In terms of a strength and conditioning program for a wrestler, developing agility, or quicks, is developing the ability to change velocity or direction rapidly. Carrying that over to the mat means applying a wrestler’s ability to execute those fast movements in response to an opponent [defensive] or a visual opening [offensive].
Articulating the necessary components for “perfect wrestling agility” is difficult, as each athlete’s needs, skill level and situation are different; but the following are our main focuses in the weight room when working to develop agility:
Improve production of force and ability to absorb force through strength training
Increase ability to produce the force rapidly and absorb rapidly through plyometrics
Develop foot speed and increase the number of movement patterns an athlete can execute successfully through ladder and dot mat drills
General agility or movement training improves body awareness, balance and change-of-direction speed.
I work with the guys during their morning strength and conditioning session. And every afternoon, the wrestling coaches spend a significant amount of time drilling techniques. Drilling proper technique on a consistent basis will engrain sport-specific motor patterns into a wrestler’s muscle memory, causing him to be more efficient in movement. Enhancing agility benefits a wrestler from the neutral or takedown position [offensively and defensively], when quick motions are most commonly used.
One final point to ponder: Always determine goals, then address those specific goals with your training. When your goal is to train speed or agility, perform short-duration drills with rest that allows you to fully recover; lengthening drills or decreasing rest time provides an element of conditioning. Always make sure to master basic fundamentals first, then progress to advanced training. Our motto at Wyoming is “simplicity yields complexity.”