New Wrestler? We Got You Momma!
Wrestling! What a world you are about to embark on. Get ready for the best ride of your life.
Has your son or daughter just decided they are going to try out the finest sport in the world? Are you worried, excited, not knowing what to expect? Don’t worry, take a deep breath because we got ya. When I say we, I mean the wrestling community.
I have 2 young men 15 &16 that started wrestling at 6 years old. My brother wrestled in High School but I was too busy being a teenager to ever pay attention to what he was doing. So when my husband said sign them up I was like ummmmm, ok. I had no clue what to expect, how to teach them, how to support them in this adventure. I also didn’t know how much wrestling was going to change our lives for the better.
Wrestling has become a family sport for us. Luckily both boys liked it so we made it an outing every time. Every weekend & every practice was at least an hour away for us. Most tournaments meant a lot of hours in a car, so that became my time with them. The conversations and giggles have been engraved into my mind. The conversations were so precious and I miss them dearly now that they are in High School and they have to be on a bus with their team.
Ok, so let’s talk about the number one concern I hear about why parents don’t let their kiddos wrestle, “they are going to get hurt”. Let me tell you something, yes they will get tossed around a bit but hurt as in the hospital is what I’m talking about. Of course there is always the opportunity for injury in anything we do in life but some people think there is more in wrestling. My opinion is the opposite. Wrestling is a very controlled battle. There are illegal moves that are immediately stopped and a referee that is literally watching your child the ENTIRE match. The refs aren’t distracted by another team player and missing what’s going on in the corner of the court or on the other side of the field. They are all eyes on your kiddo and making sure there is nothing potentially dangerous going on. Secondly, it’s completely controlled weight matches. So if your child weighs 55lbs he will only be going up against kids that weigh 50.1-55lbs. The misconception of what if they have to wrestle a hug kid is false. There are weight classes and they have to fall in the same weight classes as their opponents. Do they do that in football, basketball or even soccer? No your child is being pushed around by potentially bigger kids and not all eyes are even on them all the time. So moral of my story wrestling is much safer and more controlled than any other sport.
As a momma, if the practice room is open to parents go and watch. Not only will you be supportive by being there but you can learn what is allowed and not allowed in wrestling to calm your momma heart’s worries about it being a dangerous sport. While your there build your circle. This is very important, wrestling parents are the best parents. And you will need each others support through the years. Whether it’s to get your kiddo a ride or to hold onto a hand when they are tied in 3rd and there’s a sudden victory period coming. You will be spending the rest of your next 10 years with these people traveling around from city to city every weekend. my kids have pretty much wrestled the same kids their whole careers. This makes a perfect recipe for tight friendships from other towns also. They stand together on the side lines for 3 matches before they are up. So they get to talk and bond and build something. Those kid’s parents will also become your friends. That’s just how it works. You cry when your son bets their son and they cry when their daughter beat your daughter. Why? Because we become family, the wrestling community becomes your family. So search and find your people. They’ll be plenty.
Tournament days are long. So make the best of it. Go take a walk outside in between the matches. Go sit and have lunch together. My boys always brought a deck of uno with them and played with whoever would come sit with them. Make sure to pack the night before with all your essentials. Think of it all. The last thing you want is for an itchy eye to ruin their mojo right before their match. So I brought it all with me. Had a bag stocked every week. Here is a beginners list of some things to bring. Check it out, print it out and add to it every week while your at the tournaments and you realize it would be nice to have something with you.
Winning vs learning. Some little kids just enjoy rolling around and never take matches seriously. They are young and don’t really get the winning aspect. I found a cute little way to motivate them. I was going to buy them wrestling focused stuff anyway, so I would tell my boys let’s work on …. And if we meet that goal we will get a wrestling sticker with your name on it or a wrestling mat sticker. Or if they like T-shirt’s grab them a shirt and tell them ‘hey, if you don’t get pinned today you can go pick a shirt from the vendor’. This way they start learning how to have goals. At a young age they don’t really know about winning or losing as much as they understand earning something. So baby steps… make it about not getting pinned, then don’t get more than 5 points scored on you, then don’t let them turn you, take the first shot… and so on, just small goals so they feel like they are accomplishing something and earning something till they get the raised arm and catch the winning bug.
As far as learning the moves to be able to win, it takes repetition. 1,000 reps just to learn it. They will need to put in the time for sure. Here’s a good video on the different positions and points scored. Wrestling has become so huge and there is training available everywhere. There are clubs for the kids that are dabbling in the sport and then there’s the serious clubs. If you have tried it out and your son or daughter is just loving it, I highly recommend you seek out the best club in your area. We drive 1 hour away 3-4 times a week. Why? Because when you see your child on the mat doing what they love and not succeeding you realize getting their face pushed into the mat isn’t going to keep that love going. It’s good to not win every match. It teaches them to be humble and that life isn’t all about winning but they need to feel that arm being raised also. After a while you will see their desire fading if they aren’t getting success, so beat that fading and invest in their future. Yes their future, because this becomes an absolutely love as they get older. When my High School son isn’t wrestling he’s bouncing, imagining himself on a mat or he’s watching matches. He absolutely lives for wrestling. That’s way different than the first year when he went out on the mat and basically rolled on his back and pinned himself EVERY SINGLE TIME. I thought it was a lost cause and now he talks about college and Olympics. So don’t let them give up on themselves.
There is so much to gain from wrestling and you will start seeing it as you are growing with your new wrestler. Just sit down, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Time flys mommas and one day you will be watching their last match ever. You won’t need to drive them to practice anymore or pick them up. So make a every moment a moment, a memorable moment and enjoy this amazing journey!
Ok and my last piece of info is if you need some great gift ideas in the future for their birthday, a team mates birthday party or for a holiday gift check out this wrestling collection. I know it’s hard to find gifts geared towards wrestlers so here is a great few ideas
Hugs from another wrestling momma,
P.S. If you have any questions about wrestling please don’t hesitate to reach out to me on my Facebook Group. I’d love to give you any advice I can.