8 Reasons Why Kids Should Wrestle
Wrestling is a great sport that teaches so many lessons to people to participate in it. Although many wrestlers get introduced to the sport in middle school or high school, there are many opportunities of kids as young as 4 or 5 to get involved in the sport. Here are eight reasons why kids should wrestle.
The first reason is simple: wrestling is fun. All kids love to wrestle around with each other, spend time with a group of young kids and this will become apparent real quick. In addition to learning wrestling moves, kids practice usually consists of fun games as warmups or cool downs and a lot of times games are played that contain wrestling related skills. Kids love coming into wrestling rooms, because a huge room that has padding on the floor and walls is super fun to run around and do flips and somersaults in. Kids wrestling is a good way for kids to learn basic wrestling skills, meet other kids, and have a great time.
Learn To Work Hard
It is no secret that wrestling is a really hard sport, but all that hard work that wrestlers put in stays with them throughout their entire lives. The ability to work hard is both a mental and physical skill that has to be learned and the sooner a person can develop those skills the better. There is a famous quote by Dan Gable that says “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.” Putting your kids in wrestling sets a foundation for them to be successful later in life because they learn at a young age how to be disciplined and work hard. This mentality will carry over into their school work and even things like getting chores done. No matter what profession a person goes into when they are an adult, being able to work hard without complaining is a skill that will give them an upper hand.
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Learn Dietary Discipline
Another life skill that wrestling teaches kids is dietary discipline. Right now, there are so many health issues that are caused by poor diets and most kids are not really taught much about nutrition. With wrestling, an athlete must learn to keep their weight in check both in season and out of season. Learning the importance of proper nutrition is a valuable skill that they can take with them when they are an adult.
Learn to work through pain
Sometimes in wrestling, just like in life, things are uncomfortable and even downright painful, but wrestlers learn to push through the discomfort whether it be mental, physical, or both. Being able to not only survive, but thrive when you are uncomfortable is a very valuable asset to have in life and because of the rigorous training wrestlers go through, they are able to be resilient in difficult situations.
Another benefit that can come from wrestling is earning a college scholarship. Now the sole reason to put a child in wrestling should not be so they can earn a scholarship, but if a kid starts to have success in the sport of wrestling and sticks with it, they may very well be good enough by the time they graduate to earn a college scholarship. With the rising cost of going to college, being able to continue competing in a sport they love and reducing the financial burden of tuition can be a huge.
In addition to wrestling scholarships, a lot of college football coaches like to recruit players who also wrestled in high school because of the skills and work ethic that wrestling teaches. So even if wrestling is not a child’s main sport, they can still benefit greatly from the skills they learn on a wrestling mat.
Understanding Winning and Losing
When a kid is out on the wrestling mat competing, whether they win or lose, they learn to take credit for what happened. Unlike team sports, with wrestling, there is no one out on the mat with you to carry you if you slack off and if you win, there is no one that was out with you in the match to help. You can’t hide from the results of a wrestling match. Either you won the match or you lost the match. You learn to take extreme ownership of both your successes and failures. Being able to take personal responsibility for both victories and losses is an attribute that will help kids as they grow older.
In wrestling, you have to learn to control your body in many different and sometimes odd situations and positions. That is one of the reasons why many kids practices contain many gymnastics elements in them like cartwheels or summersaults. Developing these movement skills will help to translate into many other physical activities or sports they may do later in life. Most wrestlers are known to have incredible functional strength and still have a lot of balance, agility, and flexibility.
The last item on the list is confidence. When a kid works hard and sees the benefit of hard work, that is something that they can be proud of and it will boost their self confidence. Plus, even though wrestling is often considered an individual sport, there is a team aspect to it. Feeling like they belong somewhere and are part of a team can really do a lot for a kid’s self esteem. Lastly, just like how traditional martial arts like Karate or Brazilian Jujitsu give kids confidence, so does wrestling (even though it is not considered a martial art). Learning to take someone to the ground and control them can help kids feel safe if they are ever in a situation where they feel there physical safety may be in jeopardy.
If you have a child who is just starting wrestling and would like some great instructional material to learn the basic fundamentals of wrestling, be sure to check the video series: “Wrestling Fundamentals From The Bad Guy By Chael Sonnen”