Youth wrestling is often considered one of the best activities for developing a strong, self-confident young adult. However, before you go checking out the new boots for wrestling collection, let’s find out more about this by exposing 10 myths about the sport.
Wrestling is expensive
In truth, wrestling is one of the most budget-friendly sports for your child, with basics being covered by a uniform, shoes, and headgear. The clubs usually require small fees to join and the registration for most of the events is in the $15 range.
Wrestling promotes violence
This is completely false information, as above all else new students of the sport learn discipline and respect for others. This promotes tolerance and cultivates friendships, many wrestlers rooting for each other when they are off the mat. Even more, all matches are started and ended with a handshake between the competitors.
Truth be told, wrestling does not get the amount of attention that sports like basketball or baseball do, so this is where the misinformation comes from. Athletes who practice this sport are among some of the most disciplined and well-behaved.
Wrestling is dangerous
Due to the throwing nature of the sport, many people tend to believe that it could be potentially dangerous for their child. That being said, statistics show that wrestling is actually one of the safest sports for young athletes. The protective gear, the strict rules and the fact that there always is one official in charge make for a secure environment.
During the matches, illegal moves and potentially dangerous situations are severely punished and result in penalty points or even disqualification, as condoning such things is not an option in the sport of wrestling.
There is, of course, the occasional twisted ankle, twisted joint or sore muscles, but this is part of any sport. Exposing your child to these things so he can grow and adapt is way better in the long run than over-protecting him.
Wrestlers all cut weight
Especially because we are talking about children and teenagers, wrestling has extensive systems in place that prevent athletes from excessive weight cutting. Since the goal is to build a balanced young adult, many coaches often encourage the kids to wrestle in a category closer to their natural weight, thus helping them focus on development over pounds management.
The fact that the children are under the direct surveillance of the coaches helps them stay on the right path to becoming a better wrestler and person. The tendency is to make them look after their body all the time, not just to make the weight in time for the match.
Wrestlers develop cauliflower ear and skin infections
To prevent injuries like cauliflower ear, headgear is mandatory during both practice and matches. Furthermore, skin infections are usually done prior to the competition to rule out any possibilities. By teaching the young athletes a disciplined ritual of showering and cleaning the equipment after using it, such infections can certainly be avoided.
It is true that the constant friction with the mat can cause some skin rashes, but most places use professional wrestling mats which are specifically designed to avoid this type of things.
What if my son/daughter is too tall/short to wrestle?
The beauty of the sport is that you can be successful with any body type. The way wrestling is created, as the athletes develop, they can use their physical makeup to their advantage. Since they wrestle within the same weight class, the competition is interesting to watch.
Furthermore, this allows the youngsters to learn to love their body and be proud of the way they are built, simply because they can be successful regardless of how they are built.
Wrestlers must wear singlets and I don’t like it
While the singlet is the traditional attire, most youth wrestling leagues have currently approved the use of more liberal clothing like a two-piece singlet, compression shirt and sometimes even shorts and T-shirts. The sport is evolving with the times and the current trend is leaning away from the strict use of singlets.
My child will have to do wrestling year-round
The abilities your child can get through wrestling can often be used in other sports since they all require hard work and dedication. In fact, many coaches encourage young athletes to sign up for multiple sports as a way of keeping things fresh, interesting and avoiding overuse injuries.
A high school wrestling season usually starts from October or November to March while regular season competition begins in late October or early November and continues until the month of February.
My son/daughter may be starting too late
Even though early level youth wrestling is fun, only older children can truly grasp the mechanics and dedication needed to become successful. Often many young athletes don’t start until closer to high school, with most leagues offering “novice” divisions where they can compete against other wrestlers new to the sport.
That being said, there is, of course, a skill curve to master like in any other sport. The beauty of wrestling though is the fact that hard work always trumps natural given talent. A dedicated young athlete can achieve performance regardless of his age, this being the reason why many successful amateur wrestlers start late in their academic life.
Wrestling isn’t a team sport so he won’t learn teamwork
You don’t have to actually play for a team to learn teamwork. Team sports are built to generate things like respect, tolerance and working together. No other sports embed these traits like wrestling does, since the young practitioners sweat, win or lose together, forming remarkable bonds in the process.
The connections wrestling creates are unrivaled, especially coming together in the dual matches where 2 schools face off by putting multiple wrestlers against one another. While not as strong as in other sports, the team component is most certainly there.