Wrestling: A System for Teaching Wrestling 
Skills to Large Teams

Wrestling: A System for Teaching Wrestling Skills to Large Teams

Dick Moss, Editor, Physical Education Update.com

Teaching wrestling skills to a large team can be challenging. But it can be done and Scot Davis, coach of the Owatonna High School wrestling team is living proof. He is the winningest coach in amateur wrestling history, with over 850 victories to his credit, and was proclaimed the “National Coach of the Year” by Wrestling USA Magazine in 2007.

Coach Davis uses the following system to teach new moves to his large team.

Large Team Teaching System
Assistant coaches are a must when you have a large team. Coach Davis assigns several skills to each assistant coach. It's the job of that assistant to become an expert in those skills, or at least become familiar with them using instructional DVD's etc.

Davis splits his team into smaller groups of 6-10 wrestlers. In the first practice, each group is assigned to an assistant coach, who spends an hour teaching them one of their specialty skills. This is performed during the technique component of practice and that move is taught for two practices in a row.

The groups then switch to another coach for the subsequent two days to learn a different skill. This rotation continues throughout the season.

Monday Review
Every Monday, the team reviews the moves taught in the previous week. The team is divided in half and the review is performed with the lighter weight wrestlers while the heavier athletes are sent to the weight room.  The groups then switch so the heavier weights can review.

Rapid Teaching Pace
Often there are only two weeks between start of the season and the first meet. Using this system, in two weeks , your wrestlers will learn five different moves before the first meet. Their skill-set will increase by five moves every two weeks as the season progresses

Use a Similar System for Smaller Teams
If you're alone with a smaller team and are the sole coach, you can use the a similar schedule with you teaching the entire group a new skill every two practice. Or, you can divide the class in half and teach skills to half the team while the other half is in the weight room.

Reference: Scot Davis, Coaching High School Wrestling DVD, Championship Productions, 2008.   http://www.championshipproductions.com

Photograph is from “Coaching High School Wrestling,” courtesy of Championship Productions.

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