No Practices During Week of 4th of July

Remember, there will be no scheduled practices during the whole week of the 4th of July. Enjoy your holiday. If we happen to go in and do some unstructured work, we will tweet out the day and time. Check our twitter account for these details. We will see everyone back on July 11. 


Summer Wrestling

As your school year ends and you’re looking for some summer wrestling, look no further than Hammer Wrestling. We offer low priced, yet effective and structure practices throughout the summer and fall. Our goal is to promote wrestling and help athletes at all levels improve their skills and achieve their goals. 

Our system has been proven at all levels to bring results. Money is not our objective. Improving kid’s wrestling, abilities, strength, confidence, and ultimately, their lives is our purpose. Please check us out and drop in for a session. Our summer session starts up on May 30. See the flyer below.

Easy Registration For Hammer 

Some people have asked about the easiest way to get signed up for both Push and the Hammer sessions. Below is a detailed explanation of the simplest process. It seems easier to sign up with us first and get you into the Hammer Session. Then you can become a member of the Push Facility when you come to your first Hammer session. 

Follow these simple steps to register:

  1. Register for the appropriate Hammer Sessions (spring, summer, fall, or any combination of the three). They are each 8 week programs. Complete the form and arrange payment to Hammer. At these sessions we will provide instruction and organized practices.
  2. Sign up as a member of PUSH Wrestling Facility when you come to your first Hammer session (at the facility). Fees are $70/month. This gives you a pin number and 24 hour access to the facility. You can then workout outside of Hammer Sessions whenever you want.

Be sure to cancel your Push Membership if/when you are done with the Hammer sessions and no longer want access to the facility.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns. We aim to please. Our Spring sessions begin March 14 so get registered soon. 

Clear the Mechanism…

As many of the state tournaments around the nation have come to a close, now is a great time for reflection. Over the years I have been to many different state tournaments, as a competitor, coach, recruiter, and fan. These experiences have led me to one ultimate conclusion.

Winning at the state tournament is much more of a mental feat than it is a physical one.

Obviously getting to these elite tournaments and doing well takes a great deal of physical skill and ability. However, those athletes who are mentally tough and confident in themselves will always outperform those who are not. It takes a great deal of mental toughness and resiliency to deal with the pressures and adversity that an event like the state tournament brings. Those that are able to deal with these issues and overcome them,  will do well. Those that are not, will ultimately always fall short of their goals.

The state tournament is the culmination of an entire season and by which most of our athletes measure success. For many it is the final chapter of years of hard work and the pinnacle of their careers thus far. Thinking of this event in this way will no doubt generate much anxiety and fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of getting tired. Fear of losing. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointing coaches, family, friends, and fans. This is a lot of stress for a young high school athlete. Often times it is mostly self imposed pressure as they want to do well so badly.

All of these feelings are normal and expected. One should be nervous before a big event like the state tournament. If an athlete was not nervous, then it is likely that they do not care about the end result, or are just happy to be there. It is how one deals with these nerves that separates the good wrestlers from the great ones. Even the best athletes get nervous and have doubts. It is what they do with these feelings that makes all of the difference.

There are many ways to overcome match anxiety and each individual likely deals with it differently. However, in order to achieve one’s goals it is a necessary skill to develop. Some athletes need to keep things light and fun or they get overwhelmed. Much like Penn State’s wrestlers. They all seem to be focused on having fun and scoring points. Others need intense focus and to be hyped up in order to overcome the pressure. Regardless of the method, this is a skill that must be developed just like anything else.

Athletes need to put themselves in uncomfortable situations as often as possible and then find ways to deal with the stresses. Most of us try to avoid those things that cause stress or take us outside of our comfort zones. By doing this, we never grow or push ourselves to new levels of our ability. As wrestler, these situations can sometimes be mimicked in practice and during training. More often than not, it is something that only occurs during competition. It is difficult to replicate the atmosphere of intense competitions like the state tournament in the practice room. The more one competes and immerses themselves in that feeling of competition, the better able they will cope with it. The feelings of competition become second nature and athletes become used to the nerves, rather than scared by them.

