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Wrestling => Coaching and Technique => Topic started by: Snackem on October 06, 2015, 01:00:09 PM

Title: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: Snackem on October 06, 2015, 01:00:09 PM
I'm starting an after school wrestling program at our local elementary school soon, it is NOT a practice and it will be the first exposure that many of these kids have ever had to the sport.  There is no other teams in the area (kids in high school have to dive 40 miles to a neighboring town if they want to wrestle).  I'm looking for ideas on how to introduce kids to the sport.  I want to teach them some basic techniques and how a match works.  Again this isn't a team, but an after school "Educational" opportunity.  Other programs that run concurrently to my wrestling include sewing, cooking, acting, homework help, reading, writing. 

I'm really looking for some fun games to play for a while where the focus is on having fun, while staying in the world of wrestling.  Most of the games I used to use when I coached were mainly conditioning.

What other advice might you have?
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: Snackem on October 06, 2015, 01:06:55 PM
I should add that this will be a once a week class/practice.  Tuesday will be k-2 or 3 and Thursday will be 3 or 4 through 6.
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: brycemus on October 07, 2015, 03:08:49 PM
pick 1 and I mean pick 1 thing to do each session and add in games every so many minutes to keep them interested.  and realize you'll have to break every thing down into a step by step process.  and have them practice each step before going to the next.  that being said kids are smart and if they are interested in something they will pick it up lickety split.

Also kick out parents.  I hate parents.

I loved doing the little kids practices during our College offseason...but it's like herding cats. 
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: fsgrecofolk on October 08, 2015, 12:46:26 PM
Start with terminology.  Just a few minutes showing what a takedown, turn, reversal, and a pin is.   Teach the first takedown of your choice and whatever you do, switch up the tempo, games, or situation often since they have non existent attention spans.
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: Ray Brinzer on October 08, 2015, 01:37:43 PM
I tend to look for common situations with a lot of variations.  Get the kids messing with something first, and then start feeding them solutions.  It's very easy to remember the solution to a problem you actually have, but before you experience the problem the solution is basically just arbitrary information.

One thing I introduce right away is the freestyle situation of shot-and-bodylock.  Put one kid in on a double, on his knees, and have the other kid lock over the top on his chest.  From there, the game is easy:  if the defensive man rolls you, he wins.  If not, you win.  As they get the hang of it, you can show them how only one guy can get his butt under his head, and that's the guy who's probably going to win.  And you can point out solutions to individuals, like releasing with one hand and posting to prevent the roll.  Mix it up by changing to a high crotch, letting the offensive man start on one knee instead of two, giving the defensive man a crotch life rather than a top body lock, etc.

Another routine I use I extrapolated from something Sergei Beloglazov said about an aspect of his training growing up.  Give one of the kids a high single, and then let them work from there:  the offensive man needs to get the takedown to win.  As the kids get used to the game, start pointing out differences between the positions and solutions they can use.  For instance, the defensive man's compromised foot can be inside, between the legs, or outside; the offensive man can lock his hands, wrap on the leg with one hand over and the other hand under, put both hands under, hold at the knee or at the ankle, the defensive man can take a whissor, etc.  I try to balance the tips I give:  give the offensive man ways to finish from the different positions, and the defensive man ways to escape or compromise the offensive man's advantage.

Similar situation:  chest-to-chest, on the knees, arms over and under.  Try to put the opponent on his back, without stepping up.  Variations:  let them step up with one foot or the other, but not both at once; lock hands and keep them locked; one man has double under; start more or less side-to-side, where one man's underhook becomes a seatbelt, etc.

None of these require any experience, and kids don't question how they got into these situations, so you can just run with them.  You can make any of these a regular part of practice, and not exhaust the possibilites for a long time.  In fact, they'll probably push you to improve as a coach; these are suprisingly complex positions, and you may well realize that you don't actually have solutions to some of the problems you see.  The high single practice, particularly, improves balance and fits into a warmup routine well.  Of course, switching sides should be part of all of these.

Along a similar line, there's a nice game I call "shoelaces", where the kids score points by trying to untie each others' shoelaces (no double-knotting).  A better version of this is available as Attack Bandz (, though buying them for a lot of kids would get pricey.

It's fairly easy to come up with other ideas for situations to explore like this; just watch wrestling matches.  Actually studying the situations, so that you can teach strategies and solutions, is where the work is.  But you certainly don't need to master a situation to get started with it (in fact, it's more the other way around).

Throw in some fun exercises like square pushups (, stunts like circus rolls (, and running-around games like sharks and minnows (, and change things as soon as you see the kids starting to get bored, or lose focus.
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: a guest on March 20, 2016, 02:31:16 PM
Any update, Snack?
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: Snackem on April 19, 2016, 04:09:50 PM
Just saw this.  I have about 15 kids each week, well until baseball started then I lost my 3-6 graders.  The kids are really loving it, we have not learned much technique, and I'm discovering that I'm NOT a young kids coach.  Lots of them have a pretty decent double leg, can get into a stance and move around in it, and a few have decent inside stand ups.  We put on a "match night" just before spring break, and just before I lost my older kids so that parents could come and watch.  We had pretty good attendance and lots of parents told me that their son or daughter really loved wrestling and hoped that I would do it next year too.
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: a guest on April 21, 2016, 11:39:06 AM
Title: Re: After school wrestling program for K-6
Post by: a guest on November 12, 2016, 06:04:58 AM
Played a game of Wrestling-Rugby today with the kids:

1. Divide the team into two teams
2. Everyone can only move while on their hands and knees (crawl)
3. Using a nerf football, the teams must make it from one end of the matt to the other. But, they can only pass the ball backwards.
4. A point is scored when the ball reaches the end of the mat. If a wrestler with the ball ends up getting turned to their back, the other team gets the ball.