A Beginner’s Guide to Youth Wrestling

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Is your child interested in joining a school wrestling team or local wrestling club? Wrestling is a tremendous opportunity to impart in your child important lessons about commitment, discipline and hard work while challenging him or her to stay in fantastic physical shape.

There are many things you should know about wrestling and what your child will need to start on the mats.

Youth Wrestling is Safe

If you are like many people, the first thing you imagine when you think of wrestling is the violent, choreographed mayhem of WWF-style professional wrestling. Forget that. The sport of wrestling has nothing to do with professional wrestling. Wrestling is a carefully refereed sport focused on grappling. There is no punching, kicking or any other type of striking allowed on the wrestling mat. Because of this, there are very few serious injuries associated with wrestling. In fact, wrestling has a much lower rate of serious injuries than sports such as football, hockey, soccer or even baseball. There are no running collisions that can cause concussions and because of the fluid nature of wrestling there are no repetitive motions that can cause major joint damage such as in baseball. Most wrestling injuries consist of sprains and strains.

What Your Child Needs to Start Wrestling

First, your child will need a team or club to wrestle and train with. Many middle schools and most high schools have wrestling teams. These teams usually hold regular afterschool practices and participate in weekly meets and tournaments. If your child is younger or his school does not have a wrestling team, you may find a local independent wrestling club.

There are several pieces of wrestling gear your child will need to practice and compete. For training, make sure he has loose fitting but not baggy exercise clothing free of metal buttons, zippers and other hard or sharp objects that can cause harm to him or other wrestlers. He will need a tight-fitting, one-piece garment known as a wrestling singlet. Many teams will provide this. He will also need youth wrestling shoes and specialized wrestling headgear to protect his head and ears. Beginning wrestlers should choose soft-shelled headgear. For additional protection, you should consider purchasing kneepads and a mouth guard.

Once, your child is enrolled in a program and has the gear he is ready to compete. Be sure to talk to his coach for anything else you will need to know. Most importantly make sure your child has fun out on the mat.