Updated: April 14, 2023

By Eric Everard

Coach Nolan Baker, a 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier (placing fifth), demonstrates how he set up and finished a “sag” headlock at all levels and styles of wrestling (Greco-Roman, freestyle and folkstyle).

Eric Everard, head coach for girls wrestling at Vista Ridge High School, provided the content. Assisting Nolan is Gabriel “Spazz” Manore, the Alpha Wolf team captain who has been accepted to Western Colorado after he graduates from Vista Ridge High School in May, 2023.

1. Nolan secures an over-under position, common in Greco-Roman, where his right arm is under his opponent’s left arm and the opposite is true for his left arm over his opponent’s right arm on the other side.

2. Nolan will bait his opponent to pummel to his right side underhook by elevating his right elbow, which is over emphasized in this picture for demonstration. During a match, Nolan will elevate his right elbow only slightly for his opponent to believe they are gaining an advantage when they pummel withtheir left arm to gain the under-hook positionon both sides. 

3. Nolan demonstrates a slight elevation of his right elbow that encourages his
opponent to pummel. Nolan prefers to throw a sag headlock with his right arm, which is why he starts this action from an under-hook with his right arm.


4. As his opponent pummels, Nolan will simply pivot both of his toes and looks in the direction he intends to throw his opponent with the sag headlock. There is no step and his right shoulder sinks below his opponent’s chin with the pivot of his toes and level change. 

5. Nolan pivots on his toes and rotates his right hip past his opponent and in the same direction he is looking. His right arm does not grab the head. Nolan
simply punches through and past his opponent, as if he was punching
someone with his right hand who was standing behind his opponent.

6. A common counter for an opponent being thrown is to try and roll through. Nolan demonstrates how he turns his hips to the mat, stays off his knees and on his toes, as he uses his forehead on the mat to prevent his opponent from rolling through. Nolan did not land this way and landed on his right hip. However, he is prepared to hip heist into this position and work towards pinning his opponent. 

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