Wrestling Development


(Previously this was the "National Junior Development Program")

Table of Contents

1)  Grapplers Program - What is it? (Program Outline)

    Grapplers Booklets

2)  WAInc Youth Sport Framework

Pathways:  Novice, Intermediate, Advanced

3) National Youth Policy (PDF Format)

4) Expression of Interest (PDF Format)

WAInc Youth Sport Framework

The National Youth Framework and Grapplers program was designed to assist young people to move progressively through sport by providing opportunities to

·       gain skills in line with their level of maturation

·       move easily from one stage of involvement to another

·       be motivated and have fun while developing their skills and interests

·       inspire them to stay involved long term.


Stages in Sport Progression

There are definite stages in taking young people from their early involvement to being an experienced participant.

Generally, the progression moves through the following stages:

·       broad experiences when young people master basic sports skills in many sporting activities with fun the focus

·       progression when a greater focus is placed on skill development, but fun and enjoyment are still important

·       specialisation when some young people become serious about sport and are keen to refine their skills

·       recreational participation  when sport is played for fun and to maintain skills.


Life-long involvement is the end goal for all, with adults participating in recreational, elite, masters’ or veterans’ activities according to their talent and interests.

Aim of WAInc National Youth Sport Framework

The aim of the Youth Sport Framework is to provide pathways planning for young people to sequentially develop their sports skills to equip them to

·       reach their potential in sports of their choice

·       continue in and enjoy adult sport.

The planned developmental levels accommodate individual differences, because participants

·       differ in their ability to gain sports skills

·       move through the various development stages at different rates

·       have different levels of skill requirements and challenge.

The WAInc National Youth Sport Framework and the Grapplers wrestling program provide a clear pathway for young wrestlers, providing guidelines for coaches on session frequency and duration, and contents to help them adapt their training regimes to cater for their needs.

Further details on the rationale behind the development of the WAInc Youth Sport Framework can be found on the Resource CD – Topic 4B Wrestling Pathways




Grappler Program

bulletLevel 1 - Red
bulletProvides broad experiences and
bulletIntroduction to wrestling skills

Age Span

bullet5-17 yrs


bulletFun , fitness, fundamental motor skills and a sense of belonging


bulletThe maturation and physical ability of wrestlers should be taken into account and session frequency and duration adapted accordingly
bulletNo dangerous high risk activities ie grand amplitude throws
bulletProvide variety in training methods, incorporate games wherever appropriate
bulletTake into account the athletes age, size, confidence, family support and adjust program accordingly

Recommended Session Duration and Frequency

bullet45-60 minutes 2-3 times a week

Session Contents

bulletGymnastic skills
bulletBasic wrestling skills (see Grappler Program-level 1)
bulletGames improving flexibility, strength and endurance

Approach to conditioning

bulletBroad range of movement experiences appropriate to age and development – no structured conditioning


bulletDevelopment  of competition skills within club environment
bulletModified rules with an emphasis on fun  eg: Knees only, King of Mat


bulletRecognition provided for participation, effort and development
bulletAttendance certificate (club level)
bulletNational Award: Grappler Red award (Level 1))



Recreational and Competitive wrestlers

Grappler Program

§          Level 2 – Blue

§          Provides a progression of skill development and introduction to competitive wrestling

Age Span

§          5 - 17 yrs


§          Fun, improving a wide range of wrestling skills, introduction to competitive wrestling


§          Game specific and behavioural skills

§          Individual skill progression and development

§          Safety


Recommended Session Duration and Frequency

§          1-1.5 hours sessions  2-5 times a week 

Session Contents

§          Broadening of sports experience

§          Skills development through modified games , sparring drills

§          Continued refinement of basic skills

§          Introduction to a wider range of wrestling skills include different positions ie standing, ground work

§          Introduction to competition

§          Introduction to healthy wrestling practises, ie hygiene, weight management, nutrition, anti-doping education, sports psychology


Approach to conditioning

§          Careful introduction and progression ( consider age and physical maturity)

§          Introduce to benchmark measurements

§          Wrestling specific physical exercises


§          5-10   yrs   Modified interclub competitions

§          10- 17 yrs   School age competitions up to State Level



§          Recognition provided for achievement

§          National Award: Grappler Blue award (Level 2)



Competitive wrestlers

Recreational Wrestlers

Grappler Program

§          Level 3 – Black

§          Provides an emphasis on skill development; competition skills, and an introduction to other aspects of wrestling ie coaching, refereeing and officiating

Age Span

§          12- 17 yrs


§          Enjoyment, and improving performance

§          Enjoyment, social and personal satisfaction


§          Fitness

§          Tactical & Technical training,

§          Goal setting, managing aspirations

§          Social aspects and events,

§           Encourage development into other roles, (eg. coaching, refereeing)

Recommended Session Duration and Frequency

§          5 or more sessions a week as required  (including gym sessions and matches)

§          Minimum of 2 rest days per week  (more in off-season)

§          2 sessions per week

Session Contents

§          Training and competition with the aims of skills development, game sense and performance

§          Healthy wrestling practises ie hygiene, weight management, nutrition, anti-doping education, sports psychology

§          -

§          Training for fitness and personal challenge

Approach to conditioning

§          Evaluate individual to determine focus and gradually progress

§          As necessary to maintain fitness


§          National and International level events using FILA rules

§          Selection into Junior Development squad

§          Competition at State and interclub level


§          Recognition for effort, improvement and performance

§          National Award: Grappler Black award (level 3)

§          Recognition for effort, improvement and performance

§          National Award: Grappler Black award (level 3)

Grapplers Booklets

To print out the Grapplers booklets do the following: (Read all this section before starting)

  1. Download both parts (sides) of the booklet you want to print, ("A" and "B")

        Red Booklet  Side A   Side B
        Blue Booklet  Side A   Side B
        Black Booklet  Side A   Side B

  1. Set your printer to print one page per sheet of paper

  2. Print out the "A" file for the booklet

  3. Re Feed into the printer the printed pages, to print on the other side.

  4. Print out the "B" file for the booklet. To do this correctly either:


    Make sure the pages are fed into the printer in the same order, or


    On the PDF Printer pop-up, Selecting the "Reverse Pages" tick box.

  5. When the pages are printed on both sides, you should be able to fold the pages in half, and end up with a booklet.

  6. To enhance the booklet, print the first page of "A" and "B" file on heavier "card" paper, and then print pages 2 onwards for the remaining pages of both files.