What Should You Be Doing Over Christmas Break?

With the first semester of high school ending and the moratorium kicking in, all coaches give their teams advice heading into the break. Enjoying time with family and taking a break from the sport was pretty consistent advice given among the coaches to their respective teams. Here’s what coaches from class A teams and one class D coach told their teams:

Class A

Jason Susjnar of Omaha Bryan:
“We told our kids to first off relax and get your body and mind right. The next stretch of the season is the one that matters. So getting physically and mentally healthy is an important step. After they get their body and mind back on track, it’s back to business keeping our weight down and being relentless in our goals. Watching film is one of the ways to stay on track. Keeping your mind on wrestling seeing what you need to work on and what you do well. Staying physically active is what we always need. Anything as long as we are moving will keep our conditioning up which will suffer during the moratorium.”

Doug Denson of Millard South:
“Going into the Moratorium, the message to the guys was three-fold.
1. Get rested and heal up. We need to be at full strength for the hard part of the schedule.

2. Don’t lose your cardio base. You can lose cardio in as little as three days, so doing some running or cardio will help us to spend more time in other areas after the moratorium.

3. Don’t do anything that will damage you or the team or the program over the break. Making good decisions will be key to keeping the team in tact for the second half of the year.”

Scott Townsley of Millard West:
“First and foremost, enjoy the time with your family, but get together with a teammate and go for a few long runs. We told a few kids that this is a great time to hit the weight room. We also told them to take some time to get re-energized for the the long stretch that starts with the Creighton Prep tournament on December 30th.”

Chris Curry of Papillion LaVista:
“We told our wrestlers to first rest and enjoy family and friends. Second, we gave them some workout plans that will keep them in shape. Third, we told them to watch film and think about changes and improvements that they can make for the second half of the season.”

Aaron Finley of Lincoln Southwest:
“Get in some heavy lifting and other workouts during the break. We also encouraged them to heal physically but also emotionally/psychologically. We believe this can be done by concentrating on their families, work, etc. The last two thirds of the season are the toughest, so they’ll need to be ready to go!”

Zach Schnell of Lincoln Southeast:
“We encouraged them to get together with as many teammates as possible and participate in a team workout. I know quite a few of them are going to the YMCA together. The biggest concern is with the weight of JV wrestlers, as they compete on the 28th, the first day back from moratorium. They will be responsible for making their respected weight classes on their own. I told them to enjoy themselves, but still remember that they have a responsibility to make weight for the Lincoln East JV Invite.”

Ty Swarm of Kearney:
“We told them to recover, relax, and enjoy the break. The first part of the season takes a lot out of the guys and we ultimately want them hungry to compete upon return, so some time away from practice and competition right now gives the guys an opportunity to recover and prepare for the second half of season. We are happy with what we have seen from our team so far, and hope to see the same type of dedication and drive from them next semester.”

Joey Morrison of Grand Island Senior High:
“They all have each other’s numbers and are calling each other to workout. Going on runs jumping rope etc. We talked about diet and remembering the big picture by not getting out of control on their weights. Watching film is important too. I also told them to enjoy time away, be with their families, and to come in refreshed and ready to grind in January.”

Jerry Clinch of Lincoln Pius X:
“Work out however and as much they can, and wherever they can. The guys that want to go to state will stay in shape. We had a make-up meet in at Wahoo on Thursday and we wrestle at Creighton Prep next Friday, so 2 days of practice makes it tough for everyone. There is no time to get back in shape.”

Mike Jernigan of Omaha Westside:
“I told the kids that if they have a 10 by 10 space, they can get a great workout it. I also told them that we can’t lose what we have worked so hard to get. The toughest part is still to come.”

Matt Rein of Omaha Burke:
“Get a solid thirty minute burn in each day. No more, so we can still rest, and no less so we can keep our conditioning and stay on track. Write down moves we’ve worked on and the steps to them so it’s drilled in their minds.”

Jimmie Foster of Omaha Central:
“I actually tell them to enjoy the break and we will do a little more conditioning than normal when they return. In the past, I’ve given them specific instructions on what to do, but usually on the really dedicated did anything. So then it would be tense when the teamed returned. Now, I tell them to enjoy the break and everyone returns happy. The dedicated still get workouts in. Normally, we only do about 15-20 minutes of conditioning during practice. We prefer to get in wrestling shape by wrestling. When they return from break we increase the conditioning to 30-40 minutes during practice.”

Adam Keiswetter of Columbus:
“We have exactly 5 days off during this break. We told them to rest up and get ready to go in January. They don’t get much time off during the season, so Christmas is their mental escape to clear the mind and not worry about too much. With technology like Hudl and Flowrestling, they could really never stop thinking about wrestling. We want them to take at least 1 day of complete break, both physical and mental.”

Jason Branigan of Papillion LaVista South:

“I generally tell my kids to keep up their cardio by running. I tell them to get some plyometrics in if at all possible.  The big thing we try to hammer home is the conditioning aspect and to simply not let everything go during the break.  Traditionally as a team, we are well-conditioned and pride ourselves on what we have in our tank to keep us going during the period, match and season.”
Keenan McCurdy of Lincoln East:
“We told them it would be extremely beneficial to get at least 3 god workouts in over the break, with at least 20 minutes of the activity being interval based and pushing themselves into an anaerobic state. We suggest that they supplement that with another 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity, and if they have access to a gym, try to get in 1-2 lifts.”

Class D

Dean Boyer of Plainview:
“This year is a different than the other 21 years that I have been here. The weather caused us to miss our last tournament before Christmas break, so we picked up the Pierce Invite on Dec. 29th. I usually give our guys a full 7 days off, but this year we will take 5 days off, and then practice twice on the 28th and wrestle the 29th. I told them not to sit on the couch for 5 days and expect to perform well at Pierce. Some of them will go to the YMCA and get some excise in. I also told them to come into practice on the 28th within 4 or 5 pounds. I have a disciplined team, so I don’t think there will be problems.”

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