At tournaments like State, it is easy to identify those wrestlers who are mentally prepared and confident in themselves. They walk around with a purpose and just seem determined to succeed. These athletes have a mental toughness about them in that they will not be denied their goals. They know what they want, they trust their training and abilities, and they are going to go out there and take it. They don’t get caught up in the environment or the big stage. And if they do, they use that energy to fuel themselves to a higher level. Not become overwhelmed and shut down. In the end, it’s just another wrestling match like so many before it.

On the other side of the spectrum, one can also point out those wrestlers who lack the mental preparedness and have the “deer in headlights” look. They are timid and unsure of what to do or how to act. When they step on the mat, they have more of a hopeful look, rather than an assuredness. These wrestlers will likely not wrestle up to their abilities. They may be one of the best athletes at the tournament. However, it will not happen for them as they have not trained mentally and are not confident in themselves. This is the worst way to lose and my heart goes out to those that allow the fear to control them. We have all been there and all not gotten what we wanted because we were too afraid.

Now is the time to begin changing the mentality. In the offseason one must work at flipping this mental switch. Make the choices to overcome adversity when it occurs in life, not just on the wrestling mat. This is a life skill that can drive success in all avenues of life and not simply in athletics. It takes preparation and training to achieve this mental ability. One must train hard in order to trust their training. One must also just believe in their abilities and have a confidence that they are good enough. Step onto the mat and compete. Step up to life’s challenges and let your abilities flow.

I’ll end this writing with an example of something that I always tell my athletes. It comes from the movie “For the Love of the Game”, which is a baseball movie about a pitcher. In the movie, while on the mound, the pitcher will always say to himself, “Clear the mechanism”. When he does this his mind goes blank and he no longer hears or sees anything except for the catcher and his mitt. The crowd is silenced. The batter is gone. The score is irrelevant. It’s just him and the catcher. I tell my athletes you can be nervous and anxious prior to the match all that you want. However, when you step on the mat and shake hands you need to think to yourself, “Clear the mechanism”. And after this point you just let it flow. No thinking, just reacting. Trust your skills and wrestle. Good things will happen!

If you trust your training, wrestle hard, and compete to the best of your ability, then you have nothing to be ashamed of at the end of the match, regardless of the outcome. You win some and you lose some. You did all that you could to win, and in my book, that’s enough for me. It should be for you, too!

Who’s Who? – Repost

This was Posted back in 2011 but it seems relevant today and is a good read. Check it out.

As I watched the final NFL games this past Sunday I began thinking about the big name players and teams in the league. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers…Tom Brady and the Patriots…Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson, etc, etc. This then led my thoughts to various elite athletes, wrestlers, and fighters in our time. I’m thinking guys like Cael Sanderson, Jordan Burroughs, Floyd Mayweather, George St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, etc, etc. I found myself wondering how did these guys get to where they are? At what point did they become superstars? I mean, they weren’t always well known and the elite of their sport. Right? Roughly, five years ago Aaron Rodgers was a backup quarterback and now he has won a Super Bowl and potentially the best quarterback in the NFL.

Can someone tell me how exactly does this happen? How does a person go from no one to someone just like that? It doesn’t seem possible. During their rise to stardom I am sure there were others in front of them who were the so-called elite. The best of the best. Right? So my question is, what specifically occurs that catapults these changes in superstar hierarchy? Is it just dumb luck? Being in the right place at the right time? I’m sure that has a little bit to do with it but I don’t buy that rationalization.

I believe that there is a certain attitude that these types of people possess, and not everyone has it. In fact, only a select few individuals truly have this quality. If everyone had it, then everyone would be a superstar. The sad reality is that the majority of us are merely average in most of our endeavors. Those that have this rare attitude have a simple belief that they can compete with and beat anyone. They don’t care who’s who at the time or who is suppose to be good. It doesn’t matter because they truly believe that they  can beat anyone…even the best of the best .

