How to Coach High School Wrestling

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Wrestling at the high school level varies in popularity, depending on your geographic location. In the Midwest and South, there are few sports bigger for high school athletes than wrestling. However, your ability to coach young athletes on the precision of wrestling will be scrutinized no matter where you coach in the country.

Lead Your High School Wrestling Team

  • Mix freshman, junior varsity and varsity teams together to create a competitive atmosphere in your program. Preseason training sessions, using all wrestlers in your school, allow you to assess available talent while challenging established team members to work harder to keep their positions.

  • Utilize a conditioning program that emphasizes power lifting and extensive stretching exercise. Power lifting, such as squats and leg presses, give your wrestlers the strength to take down opponents. Stretching is often overlooked, but flexibility is important for wrestlers, as they need the ability to get out of holds.

  • Conduct daily weigh-ins and evaluations of wrestlers to coach them effectively. Regular weigh-ins allow you to consistently stay abreast of keeping wrestlers in their weight classes.

  • Spend a few minutes after the weigh-ins to coach individual wrestlers on their areas of weakness in practice.

  • Work on finishing moves with each wrestler on your team. During a wrestling match, your team members will need to be able to pin or push an opponent out of the circle to win. The key to a good finishing move is to gain leverage and use lower body strength to overpower an opponent.

  • Hand out awards and certificates to players for specific achievements. In addition to the traditional varsity letter, you can give tangible recognition for winning streaks or significant improvement from the beginning of the season.

  • Promote your high school wrestling team on a national level using the Internet. You can draw in college recruiters and wrestling fans who are interested in following your program's rise to the top. The National Collegiate Wrestling Association has a registration system for high school wrestling teams in all 50 states (see Resources below).

Tips & Warnings

  • Consult with other high school coaches to develop proper nutritional values in young wrestlers. A major issue for high school and college wrestlers is fatigue caused by following poor diets in an effort to make their weight class. Hold sessions on proper nutrition and eating habits.

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