Chain Drills

July 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Coaches Corner

I’ve always felt that taking time to hit the road/track during practice sessions was largely a waste of time. Conditioning is clearly important but after all, we’re a wrestling team, not a cross country team. Matt learned a great tip from Gene Mills for increasing physical intensity/conditioning, while still wrestling: Chain Drills.

It’s so simple, I wish we had started doing it earlier. Basically, one wrestler hits  a move, the other wrestler hits a follow up move, and they start over again. For example, the first wrestler hits a high-crotch & finishes to the mat. The pair immediately gets set in referee’s position, with the guy who drilled the takedown in top position. Bottom man hits a stand-up, scores the escape, then hits his own high-crotch. This can be made to work for both takedowns and matwork.

We drill this by time (1 or 2 minute sets), rather than by reps. Besides drilling the moves, it also reinforces chain wrestling and of course, is pretty close to live wrestling from a conditioning standpoint.

Now, the next level (which we haven’t tackled in our practices yet) is to structure the entire practice around this type of activity. Over the years, Coach Gary Mayabb of Staley HS and Team Missouri (and one of the best high school coaches in the country) has been very generous to Team Hawaii and allowed them to practice with Team Missouri ahead of the Cadet/Junior Nationals in July. Coach Mayab bases an entire practice around this concept of constant, constructive activity. It makes for a great workout.

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