This is a concept that can change your game forever. Too many people get caught up in the who’s who game of life. This team is the best. That guy is the best. This is so true in wrestling as well. I hear it all the time. Oh, “This kid wrestles for this team/club, he must be good”. “Look at that kids singlet and shoes, he must be good”. “That guy beat so and so”. “This team is the best in the state, we don’t stand a chance”. “They’re ranked. He’s ranked.” Blah, blah, blah. Who cares? Honestly, does it matter? None of these things matter when it comes to competition. It’s all image. It’s all on paper. It’s all just things that people say or believe to be true. With this attitude we might as well not even have sports. We’ll just compute everything on a computer based on statistical algorithms.It will go something like this, “Based on the statistical algorithm and probabilities calculated by our advanced software you should win a state title so here is your first place medal. In the hopes to save time and eliminate injuries we will just award you without the need to compete. Congratulations.”

Once you get beyond the who’s who view, you will become a whole different athlete. All it takes is one big win. One big play. One amazing performance. And you’re on the map. Suddenly, you beat someone who is “good” and now you’re good. You beat someone who you’re not suppose to beat (on paper, at least) and all doors to success open up. In an instant you believe that you are good. That you somehow got better. And in that moment, guess what, you are and you did. It’s as if you snapped your fingers and you were the best. Just like that. That’s all it takes.

Then it becomes easier. After you turn the corner once and beat an “unbeatable” kid, it slowly becomes no big deal. Your thought process changes. You think, “I’m the man. I’m the guy to beat.” This is exactly how those elite athletes became the superstars that they are today. They got an opportunity to compete against the best. They told themselves, “I can compete against anyone. I can beat anyone. I will not take a backseat to anyone. It doesn’t matter what singlet or uniform he wears. Or what stats or records he holds. I can win and I will win.” The rest is history.

You can be that guy. You can beat someone who you have no business beating (on paper, again). Eliminate the who’s who mentality. Be willing to battle and outfight anyone. Compete to win, not to tie, and not to keep it close. You play to win the game!

Hammer Wrestling is Back!

Hammer Wrestling and PUSH Wrestling are now working in conjunction to provide athletes with some great instruction along with a great facility. PUSH Wrestling has a 24 hour access facility that allows wrestlers to workout at their convenience. We will be hosting Hammer practices at PUSH’s facility this offseason on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6-7:30pm. These will begin March 14. Hammer will offer a Spring, Summer, and Fall session to cover your entire offseason needs.

This is a great opportunity for our local youth to get some quality training at a competitive price this offseason. In order to participate you must become a member of PUSH Wrestling so that you can use their facilities. Then you can register for any of the Hammer sessions offered. Check out both of our websites for more information. Do not hesitate to ask either of us questions. We’re excited to work with you and look forward to helping you accomplish your goals. #hammernation

Hammer Wrestling School

PUSH Wrestling

Offseason Wrestling Schedule

Offseason Information Here. Download 2016 spring hammer wrestling flyer here.

The offseason schedule for the Hammer Huskie camps is set and will be hosted at Naperville North High School. More information can be found below. Contact us with questions. Sign up now!

The spring program will focus on all wrestling styles depending on the needs of our wrestlers. We have the flexibility to cover folkstyle, freestyle and greco. It is designed for those looking to gain the skills needed to compete in all styles and improve, regardless of level or ability. This program is great for those athletes looking to stay on the mat after the season ends and get a leg up on next season. We encourage our athletes to compete in the local freestyle/greco tournaments and attempt to qualify for the National Tournament in Fargo, ND. We can help you learn the skills to get there!

Dates: April 4 – May 25 (2016)

Days/Times: Mondays and Wednesdays — 6:15-7:30pm

Location: Naperville North High School (wrestling balcony)

Cost: $200

Offseason Summer Session: 2016 – Folkstyle

2016 Summer Wrestling Flyer

This program is designed for wrestlers of all levels that want to continue improving their wrestling fundamentals beyond the competitive season. The summer program will be of benefit to both elite and novice wrestlers. We have the capabilities to provide a great deal of personal attention and divide into focused groups as needed. We will work on all styles but focus on folkstyle (focusing on freestyle/greco for those wanting to go to Fargo). The sessions will cover various aspects of the sport of wrestling including but not limited to technique, drills, strength/conditioning, mental preparation, nutrition, etc.

Dates: June 9 – July 20 (2016)

Days/Times: Mondays and Wednesdays — 5:00-6:30pm

Location: Naperville North High School

Cost: TBD

Sign up here: