Wrestling

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  • Pre-season Philosophy and Conditioning Program

     To properly develop strength and conditioning for wrestling, you need to mimic the demands of the sport. That means that your strength and conditioning program needs to train your muscles, cardiovascular system and muscular energy system in the way that they will be challenged during a wrestling match.


    So what are the elements of strength and conditioning that are vital to wrestling success? First, it is important to understand that wrestling is not an endurance (or aerobic) sport. It is a series of anaerobic activities, with peaks and valleys in the level of intensity. During a wrestling match, there are points of high energy exertion and activity, and points of more controlled action.


    Stalking an opponent while staying in good position or riding tough on top are examples of controlled action. Scrambles, shooting and finishing takedowns and chain wrestling from the bottom to score an escape or reversal represent moments of high energy output and increased activity.

     

    So to properly train for wrestling, conditioning programs include sprint workouts and circuit training that have prolonged, continuous action. They also contain sections of high intensity, medium intensity, and incorporate multiple muscle groups and movements.


    Exercises that develop power are also critical to wrestling. Power is being able to produce force with velocity, which is a big part of explosive moves like throws and driving opponents to the mat with takedowns like the double leg. Incorporating explosive movements like plyometric exercises or throwing a throwing dummy into circuit training will develop your power in a partially fatigued state, much like you will have to do in the third period.


    It is vital to use strength and resistance training (weight lifting) to develop the right muscles. Being able to bench press a lot is impressive, but it does not translate into strength crucial to wrestling. Hip/core strength and strength of the “pulling” muscles of the back are what wrestlers need the most. Squats, pull-ups, rows and exercises that develop the trunk and hips are great for wrestling. Exercises that work the opposing muscles (shoulders, chest, triceps, etc.) should be included to ensure full-body development and avoid injury, but the focus needs to be on the muscles needed most in wrestling.


    Flexibility, agility and body control are other important pieces of a wrestling strength and conditioning program. Gymnastics exercises like handsprings and cartwheels teach you how to control your body and develop stabilizing muscles. Being strong in every possible position and being able to contort your body is crucial to wrestling, especially in scramble positions and high-intensity actions like finishing takedowns.


    Below are two workouts wrestlers can use to develop strength and conditioning that will transfer well to the mat. Use workout 1 on one day, then workout 2 the next and keep alternating.

    1) Roadwork circuit: 2 mile (3200 meter) run with interval sprinting and exercises (use 400-meter track).
     Lap 1: Sprint 100 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 clap or standard push-ups
     Lap 2: Sprint 40 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 jump squats
     Lap 3: Sprint 100 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 sit-ups
     Lap 4: Sprint 40 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 leap frogs
     Lap 5: Sprint 70 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 40 fence hoppers
     Lap 6: Sprint 50 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 15 fingertip or standard push-ups
     Lap 7: Sprint 70 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 mountain climbers
     Lap 8: Sprint 50 meters, jog rest of lap, then do 25 squat thrusts
     Walk one lap to cool down


    2) Sprint ladders & exercise circuit: Series of sprints followed by circuit of exercises performed for a certain amount of time each.
     Sprint: 400m, 20 sec rest
     Sprint: 200m, 20 sec rest
     Sprint: 100m, 15 Sec rest
     Sprint 50m, 10 sec rest
     Sprint 50m, 10 sec rest
     Sprint: 100m, 15 Sec rest
     Sprint: 200m, 20 sec rest
     Sprint: 400m, 30 sec rest
     Sprint: 400m, 20 sec rest
     Sprint: 200m, 20 sec rest
     Sprint: 100m, 15 Sec rest
     Sprint 50m, 10 sec rest
     Exercise circuit: Perform each exercise in succession for 30 seconds each with five seconds rest in between exercises. Complete as many good repetitions of each exercise as possible.
    Hip heists Jump rope
    Crunches Push-ups
    Sit-throughs Lunges
    V-ups knee drops

     

    Two major keys to these and any wrestling strength and conditioning workouts are intensity and variation. To be effective and properly simulate (and thus train for) wrestling, you must push the pace, completing sprints as quickly as possible and moving quickly (while using proper technique) through all exercises.


