A Season By Design

How do you develop a wrestler for the next level without burning him out, preventing injury along the way, where his enthusiasm for the sport and his desire for success continues to grow?

How many matches in a season is the right amount?

How much training is too much?

What is the right mix of competition and rest where the wrestler will stay injury free, improve by leaps and bounds, and keep their love for the sport and desire to excel at it?

Wrestling is the greatest sport, no matter who you are or where you are starting from if you have time and are willing to put in the work you will see results and reap the benefits of this great sport.

But wrestling is hard.

Very hard.

And success doesn’t come overnight.

It actually takes years of hard work.

Wrestlers will need 1 year of this cycle to become competitive,

2 years to become very good,

3 years to become excellent,

And 4 years of this cycle to become elite.

In order to be able to keep advancing to become elite, designed rest is key.

I’ve literally been involved with over 1,000 youth matches and over 500 high school matches.

I’ve planned 12 off seasons.

I’ve made mistakes and with each mistake I’ve fine tuned the process.

Here is the polished product.

I call it “A Season by Design”

It is an 8-week training cycle.

And it incorporates everything I have learned as a parent/coach of wrestler’s who have a combined 1,500+ career match under their belt.

8 week Training Cycle

Week 1 – 3 wrestling days, 3 Strength and conditioning days, 0 competition days.

Week 2 – 3 wrestling days, 1 Strength and conditioning day, 1 competition day.

Week 3 – 2 wrestling days, 3 strength and conditioning days, 0 competition days.

Week 4 – 3 wrestling days, 1 Strength and conditioning day, 1 competition day

Week 5 – 3 wrestling days, 1 Strength and conditioning day, 1 competition day.

Week 6 – 2 wrestling days, 2 Strength and conditioning days, 0 competition days.

Week 7 – 4 wrestling days, 0 strength and conditioning days, 1 MAJOR EVENT

Week 8 – 6 MANDATORY DAYS OFF, 1 day of Goal Progress Evaluation

  • Each week a wrestler should have at least 1 private lesson as one of the wrestling days.


Week 2 – Confidence Building Tournament

Week 4 – Prep Tournament

Week 5 – Challenging Tournament (Get off the Island – PA, NJ)


Never force a tournament to fit into your schedule. There will always be another event.

There is nothing worse than a wrestler having a subpar performance because it just didn’t fit right into his schedule.

Count Your Points Scored Not Your Wins

A wrestler should have a goal of scoring 600 off-season points.

By concentrating on becoming a point scorer will prepare and elevate you to a new level.

Always be in training for a BIG Event every 8 weeks.

By doing so it will give you the drive to practice with a purpose and to have a ALWAYS BE IN TRAINING attitude on and off of the mat.

There are approximately 4 cycles available in the travel season, and the High School season will be approximately 16 weeks long.

After 4 cycles a wrestler would have competed in 4 Major Events

16 Tournaments

Approximately 64 matches

Scored 600 Off Season Points

Add in an approximate 40 match High School season and the match total for the year will be around 100.


By designing where to take time off and to rest you are minimizing the possibility of burnout.

Design your rest.

Or it will come at the worst time.


  • Always take the DAY OFF day before a tournament
  • Always Take a DAY OFF for every day of a competition and travel after a tournament.

Example – Attend a National Tournament which involves a day of travel to the event, 2 days of the event, and another day of travel back home from the event = 4 Days off


During the 8 weeks (56 Days):

26 Wrestling Days

11 Strength and Conditioning days

4 Competition Days (roughly 16 matches against varying levels of competition)

8 Mandatory Competition Rest Days – Day before and after competition

6 Mandatory CYCLE completion Rest Days

1 Goal Evaluation Day

The cycle is designed with built-in rest to prevent burnout and injury.

In my experience, a wrestler can ignore rest, but he can not ignore the consequences of ignoring rest.

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