Let’s get right to it. If you are going to a wresting camp this summer, avoid these mistakes to get the most out of your experience:
1. Arriving to camp out of shape
Come summer many wrestlers may have not been on the mat for a while. You need a break. And maybe you play a spring sport, such as baseball, tennis or are in track and field. Maybe you don’t do anything. Whatever it is, don’t go to camp out of shape. You don’t have to be at state tournament shape or at your best weight, but prepare in advance by working out, running and training to prepare for camp. Don’t spend time sucking air when you should be learning. And if you are going to an intensive camp, it is best to be ready to work.
2. Not taking it seriously
Don’t go to camp looking to take it easy. Camp should be fun and it certainly can be fun, but don’t take the fun out of it by goofing around and not taking it seriously. You will waster your parents’ money and the camp staff’s time by being a goof-off. Use this time to learn.
3. Thinking you are better than everyone
Sure you may wrestle for a state power. Sure you may have made it to state or advanced in your section, district or regional tournament. But don’t come into camp cocky and act like you know-it-all and are above the coaches and campers. Don’t be arrogant. You are not only representing yourself, but you are also representing your city, school and wrestling club. Be a good sport and make a good impression. No one wants to be that guy where people say “I went to camp with a kid from that team, he was pretty cocky.” Don’t be that person.
4. Dismissing the coaching staff and counselors
Chances are if you go to camp, you are going to get an opportunity to learn from some pretty talented coaches and campers. Many camps feature local college wrestlers as counselors and many camps bring in guest clinicians and speakers. Just because you might not know who that person is, or maybe you don’t know a lot about the person’s background or where a counselor is from, don’t ignore their advice. This is a great opportunity to learn something new from someone new – soak it all up.
5. Forget everything after you leave camp
Successful wrestlers just don’t go to wrestling camp and when it’s the last day, that’s it, over, whatever they learned will be remembered and they are already better. Not going to happen. The most successful wrestlers bring a journal to camp and log what they have learned, jot down notes and ask questions. Then, they go back to their club or team and practice what they learned in camp. They expand on it, ask their hometown coaches about it and drill with teammates to perfect what was learned. Camps are about getting better, improving, learning new technique, learning how to be better in every aspect. Leave it all on the mat when competing, but be sure to bring back what you learned in a notebook and then apply it to improve.
Wrestling camp is an opportunity to learn and improve. Share these tips with your wrestlers to help them understand how to get the most out of a summer wrestling camp.
Want more advice? Order your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling Camps to get tips like these and more.