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Youth Wrestling

Wrestling Games-Kids

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Do you want to keep your wrestlers engaged? If you answered yes, than my answer to you, is they need to have FUN!  There’s plenty of time for instruction and move breakdown.  Wrestling is a tough sport, so if there’s a moment in practice where you can make it fun, than you should jump at the chance.

 

2019 WATCHUNG HILLS SENDS 5 WRESTLERS TO THE STATES IN ATLANTIC CITY.

 

 Wrestling Games-Kids

 

Wrestling games-kids

Wrestling games-kids

AT HOME WRESTLING WORKOUT

The focus is to keep youth wrestlers happy on the mat, but I do play these games with my High School team.  Nothing wrong with taking a break from the grind that comes with wrestling season.

 

POWER BALL

 

Equipment: Wrestling mat, 1 kick ball 6-12″, 2 garbage pails aprox 20 gal

 

Age: 8 years & up ( 3rd grade & up)

 

  • Place 1 pail on opposite sides of the room in diagonal corners.

 

  • Object of the game is to put the ball in the pail of the other team.

 

  • Players may shoot the ball, but more often than not the ball will bounce out.  Often players need to shoot from close range or place the ball into the pail.

 

  • Players may strip the ball out of another players hand.

 

  • If a player is lifted off the mat when holding the ball, their team loses possession.  As soon as both feet are off the mat, possession is lost.

 

Note: Tackling is not allowed.  Only a lift or strip of the ball.

 

TIP: MOST WRESTLING COACHES HAVE THE KIDS DO A WARM UP, STRETCH, MOVE BREAKDOWN/DRILLS, LIVE WRESTLING AND CARDIO.  MOST YOUTH WRESTLERS CAN’T WAIT TO GET TO LIVE WRESTLING.  LET THEM GO LIVE BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING ELSE!  THEY WON’T BE THINKING ABOUT GOING LIVE WHILE YOUR TEACHING THEM A NEW MOVE AND THEY’RE MORE LIKELY TO BE QUIETER.

 

SUMO

 

Equipment: Wrestling Mat & Circle

 

Ages: 5 & up  (K & up)

 

  • Line up your wrestlers in weight class order.  Lightest to Heaviest.

 

  • Two lightest wrestlers enter the circle first.

 

  • Object is to push your opponent out of the circle first or make their knee, hand or any other part of their body touch the mat first.

 

Note: A wrestler is out even if only part of their body is out of the circle.  For example, if half of the left foot steps out of the circle that wrestler is eliminated.

 

Option: Make two teams.  Losing team has 30 push-ups or losing team must mop the mats after practice.  Be creative!

 

LEG LOCK

 

Equipment: Mat only

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

  • No take downs, but it may happen by accident.

 

  • If you lock your hands around one of your opponents legs or waist you earn a point and start again.

 

  • Play to 5 points and than look for a new partner.

 

TOE TOUCH

 

Equipment: Mat only

 

Ages: 4 & up (Pre-K & up)

 

  • Object of the game is to touch your opponents toe (foot) before they touch yours.

 

  • Play to 5 points and than look for another opponent.

 

My Style of toe touch is a 1 v 1, but you can CLICK HERE to check out a different version.

 

LEG SLAP

 

Equipment: Mat

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

  • The game sounds more harsh than it is.

 

  • In this game you’re simply trying to touch the leg of your opponent.  It’s a great way to get kids reacting and sprawling.

 

Boarder Wars

 

Equipment: Floor or mat tape

 

Ages: 8 yrs & up (2nd grade & up)

 

  • Place two pieces of tape aprox 3 feet apart extending from one end of the wrestling room to the other.  You may need to shorten the length if you have a big room.

 

  • Object of the game is to pull players over to your side of the tape.

 

  • Players may not stand on their feet at anytime.

 

  • No more than 3 players are allowed to grab one player from the other team at the same time.

 

  • Both teams are allowed to go on the boarder (the area in between both lines of tape), but wrestlers will learn quickly that the boarder is a dangerous place to be.

    Wrestling games-kids

    My boy!

 

  • If a player sees their teammate being pulled over, they may grab and help prevent them from crossing the tape.

 

  • A player is out when they’re pulled over the line of the other team.  It doesn’t have to be their entire body.

 

Variation: Entire body must cross over the line to get a player out.

 

Dodge Ball

 

Equipment: Dodge balls and mat

 

Wrestling Games-Kids

Wrestling Games-Kids

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

  • As a wrestling coach I wouldn’t get in the habit of playing dodge ball all the time, but as reward every so often it’s a great idea.

 

 

FUNNY SITUATIONAL WRESTLING

 

Equipment: Mat only

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

Situations before live wrestling begins.

 

  • Sitting down back to back.

 

  • Laying down on your back head to head.

 

  • Laying down on your back feet to feet.

 

  • Sitting back to back with elbows locked.

 

  • Head to head with knees off the mat.

 

TEAM HAND BALL

 

Equipment: Mat, 1 foam ball 6″, tape

 

Ages: 8 yrs & up (2nd grade & up)

 

  • Since your playing on a wrestling mat, instead of using goals you can put two rows of tape on the wall to make your goal.

 

  •  no stripping the ball out of anyone’s hand.

 

  • block and stealing passes is allowed.

 

  • 5 seconds and 3 steps when holding the ball.

