In this post: Reasons kids should wrestle
In the fall of 1996 Favorite Second Son returned from Kindergarten and announced that he wanted to wrestle. Wait, what? Sweaty boys in spandex rolling around on a dirty mat? I think not! Not my warriors!
What value is there in such a sport?
The truth is that there are many reasons why kids should wrestle. The sport develops strong, creative, analytical, quick thinking, self-controlled, and adaptable minds and bodies. If these are qualities you want to foster in your children, consider wrestling.
In my ignorance, I told Favorite Second no. I figured he would forget all about it, so I said if he still wanted to try next year, then we would give it a go. My ignorance was two-fold. 1. I knew nothing about wrestling. And 2. I underestimated Favorite Second’s determination.
One year later – we became a wrestling family and never looked back.
What’s so great about wrestling?
6 Reasons Why Kids Should Wrestle
1. Physical Fitness/Health
Any athletic pursuit produces physically fit individuals, however, according to Military.com, “Wrestling combines weight training, high repetition calisthenics for strength and muscle stamina, running and high-intensity intervals for superior cardiovascular endurance. In addition, it adds the intangibles of mental toughness as it pits one opponent against another.”
Wrestlers embody strength. Both physically and mentally. The incredible training ingrained in the boys will benefit your son for a lifetime.Wrestling develops strong, creative, analytical, quick thinking, self-controlled, and adaptable minds and bodies. Click To Tweet
Wrestling requires monumental self-discipline. The training methods for wrestling practice require multiple repetitions in order to perfect each move.
Because wrestling is an individual sport, you cannot slide by on your teammate’s coattails. You must practice and perfect your own techniques to win.
It is also a team sport with different weight classes combined to make up the team. Wrestlers are assigned to a specific weight class for each match. Then required to weigh in under the weight limit for that weight class prior to the match.
While there is risk involved with certain types of unhealthy weight management, overall the self-discipline required to manage your weight right down to the ounce is ultimately a benefit.
Wrestling is an individual sport as far as each match goes. However, t is one of the few sports that combine individual competition AND teamwork. A successful wrestler needs the mindset for both.
For example, one day a wrestler may be asked to move up to a higher weight class where their opponent is sure to outweigh them by several pounds for whatever reason.
This kind of self-sacrifice is expected for the betterment of the team. He must get out there, compete to the best of his ability against a larger guy. For the team.
No matter what kind of wrestler, everyone is afraid of getting tired. It's those who learn to perform when they're tired that find success. J. Robinson Click To Tweet
4. Work Ethic
Wrestlers are strong, tough, and work hard. The combination of a wrestler’s strength training, cardiovascular health, team training, and mental discipline promotes an incredible work ethic.
In fact, in an article for Forbes magazine, Steve Cooper says, “The one constant observation is that wrestlers have a capacity to push themselves harder than most and display an unrivaled mental toughness—that and a deep desire to eat.”
Wrestlers make great employees because they work hard. They listen to instruction and practice with self-discipline until the job is done right.
When a wrestler steps onto the mat, he is alone in his mission. Using everything in his power, every tool in his toolbox, the ultimate goal is – beat the opponent. And sometimes he’ll lose.
Yet, even while he is completely exhausted, having left all of his heart splayed out on the mat, he must meet in the middle of the mat to shake his opponent’s hand and walk away defeated. That is one serious lesson in humility.
And if he wins? He shakes his opponent’s hand and gets his arm raised in victory and walks away. Humble in the victory.
“No activity I know is more of a confidence builder and at the same time more 'humility training' than wrestling. “ - Congressman James Leach Click To Tweet
6. Mental Acuity
The mental energy that wrestlers expend is amazing. While on the mat, they never stop thinking and strategizing about what comes next. Just like in chess, wrestlers think about what their next three moves might be?
Seriously? The next three moves. You don’t even know what your opponent is going to throw at you but you need to know your options.
It’s like a puzzle. If he does A, I’ll do B. If he does C, I’ll do D. And so on. That is some serious strategic thinking!
People – let your kids wrestle! Mom’s don’t be afraid of the weird singlets (yes, that is what those things are called). Don’t be afraid of the weight class stuff. Don’t be afraid of the skin issues. Embrace them all as a tool to train up your warriors.
I’m so thankful that Favorite Second paved the way for us to become a wrestling family. The sport has molded and shaped the warriors in a multitude of ways. Wrestling has given them skills they carry with them throughout their lives and careers.
The physicality and the mindset of the sport have primed each of them for any career they choose.
Wrestling creates men who are strategic and know how to work on a team. Men who have a strong work ethic and will work hard to complete the job. Good, strong, hard-working men.