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Author Topic: Notes From Steve Fraser  (Read 181 times)
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TomM
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« on: September 29, 2016, 12:56:22 PM »

"Steve Fraser" Ahead with Seconds Left 3/11/16
Ahead with seconds left, what do you do to win?
By Steve Fraser for WIN, V22I5
     
      You are in the finals of the year’s main event and you are winning your match against a very tough opponent by a narrow margin of one or two points with less than one minute remaining in the bout. How do you secure your victory? What is the best, most effective strategy and tactic to win your match?

      A. You slow everything down by slowing your pace and being very careful not to make a mistake.
      B. You grab onto your opponent’s wrist, arm, neck (or another body part), holding on tightly, controlling him/her and try to slow them down.
      C. You do not make any attacking attempts or moves and back up slightly, avoiding contact.
      D. You stall by not attacking or moving too fast, but you are careful not to be obvious so the referee does not penalize you.
      E. You sneak a peek or two at the clock so you know exactly how much time remains in the match.
      F. You wrestle near the edge of the mat so you can go out of bounds if/when your opponent attacks you.
      G. You aggressively attack your opponent trying to score another takedown, no matter what.
      H. You aggressively pick up your pace, with your elbows mostly tight to your side, still in the future, pummeling, tying up and moving your opponent from side to side, trying to destroy any possible attempt of him/her setting up a final attack/move, scoring only if the situation presents itself
      I. All of A, B, C, D, E, F, if you can do them all.
      I have seen it all too often that a wrestler, who is winning, chooses one or more of “A” through “F.” This, in my experience, is ASKING for big trouble.
      The key to securing your victory in a close match comes down to momentum. Momentum is crucial in closing out a match in your favor.
      Whoever keeps or establishes momentum in this scenario will have the advantage. Your opponent’s only hope at scoring on you is to create momentum to get something going. Your opponent needs to pick up the pace and catch you off guard. Time is running out so it is now or never for your opponent to make something happen, set you up, force a position where he/she can score.
      What helps your opponent greatly is when you try and slow things down. If you are trying to control things by slowing and being careful and he/she is going faster to get something going, you now have created a big difference in each other’s speed. This affects your reaction time and reaction capabilities. He/she is moving fast and you are moving slowly. This difference in speed between the two of you is what creates a huge advantage to your opponent.
      Plus, the referee (and everyone else watching) is looking for stalling at this point because this is the situation where stalling is very common, right? So now, the referee will often help your opponent with momentum. The referee will now warn or penalize you, giving your opponent more momentum, hope and help.
      The correct tactic, in my opinion, for securing your victory is to execute tactic “H” of the choices stated earlier.
      Sprinting very fast while keeping your elbows tighter to your side, sticking and moving, banging, pushing, pulling, being light on your feet and not giving any ground, will allow you to react quickly when your opponent makes a final attempt at scoring on you. This will break them.  They are looking for that one last shot at scoring on you but you never give them a second to get their wits together to set the move up.
      You can anticipate a final double-leg or single-leg shot by your opponent and if you are moving them properly, your opponent’s shot will likely be a desperate, sloppy attempt which you should capitalize on by snapping them down and going behind them.
            This strategy requires confidence in your physical conditioning and technical pummeling skills.  I encourage you to take time in practice to experiment with this tactic.  Every wrestler should be totally confident that they can stop anyone from scoring in the last minute by out-sprinting and moving them.
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 12:58:45 PM »

"Steve Fraser" Olympic Games Lessons Learned (part 1 of 2) 9/01/16
 
Olympic Games lessons learned (part 1 of 2)
By Steve Fraser
 
The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio are now over and in the history books. The U.S. Team came away with two gold medals and one bronze. Congratulations to Kyle Snyder, the youngest U.S. Olympic Champion in history. Congratulations to Helen Maroulis, the first U.S. woman to ever become Olympic Champion. And congratulations to J’Den Cox, who won the bronze medal, another very talented youngster on the squad.
 
There was some outstanding wrestling throughout the entire eight days of wrestling. There was excitement. There were upsets. There was the” thrill of victory” and the “agony of defeat.” There were spectacular clashes and thrilling battles taking place. It was awesome to witness the best wrestlers on the planet going toe-to-toe each and every day.
 
And the emotion displayed on that awards podium, where the gold, silver and bronze medals were being given, was truly a sight to experience. The years and years of dedication, hard work, sacrifice and focus put in by these tremendous athletes makes the awards ceremony such an amazing moment. Many national anthems played as Olympic medals were draped around necks, bringing almost every champion to tears.
 
Lessons learned: From a technical point of view, I walked away with two main things that I saw. The first one is, for the most part, the athletes winning the medals are all tenacious fighters. They are in OUTSTANDING cardiovascular conditioning. They are strong. They are smart. And they will do whatever it takes to put points on the board. If you go back and look at photos or video of the wrestlers receiving their medals, you will see one thing very clearly. You will see banged up, battered and bruised faces. They most always look like they have been beaten up and punched from ear to ear.
 
I believe to be the best in the world you must be willing to fight to the death! And when I say fight to the death I mean always in the future, attacking with relentless resolve, never backing down. All three of our Olympic medalists display that tenfold. Take Helen Maroulis’ match against Japan’s superstar, Yoshida, who was trying to win her fourth Olympic gold medal. Helen did not take one step backward the entire bout. She perused Yoshida with a relentless forward movement, always in her face, always attacking forward. This is why she beat this extraordinary opponent.
 
