Wrestling Coaches - Practice Question??

scbuckeye99

Active member
Been in this business going on year 17 now and am always trying to see if doing something different works to better our practices and thus better our results. For the last oh 16 seasons or so I've pretty much always structured my practice schedule from 4:15 pm to 6:45 pm during November, December, January and then scaled it down to 4:15 to 6:15 in Feb (usually an hour during the week of state)

This season we've decided to see if scaling it down to 4 pm to 6 pm November through Feb will make a difference for the better or not.

I should note our kids get out of school at 3:45 each day (no school on Fridays for the immediate future due to covid).

Rational for the change: To see if reducing the amount of time helps to retain the average or not so great kid throughout the season. The coaching staff is committed to making practices more stream line (get in, get stretched / warmed up, instruct, go live, warm / cool down, weight out, get out).

I guess what I'm asking is is what is in your mind the "ideal" amount of practice time in any given situation. Is 2 and a half hours over kill? is 2 hours too much as well??

The school next door to us is a state power and they only go for about 90 minutes each day (but their kids train year round).
 

Crossface86

New member
It isn't how long you practice, but rather how productive you are with that time. My college practices were 90 minutes tops, though we did all of our lifting and conditioning on our own. Even now, we run our practices for 2 hours, but I think it's probably 30 minutes too long. I'm seeing more and more that coaches are making practices shorter, but more intense. That seems to keep the kids motivated without getting burned-out. Plus, take a look at the energy level and motivation of your kids in that last 30 minutes of a 2 1/2 or 3 hour practice and try to convince yourself that they are effective learners at that point.
 

darthmalice

Well-known member
Have you tried candy? Sorry, couldn't help it. Was thinking about Scary movie with dude that played the priest ( James Wood).
 

grizzly22

Member
We practiced from about 2:45 to 4-4:15. Our practices were intense. We would drill for about 15-20 minutes, and go live the rest of the time with top/bottom, someone deep in on a shot etc. We also trained in the evenings as well for an hour or so.
 

93 red ls

Well-known member
we used to practice 2.5 hours with 30 mins of weight lifting.

Over time I learned that almost 3 hours a day the kids lost interest and end of practices were getting tough to keep undivided attention ect ect
(mind you I took over a program that had 2 kids and they only practiced 2 days a week and 1 tournament a month)

Last year we had 1 hour and 45 min practices with about 30 mins of lifting 2/3 days a week. Kids are/were engaged and focused 1000% better knowing they had a certain amount of time to have everything accomplished. And still get a lift in to end the day. Lifting as odd as it sounds kept me getting kids from football so we lift 3+ days a weeks as part of our "regular practice routine"
 

cruiser_96

Well-known member
2 hour practices max. dont run. dont condition. minimal live. drill em like animals and you will be better,
My kids hated me for this. I sensed it. And I caved every now and again. The one thing I liked (HA! Of COURSE I liked it) was we varied the way we drilled...three-man groups, 4-man lines (person A is up, three peopl are in front of him. Hit a double leg with set-up A on the first guy, double leg with set up B with the second guy, double leg, any set-up, finish to a half nelson), individual partners going through the various progressions, etc.

It takes a few tries to get it right, but by Thanksgiving, we are hitting on all cylinders. Use drilling as conditioning; sprinkle in some circuit/cross-fit training to mix it up. And then hit the showers because cleanliness is next to godliness.

Oh! And monkey rolls. Can't forget those. Started challenging the guys every now and again with starting the clock at 0:00 and counting up. Once had group last six minutes. ...to which I screamed, "It ain't the six minutes! It's what happens in thosse six minutes!!!" They didn't get the reference. I failed as a coach.
 

SCC

Active member
Last year we had 1 hour and 45 min practices with about 30 mins of lifting 2/3 days a week. Kids are/were engaged and focused 1000% better knowing they had a certain amount of time to have everything accomplished. And still get a lift in to end the day. Lifting as odd as it sounds kept me getting kids from football so we lift 3+ days a weeks as part of our "regular practice routine"
Strength training is essential to any successful program. But I think it's pretty cool that you keep the football team engaged with it. Good point to know.

I always liked the 2.5 hours for the first 3-4 weeks, but maybe it really varies. I've seen rooms with everything from first years to kids with 8+ years experience. They eventually get separated to different practices, but the long practices let you do a lot for both extremes.
 
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