Kid Wrestling Practice Tips

Kids attention spans are short. Keep them moving into something new to keep them engaged. For a 60 minute practice, change direction every 10 minutes.

  1. 10 minutes of technique
  2. 10 minutes of live or conditioning
  3. 10 minutes of drilling
  4. 5 minutes of water break, drinking water is important to safety. It also helps the wrestlers work harder.
  5. 10 minutes of technique
  6. 5 minutes or drilling
  7. 10 minutes of live wrestling
  8. 5 to 10 minutes of games

Now if you are even mildly interested in math you noted there are more than 60 minutes accounted for above. Always prepare for more time than you think you have. It’s easier to drop something that you don’t have time for than to think up something on the fly. Always end with something fun, something that will make them want to come back for more next practice.

  1. 10 minutes of game conditioning
  2. 5 minutes of technique
  3. 5 minutes of drilling
  4. 5 minute of hard conditioning
  5. 5 minutes of water break, drinking water is important to safety. It also helps the wrestlers work harder.
  6. 10 minutes of technique
  7. 5 minutes or drilling
  8. 10 minutes of live wrestling
  9. 5 to 10 minutes of games

The schedule above is another approach that I use to get back in control of practice. Notice the shorter time intervals and starting with some fun conditioning. The shorter times are because kids have very short attention spans and it’s easier to keep them engaged than to try to win them back after they have lost interest. Sure, you can yell louder or attempt to intimidate them back into working. If you find yourself falling into this habit ask yourself these questions. Do I want to be treated this way? Do I respond to this sort of motivating? Do I want my child treated this way? The other adjustment is starting with some conditioning. This burns off some of the energy built up during the school and allows the wrestlers to focus during the technique session.

Here are some pointers for keeping practice moving in a positive direction. Remember you are working with kids; not soldiers, college or Olympic athletes.

  1. Use short learning sessions.
  2. Watch for boredom or loss of interest. It’s not a lack of respect for you, it’s just being 8 years old.
  3. Always have a new activity to re-engage the kids.
  4. Include water breaks, drinking water during practice is a safety issue. Not a toughness issue.
  5. Use the water break to refocus on the rest of practice. This can be hard, because parent or other coaches may see this as a time to chat about concerns or the weather.
  6. Have a written plan for each practice. This shows parents you are prepared. It allows you to hand off parts of practice to other coaches.
  7. Include other coaches and parents. You are showing singles, doubles and the half nelson to 8 years olds. Most up right bipeds can step in and help the kids or offer praise to motivate them.
  8. Be silly when you feel angry. People avoid unpleasant situations and gravitate towards situations that make them laugh.

Consider taking a coaching class, reading a coaching text, attending a clinic and getting a USA Wrestling certification. No one has all the answers and these experiences will give you skills and confidence.

Remind wrestlers and parents to shower or bath after practice and competition. The less everyone has to deal with rashes, skin bumps and itches the better.

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