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Parent Information


Grit Winter Season 

What Age Groups Does Grit Provide: 

We have our Intro (4y/o - 1st grade) , Beginners (2nd-5th grade) and Experienced (2-5th grade with prior knowledge of the sport or invitation) groups available for sign up. If you are unsure what group to place your athlete; just email and ask us. We are happy to assist you. 

What are the Start and End Dates of the Winter Season:

Intro will begin January 22nd and end on March 4th. Beginners and Experienced will begin on January 17th and end on March 6th. 


When Do They Practice: 

Intro (4y/o-1st grade) Mondays 6:15-7:00pm 

Beginners (2nd grade - 5th grade) Wednesdays 6:15-7:00pm 

Experienced (2nd grade - 5th grade or by invitation) Monday and Wednesday 7:15-8:00pm 


Where Do they Practice: 

All groups practice at Westfield Middle School (345 W Hoover St, Westfield, IN 46074) - Please enter through Door #3 - The Wrestling Room is located down the main hall through door #3, please take a right before you reach the main gym and boys locker room. The wrestling room is up the stairs and around the corner.


How Much Does It Cost:

Intro and Beginners are $130 and Experiences are $170 for the entire winter season. 


How Do I Sign Up: 

Please follow the link below for Winter Season Registration




Email for more questions


Practice Locations 

All Practices are held at Westfield Middle School (345 W Hoover St, Westfield, IN 46074) - Please enter through Door #3 - The Wrestling Room is located down the main hall through door #3, please take a right before you reach the main gym and boys locker room. The wrestling room is up the stairs and around the corner. 

Wrestler’s Expectations 

  1. Wrestlers should wear wrestling shoes (if you have them), shorts without pockets, and tucked in shirts.

  2. Headgear is optional.  

  3. Shirts are not to be overly baggy. We ask that wrestlers not practice in hooded shirts or sweatshirts.

  4. Please make sure nails are trimmed regularly.

Parent’s Expectations

  1. Please have your wrestler present for the start of each practice 

  2. We ask that parents and/or guardians remain with their wrestler until the start of practice. Parents can stay and watch or they may leave for the duration of the practice but must be present when practice is scheduled to end for pick up.

Tournament Information

  1. Grit Wrestling Academy offer satellite weigh-ins when allowed to do so by the director of designated wrestling tournaments.(dates and times to be passed along to parents).

  2. Parents are responsible to register their athletes for tournament events. 

  3. The Grit Wrestling Academy will attempt to make it to several tournaments in which our members are participating. While our coaches are present at the tournaments they will monitor the brackets, but may need parents' help in notifying coaches when their wrestler will be competing. 

Contact Information


Grit Wrestling Academy


Grit Wrestling Academy provides athletes in Hamilton county and the surrounding areas quality training in the sport of wrestling for ages 4-18. We are Located in Westfield. We are open to all levels of experience. We take those who are brand new to the sport to those that have had experience with wrestling competition. Our main goal is to instill an understanding and confidence in this great sport of wrestling. The building blocks of our academy focus on building work ethic, self esteem, improved physical health and sportsmanship and most of all have fun.

John Kopnisky

Grit Wrestling Academy

Age Levels

  • Intro - Pre-K (4 years old), K and 1st - Understanding of movement, awareness in space and the basics of the sport of wrestling are the major areas that will be stressed with this group. We will be engaging and make the experience fun for this level. 

  • Beginner Group - If you are brand new to wrestling and are in grades 2nd-5th, this is where you will start. Athletes will have the opportunity to move up to the competitive level of practices with a coaches endorsement. Learning the basics and understanding of the sport comes before competition. 

  • Experienced - For those who have prior experience, here is where to look. Grit Academy focuses on learning and understanding the sport of wrestling and raising the “wrestling IQ” of our academy members. 

  • Middle School -  Our focus as an academy will be to work on technique, mental toughness, performance preparation as well as spending time on the mat wrestling and learning how best to compete at a higher level competition. For the fall season this group will focus on getting geared up for the Middle School season in Hamilton County.

Coaches Bio

Coaches Information 

John Kopnisky

  • 1995 ISWA Freestyle State Runner-up

  • 1996 ISWA Freestyle State Champion 

  • 1996 USA Wrestling Freestyle Southwest Regional Champion

  • 1996 3rd Place State Finisher  

  • 3 Time State Qualifier, 2 Time Semi-State Champion, 3 Time Regional Champion, 3 Time Sectional Champion

  • 1997 State Champion 40-0 record and an overall high school record of 125-5 

  • 4 year letterman and 3 year Captain at University of Missouri 

  • 3 Time NCAA qualifier with a 106 wins 

  • 3 Time Recipient of Wrestler of the Year from the University of Missouri 

  • 1999, 2000, 2001 Big 12 Athlete of the Week 

  • 13 years of High School Head Coaching experience at Rock Bridge HS and Carmel HS and assistant coaching at Westfield High School has had the please of having 29 State Qualifiers, 11 State placers and 3 Finalists

  • Head Coach for Keystone Wrestling Club K-12 program for 5 years 

  • Founded and Former President of the Carmel USA Wrestling Club 

Justin Miller

  • 2017 IHSAA State Qualifier

  • Trine University College Wrestler 

  • High School Assistant Coaching 2021-2023

  • Mental Sports Performance Coach