Coaches Corner #12 - Pre-Season Wrestling - Large Group vs. Small Group

Pre-Season Wrestling - Large Group vs. Small Group

Large Group
Michigan Restrictions - In Michigan coaches are not able to run practices with groups larger than 4 wrestlers so coaches have to be creative in how they run these practices. 
Lowell likes to take this opportunity to have their upperclassman run practices. This give those wrestlers the opportunity to be a leader and also teach basic techniques to the rest of the team.
Utilize the Wrestling Vault - By having student-athletes run practices utilizing the Wrestling Vault is a must. As a coach you can create the practice plans and share them with the team. Upperclassmen or designated wrestlers can then study the practice plan or playlist on the Wrestling Vault and feel prepared when entering the wrestling room. 
Structure - In large group, pre-season workouts Lowell will have their guys going through specific drills and then getting some “volume” wrestling in which means they are able to just wrestle and have fun. 
For Detroit Catholic Central they utilize Large Group workouts to be efficient with their time. It gives them the opportunity to build their culture and lets a hierarchy take place where upperclassmen are taking charge and others are falling into place.

R.J. Boudro loves small groups or 1 on 1 sessions. If he is working in a 1 on 1 situation he will have the wrestler he is working with find a partner to bring to the session so he can coach and watch what is taking place as opposed to having to wrestle with that athlete. He feels like he is able to better his coaching in the pre-season heading into the season. He talks about creating a Win-Win situation where he is getting better as a coach while also bringing along some of his athletes in which they are becoming better wrestlers.
Mitch Hancock does a lot of Small Group work. He uses his #1 nationally ranked wrestler, Manny Rojas, as an example. Manny reaches out to his coaches to set up extra practices so he can prepare for his upcoming tournaments. In this situation Manny is able to prepare for his tournament while bringing up the other 3 wrestlers he is training with. DCC’s coaching staff has the opportunity to get specific in certain wrestling areas/techniques with 4 athletes which is greatly beneficial for everyone involved.

Action Plans - DCC keeps actions plans in a binder where athletes will list their number one and number two takedowns. Small group training allows the opportunity to look over the previous years actions plans and then work on those specific takedowns and find out if they need to update what the athletes best takedown is. You can find an example of an Action Plan on the Wrestling Vault under Coaches Corner > Resources
20 Second Goes - Mitch likes to have his guys do a number of 20 second goes (10 in a row) where they are wrestling live on their feet, to help him figure out what an athlete's best takedown is. If he sees a wrestler having a tendency to go to one takedown over and over he will discuss using that takedown as their number one. 
Structure vs. Fun - Ask your athletes for feedback and criticism to help improve as a coach and practice structure. R.J. tries to run his small group practices as a building block style workout where each of the techniques are building on one another. At the end of the workout he will have his athletes “play wrestle” in the specific positions they were just working on. “Play Wrestling” really makes wrestling fun. Athletes are wrestling hard but having fun with a position and seeing where that position leads them. 

Pre-Season Training - Refer to Coaches Corner #11 for the 8 week training cycle. All of these areas are related to videos on the wrestling vault.
MI Grappler