West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Creativity in Wrestling

Wrestling is undoubtedly a "creative" science.

This commentary is geared to those coaches who think that any deviation from conventional techniques can not be tolerated. Well, let me demonstrate the fallacy behind this belief.

As coaches, you must first understand that every wrestler on your squad has individual differences. So, don't panic when one of the boys is experiencing success with an unorthodox maneuver. Sometimes, a slight variation in a fundamentally sound move may be quite appropriate for the body built of a certain wrestler. Of course, if this alteration is a bad habit that could get the wrestler into serious trouble, do not hesitate to break him of it.

Furthermore, "individual wrestler creativity" can turn out to be a valuable learning experience for the coach. A good analogy would be the math instructor who showed his class how to solve their homework problems. The next day, as he was checking the papers, the teacher noticed that one student devised his own method for answering the problems, which was also basically correct. Thus, both the pupil and the instructor gained from the assignment. And such is often the case in coaching wrestlers.

So, if any uncanny move works, you may just have to sit back and let the grappler "do his own thing."

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Updated July 16, 1997