Match Day Preparation

To be best prepared for competition athletes should have a warm up routine they use to get them mentally and physically ready for the day.

This routine may start as early as waking up in the morning and as late as arriving at the competition venue. A common starting point is when weigh-ins. After weigh-ins there is a set amount of time before competition. The first thing you should do is eat to provide nourishment for the upcoming day.  Next you should put gear on and get a good warm up in.  Finally it is important to recover with rest and a little more food and drink.

Ex. Starting Point – After weigh-ins

  • Eat
  • Put on shoes, shorts, socks and so on
  • Good hard warm up
  • Recover before competition

The four sections are all important and they should all be planned out for maximum benefit. These are guidelines and not rules, so as you develop your own routine you may find things work better for you or don’t work at all; adjust accordingly, you are your best judge for what works.

  1. Right after weigh-ins is the best time to get your nourishment for the day. You are usually in need of something and you will have time to digest the food you eat so you can use it for energy throughout the day. Understand this does not mean that you should be having a huge meal, but you should get something in you. What you put in matters! Things that are easy to digest are the best choice here. Fruits, proteins, vegetables, nuts and so on are good choices. This is in no way meant to be a guide for what to eat. I may tackle that at another point. Make sure that you get enough fluids in you as well. Water is the best choice (Room temperature water with mineral salts in it would be best) Salts are important for your muscles to function and recover during times of exercise and when recovering from dehydration. Warm water is easier for your body to metabolize than cold water. This means that it gets into your body and can be used earlier than if you were to drink cold water.
  2. Put your gear on and get going. Your food shouldn’t take long to digest. If you are bloated or feel heavy chances are you ate too much and next time you should eat and/or drink less to begin with. You will have more time to eat and drink a small amount after warming up.
  3. Get your warm up in. You should have your partner set up and understand what time the tournament starts at. If it is a 9am start time you should be warming up around 8:15 or 8:20 at the latest. Your warm up routine should be established before you start warming up and probably already has been from how you warm up for practice. It should be broken into two different parts (Dynamic warm up and wrestling warm up). You should start with jogging and/or gymnastics and finish by getting a few sprints in either before or after your wrestling warm up. This warm up should be no shorter than 5 minutes and really should be closer to 10 minutes. Afterwards it is time for your wrestling warm up. Usually it will begin on your feet and you and your partner will take turns doing your techniques. Setting up and taking shots to begin is great. At first it is good to not finish techniques and then as you warm up get into finishing your takedowns. After about 5 or so minutes in the neutral position you should migrate to top work, followed by bottom work and then lastly with 1 -2 minutes of live wrestling or match paced drilling (Should be the pace of a hard timed drilling session). If you aren’t a little winded then you didn’t go either hard enough or long enough.
  4. Once you are done it is time to recover which means stretching a little bit and relaxing so you are ready to wrestle hard when you step on the mat. Get some more fluids in you after this and a small snack.

Once this hard warm up is done you won’t need to raise your heart rate much before your matches, but you should raise it a little. This may entail bouncing a bit, walking to start getting mentally ready or maybe some jogging. Before matches you shouldn’t have a really hard warm up unless the tournament is broken into two sessions or two days. The pre-match warm up should more or less be 3-5 minutes long.



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