With Carolyn Wester, coaching wrestling is a lot like civil engineering. If the grappler is a project that an architect’s already designed, she’s coming in to make sure the structure and foundation can handle the toughest elements.
Nearly 30 young wrestlers with the Plant City-based Charger Wrestling Club got to hone their fundamentals with Wester at the club’s Florida Strawberry Festival headquarters from Monday through Wednesday.
“The main thing we wanted to do while they’re here is to teach the wrestlers to use their bodies in a way that benefits what they already know… if you can teach them to make the correct angle and use their muscles in the correct order, it will exponentially make what they’re doing currently better,” Wester said.
She ran a tight ship with CWC coaches Will Terry and Blake Olson, working to show the kids how such body leveraging can make a difference on the mat.
“Leveraging is the best way to take someone, whether they’ve been wrestling all their life or maybe just two years, and make them more confident in what they’re already doing,” Wester said. “I think that will help keep them in the sport.”
Wester has been heavily involved with wrestling since 2005 and has worked with numerous high-level grapplers. In the amateur ranks, that includes three-time California state champion, NCAA All-American and San Francisco State head coach Jason Welch, as well as world-class wrestlers Mason, Carson and Pierson Manville.
“She wants you to engage your muscles in a certain way to help you use your body, to benefit you,” the Manville brothers’ mother, Susan Manville, said. “It’s not just “Hey, do this move,” it’s “You bring me your move and I’m gonna tell you how to do it to the best of your ability.”
She’s also worked extensively with UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier. Cormier introduced her in 2011 to American Kickboxing Academy head coach Javier Mendez, which led to her becoming one of Mendez’s go-to coaches for fighters looking to sharpen their wrestling skills. That includes Khabib Nurmagomedov, who most recently wiped the mat with Conor McGregor and will face Dustin Poirier on Sept. 7.
“She’s tremendous,” Mendez said. “She’s a great technician. Great mind. She is a wrestling perfectionist.”
Most recently, Wester was in AKA fighter Alejandro “Turbo” Perez’s corner for UFC 239 in Las Vegas. Shortly after that card was finished, she flew out from Las Vegas to Florida to get ready for this clinic.
Wester said she enjoyed her time with Charger Wrestling Club and wouldn’t hesitate to return in the future if they’ll have her back.