To wrestle like this, it takes extreme mental, physical and emotional conditioning. Physically you have to train in a way that allows you to push your body to limits that the average person or average athlete is not willing to go. You can be very skilled, very smart, very agile, and very tough mentally. But if physical fatigue breaks you, all the other toughening and strength goes right out the window.
 
To get to this level, one must train like a madman or madwoman. One must do things that would seem crazy to the average Joe/Jill. Things like two-hour grind matches, running roadwork almost every morning, running up mountains, strength training that would make many cry, stretching, yoga, swimming, biking and anything else that taxes your body to the limit. Of course a good periodization plan and proper recovery is critical. But the point I want to make here is one MUST have the KILLER mentality when it comes to training and conditioning.
 
The second thing I left Rio wondering was how come so many wrestlers at the Olympic level seem to not understand how to secure the victory in a close match? I have written about this in the past, but it remains vitally important to discuss.
 
Way too many times I saw a wrestler leading in the bout by 1 or 2 points, with 30 or fewer seconds on the clock, and he or she began to back up a bit, or avoid contact, or peak at the clock (to see how many tics were left), trying to slow things down. This KILLS me!
 
There is a definite skill, tactic, technique and strategy to use when you are winning a tough match in the final seconds.  And that tactic and strategy is NOT TO STALL!
 
Stalling, backing up, avoiding contact, even if just a little bit is the worst thing one can do to secure the victory. The wrestlers who use this tactic are only setting themselves up for disaster. I witnessed it many times throughout the Games. And I just don’t get why there is a lack of understanding in this regard.
 
Next month, I will share my thoughts on the importance and tactics on how to “secure the victory.”
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"That's why they wrestle the matches!"
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 01:00:34 PM »

"Steve Fraser" Olympic Lessons Learned Part 2 9/29/16
Olympic Games lessons learned (part 2 of 2)
By Steve Fraser
 
In my last column (part 1 of this 2 part column) I spoke about the Rio Games and what I saw as lessons to be learned. The first lesson learned related to how important the intense battle is.  I spoke about how an aggressive, no-stop attack and constant pressure toward your opponent is critical.
 
To reiterate, the second thing I left Rio wondering was how come so many wrestlers at the Olympic level seem to not understand how to secure the victory in a close match? I have written about this in the past, but it remains vitally important to discuss.
 
Way too many times I saw a wrestler leading in the bout by 1 or 2 points, with 30 or fewer seconds on the clock, and he or she began to back up a bit, or avoid contact, or peak at the clock (to see how many tics were left), trying to slow things down. This KILLS me!
 
There is a definite skill, tactic, technique and strategy to use when you are winning a tough match in the final seconds.  And that tactic and strategy is NOT TO STALL!
 
Stalling, backing up, avoiding contact, even if just a little bit is the worst thing one can do to secure the victory. The wrestlers who use this tactic are only setting themselves up for disaster. I witnessed it many times throughout the Games. And I just don’t get why there is a lack of understanding in this regard.
 
On the contrary, as opposed to stalling and avoiding contact, the leading wrestler’s goal should be to out-sprint his or her opponent to the finish line. This most always requires engaging your opponent. What I mean by sprinting and engaging is one must be wrestling a faster pace than their panicking and desperate opponent, who is realizing that he or she needs to score, and score NOW!
 
You aggressively pick up your pace, with your elbows mostly tight to your side, still in the future, then circling, pummeling, tying up and moving your opponent from side to side, trying to destroy any possible attempt of him/her setting up a final attack or move. You score only if the situation presents itself.
 
The key to securing your victory in a close match comes down to momentum, which is crucial in closing out a match in your favor. Whoever keeps or establishes momentum in this scenario will have the advantage. Your opponent’s only hope at scoring on you is to create momentum to get something going. Your opponent needs to pick up the pace and catch you off guard. Time is running out so it is now or never for your opponent to make something happen, set you up, force a position where he/she can score.
       
What helps your opponent greatly is when you try and slow things down. If you are trying to control things by slowing and being careful and he/she is going faster to get something going, you now have created a big difference in each other’s speed. This affects your reaction time and reaction capabilities. He/she is moving fast and you are moving slowly. This difference in speed between the two of you is what creates a huge advantage to your opponent.
       
Plus, the referee (and everyone else watching) is looking for stalling at this point because this is the situation where stalling is very common, right? So now, the referee will often help your opponent with momentum. The referee, if you are avoiding contact, will now warn or penalize you, giving your opponent more momentum, hope and help. And, of course, a possible penalty point.
 
If you saw the Mongolian Olympic freestyle match, Mandakhnaran Ganzorig, at 65kg where the coaches protested by stripping down to their skivvies because of a “fleeing “ call by the officials, which cost Ganzorig to lose the bronze medal, you will see what I am talking about. Why would you start celebrating your victory by backing up, circling, putting your arms up in the air, rejoicing, before the whistle blows? Why would you give the officials ANY chance of penalizing you for avoiding your opponent? ESPECIALLY when you are only one point ahead!!
 
This was a big mistake, in my opinion, by Ganzorig. Instead of his coaches protesting the penalty call, they should have been kicking their wrestlers butt!
 
Securing the victory should be taught and practiced in the training process. You must never-ever put your match in the referee’s hands. It is our responsibility to take all referees discretion out of the match, so there can be NO opportunity for an official to “ding” you.
 
Sometimes “lessons learned” come at a very bad time (Ganzorig’s bronze medal match). This is why we must practice these scenarios in the practice room and in real matches as well. Whether you are winning a match by one point or you are winning by nine points, we should always practice, “out sprinting,” our opponent to the finish line, thus “securing the victory.”
 
As always, enjoy the battle!
 
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I was in the best shape of my life once.
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