As the fall season approaches, now is the time to plan on how this “season before THE SEASON” will prepare you to reach your ultimate goals for this year. Every wrestler brings in different goals, responsibilities, and needs during the off season. The wrestler, (and parents and coaches), needs to make a plan that will help that particular wrestler reach their highest potential at the right time. It really comes down to three options: Wrestle, Play a fall sport, or rest. A wrestler can improve while doing any of the three.
WRESTLE and TRAIN – Fall training serves two purposes for those who choose to wrestle, training to compete during fall or training to prepare for the upcoming wrestling season.
Wrestlers Training for Fall Competitions:
*Usually national, high level tournaments (Super 32 or Asics Preseason Nationals)
*High intensity drilling and wrestling culminating in the wrestler being combat ready for tournaments.
*Wrestlers tend to be year-round wrestlers and fall is considered the “start” of their season.
Wrestlers Training for the Upcoming wrestling Season:
*Wrestlers set their sights on long term goals of successful End-of-season Tournament placements.
*Focus on training consistently with a concentration on
-adding to their technical arsenal
-drilling moves repetitively
-trying new technique during live situations.
*Tend to have taken some time off during the spring or summer, and now it is time to focus back in on their goals for the upcoming season.
PLAY A FALL SPORT – Fall sports are a great way to stay competitive and still train your body in different ways. There are overlaps in all sports and certain aspects will help your wrestling. Tackling in football, balance and endurance in soccer, and endurance in cross country are all things that can be used in wrestling.
During the fall sports season, find ways to prepare yourself for the upcoming wrestling season.
*Use your sport to improve yourself (tackling, endurance, balance) for wrestling
*Strength Train 2-3 times a week at strategic times between competitions.
*If possible, get mat time 1-2 times a week with drilling as a focus.
*Work on your leadership abilities and work ethic throughout the fall season.
REST and IMPROVE – A break from the rigors of training is NOT a break from improving your wrestling.
If a wrestler takes a break from the mat, they need to:
*Strength and Agility Train consistently
*Work on different wrestling styles (Grappling, Freestyle, Greco) to keep wrestling fun and fresh
*Play another Sport (see top of article)
Every wrestler is different and must find what works to make you the best you can be. Personally, during high school, I found that running cross country and strength training during the fall gave me the “break” I needed to be energized and excited about the upcoming wrestling season. My season would last through the State tournament, Freestyle and Greco tournaments in the spring, camps in early June, and finish with a trip to Cadet and/or Junior Nationals at the end of July. What you do in the fall should work for YOU and YOUR GOALS.
Whatever your plan, always ask, “Am I a better wrestler today than I was yesterday?”