Are you considering picking up wrestling but you’re not sure what to expect? This post will teach you everything you need to know about this sport, how to purchase the perfect gear and a comfortable pair of youth wrestling shoes, as well as how to survive your first class.
Getting the right gear
Having the perfect clothing and accessories can positively impact your overall wrestling experience for the first time. However, this doesn’t mean you should rush into the first sports store and buy everything that tempts you.
High prices don’t always equal the highest quality, so we don’t recommend breaking your piggy bank just yet. However, you will need some items, and finding the perfect fit for you will help you train better and reduce the risk of getting injured.
First of all, you have to choose between a singlet and regular shorts and t-shirts. Singlets are mandatory in wrestling competitions, so you may want to purchase one for your training sessions too. If you’re not comfortable appearing in such gear for the first time in front of strangers, a pair of regular training shorts and a shirt will do just fine.
Secondly, you need to invest in a high-quality pair of wrestling boots. These come in various lengths and materials, so you’ll need to try on multiple styles before picking the right one for you. Although they’re not mandatory on the mat, a good pair of shoes should provide improved support for your ankles to avoid sprains and injuries but should also be flexible enough to provide maximum freedom of movement.
Since you’re going to practice on a special mat, a good grip is mandatory. Look for shoes with rubber outsoles that won’t slip while you practice.
Safety comes first
Wrestling is a full-contact sport, so you should expect injuries. However, their intensity and frequency depend on various factors, including the type of accessories you choose, and how trained your body is.
Beginners must invest in high-quality helmets and even knee pads to avoid head injuries, lacerations, bruises, and other types of injuries. Keep in mind that these safety accessories should be made of lightweight and comfortable materials that will closely follow the lines of your body without being too heavy and slowing you down.
Mouth guards are also mandatory unless you want to pay your dentist a visit before time. These are made to protect your teeth, gums, and mouth from accidental bumps and should be worn at all times while practicing, just like boxers do.
In addition, boys should wear athletic support and girls should invest in a good sports bra that provides support and protection.
Learn the rules
Before actually getting on the mat, your coach will teach you everything you need to know about the rules of this sport, the allowed and forbidden moves, and other important aspects that you must remember.
It wouldn’t hurt if you’d do your homework too and learn a little bit about this sport before attending the classes for the first time. There are various online guides and tutorials that explain wrestling step by step, so it shouldn’t take you more than a couple of hours to learn the first steps, and even some beginner moves.
Expect hard training sessions
Once you’ve learned the basics of this sport, your coach will invite you to choose an opponent and step onto the mat. This is where your official training begins, so make sure to pay attention to everything the coach says.
Depending on your physical condition, expect training sessions to last anywhere between half an hour and two-three hours with breaks. Obviously, you won’t be able to handle full training right from the beginning, but the length and the intensity of the practice will gradually increase.
Therefore, you should prepare your body properly the minute you put on your wrestling gear. Start with stretching moves and make sure to include exercises that are specifically designed to increase strength on your body extremities. Warm up your ankles, feet, and fingers, as these are the areas that are most prone to sprains and injuries when wrestling.
Diet is equally important
“Mens Sana in Corpore Sano” should be your dictum in life. You cannot improve your performances in this sport unless you train your body from the outside and from the inside as well.
Apart from sticking to the weight limit imposed by your wrestling category, you should have a healthy diet based on regular consumption of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Carbs and empty calories don’t have to be completely eliminated but simply cut off from your daily menu.
A high-protein diet is mandatory for building up your muscles, while fresh fruits and vegetables will boost your energy levels and help you focus on the mat.
Picking up wrestling is a long-term commitment that involves self-discipline and hard work. Thus, if you plan on becoming a pro, you should lower your intakes of caffeine and alcohol. Smoking is off limits as it will decrease your endurance and will make you get tired faster.
Caffeine may seem like it gives you more energy but it will only help you eliminate calcium and minerals faster, which you should avoid if you want strong bones.
Don’t neglect fun either
Apart from the strict rules and regulations wrestling imposes, it is also a fun and rewarding sport. It allows you to make new friends and build strong relationships based on mutual trust and understanding.
Wrestling will also help you relax and turn all the bad energy into battle fuel. No matter if you had a stressful day at school or if there are various aspects in your life that need improvement, wrestling will give you the opportunity of taking a break from real life and focusing on something else.