Football - Become a Better Football Player Through Wrestling

Football - Become a Better Football Player Through Wrestling

Meghan Juuti

What do your linemen and linebackers do for winter training? Hit the weight room? Some cardio and speed training? All are valid and valuable, but here's an even better idea. Have them join the wrestling team.

Wrestling improves fitness and aggressiveness, but also stresses the importance of stance, footwork, body position, leverage, and balanced penetration against an opponent.

Also, grappling with an opponent and attempting to maintain balance develops strength in a very functional, football-specific way.

First-Hand Experience
According to John Paul Circelli, who was starting center for the McMaster Mauraders, off-season wrestling was an important component in his development as a five-year starter on his varsity team--even though, at 6'3" and 260 pounds, he was undersized for his position as an offensive lineman.

Wrestling was a very sport-specific mode of training for Circelli, who noted that his pass blocking stance was almost identical to his wrestling stance, and that his blocking power came from his hips, just as it did in a wrestling hip toss.

He believes that wrestling also taught him the importance of going all-out on the football field in order to win one-on-one matchups.

Reference: Bill Perkins. "The Benefits of Wrestling for Football Players." Ontario Wrestler, Winter 2006.


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