Recently Team Jeff Coach Danny Struck talked about preseason strength and conditioning tips with USA Wrestling’s Matt Krumrie…

There’s an old saying in sports: many championships are won in the preseason. But without proper supervision and guidance, preseason workouts can quickly develop into bad habits that prevent—rather than foster—success.

Technique matters in the weight room as much as on the mat

Learning proper technique is essential for any wrestler. The same goes true for strength training and lifting weights. Right now, in preseason, is when youth wrestlers need to understand the right (and wrong) ways to prepare their bodies for the season of competition ahead.

Danny Struck, a certified strength and conditioning coach who is also the head wrestling coach at Indiana’s Jeffersonville High School, agrees. “Weightlifting doesn’t hurt kids, weightlifting wrong does,” he says. Preseason workouts should be focused on about becoming a better athlete, so your exercises should compliment that, he explains. Wrestling requires balance, strength, flexibility and agility, he notes, so “preseason training should involve more than lifting weights.”

You get out of it what you put into it

Without a match looming on the schedule, preseason can sometimes make for a difficult time to stay focused on strength or conditioning program. But coaches can overcome this and motivate wrestlers to participate in preseason training by creating competitions.

“Elite wrestlers will always be excited to work out, but for most teams include a lot of average Joe’s,” Struck notes.“Understand when and where you can get the most out of each of them.” There are plenty of routines out there that are great for pre-season strength and conditioning. Focus on footwork, gymnastics, plyometrics, weightlifting, games, wrestling positioning drills, and stretching. “Keep things short, keep things fun, and keep things intense and you won’t go wrong.”

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