What is Wrestling All About?

The oldest sport. With the possible exception of athletics, wrestling is recognized as the world’s oldest competitive sport. Indeed cave drawings of wrestlers have been found dating as far back as 3000 BC. The sport was introduced into the ancient Olympics in 708 BC. 

2016 Olympics USA Wrestling Team

10 Reasons Why Kids Should Wrestle

There are several incredible benefits of wrestling, not only that can positively affect children but also as they grow into an adult  Here are a few reasons why kids should wrestle:

Once you’ve wrestled,
everything in life is easy.”

Dan Gable, NCAA Division I National Champion, Olympic Gold Medalist
  1. Anyone can do it – You are grouped by age and weight, so it doesn’t matter if you are small, short, tall or big.  
  2. Everyone gets to participate – Unlike team sports like football and lacrosse, there is no riding the bench. Every wrestler has a chance to participate and compete.
  3. They learn valuable life lessons: 
    1. Personal accountability – When you win, it’s because you did it.  No one else takes credit; no one else to blame.
    2. Don’t give up when things get hard -Wrestling puts you in situations where you have to dig in and fight to reap the rewards.  It’s all you in a wrestling match and there’s an incredible feeling of getting your hand raised when winning a hard-fought match.
    3. How to handle adversity – In every match someone will win and someone will lose.       Losing in a team sport is disappointing but it’s different when it’s only you. In wrestling, you learn how to lose gracefully and more importantly, how to quickly put it behind you and work hard to improve for the next match. 
    4. How to perform – Any given tournament, a wrestler may have 2-5 matches.  They have to mentally prepare for a match, learn how to stay calm under pressure, and deal with the feelings of anxiousness and nervousness over and over again.  This repetition makes it second nature and prepares them for life.  They know how to approach a speech or a big meeting or an interview because they’ve learned how to step up when it’s their time to perform.
    5. Persistence – Some kids find success early, but many will lose more than they win early on. In fact, many of the greatest wrestlers started out losing their first few seasons. It can take a couple of years, if not more before it finally clicks.  But when it does, it’s one of the greatest moments to observe. The lights come on, their confidence starts growing and they start beating opponents who they’ve lost to several times. This is when they truly become a wrestler.
  4. Real confidence is built – Confidence is built through accomplishing hard things.  Praise is fine but only lasts for so long. When you master a skill, score with a move you’ve been practicing or win a match over a  tough opponent, it’s because of the work you put in.
  5. Incredible conditioning – Wrestling uses every part of your body and is one of the toughest sports to train and compete in. Kids build core strength and great cardio. 
  6. Great for other sports – Many get into wrestling because they are football players or in other sports and they want to improve their skills. Wrestlers learn how to move their feet, maintain balance, establish angles, use their feet, use their hands, and ability to control someone else. 
  7. Energy outlet – Kids have a ton of energy and they need a way to channel it. Wrestling practices and matches are non-stop with no downtime.
  8. Education – Wrestling is the best-kept secret in college admissions.  Colleges make their decisions based on how well you satisfy these two questions. Can you do the work? Are you capable of the dedication needed to graduate? That’s what they must decide based on all the data in your application. The world’s oldest sport is also an “individual”  snapshot of your discipline and willingness to dedicate yourself to something over an extended period of time. The best part of wrestling’s mystique for college admissions is that you don’t have to be great; you just have to have wrestled.
  9. Competitiveness – If you are competitive by nature, you will love wrestling.  Competing and winning against another individual is fun and a great sense of accomplishment.
  10. Fun – It’s fun to win, it’s fun to compete and it’s fun learning and executing new moves. And while it’s an individual sport, there’s also a special bond that wrestlers have to their team. 

Wrestling for All

Wrestling is arguably one of the most unique and exciting extracurricular school opportunities, the intense and passionate meeting of two athletes in front of a crowd.  Unfortunately, those unfamiliar with the sport may have a limited view of its best aspects. 

Wrestling is safe…

Wrestling rules are very clear on safety. Illegal moves and potentially dangerous situations can result in penalty points and even disqualification. Further, matches are tightly officiated with close attention potentially dangerous circumstances. If there are any concerns about an awkward hold or position, even if there is no penalty involved, the official will stop the action immediately. Coaches and referees work very hard to keep wrestling safe for all participants. Very little chance of concussions.

Wrestling is NOT a brute sport…

Wrestling is not a sport that demands brute strength. Technique and conditioning are more important to succeed in wrestling than the ability to push someone around the mat for 30 seconds. Wrestling is a sport of control, not violence.

Wrestling is for ALL sizes

Thanks to numerous weight classes spanning a variety of body types, the sport is comparatively accessible and open to many different kinds of athletes.   There is room for everyone regardless of abilities (or disabilities) and size. Wrestlers only compete against others in a similar weight class and skill level.  

Wrestling is for ALL abilities

Wrestling is known for being an all-inclusive sport with athletes of all backgrounds. It is one of the few sports that does allow for people with disabilities to compete against athletes without disabilities

Wrestling is an individual AND team sport

Wrestling is an individual sport, but also has a team component, and still teaches teamwork and the importance of working together. It is one of the few sports where a child’s foot speed, ball-handling skills, hand-eye coordination, and size do not matter. 

Wrestling teaches empathy

Wrestling competitively is tough, but teaches empathy at a young age because sooner or later, everyone loses a match. How often do you see eight-year-old teammates hugging and consoling each other after emotional losses? 

Why Football Players Should Wrestle

Quickness, toughness, agility and power are all attributes that can be improved through wrestling. It’s why some of the greatest football players in history rely on skills developed as wrestlers and why the best football coaches recruit wrestlers.

“I would have all of my Offensive Lineman wrestle if I could.”

John Madden, Hall of Fame Football Coach
  1. Agility–The ability of one to change the position of his body efficiently and easily.
  2. Quickness–The ability to make a series of movements in a very short period of time.
  3. Balance–The maintenance of body equilibrium through muscular control.
  4. Flexibility–The ability to make a wide range of muscular movements.
  5. Coordination–The ability to put together a combination of movements in a flowing rhythm.
  6. Endurance–The development of muscular and cardiovascular-respiratory stamina.
  7. Muscular Power (explosiveness)–The ability to use strength and speed simultaneously.
  8. Aggressiveness–The willingness to keep on trying or pushing your adversary at all times.
  9. Discipline–The desire to make the sacrifices necessary to become a better athlete and person.
  10. A Winning Attitude–The inner knowledge that you will do your best – win or lose.