Harker’s new wrestling camp, run by long-time, popular Harker coach Karriem Stinson, gave students in grades 6-12 a solid foundation for their future endeavors in the sport.
“We try to show everyone the same moves and we’re trying to keep it basic … because we think basic wins,” said Stinson, who is also the middle and lower schools’ assistant athletic director.
A typical day at the camp focused first on basic techniques and positioning, then wrestlers moved on to situational drills emphasizing escapes, stand-ups and breakdowns. The final portion of the day allowed the students to practice the skills they’d learned with their classmates.
Each day, Stinson said, the students are encouraged to determine three goals that they had met and three other goals that required more work to complete.
In addition, the camp also incorporated the TRX suspension training system for greater fitness and endurance. “We’re trying to incorporate nutrition, mental, physical and mold it all together,” said Stinson.
During the camp, Stinson was joined by Prospect High School wrestling coach Shawn Henebry, who has twice been a U.S. Open freestyle champion.
“We’re allowing the kids to get a good solid foundation in a short period of time,” Henebry said. “And I also think we have a good ratio of coaches to [student] wrestlers.”
What also made the Harker camp unique in Henebry’s view was that more experienced students helped the newer wrestlers learn more advanced techniques, thereby “also helping themselves learn the move by teaching the move.”
Serena Olmos, a senior at Lincoln High School, said she enjoyed the camp because it helped students with focusing on their weaknesses as wrestlers, “and not just focusing on what you’re good at.” She also enjoyed how the coaches made it a priority to help all of the students improve. “They don’t just push you off to the side and focus on one person,” she said.
“When they leave this camp we want them to have life skills, lessons that they took away,” Stinson said. “Mentally, they’ve become a lot stronger.”