In 20+ years of coaching, I have seen kids grow up through the sport, become adults and reap the rewards of what they’ve learned through experiencing the greatest and oldest sport on earth.
There are several incredible benefits of wrestling, not only that can positively affect children but also as they grow into an adult. In fact, Forbes Magazine even wrote an article about why wrestlers make the best employees.
Below are just a few reasons why kids should wrestle:
- Anyone can do it – You are grouped by age and weight, so it doesn’t matter if you are small, short, tall or big. Every size and shape has a style that can be successful.
- Everyone gets to participate – Unlike team sports like football and lacrosse, there is no riding the bench. No politics or favorites. Every wrestler has a chance to participate and compete.
- They learn valuable life lessons:
- Personal accountability – When you win, it’s because you did it. No one else takes credit; no one else to blame.
- Don’t give up when things get hard - Now days on-demand technology has conditioned kids to turn off their games if they die or change the channel if they don’t like a show. 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.
- 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. You approach defeat as part of the learning process.
- How to perform – Any given tournament, a wrestler may have 2-5 matches or even more depending on the format. They can easily get 50+ matches in a season. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. You will be in shape.
- Great for other sports – Many get into wrestling because they are football players or in other sports and they want to improve their skills. Wrestling improves body awareness, balance, coordination and the ability to control someone else.
- 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 down time.
- 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.
- 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.