To run a successful children’s wrestling program, try treating the wrestlers
differently than you would when running an adult program. Put the FUN in
FUNdamentals. When children are having fun, learning becomes natural and
easy. Studies show that learning happens best when it’s a side-effect of a
activity such as sports. In addition, this type of learning is more likely to
stick with the child as they grow up.
The following are some basic suggestions for how to get the most out of your
Emphasize skill development.
Do not rush to teach them more
techniques than they need or can remember. Drill the fundamentals of wrestling
on a daily or weekly basis; Not only the stance, motion, level changes, etc.,
but also the Back Arch, Back Step, Hops, Cartwheels, Basic Gymnastics that
build your base, and more. Use games periodically to incorporate the basic
skills into your practice.
Shadow drill frequently.
Children need to learn to control their
own bodies before they can control someone else. Plus, everyone on the mat is
drilling intensely and simultaneously, instead of half of the children just
being someone’s partner. Shadow drilling is fun for children and good
conditioning. Children use their imagination well which can help lead you into
teaching visualization skills. Children are never too young to dream about
becoming a champion.
Be enthusiastic and give positive feedback frequently.
wrestlers thrive on positive feedback when they do something well. Also, give
parents positive feedback if their child is doing well. They also need to stay
motivated and hearing that their child is doing well gives them a big boost.
Encourage parents to get involved.
Welcome and encourage parents to watch training sessions. Welcome them to get
on the mats and help. Encourage parents to sign up as an assistant coach,
child protection officer or take up an official role within your club so they
are trained properly and covered by insurance before they start. The more
personal attention your students receive, the quicker they will improve.
Sometimes you may have a lot of children training or competing at one time, so
the parents should understand they need to be an asset in the club rather than
Run a tight ship, but let the Children have fun.
Take your instructional phase of practice seriously but keep it entertaining
too. Good teachers and coaches make their instruction interesting for the
children, so they pay attention and have fun. Incorporate stories and
interesting analogies into your instruction. Carefully structure the practice
so the children benefit as much as possible and also, make time for a couple
of "games" in every practice. Use a variety of fun games that incorporate
wrestling skills and conditioning into them. If the children get through a
segment of practice and do really well, we often play a game for a couple
minutes as a reward before moving on to next segment.
Incorporate live wrestling throughout your practice.
In a traditional practice, most live wrestling is done at the end of the
session, and some do not incorporate much live wrestling at all. Children can
only absorb so much instruction at once, so break up your practice with
segments of live wrestling. Let your students wrestle a live match after
warming up and doing some basic skill drills. It seems to settle them down and
tire them out a little. The result is that they pay better attention when you
teach. Live situations are also an essential training tool. They allow you to
teach important technique points between starts and the Children enjoy them
because they get to wrestle.
Utilize videotape for instruction and motivation.
Beginners need to see what it looks like when a move is executed correctly in
competition and edited highlight tapes can prove to be very motivational.
Teach more than just technique.
Emphasize to your wrestlers the value of sportsmanship, poise, goal-setting,
discipline, work ethic and the other important "lessons of life". Wrestling
coaches can have a greater impact on character and life than school teachers.
Instill the “lessons of life” in your students because it will undoubtedly
help them in everything they do throughout their lives. Children look up to
you more than you will ever realise.
iCoachkids Resource Website
iCoachkids is a not-for-profit global coaching movement that was
initiated in 2016. The success of the project has been unprecedented and
attracted attention and interest from non-EU nations, International Sports
Federations and Global players in health and industry. As a result, the
iCoachkids Movement was formed to harness the motivation, interest, and
momentum for the development of a Global Sport System that provides a safe a
developmentally appropriate environment for each and every child.
iCoachkids vision is to have child-centred sport environments that
provide safe developmental experiences for every child.
iCoachkids is led by Leeds Beckett University (UK) and the International
Council for Coaching Excellence and brings together another six world-class
organisations with a common desire to support youth coaches and a proven track
record of doing so. These include Sport Ireland Coaching, the Hungarian Coaches
Association, the Netherlands Olympic Committee, the European University of
Madrid, Lithuanian Sport University, and the Royal Belgian Football Association.
Useful links to help you improve your coaching of Children..
How children learn - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/how-children-learn.html
Motivating children and sport - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/motivating-Children-in-sport.html
Diversity and inclusion in sport - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/diversity-and-inclusion-in-sport.html
Physical literacy - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/physical-literacy.html
How children grow and develop - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/how-children-grow-and-develop.html
Talent identification and development - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/talent-identification-and- development.html
Helping you plan your coaching - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/helping-you-plan-your-coaching.html
Safeguarding and protecting children in sport - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/safeguarding-and-
Children's personal development through sport - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/childrens-personal-development-through-sport.html
Wellbeing and lifestyle - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/well-being-and-lifestyle.html
Getting better as a Coach - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/getting-better-as-a-coach.html
iCoachkids Europe Main Page - https://www.icoachChildren.eu/about-us.html