As a beginner wrestler, how do you become effective in competition without obsessing over learning every technique? When we focus solely on the need to perfect technique, it can often prevent you from seeing the big picture. What is sport, but accepting the challenge from another competitor to compete to your best abilities? By simplifying the idea of sport, we can focus on being a fierce competitor, and focus on where to position yourself for the best advantage. I've seen many great wrestlers who learned how to be tough competitors without high level technique. In good time, the technique will come with work and repetition.
Technique is overwhelming
If you feel like what you are learning at wrestling practice is overwhelming and there is too much information, choose one or two techniques to focus on. When technique, live, and conditioning are moving quickly at practice, it may not provide enough time to commit a something new to memory. Repetition is key to muscle memory, so get extra help from a coach and grab a partner to keep practicing the new technique. Your body and your subconscious will pick up on the technique and positioning long before your active consciousness will. So be patient and let your body pick commit it to memory for good.
Create your athletic base
Wrestling takes muscle endurance and agility. By incorporating stamina and movement, you will give yourself an advantage on the competition mat. This is important when you may not have as much technical experience as your opponent. Wrestling will always be a game of tiny advantages, so find different ways to get an advantage while you are still learning technique.
Create better body positioning, not perfect technique
When we break down the concept of technique, its important to remember that the ultimate goal is to create enough movement and leverage to get a takedown or a pin. Using this as a guide, let the technique you are learning be a reminder that you must do what it takes to secure points for a win. By focusing so much on technique, we sometimes forget that the point is to have fun and score a takedown, whatever that may look like. I spent years focusing on making my technique was perfect, and then had to re-train myself to focus on positioning and stance. When you watch top level wrestlers, you rarely see flashy moves. They use basics and focus on positioning to create the best advantages for themselves.
Embrace being a beginner
Remember, its okay to look like a beginner. Enjoy the journey. It's okay that you don't know the language, the superstars, or every every minor detail on the rules of the sport. Be excited about learning something new, and that will propel you towards years of joy in an amazing sport. Don't let the fear and insecurity of looking like a beginner drive you away from something you enjoy doing.