High School Wrestling: Peaking For The Season Finale

During my last high school wrestling season, I “peaked” at precisely the right time. I was a conference champion, a section champion, and a district champion. By winning the district tournament, I qualified for the state tournament. They beat me in the first round 5-2 and I never got a chance to fight. However, it had improved from the previous seasons. During my sophomore year, I was ranked 4th in the conference and 3rd in the sectionals. During my junior year, I was ranked 2nd in the conference and 3rd in the districts. I would always run out of steam and motivation towards the end of the season and would never qualify for the state tournament. What was the change during my senior season?

First, I had much better control of my diet during my senior season. I counted calories and slowly lost weight. He never went a day without eating. I was never starving or dehydrated. I didn’t feel weak towards the end of the season. I kept getting stronger. Therefore, my attitude was also different. He was confident and had a real desire to qualify for the state tournament. The previous two seasons I felt weak and just didn’t want it enough.

How can a wrestler peak at the end of the season? Let’s examine things a bit.


Periodization simply involves planning your training for the season or even for the entire year. The season is divided into different phases. Tudor Bompa states: “Usually peak performance is planned to be achieved during the competitive phase and cannot be sustained forever.” Similarly, Mark Ginther states, “Peak condition is impossible to maintain for more than a couple of weeks tops.” Of course, you want to win every game. Also, you want to be in excellent condition. However, you cannot be in the best conditions throughout the season. Therefore, your coach will likely have you doing a higher volume of work early in the season. Towards the end of the season, you will probably do a lower volume of work but with a higher intensity. Their ultimate goal is to peak in postseason tournaments like sectional, district, and state.


As I mentioned, your workload should drop when you want to peak towards the end of the season. However, your workouts can be more intense. Intensity and brevity is the key. Towards the end of the season, you can start to think more about the strategy of the match. You can start practicing “situations” that might come up in a match. What will you do if you are ahead by one point in last position with only ten seconds left in the match? You will most likely do a stand up. Obviously, you don’t want to make a granby roll and try to pin your opponent. You have to be smart and hold on to that one point advantage.


Drilling is important to reach the maximum. If you practice your moves religiously during the season, they will become second nature. Winning those postseason contests will be easier if your technique is impeccable and comes naturally.


Recovery encompasses many things. Make sure you get enough rest. Ideally, you should get eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. Some wrestlers find contrast showers (alternating hot and cold water) helpful after practice. A warm bath before bed can be relaxing and help you sleep better. Also, do not forget about nutrition.

Intense fighting and conditioning depletes muscle glycogen and breaks down muscle tissue. Therefore, after the practice, make sure to consume some protein and carbohydrates. A shake made from whey protein and a fast-digesting carbohydrate source can be beneficial after wrestling practice in regards to recovery.


Are you excited and motivated or exhausted from the long season? I hope you are excited and motivated to win. How much do you want to qualify for the state tournament? Those fighters with an extreme desire to win will most likely fight their best. Winning or losing is not the end of the world. However, if you don’t care if you win or don’t have faith in your abilities, you will be at a disadvantage.

Anyone can be defeated. Dan Gable was defeated in his last college game. Rulon Gardner defeated Alexander Karelin, who had gone undefeated for thirteen years in international competition. A University of Iowa wrestler named Matt Egeland was seeded eighth in the 1985 NCAA Wrestling Tournament, but placed second. He defeated the number one seeded wrestler on the road. I had a teammate in high school who was the bottom seed in the district tournament, but he beat out the top seed and qualified for the state tournament. Anything can happen in postseason tournaments. Be confident.


Taper involves reducing the total volume of training. This gives your body extra rest. You can still have short intense workouts. You can still drill and focus on your skills and strategy. But, the total amount of wrestling and conditioning needs to be scaled back before that big postseason tournament.

Dan Gable and the University of Iowa

In Mike Chapman’s book hard fight, talks about Dan Gable and the University of Iowa wrestling program. Coach Gable would sometimes have his wrestlers practice twice a day before the NCAA championships. This seems to go against the idea of ​​phasing out, although I don’t know how long these practices lasted and how intense they were. Coach Gable even had Ed Banach do a third workout at 5 am. Ed Banach won the NCAA tournament that year in large part due to that extra practice where he drilled the technical takedown on him. Would he be willing to pay that price to reach the pinnacle of success? Remember what I wrote earlier about piercing? Drilling the country.

The movie socks It’s very inspiring. Before the state finals, the coach tells his team, “Forget the crowds, the size of your school, your fancy uniforms, and remember what got us here. Focus on the fundamentals we’ve gone over and over again.” Once, and most importantly, don’t get caught up thinking about winning or losing this game, if you put your effort and focus into playing to your potential, to be the best you can be, I don’t care what the score says at the end. of this game, in my book, we are going to be winners!”

Early in the film, the coach says, “There’s one condition in tournaments; don’t talk about the next step until you’ve climbed the one in front of you.”

I think it’s good advice. Focus on your fundamentals in the postseason championship series. Take one fight at a time and have the determination to fight to your full potential.

In conclusion, the peak can be tricky. Make sure you get enough rest. Practice your skills slowly. Do your highest volume workouts early in the season and shorter, more intense workouts as the season draws to a close. Make sure you are mentally focused and confident in your abilities.

With the right pick, you’ll be fresh, rested, and ready to fight your best!


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