While this review on Running Snail has you covered for tough or critical situations, it still pays off to be able to remain cool and collected. If you want your child to have the same values, wrestling is a great sport to pick up because it teaches and demands discipline, commitment, and implies constantly dealing with pressure.
While there are many sports out there for your child to try, wrestling has always had a special appeal, especially for those parents who are trying to instill discipline and a good work ethic into their kids.
Even though there’s a pretty wide margin of age in which somebody can start getting interested in the sport, young children often receive many advantages as time wears on. According to ‘’A Parent’s Guide to Wrestling’’, the ones who start earlier will typically be more evolved than students who get into wrestling in high school.
While parents will and should always have a say regarding exactly what age their child starts doing a sport, wrestling is always a little special because it really is one of those situations where your little one’s personality and physical ability will play a huge role in determining his success on the mats.
Technically, it’s quite okay for a kid to start wrestling even as young as four or five years old since it was proven that it is at this age that they start to develop important things like emotional maturity and hand-eye coordination.
According to Penn State coach Cael Sanderson, who managed to become an Olympic gold medalist at the 2004 Olympic games, parents should always strive to make their child develop an interest in any fitness quite early in their life, no matter what the sport of their choice is.
If it doesn’t start early
One of the more common ages for beginning a career in amateur wrestling is right around middle school since it is here that they are beginning to get a little more mature and are able to endure the ups and downs and the harshness of serious competition.
This is pretty much a breaking point since athletes that start doing this in high school will be light-years behind when compared to how tough and used to it the other children will be at this point.
In terms of history, the very best high school wrestlers are among the kids that did get that early start and have dedicated a large part of their lives to it. However, never underestimate the miracles really hard work can do if dedicated people put their minds to it. For instance, Texas does not even offer wrestling as a school sport until high school.
On the other hand, there’s always the problem of burning the kid out too early. Steve Fraser, who happens to be another Olympic gold medalist-turned wrestling coach says that there is a big dropoff in numbers around the age of 12 because children simply can’t take it anymore.
Either themselves or their parents begin focusing too heavily on competition and end up tired or frustrated instead of simply taking their time and enjoying the sport. To be quite frank, it would possibly be better for those 4 and 5-year-olds to avoid a large number of tournaments and opens and simply enjoy the beauty and the simplicity of the sport.
The United States Wrestling Association seems to be in agreement with that statement as there are no official national tournaments where children that young can sign up to compete.
Since wrestling is a sport and a demanding one at that, there’s always the very real risk of injuries. Some misinformed parents also wrongly believe that kids that start out in wrestling too young might have their physical development hampered. However, medical experts strongly disagree and instead make a case that is can actually help.
This is because this sport demands an all-around body performance and improves things like hand-eye coordination, flexibility, and strength, while others simply focus on one muscle group. It is true that children who take part in those sports and only frequently use one group of muscles are indeed at risk of interfering with their growth process.
Activities like wrestling though, that emphasize any and all muscle groups of the body, are highly beneficial for proper development.
To make sure you find the best school for your kid, you should look for one that advocates for the use of technique instead of pure force and emphasizes good listening skills as the base for a good learning process.
Make a habit of avoiding any programs that are too emotional and which, instead of praising the children for their achievements and calmly correcting their mistakes, severely point out any flaws or wrong techniques.
Why kids should wrestle
The main reason why kids who want to should try wrestling is that the sport will help them grow up like almost nothing else will and, as adults, they will thoroughly reap the rewards of training in the (arguably) oldest sport on earth.
First of all, anyone can do this because wrestlers are grouped by categories such as age or weight so it’s really not important whether you are big or small. Furthermore, the sport has evolved in such a way that with proper training and guidance, everyone can find a style that allows them to be successful.
Even better, there is no riding the bench as it happens oh so often in team sports such as football or lacrosse. Wrestling does not have behind-the-scenes politics or favoritism since everybody gets a chance to step out on the mat and compete.
Praising a child is fine but the sense of satisfaction one gets from that will fade eventually. Mastering a skill with only your body and your force of will, however, is a far more advanced form of gratification and, as anybody who works hard will tell you, reaping the rewards of your efforts is one of the sweetest feelings around.
Furthermore, in a day and age of fast-foods and overweight people, wrestling is a great tool for conditioning as it uses every part of your body. Other than that famed wrestler core strength, your child will also build great endurance and stamina. You cannot be a wrestler without being in excellent physical shape.
Tired parents will also fall in love with wrestling for the simple fact that it offers their children a much-needed energy outlet. After a hard practice, they will be so spent and calm, both physically and mentally that the only thing they will want to do is come home, eat, and enjoy some quiet time.
More and more parents are becoming concerned about the best ways to raise and teach their kids, and wrestling can be a powerful tool for this as well. First of all, children get accustomed to personal accountability and the fact that win or lose, no one else takes the credit or the blame. There’s no sugarcoating wrestling.
Everything comes easy these days and this is an attitude that is often automatically ingrained into our offspring. Did you die trying to beat that very hard level in your favorite game? Just turn it off. Don’t like a particular TV show anymore? No problem, there’s about 100 more of them to choose from.
Wrestling is the opposite of this as it puts you into do-or-(metaphorically)-die situations where you have to dig deep inside you and try to come out on top. This sport will make you lose yourself and find yourself again afterward, and getting your hand raised in victory is an incredible feeling that will make your child love the thrill of competitions.
With that being said, every match will have a winner and a loser and that’s the harsh reality of it. Losing in a team sport is one thing, but losing in wrestling forces one to accept all the fault and responsibility. This way, your child will learn to see defeat as part of a learning process and we’re sure we don’t have to tell you how valuable of a life lesson this is for further down the road.
Since any wrestler can go up to +50 matches per season, they will have to be in a constant process of mentally and physically preparing themselves, staying calm under immediate pressure and dealing with feelings of anxiousness that are sure to appear before every match.
While, at the end of the day, wrestling is still a sport and should be treated as such, a person’s ability to be calm, confident and prepared at all times will pay off majorly in whatever life path they choose to take.