The Philosophy of D – By Chris Lembeck
Defense is where to begin – each year, every year, no exception.
Whether a brand new wrestler at home in the basement or a legendary 5-Star Coach, “Defense” is the always the best place to start.
Let me explain…
First of all, “Defense” is incredibly simple.
It’s by far the easiest aspect of the entire sport of wrestling if you have the map.
Believe it or not, if done properly you can have your entire team performing like Division 1 All-Americans inside one week no matter their age or skill level, guranteed.
The way you might achieve this is by choosing, learning and finally effectively coaching the perfect blend of information, concepts and techniques right from the start. You can do this on your own accord or can simply use a created system specifically designed for that exact purpose.
Seems the key to achieving what you want here is to teach all and only the very best defensive concepts in the proper manner and order.
In order to achieve this it’s best to use a intelligent, thoughtful, and strategic System that is technically sound, works harmoniously and makes good wrestling sense.
In a sense, “Defense” is a momentary lapse of reason; it’s a phase, a short spell.
Defense means “to defend” however, the secret and the major point of emphasis to your kids is to only be in a defensive mode for a short while.
The main objective is to effectively improve your status as quickly as possible from a situation of “Defense” to one of “Offense”.
When discussing your philosophy at first day of “Defense” I suggest you use and explain to them the concept of “Transition.”
Truth be told, knowing and understanding key terms, will go amazingly far in his progress and “transition” is one of those key terms to put in our coaching vocabulary.
“Transitioning” is a crucial term in all of wrestling, but especially in the “Defensive” realm. Transition is the exact point in time when your athlete upgrades from “Defense” to “Offense”.
This concept should reiterated to your team often along with the point they want to make this moment of transition as quickly as possible each and every time.
Tell your crew it’s essential to have an impenetrable “Defense” but somewhat ironically, you want them to use it as little as possible. The kids will perhaps like the contrast of thought and therefore remember it quite easily.
Defense vs. Counter-Attacks
Although is often the case in the sport of wrestling, “Defense” should not be disrespected.
“Defense” wins matches – or more appropriately, it doesn’t lose them.
And for certain, some wrestlers are simply built for a more Defensive “style” of wrestling.
In my opinion, a defensive minded wrestler should not be dodged, averted or suppressed.
A wrestler’s “style” very often is a mirror image of his/her personality i.e. basic, non-stop, physical, unorthodox, conservative, flashy, aggressive, risk-taking, defensive, etc.
Although exceptions exist, the degree of correlation is too high to deny.
Given this valuable insight, it might be both foolish and perhaps even counter-productive to try and tamper with something so deep and natural. On this matter and those similar, I suggest you simply go with the flow.
If you have a wrestler on your team who is drawn to the defensive side of things, so be it; as matter of fact, celebrate it.
It might be wise to work with his strengths rather than go against them. And if you do, I believe the likelihood is exceedingly high he will become one of the most successful wrestlers on your team.
The key here is to instill in their mind that (in all actuality) he is truly NOT a defensive wrestler. Do your best with words and actions to make it crystal-clear that he is a “Counter-Attack Wrestler“. To help seal the deal, you might even from time to time refer to him or her as a counter-attack Master.
There’s a big difference between a “Defensive wrestler” and one with “great defense equipped with an excellent array of counter-attacks”.
The Very Best Wrestling Requires Patience
“Defense” is what you have your wrestlers employ to win matches while you are diligently working on installing the far more complicated part of wrestling called “Offense”.
A properly applied “Defense”, hinged to an effective and efficient Counter-Attack System will enable your wrestlers to soundly defeat wrestlers who might currently be far-better.
This will positively excite and delight your athletes, build confidence, and keep them coming back for more – not to mention teach them that with a well-thought out strategy, you can beat people who are (for now) better.
In addition, strategically and semi-temporarily tying one-hand around your wrestlers’ back and making them compete somewhat “short-handed” will automatically and effortlessly bring out their absolute best and exponentially speed-up the entire developmental process.
Ever notice how good your hearing becomes if you’re blindfolded for a while? Or hear the phrase “Necessity is the mother of skill”?
By the time you untie their hands and remove the blindfold allowing full sight and arsenal, his/her “Defense” will be so amazingly effective, they’ll hardly ever need it.