Daily Practice Lesson Plan Models

by Bill Welker, EdD (Reprinted by Permission)

   The following are examples of three daily practice plans developed for the wrestlers.  They are models illustrating sample plans for preseason, in-season, and activities practices.

Preseason Practice Model         

   Keep in mind, preseason practices should stress getting the wrestlers in competitive condition.  Emphasis should be placed on drill work and the instruction of moves (old and New).  Below is a typical preseason practice model:

  1. Starting Practice: Flexibility/Conditioning Exercises (10 to 15 minutes)
    _____ A.  Neck Circles and Four-Way Neck Exercises
    _____ B.  Arm Circles

    _____ C. Wrist and Ankle Circles.

    _____ D.  Stomach Circles
_____ E.  Leg Stretches

    _____ F.  Ankle Circles

    _____ G.  Bridging (side to side/backward & forward)

    _____ H.  Push-ups

    _____ I.  Run and Front Roll Intervals

  1. Wrestling Drill Work (15 minutes)
    _____ A. Penetration Drill

    _____ B.  Push-Pull Drill
_____ C.  Spin Drill to Snap-Down Drill

    _____ D.  Hip Heist Drill
III. Teach New Move or Review Move (15 minutes)
A. Utilize step-by-step Analysis of Moves so wrestlers understand why  

         and how they work.

         _____ 1. Fireman’s Carry Instruction

         _____ 2. Standing Peterson Roll Instruction

         _____ 3. Crossface-Cradle Instruction 

  1. Wrestling Workout Session (30 minutes)
    _____ A.  Neutral Position (60% of Wrestling Workout Session)
    _____ B.  Starting in Referee's Position: Offensive and Defensive 

                       Position (40% of Wrestling Workout Session)
_____ C. If group work is needed due to mat space, each group would workout 

                      for 15 minutes.  While one group is working out the other group could

                      be running, lifting weights, climbing ropes, etc.
V. Finishing Practice: Conditioning Exercises (10 to 15 minutes)
_____ A. Run for 10 minutes (sprint and jog intervals) or Jump Rope

     _____ B. Strength Exercises (Sit ups, Push ups, Pull ups on bar, etc.)

     _____ C. Chalk talk as wrestlers cool down

In-Season Practice Model

     The most important phase of in-season practices are the workout sessions.  The drill work session should place emphasis on neutral, offensive and defensive areas based on “scouting” reports.  During this point in the season, the new or review move instruction phase is virtually nonexistent unless there is an important maneuver that needs to be reviewed.  Below is a model in-season lesson plan scheme that will effectively keep your wrestlers constantly ready for competitive action.

  1. Starting Practice: Flexibility/Conditioning Exercises (10 to 15 minutes)
    _____ A.  Neck Circles and Four-Way Neck Exercises
    _____ B.  Arm Circles

     _____ C. Wrist and Ankle Circles.

     _____ D.  Stomach Circles
_____ E.  Leg Stretches

     _____ F.  Ankle Circles

     _____ G.  Bridging (side to side/backward & forward)

     _____ H.  Push-ups

     ______ I.  Run and Front Roll Intervals 

  1. Wrestling Drill Work (10 minutes)
    _____ A. Sprawl Drill

     _____ B.  Ankle-waist Drill on whistle
_____ C.  Spin Drill to Snap-Down Drill

     _____ D.  Stand-up (hand control) Drill
IV. Wrestling Workout Session (60 minutes)
_____ A.  Neutral Position (50% of time)
_____ B.  Starting in Referee's Position: Offensive and Defensive

                       Position (50% of time)

      _____ C.  If group work is needed due to mat space, each group would workout

                       for 30 minutes.  While one group is working out the other group could

                       be running, lifting weights, climbing ropes, etc.

 (Note: At this point in the season, you can incorporate specialized workouts: chain wrestling, situation wrestling, round-robin wrestling, and blindfold wrestling illustrated in chapter 9 of The Wrestling Drill Book, 2E.)
V. Finishing Practice: Conditioning Exercises (10 to 15 minutes)
_____ A. Run for 10 minutes (sprint and jog intervals) or Jump Rope

         _____ B. Strength Exercises (Sit ups, Push ups, Pull ups on bar, etc.)

         _____ C. Chalk talk as wrestlers cool down

Activities Practice Model

     As previously mentioned, sometimes during midseason the wrestlers seem to be in a “rut.”  This staleness may be due to the boredom of repetition from practice to practice.  Thus, you would be wise to devise an “activities” day where the wrestlers can have competitive fun.  Below is a model of an activities day practice:

  1. Starting Practice: Flexibility Exercises (5 minutes)
    _____ A.  Neck Circles and Four-Way Neck Exercises
    _____ B.  Arm Circles

     _____ C. Wrist and Ankle Circles.

     _____ D.  Stomach Circles
_____ E.  Leg Stretches

     _____ F.  Ankle Circles

  1. Activities Competition (30 mintes)

     Directions: Divide the wrestlers into partners who are evenly matched by weight class and wrestling ability.  The wrestler who scores the most points performing the

activities wins.

     ____ A. The Knee Slap            

     _____ B.  Foot Tag 

     _____ C.  The Quick Stand

     _____ D.  The Double-Cradle Fight

(Note: All of the above game-activities can be found in chapter 8 of The Wrestling Drill Book, 2E.)

III. Early Dismissal 

      _____ A.  The coach sends the wrestlers home after enjoying a short

                       “change of pace” practice.

     The above models will assist you in developing your own practice plans.  Of course, you may need to make variations to your practice plans to fit the specific needs and ability levels of your wrestlers.  The important point is that you create practice plans which will be of the most benefit to your squad.

About the Author: An award-winning writer and one of the country’s foremost authorities on Folkstyle wrestling, Dr. Bill Welker has published a national best-seller: The Wrestling Drill Book.  Most recently, his novel, A Wrestler’s Curse, was declared the winner in the Sports and Personal Growth Categories by the Beverly Hills Book Awards judges.  

     A former Pennsylvania State Champion, Dr. Welker is a member of five wrestling halls of fame, including the Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame (West Virginia Chapter).  He has been named twice as the National Wrestling Sportswriter of the Year by Wrestling USA Magazine.

     Dr. Bill Welker’s books can be purchased on Amazon.com.