For the reasons of keeping practice fresh, as well as developing the best wrestlers, variety is a crucial element to coaching. In this video Gable discusses the importance of freestyle and greco, not just for their own sake, but for enriching folkstyle wrestling to competitors and spectators alike.
Daryl Weber: Right.
Dan Gable: You know it’s just like a headlock. Maybe you don’t want to have your guys do a lot of high-risk moves, which I don’t think a headlock is, more of a lateral drop might be, but you do those moves for learning situations, mostly from the defensive guy. You learn to understand the move that way so it’s a big deal.
Long as we’re talking here, free-style, greco-roman. There’s the culture of the arm throws, the headlocks, the big [moves 00:33], especially greco and then free style as well; there’s a lot of culture there. So you know what? All of a sudden you have a practice where you’re involving dummy throwing. I know you have to go out and get a dummy, and you have to get a throw pad. You know what? That’s great. That’s another exciting thing to learn, it’s not the same old, same old.
You know what it really does? It teaches these kids that I can come over to the wrestling room by myself when there’s no practice, and I can grab a machine, like a throwing dummy or an adam takedown machine, and I can get a good workout. Because I’m actually learning how to do some throws, or I’m learning how to penetrate better on the Adam machine, or set it up. It relieves head snapping, and learn my feet penetration. So kids can actually learn how to do workouts without the coach there.
That’s another aspect of this coaching season, because there’s a lot to be learned just for collegiate wrestling. When you get into the freestyle and the Greco-Roman, you can start adding some of these other moves that you may not do as much, but then these moves will translate back into your collegiate and scholastic, and you’ll be that much tougher of an athlete. Like I said, when I went to practice the other day and I watched, I saw a headlock at Iowa’s practice by this athlete. Saw one guy’s feet fly from one end of the mat to the other end of the mat, and he was on his back. Wow, I wonder if he’s been throwing the dummy? That’s just one more aspect that makes you a better wrestler.