High School Wrestling: Strategies For Winning

The goal of most wrestlers who step onto the mat is to win. I decided to use "winning" as an acronym to help you learn how to win more matches. This article is intended to supply you with some strategies to become a more successful wrestler

W - Wrestle, war, work, withstand, win, willpower

I - Intensity, invincible, indestructible, intelligent, incredible

N - Never quit, necessary, nourishment, noble, noteworthy

N - New moves, neutralize, nervousness, negative thoughts

I - Inspiration, imagination, insatiable, imposing

N - Non-stop, nasty, neglectful, numerous moves

G - Goals, grueling workouts, Gable, grindstone, gutts


  • Wrestle - Wrestle a lot. The more you wrestle, the better you will be at it.
  • War - Sports are like war at times. You need tactics and strategies to succeed. You need a plan of attack. You need goals.
  • Work - Work hard. Hard work brings results. There is no short cut. Work capacity is important. Therefore, research wrestling work capacity.
  • Withstand - Can you withstand your opponent's attack? Can you endure the severity and difficulty of a hard-fought match?
  • Win - Do you want to win? Perhaps you don't care that much. Well, if you want to be a champion then you had better have a consuming passion to win.
  • Willpower - Do you have the self-discipline to train as hard as you need to? Do you have the determination to do whatever it takes to be a champion?


  • Intensity - Do you have the passion and ferocity to win? Do you train with fanaticism? Do you stay focused in practice? Can you concentrate on winning the match or do you get distracted easily by fear and other factors?
  • Invincible - Do you want to be incapable of being defeated? I sure do.
  • Indestructible - I am durable and unbreakable. I have everlasting endurance. My strength and power will never fade. I can last several six-minute matches easily.
  • Intelligent - I am wise. I am smart. I learn new moves and refine my techniques. I have a scientific approach to training and conditioning. I am open-minded and ready to learn. I don't like failure or mistakes, but I am sure to learn lessons from any setback.
  • Incredible - I don't want to be an average wrestler. I want to be incredible!


  • Never quit - Keep wrestling hard for the entire match no matter what.
  • Necessary - Consider what is essential to your wrestling success. Do you need to work on technique? Do you need to improve your strength?
  • Nourishment - A hard-working athlete needs sound nutrition. Eat right and you will wrestle better.
  • Noble - Act with dignity. Have superior wrestling skill as well as superior sportsmanship.
  • Noteworthy - Be remarkable. Be extraordinary. You can be important to your team whether you have a winning record or not. Always dedicate yourself to your sport and you will be noteworthy.


  • New moves - Always be learning.
  • Neutralize - Do you have good counters to the various moves? Can you control the match? Can you counteract whatever your opponent does?
  • Nervousness - Nervousness is natural before a match. Just don't let it control you. Do some deep breathing and refocus on what you plan to do in the upcoming match. Focus on what needs to be done and forget your fears.
  • Negative thoughts - If you think, "I can't beat this guy," then you won't. Practice positive affirmations and positive self-talk before your match.


  • Inspiration - Find role models that inspire you. Watch movies and read books that inspire you. In addition, work hard in practice and wrestle hard in your matches so you can inspire others.
  • Imagination - Imagine winning the match before you even step on the mat. Many athletes have used visualization to help them in their quest for victory. What will it look like, sound like, and feel like?
  • Insatiable - You need an absolute passion for winning to be a great wrestler. Never be satisfied. Always strive to work harder and be better than the other guy.
  • Imposing - Do you have a commanding presence when you walk onto the mat? Do you strike fear into the heart of your opponent? Are you respected in the practice room and on the mat? Good!


  • Non-stop - Can you wrestle hard for an entire match? Or, do you get tired and begin to stall? You need to wrestle non-stop and never let up on your opponent.
  • Nasty - You need to be respectful and practice good sportsmanship. Your dignity is important to you and your team. However, you are a wrestler. You are in a combat sport. You can't exactly be Mr. Nice Guy on the mat. You need to make it unpleasant and difficult for your opponent. Don't give him anything and never let up.
  • Neglectful - Do you avoid the hard work? Do you neglect to lift weights and run sprints? Do ignore advice from coaches and teammates? Don't be neglectful.
  • Numerous moves - You should know as many moves as possible. You may only use a few but you should know several anyway. You need your toolbox full of tools because you never know what you might need. If you only know one way to set up a single leg takedown and only one way to finish it, then you are limiting yourself. I like this quote by naval pilot Dave 'Preacher' Pace. He states, "Know and use all the capabilities in your airplane. If you don't, sooner or later, some guy who does use them all will kick your ass." Therefore, know and use all of your capabilities. You may not always be able to rely on a favorite move in every match.


  • Goals - What is the outcome you have in mind? Do you want to be a state champion? What do you need to do in order for that to happen? You need goals even if your goal is simply to wrestle to the best of your ability in each match. Does your team have goals as well? Do you want to be respected and admired in your conference and in your state?
  • Grueling workouts - You need to work hard in practice and in your conditioning to be a winner on the mat. You need to have demanding, punishing workouts to become the best. There are no short cuts.
  • Gable - Have you ever read stories about Dan Gable? This man is a legend in the sport of wrestling. You can learn a lot from his example of hard work, passion, and dedication.
  • Grindstone - I have heard the expression, "Keep your nose to the grindstone." Do you work hard? Do you stick with it even when practice gets tough and matches become challenging? Are you serious about wrestling or is it just a hobby? Are you determined to put in the effort that becoming successful requires?
  • Guts - "No guts, no glory," is an expression most of us have heard. It takes courage and determination to work hard in practice. It takes courage and determination to step onto the mat and face your opponent. However, this determination can bring the rewards of honor and praise. Having the courage to endure tough practices and wrestle hard for an entire match brings a sense of achievement.

Well, there you have it. I hope that some of these concepts and ideas can help you to attain your wrestling goals. I hope you now have at your disposal a few more strategies for winning in wrestling.