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8-Week Preseason Training Essay, Research Paper
The purpose of this paper is to present an eight week training program to be used for preseason fitness. The program is necessary to provide a healthy way to achieve maximal output capabilities for the student athlete. The goals of this program are to get the athlete in better shape, provide a safe learning environment for the athlete, and to work on skill of the sport. The first and most important issue to discuss is safety. Whether in the weight room, or outside, the athletes must be properly trained in the safety issues. Along with proper training, the athletes must be supervised at all times, to ensure that all the rules are followed. Weight room safety is perhaps the most important issue to stress, and be thorough with. In the weight room, many things are possible to go wrong, so the athlete must be supervised at all times. With proper supervision comes proper instruction. The athlete must be coached early as to the proper techniques of correct lifting. If the athlete is not coached properly at the start of their program, negative results may occur, and may even cause injury to the athlete.
The sport that I will choose to train athletes for is wrestling. This is a sport that requires great endurance, both anaerobically, and aerobically. Much time will be spent on emphasizing the cardiovascular fitness as well as the muscular strength.
This week will be relatively easy as we are assuming that the group we are working with has been inactive. The workout starts with a ten-minute warm-up followed by a good slow stretch, holding each stretch for 10-15 seconds. All major parts of the body should be stretched, because wrestling is a total body sport. From there we move on to skill. Just basic moves to begin with, such as stance, and movement. Into the weight room, The athlete should be instructed proper form in all lifts before any actual lifting is performed. This is a crucial time for good supervision, so any mistakes can be corrected early on, and the athlete can benefit from the lifting. With the weight program we want to increase both muscular strength as well as muscular endurance. This week we will begin all lifts with three sets of ten. The lifts that we will do the first day include most of the upper body. Being sport-specific for wrestling is a little tough, since the whole body is used, but the muscle groups that we want to stress are the neck, back, and forearms. With that in mind, here are the lifts for days one and three of our weight room work out. Bench press, Flys, Curls, triceps extension, narrow grip bench, front and side shoulder raises, lat pull downs, shrugs, upright rows, back extensions, standing weight roll-up (forearms), and neck bridges. The lifts for days two and four are as follows: squats, deadlifts, leg extensions, leg curls, calf raises, and sit-ups. These should all be supervised carefully since it the first week of training, and all lifts should be performed with three sets of ten. As far as cardiovascular workouts go, start out easy, and run about 20-25 stairs, up and down constituting as one. After that, a good cool down such as a 10-minute slow jog is a good idea, followed by another episode of slow, static stretching.
After week one, your athletes should be pretty sore, and probably tired. That?s good, it means that they are getting a good workout. Explain to them that it will get better. This week, the practice will basically stay the same, with a few minor changes. The warm-up and stretching will remain constant, but now before the lifting, there will be more instruction as far as takedowns and holds go. Also the athletes need to start to wrestle, since the best way to train for a sport is to actually participate in it, so the athletes must find a partner of similar size and strength to wrestle with. Time should be set aside for this everyday, and the wrestlers should drill their moves at about 50 percent speed. Also there need to be some live wrestling incorporated into the practices this week, not too long, but enough to get the wrestlers working hard. No more than ten to fifteen minutes a day. Into the weight room, the workout should remain the same this week, still watching the athlete’s form closely. The cardiovascular work out can be alternated this week between 25-30 stairs, and 50-yard ladders. A cool down is still necessary, about 10 minutes of light activity followed by static stretching.
This week there are a few more changes that occur in the schedule. The warm-up and cool down remain constant. The drilling will continue, but introduce a few more basic moves, so the wrestlers can incorporate them into their routine. The live wrestling should increase by about 5 minutes, watching each wrestler to make sure that he/she is understanding the moves and how they are supposed to work. This week in the weight room the sets and rep change from three sets of ten, to four sets of eight. Explain to the wrestlers that they also need to increase the weight that they are working with so that they are barely able to complete each set without help. The cardiovascular workout should also increase by adding 5 stairs to what is already there, or a couple more 50-yard shuttles. Make sure your athletes are still performing a proper cool down with light activity and stretching.
This week is pretty much a mirror image of the week before, but stress intensity in both the live wrestling, and the lifting. A lot of times the athletes will become bored of the same activities and begin to slack in their performance. This is why some sort of game or activity should be incorporated into the conditioning and the live wrestling to keep the wrestler’s interest. Any game that will keep the heart rate up and give the athlete a cardiovascular workout while changing it up at the same time is a good activity. I personally liked ultimate frisbee to keep the fun into training. King of the mat was also a good one. At this point, keeping the wrestlers interested is key to having a good start to the upcoming season. Without competition, and the same drills over and over, even the most dedicated wrestler can become bored and quit. Also this week, add about another 5 minutes to live wrestling, introduce more technical moves, and lengthen cardiovascular workouts by about 10 minutes.
This week is another step up in the weight training portion of training, and also a good time to have the wrestlers wrestle a real match. After a good warm-up and stretch, drill, and pair the wrestlers up with someone of the same size and skill. Have them wrestle a real match (time varies with the level that you are coaching) and after that ask for any questions that might have come up. With the introduction of these real matches, the live wrestling time can be cut down by about ten minutes. In the weight room, the sets and reps move up again to five sets of six, and weight should be adjusted accordingly. The intensity of this week’s session in the weight room should be stepped up a level also, so the athletes can get the most out of this program. Make sure that the wrestlers are still performing a good cool-down explaining that getting lazy can be costly and even causing injury. More drills should be introduced to the athletes, providing them with good knowledge of when and when not to use each move and hold. The conditioning this week can be changed also, to just about any type of activity that involves using the anaerobic system to its max and also incorporating the aerobic system too.
This week starts to specify more into fitness for the sport, rather than overall fitness. The usual warm-up and stretch followed by the drilling. Each time that a new move is introduced, the time allowed for drilling should be increased to allow for practice of that new move. The live wrestling now becomes more of a factor in readying the athlete for competition; so more time should be spent with that also. In the weight room, we start to taper down so that the muscles can recover and begin to assist the cardiovascular system as far as endurance. The reps and sets fall this week to four sets of eight. Also the conditioning level should start to level off, not immediately, but by week eight, it should be pretty close to the same level or time everyday. Really stress again the importance of cool down and how it plays an important role in muscle recovery, injury prevention, and flexibility, which is very important in wrestling.
This week is the last week that can be used effectively to introduce moves to the wrestler. By now each wrestler has already chosen the moves that work best for him/her, and they will tend to use them more. Stress to your wrestlers that they need to now work the moves that they do not know as well, because the same move will not always work on different wrestlers. The workouts need to stay intense, and most likely will, since the time for competition is drawing nearer. In the weight room, we once again decrease our sets and reps down to three sets of ten reps. This will allow the muscles to build up more endurance and recover further from any injury. The conditioning level once again should flatten out; keeping in mind that this will be the last full week of hard practice.
This week is vital to a good performance in the first match of the season. The warm up and stretching should stay the same, along with the drills. The live wrestling should be performed for the first two days of this week, and then reduced significantly to allow the body to restore its energy supplies before competition. The same is true with the conditioning this week. The athlete should be pushed hard for the first two days of practice, and then conditioning should also be reduced significantly about two days prior to competition. There should be extreme energy in the room this week, since competition is only days away. Watch for a good cool-down throughout the week, especially when competition is getting nearer.
You should now have a group of well-trained machines ready for competition, and in better shape than they have ever been. They will continue to enjoy training as long as there is good competition, and as long as the training changes from time to time to keep it exciting. Good luck in your season, and have fun!