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Might wrestling training dummies help jumpstart workouts? San Juan County sees the pluses

Matt Hollinshead, mhollinshead@daily-times.com
Carlsbad junior Jesse Rodriguez works with "Adam" while head coach Joe Bach watches his technique on June 25, 2020.

FARMINGTON — San Juan County’s wrestling scene has a couple of major hurdles toward starting summer workouts at this time: No direct person-to-person contact. No groups larger than five people.

“We haven’t gotten together in a while,” Aztec coach Monte Maxwell said. “It’s frustrating for everybody involved.”

But with teams like Carlsbad bringing wall-mounted training dummies into the picture, that could change things.

Some like the idea because wrestlers could work on basics such as grabbing, arm reach, footwork and explosiveness without engaging in one-on-one human contact.

JJ Sandoval, who took over as Bloomfield’s wrestling coach on Tuesday after spending 10 years at Kirtland Central, said high school wrestlers may not be as developed in some regard, such as being weaker on one side of the body, therefore training dummies can be great tool to help one become more well-rounded.

Sandoval also said it’d be a good alternative to shadow wrestling when training solo.

“They can see a potential opponent standing in front of them… wrestling’s a contact sport, so you’ll need somebody to grab onto,” Sandoval said. “It would be beneficial for everyone. It would give them an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise… It’d definitely give them a head start.”

Aztec Athletic Director Bryan Sanders said the two things that would have to be addressed are the price (training dummies range from $1,000 to $2,500) and keeping up on cleaning it after each use.

But despite how “monotonous” using a training dummy can get after a while, Sanders still sees the pluses.

“There’s benefit to all that,” Sanders said.

Maxwell said Aztec has a training dummy in the team’s old training room, and the Tigers could make do with using it rather than automatically forking over money for a new one.

“It’s always nice to have the equipment,” said Maxwell, whose squad looks to start workouts as early as July 6. “Money’s a little tight now on buying new stuff.”

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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