Singlet or Shorts
Since the approval of the new uniforms, the compression shirt and fight short business has been in full swing. But despite what seems to have been an instant success, "traditionalist" still argue that it's the wrong thing to do, and that it's going to ruin the sport.
To many, singlets are the only uniform that they've ever known. An iconic symbol from the world of wrestling. But the reality is that it's only really been around since the 70s. Prior to 1963 Wrestlers where still aloud to wrestle with a bare chest. And let's not forget that if we were being truly "traditional", the original Olympic event was done without any sort of clothing at all.
So what's all the fuss about then? The original reason for the switch was the hope that it would bring in a larger amount of new wrestlers. By allowing a more modest uniform, some body conscious individuals might now be willing to give it a shot when they wouldn't have before. Even people who aren't necessarily out of shape can be turned off by the revealing nature of singlets.
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The argument against this from many is that if these people are so weak minded that they can't handle being in singlet, then we don't need them in our sport. We don't need to fill our sport with a bunch of weak sissies. It would ruin everything..... Thankfully, that's very unlikely to happen.
Wrestling is a tough sport. If you're not training in a wrestling room that's ran like a meat grinder, you're not going to be successful. There's no way around that. And the beauty of that, is that everyone involved in wrestling already knows that. It's something that's literally ground into you over the years, and eventually becomes a source of pride. Pride that you not only survived the meat grinder, but you thrived in it. It's something that's passed on from generation to generation. Kids growing up in the grinder will grow up to be coaches that put their wrestlers through the same grinder.
This is a large part of the reason that most schools don't have cuts for their wrestling teams. Even if you get a large number of people to come out for the beginning of the season, most people can't handle that meat grinder experience. Your everyday practice will weed out the weak individuals to begin with. And if it they don't quit, then they're probably not as weak as you might have thought, and being in that grinder every day will only forge them into even stronger individuals.
Wrestling is a tough sport, and the nature of it is going to ensure that it stays that way. If you want to stick with tradition so badly, keep pushing your wrestlers through that grinder. Regardless of whether they're wearing a singlet or shorts. Have faith in your program. Make them wrestlers.
And for the small group that are arguing that shorts are unsafe because fingers can get caught in them...... a VERY large portion of the wrestling community wears sweat pants and a t-shirt to practice every day. You really can't allow that and then argue that a pair of athletically fit shorts are more dangerous.
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