Even though the season is over, there is a lot that wrestlers can do in the off-season to stay in "fighting shape," and gain the skills and confidence that will take them to the next level.
Here are some activities to consider:
Join a club. We are the host for the Mat Rats wrestling club, which meets in the Randolph High School wrestling room every Wednesday from 6:00 - 7:30 pm. We are also lucky to have several very good private clubs in the area: Buxton (Randolph), Invictus (Mount Olive), Eclipse (Dover), SIR (Lafayette, Newton and Flanders), Edge (Whippany), Scorpions (Fairfield) and Force (Parsippany) all offer memberships as well as drop-in classes.
Attend a summer camp. We are surrounded by colleges with fantastic wrestling programs -- Penn State, Lehigh, Rutgers, Princeton and others all offer technique camps lasting 3-7 days, mostly in early summer. You might be surprised at how much a few straight days of intensive practice can impact on your skill level.
Find a tournament. One of the best ways to be more competitive, is to compete more. See our list of nearby tournaments on the Links & Handouts page, or visit NJWrestlingTournaments.com or EZTourns.com for even more comprehensive lists.
Work on your strength. For our elementary-school wrestlers, simple body-weight exercises you can do at home are enough ... IF you commit to doing them regularly. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, crunches, leg lifts and mountain-climbers all help build strength in the wide variety of muscles in the wrestler's arsenal.
Make healthy eating your new way of life. Get yourself into a routine where you are eating more vegetables and lean proteins, and less fruits, grains, fatty proteins and fried food. And we get it, you're kids ... candy and chips will sometimes happen. Just recognize they're treats, not a food group. The goal is to make you a mean, lean, fighting machine every day, and not just one hour before weigh-ins. At this age, it's not about getting to a weight ... it's about being in great shape at the weight you are.