USA Wrestling and Team Georgia launch innovative Skills Academy program

April 11, 2014, 2:20 p.m. (ET)
by Mike Clayton, National Coaches Education Program Manager

USA Wrestling has launched the first stages of a new concept to help develop athlete skills in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. The concept is called the USA Wrestling Skills Academy.

Organized by Team Georgia, USA Wrestling’s state association in Georgia, a Skills Academy was recently launched at North Hall High School in Gainesville Ga. on April 5.

The Skills Academy concept is a six-week course where top clinicians visit state and regional level USA Wrestling events to help athletes learn the USA Wrestling Core Curriculum.

Anyone can access the curriculum outline for free on under Membership - Coaches - Core Curriculum or by clicking here. 2006 World Champion Bill Zadick and other top USA wrestlers and coaches demonstrate the techniques via video stream.

Georgia has acted in conjunction with USA Wrestling’s national office to test the Skills Academy concept. The first of this year’s six Georgia Skills Academy events was held at North Hall High School. Approximately 180 boys and girls from Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina attended this year’s kick-off event.

The day started with a four hour freestyle tournament, followed by one and a half hours of skill development. The day concluded with a four hour Greco-Roman tournament. An impressive 150 of the 180 athletes chose to stay for the Greco-Roman tournament, showing that wrestlers of all ages and skill levels used what they learned at the Skills Academy to test themselves in a style that many be uncomfortable doing without skill training.

One young wrestler named Jacob from Commerce, Ga. was excited, saying “I liked the clinic and used one of the moves I learned to throw my guy for five!”

“This is a great way to build the future generations of U.S. Olympians,” said Tournament director Matt Whitmire.

Technicians for the Skills Academy included Life University head coach, Mike Miller and two-time NCAA Div. I All-American Matt Moley of Central Michigan. Clinicians focused the first of six skills academy technique sessions on the Olympic Styles Level One curriculum. Athletes learned the techniques and then demonstrated their skills under the supervision of several youth, high school, college and national-level coaches.

To learn more about the Skills Academy program, contact NCEP Manager Mike Clayton at or by phone at USA Wrestling headquarters at 719-59-8181.