highlight these situations. It is refreshing to hear some of the items I was taught many years ago still apply. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Absolutely agree with coach daryl about looking at a clock during a match. If you had a great coach as I did then you would definitely agree also.

  4. I really like the lift and return method, it seems like it would really help with confidence and getting inside your opponents head but not sure how feasible it will be to teach it to q 7th grader that that weighs 225 and wrestles 235 weight class we’re going to try it tomorrow at practice I’ll let you know how it goes.

  5. These are good points , though am a bit too old to wrestle per se these are excellent good pointers

  6. I do strongly agree with these rules, getting wrestlers to train this way can be challenging.
    Kevin Juedes

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