    Finally, it is important to vary your workouts. Doing the same circuit over and over will lead to plateauing and physical/athletic develop will stall. In order to combat this, change the workouts by adjusting sprint lengths and types, including new and different exercises, and incorporating equipment such as kettlebells, throwing dummies or jump ropes.


    Credit for these recommendations goes to Matthew Volpe, Connecticut H.S. Wrestling Examiner

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  • The Parent-Coach Relationship: A Responsible Approach

    If you are interested in fostering a positive relationship with your son or daughter’s coach this season consider:


    1. Recognize the Coach’s Commitment: Coaches log many hours of preparation beyond the time spent at practices and matches. And you’d better believe we are not in it for the money, please try and remember this whenever things go awry during the season.

    2. Make Early, Positive Contact: As soon as the season begins or better yet learn who your child’s coach/coaches are going to be, introduce yourself, let them know you want your child enjoy the best possible experience, and offer to assist the coaches in any way you’re qualified. Having a ‘Meet and Greet’ early and establishing a positive relationship will make conversation easier if an issue arises during the season.

    3. Fill the Coaches and Kids Emotional Tank: When coaches are doing something you like, let them and your child know about it. Coaching is a stressful job, and many coaches only hear from parents when they decide to voice a complaint. Kids also need an affirmation that they are doing good things and when it seems they are truly trying to ‘Do their best’ they should hear it from YOU. A coach and athlete with a full emotional tank will always do a better job.

    4. Refrain from Instructing During a Match or Practice: Your child is trying to concentrate amid the chaotic, fast-moving action during practice or a match, as well as doing what the coaches asks of him or her. A parent yelling out instructions hardly ever helps. More often than not, it confuses the child, adds pressure and goes against the coaches’ instruction, which can undermine the player-coach relationship, the player-parent relationship, and the parent-coach relationship.

    5. Observe a “Cooling Off” Period: Wait to talk to the coach about something you are upset about for at least 24 hours. Emotions can get so hot, that it’s often better and more productive to wait a day before contacting the coach/coaches. This also gives you time to consider exactly what to say to the coach/coaches, and how to say it. You may need to write and even rehearse what you want to say until it sounds just the way you want it to.

    Addressing Issues
    The relationship between coaches, parents and athletes are like any other relationship: they have their ups and downs. And there are situations that you or your athlete needs to address with the coach/coaches. How you address the issue is just as important as resolving the issue itself. Practice a responsible approach even as you address these issues.

    Empowering You Child to Speak
    Before you as the parent intervene, make sure you’ve asked yourself, “Is this something my child should do for his or herself?”
    There are several positives to having your athlete, rather than you, speak directly to the coach. The biggest plus here is that this can be an empowering experience for a child, even if they do not get the results they seek.
    Summoning the courage to talk to the coach can be a great life lesson. Your athlete may gain important experiences about dealing with people above them in the power structure, at school or in future jobs, by discussing their issue with the coach/coaches on their own.

    When You, The Parent, Need to Intervene
    We hope that you don’t find yourself in a situation where you, as a responsible parent, need to intervene. But youth wrestling has no place for a coach who verbally or physically intimidates his or her athletes.
    We encourage you to talk with your young athlete before intervening. If your athlete is against the idea, but you believe the situation demands that you intervene, tell your athlete something along the lines of, “I understand that you don’t want me to talk to your coach, but I believe that this is so important that I must do it.”

    How to Approach the Coach
    It is best to gain control of yourself and make sure you know exactly what you want to say and need to say. Use a “cooling off” period to collect your thoughts if need be. Pick a time and place where only the coach/coaches can hear you-not during a match or practice, and not where you might be overhead, which could make either party defensive. Be prepared to support your assertions with specific examples. Then listen carefully to what the coach/coaches say in return. If the results are unsatisfactory, you may need to go higher up in the organization, and be open with the coach that this is your planned next step.
    Even though intervening feels uncomfortable, remember that you are not just standing up for your athlete, but for all other children that wrestle on the team, or who might be on the team in future seasons. Given certain situations, it’s simply the right thing to do.


    Your Coaches and the Staff of Lewis-Palmer Middle School are looking forward to having you and your athlete as part of the wrestling team!

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