 

  • Object of the game is to throw the ball against the wall in between the tape.  5ft X 4ft is a good size for the goal.

 

BULL DOG

 

Equipment: Mat

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

  • One player starts the game my waiting in the center of the mat and/or wrestling room on their hands and knees.

    Make Wrestling fun

    Wrestling Games-Kids

 

  • When the center player (bull dog) yells “bull dog” all of the other players try to crawl past the bull dog to the other side without getting pinned.

 

  • If a player is pinned they join the bull dog, until one person is left.  The winner will start the next game as the bull dog.

 

Variation: Younger wrestlers 8 yrs and below simply need to grab and hold down another player instead of getting a pin.  This may vary depending on the skill level of your wrestlers.  Use your best judgement.

 

TUG OF WAR

 

Equipment: 1 mat and 1 towel

Wrestling Games-kids

Wrestling Games-kids

 

Ages: 5 & up (K & up)

 

  • Place a towel in the center of the mat and/or wrestling room.

 

  • One team on each side of the wrestling mat or designated line.

 

  • Give each player a number from both teams.

 

  • When a players number is called they must crawl to the center of the mat as fast as they an and try to retrieve the towel and bring it back to their side.

 

  • If both players grab the towel at the same time, it will turn into a TUG OF WAR.

 

Note: If two wrestlers get a hold of the towel and 30 seconds pass, blow the whistle and call a new number.

 

Variation: Same scenario, but instead of ending the game, call another number and now it’s 2 v 2.

 

Final Thoughts on the Wrestling Games Above

 

  • These games help new wrestlers get comfortable being physical on the mat, because many of them are no different than fooling around with your brother or sister at home.

 

  • They help more experienced youth wrestlers to have fun while improving in the sport and gives them a break from the normal routine of practice.

 

  • By the time a wrestler reaches high school, the sport has turned more serious.  There’s no need to make wrestling tougher, because it’s already extremely tough all on it’s own.  Fun games help the high school wrestler get a break from the daily grind that comes along with the sport.

 

CARDIO ACTIVITIES

 

Stations: Place the team into weight classes, so they’re working with teammates close to the same size.

 

  • All exercises should be performed for 30 seconds to 1 minute without stopping.

 

  • Buddy Carry: One partner carries another partner either in a fireman carry position or double leg over the shoulder.

 

  • Squats: Full squats without stopping.

 

  • Sand bags: Different weighted sand bags.  Lift off the ground, press above head, drop and repeat.

  • Ropes: Up and down ropes connected to the ceiling.

 

  • Burpees: Drop to a push-up, jump up in air with arms straight up and repeat.

 

  • Push-ups/Ski jumps: One partner does push-ups while the other jumps back and forth over their ankles.

 

  • In & out of the window: One partner does a penetration step thru the legs of their partner and then hops over their back and repeat.

 

  • Wall Seat: Sit up against the wall in a seated position with your arms extended out in front of the body.

 

  • Box jumps.

 

  • Pull-ups

 

  • Push-ups

 

  • Crunches or Curl-ups

 

  • Planks and side planks

 

Pyramids

 

  • Approximately 4-7 athletes in each line.

 

  • Wrestlers must run from one end of the room and back to their line. Up and back count as 1 pyramid.

 

  • If you’re doing pyramids to 3, up and back once, next time it’s your turn you would go up and back twice, then up and back 3 times, up and back 2 times and up back 1 time.

 

  • Option: Make your wrestlers go up and back 3 times on two goes before you go back down to two pyramids.

 

  • Option: After each wrestler finishes a set of their pyramid, they perform 10 push-ups while waiting for their turn to go again.

 

Run, Walk & Sprint

 

  • 6 minutes of running, walking and sprinting in any order you prefer.

 

  • 10-20 seconds sprints.

 

  • Wrestlers are all running together as a team in a circular pattern.

 

Warrior Run

 

  • The team jogs in a circular pattern, while one wrestler at a time sprints around the entire team that is jogging.

 

  • The exercise is finished once the entire team has completed their sprint.

 

Spin Drill

 

  • One partner gets in referees position, while the other partner spins the chest on their partners back as if their attempting to get behind their opponent.

 

  • In this drill, you don’t just spin behind, you also spin in front and this becomes a continuous spin.

 

  • On your whistle have wrestlers change direction.

 

Partner Carry

 

  • Bear hug carry: One partner lifts their partner from behind around the waist and carries them to the end of the gym and back.

 

  • Reverse gut carry

 

  • Dead man carry

 

  • Wheel barrel: One partner holds the feet, while the other crawls.

Penetration step pushes

 

  • One partner performs penetration steps across the gym, while their partner pushes against their shoulder to increase the difficulty.

 

Relay races

 

  • Bear crawls

 

  • Crab crawls

 

  • Penetration steps

 

  • Sprints

 

  • Two foot jumps

 

  • Towel slides: Push a towel along the mat, while running with their feet.

 

Stance movement

 

  • Stay in your stance and move around.

 

Stand up and lift

 

  • Let your partner stand, lift and bring them back to the mat, they stand again, cut away and take you down and repeat.

 

Highlight video of my team 2018/19 (County Champs, District Champs, Sectional Champs, Top 20 in State finish, 5 State qualifiers).

 

I hope you enjoyed these activities.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

2 Comments

    • Mr. L.

      that’s great to hear! Speak with your parents and I wish you the best of luck!

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