Training: The Benefits of Summer Training

You can make tremendous improvements by training during the off season. What you do between now and November will make a tremendous difference in your performance next season. I encourage you to make the most of your time this summer!

If you wish to reach your highest levels of excellence as quickly as possible, you make a total commitment to improving both your skills and strength this summer. Allow me to briefly look at a couple other sports to illustrate my point. Do you think Karl Malone and John Stockton only play basketball during the winter? Have you ever wondered why most of the best collegiate baseball and golf teams are from the south? Do you believe when NCAA & Olympic Champions, Kendall Cross, Tom Brands and Kurt Angle were in college do you believe they only practiced their moves during the season? Of course not. To excel at the highest levels of competition, you must make a total commitment to improving all aspects of your game throughout the year. Look at the backgrounds of three of today's superstars, Cary Kolat, Lincoln McIlravy and Les Gutches. These three men dedicated themselves to year round training at a young age. They practiced throughout the spring and summer and were regulars on the off season tournament circuit. They made a total commitment many years ago and still work daily to improve. That is why they are so successful.

Every wrestler trains from November through February, so no matter how hard you work during the regular season, the improvements you can make compared to your top opponents are limited. The time to widen or close the gap between you and whoever you will have to beat to achieve your highest goals is NOW. To reach your fullest potential for next season and the future, summer training is a necessity.

My college coach, John Fritz, uses a quote on his summer camp brochure that says, "There will come a time when winter will ask what you were doing all summer". I took this quote to heart. When I was in college I spent most my summer working & training at Coach Fritz's camp and numerous other camps. During college I was fortunate. I made three Junior and Espoir World Teams, as well as the Pan Am and Olympic Teams, so I had many training camp opportunities to improve my skills every summer. Even if you are not on a National Team, you can still attend National Camps as a training partner. When Lincoln McIlravy was in high school, he and his dad drove from South Dakota to Colorado Springs to workout with our World Team at the Olympic Training Center.

If you are in college, I encourage you to spend as many weeks as possible working as a counselor at summer camps. Many of my past campers serve as counselors at my Olympian Summer Camp. It is a great way to get a lot of mat time and earn some money. If you are interested in camp counselor work, don't hesitate to send me your resume. My camp grows annually and I am constantly expanding my camp staff.

As a junior high and high school student, I was spending my summers at wrestling camps before I had achieved much success. The techniques I learned and coaches I met, have had a long lasting impact on my life and career. I still gain more knowledge every summer at my camps. The staff brain picking sessions after workouts are always interesting and beneficial. I am constantly seeking more knowledge, and summer training camps have been instrumental to my development at every level.

Are you willing to make a year-round commitment? How much time and energy you are willing to devote to training this summer?? Whether you are a competitor or coach, this decision that will have an important impact on your performance next season. How good do you want to be? If you want to be great wrestler, consistently getting on the mats and lifting this summer will give you a big edge. The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.

Author: Ken Chertow is a former NCAA All American and US Olympian. He regularly conducts wrestling camps throughout the USA.

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About The Author
Ken Chertow is a former NCAA All American and US Olympian. He regularly conducts wrestling camps throughout the USA.
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