Thursday, May 05, 2011

After 23 years, prep wrestling is finally getting (a little) bigger - Prep Rally - High School Blog - Yahoo! Sports

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has decided, after several years of debate, to modify the existing wrestling weight classes, to better reflect the nationwide trend of larger athletes.
10 of the 14 weight classes currently used in high school wrestling will be revised slightly upwards, with only the 142, 152 and 160-pound classes and the heavyweight 285-pound division remaining as they are.
The new weight classes are:
  • 106 
  • 113 
  • 120 
  • 126 
  • 132 
  • 138 
  • 145 
  • 152 
  • 160 
  • 170 
  • 182 
  • 195 
  • 220 
  • 285 
Also new are some rules changes, which include figure fours around the head (now always illegal), the demarcation for out of bounds (the mat boundary line is now in bounds, not out), and choice of position after second injury timeout.

Monday, April 18, 2011

OTL: The Finish Line - ESPN Video - ESPN

Amazing story of San Francisco University High School cross country coach Jim Tracy, and the diligence with which his team fought to earn him a record 8th state title.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Coach's Column with Eric Orton - Mountain Bike Racing News

I've previously worked informally on visualization with my wrestlers, but nothing really long-term or planned. Still, that doesn't diminish my belief that visualization, along with goal articulation, can help take wrestlers from good to great, and that's the premise of this article from Mountain Bike Racing News. According to the article's author, Eric Orton,
"Visualization works because it has a measurable, physiological effect on our body. In fact, neurologically, your body can't tell the difference between a 'real' experience, and a vividly imagined one. You consciously know one experience is real and the other is imagined, but at the cellular level, your body can't tell the difference."
For a sport like wrestling, rooted in traditions and archaic training methods, creative approaches to changing achievement levels may be judged dubiously. But it's about time our group started changing levels.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Competition Warm-Up Routine by Cary Kolat

I'm a big advocate of long warmup routines, and here Cary Kolat articulates the same thoughts, along with the notion of how difficult 1st round matches can be. And while I may argue about the order, I'm not a world medalist, 2-time NCAA champion, or 4-time state champion. Excerpted, it is:

Warm-Up Routine
You should be stretching as you are going through the routine
  • Jog/Tumble: 3 minutes
  • Clearing Ties: 2 minutes
  • 20-20-20: High pace quick motions (push-ups, sit-ups, squats)
  • Finishing Shots: 3 minutes (opponent 70% fight)
  • 20-20-20: High pace quick motions (push-ups, sit-ups, squats)
  • Sprints: 1:30 minute  (sprint – bounce – sprint – bounce – etc.)
  • Escapes/Reversals: 2 minutes
  • 20-20-20: High pace quick motions
  • Escapes to take down: 3 minutes
  • Jog: 1 minute
  • Hand Fight: 3 minutes (:30 second – bounce)
  • Sprints: 1 minute
  • Live Wrestling: 5 minutes (feet, don’t stalemate more than 10 seconds, keep moving)
  • 10-10-10: High pace quick motions (push-ups, sit-ups, squats)
  • Shadow wrestling: 2 minutes (1 minute - :30 seconds break, lots of motion)
  • Stretch

Thursday, January 28, 2010

2009 Annual Conference: Michigan Wrestling Association

Attended the Michigan Wrestling Association's annual conference again, held at the Comfort Inn Conference Center in Mount Pleasant on November 6, 2009. Later went for a great lunch at O'Kelly's, a wrestling-friendly sports bar with plenty of CMU wrestling photos and articles on display.

The Coach of the Year breakdowns include:

Tim Roberts (Dundee):
  • Communication: One of Roberts' assets is communication, where somehow kids want to succeed for him. Roberts tries hard to not yell or be negative, he tries to help kids be men, not 'turdbags' (his word).
  • Effort: Try to get just a little more work out of athletes.
  • Attention Span: Kids don't respond the way we used to and aren't motivated by traditional means. We need to keep it positive to keep kids from quitting.
Don Rhinehart (Rockford):
  • Likes Roberts' use of 'turd:' It smells and it just lays there.
  • Comfortable with retirement transition due to the program's hiring of Brian Richardson, the former assistant coach.
  • Rhinehart has been 'soaking' from Michigan wrestling coaches for years, whether observations at a tournament, or attendance at conferences.
  • Success allowed for increased numbers, and success came from being positive with kids.
  • Never wrestled, came from service background, was a Military Police officer in the Army. Became assistant wrestling coach out of need for a job.
  • Key to coaching is to get kids to buy into program.
  • Doesn't want year-round wrestlers, allows for hunger.
  • Keeps it simple: double and single legs, and sit-outs: 'Get to your feet, or get to your seat.'
  • Rockford wrestle-offs take place on first day for competition, complete with wrestling officials and fans. This allows for athletes to begin to visualize how dual meets are conducted.
Joe Wood (Freestyle and Greco-Roman):
  • Wood covered the rules changes and differences from the traditional freestyle and Greco of our youth:
    • Three 2 minute periods, must win two.
    • Clinch rules.
    • One 5-point throw, or two 3-point throws in a period ends the period.
  • Drilling for Team Michigan: Everything is done in sets of 3, all takedowns transition to back exposure.
It's notable the number of example coaches of Rhinehart's generation who never wrestled, but became successful wrestling coaches. And now the inverse is true, where wrestling jobs are scarce, especially head coaching positions.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twitter as a coaching tool?

I have been pretty ambivalent about Twitter since I initially heard about it, concluding that I don't really care to know about what people are doing at such a micro amount to follow along with anyone's news. It's certainly now newsworthy, considering one can hardly open a web news page without mention of Twitter, whether about the product itself, or the celebrities who slavishly keep us informed. Yet, I'm beginning to realize that, coupled with my smartphone, it may be a means for keeping fans and parents informed about the wrestling results of our athletes. As an experiment, I've created an account, accumulated a small amount of followers, but have yet to contribute anything. Now that I'm registered, I've even had Twitter users email me regarding using Twitter as a coaching tool. We shall see how the next season finds us working with this innovation, despite my reservations.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Winter Training

I organized a winter mountain bike trip to Ionia State Recreation Area, as our training over the holiday break was sporadically-attended and -scheduled. The last time I rode in the snow it was a terrific workout, and the trails were passable. We aborted the trip on this occasion, due to the inpassability of the crusty, deep snow. Nevertheless, despite the frigid temperatures and the trail conditions, the sun was shining and our workout was arrived at by running and pushing our bikes back to the van. And, judging by the turnout of 2 wrestlers in the cold and snow, there will be more bike events in the spring, summer, and fall.