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gowrestle

High School Numbers Down AGAIN

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People are prideful. I see this in football and baseball so much more than wrestling. They want something to differentiate themselves from others and make themselves feel superior. As illogical as it is economically, it makes them feel good. In addition to your example of people spending way more on training than they receive in scholarships, you also see kids and families looking passed reasonable in-state public university tuition so they can pay $20,000 a year at an out of state private because the school threw them a $5,000 scholarship. All of this so they can say they are "on scholarship" at Southern New Mexico Wesleyan A&T. These families spend a decade chasing that goal and usually a semester or two playing college ball. 

 

Sports are great, but the most cost and time efficient way to get college paid for is to focus on grades. Athletic scholarships are just a cop out to justify that pride.

 

With that said, sports are also the best way to get a kid that's not interested in school to go to college. 

 

This post is so accurate and fits about 99% of the high school athletes that I know. I know kids that would tell people prior to graduating that they are attending College A on a full athletic scholarship to play whatever their sport is. Mean while that school is a Division 3 school that doesn't even offer scholarships.

Edited by BigTenFanboy

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The every Saturday from 6 Am to 9 Pm marathons are killing the sport.  Kids, parents, and fans dont want to sit in a gym every Saturday for months on end.  Bring back the dual meet.

 

Which is why we should move to a 3 match/day limit.  If you want to run a tournament bigger than 8 teams, you should have to run it over 2 days. Kids like 2-day tournaments, but nobody likes sitting in a gym all day.  It drives the average kid/family who is just wrestling for fun away from the sport.

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Which is why we should move to a 3 match/day limit. If you want to run a tournament bigger than 8 teams, you should have to run it over 2 days. Kids like 2-day tournaments, but nobody likes sitting in a gym all day. It drives the average kid/family who is just wrestling for fun away from the sport.

Pete?

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

 

I can only speak for myself, but in 11 years of coaching high school wrestling I've never had a kid tell me they won't wrestle because "tournaments are too long". This message board is the only place I've heard that. In Missouri we are limited to six tournaments, excluding Districts and State, so we're only talking about six Saturdays.

 

High school basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball all drag tournaments out over multiple nights, which results in late nights on school nights. I much prefer a Saturday tournament as opposed to the aforementioned model.

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

 

I can only speak for myself, but in 11 years of coaching high school wrestling I've never had a kid tell me they won't wrestle because "tournaments are too long". This message board is the only place I've heard that. In Missouri we are limited to six tournaments, excluding Districts and State, so we're only talking about six Saturdays.

 

High school basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball all drag tournaments out over multiple nights, which results in late nights on school nights. I much prefer a Saturday tournament as opposed to the aforementioned model.

I think it's the long youth league Saturdays and Sundays that turn off some kids who then never make it to the mats in HS, but I hear what you are saying. and this is largely anecdotal on my part, not like I've done a real survey on it. 

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

Actually my solution is smaller events. But to force it, make it a 3 match/day limit. I actually don't like 2-day events either, but a few coaches have told me their kids like 2-day events. But, hey, I'm open to a better solution, however, it sounds like you don't have an issue with all-day events.

Edited by wnywrestling

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

 

I can only speak for myself, but in 11 years of coaching high school wrestling I've never had a kid tell me they won't wrestle because "tournaments are too long". This message board is the only place I've heard that. In Missouri we are limited to six tournaments, excluding Districts and State, so we're only talking about six Saturdays.

 

High school basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball all drag tournaments out over multiple nights, which results in late nights on school nights. I much prefer a Saturday tournament as opposed to the aforementioned model.

It turns off the parents except those who have kids that medal.

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It all comes down to coaching. From my experience it was always the kids who didn't feel they weren't improving that were the ones who didn't continue the sport.

 

The quality of coaching from hs down is atrocious and gets worse the younger you go.

 

But let's force all of our bad coaches to start teaching freestyle fulltime! That will save the sport!

 

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

 

I can only speak for myself, but in 11 years of coaching high school wrestling I've never had a kid tell me they won't wrestle because "tournaments are too long". This message board is the only place I've heard that. In Missouri we are limited to six tournaments, excluding Districts and State, so we're only talking about six Saturdays.

 

High school basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball all drag tournaments out over multiple nights, which results in late nights on school nights. I much prefer a Saturday tournament as opposed to the aforementioned model.

Can you find me that rule? I can find the 50 match limit, but can't find the six tournament rule anywhere in the MSHSAA handbook or wrestling manual.

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It all comes down to coaching. From my experience it was always the kids who didn't feel they weren't improving that were the ones who didn't continue the sport.

 

The quality of coaching from hs down is atrocious and gets worse the younger you go.

 

But let's force all of our bad coaches to start teaching freestyle fulltime! That will save the sport!

 

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Freestyle xucks!

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So the solution for people sitting in a gym all day is to stretch a tournament out over two days? That doesn't make much sense, because then kids/families are giving up a Friday night/Saturday morning with twice the travel costs and potentially overnight expenses.

 

I can only speak for myself, but in 11 years of coaching high school wrestling I've never had a kid tell me they won't wrestle because "tournaments are too long". This message board is the only place I've heard that. In Missouri we are limited to six tournaments, excluding Districts and State, so we're only talking about six Saturdays.

 

High school basketball, baseball/softball and volleyball all drag tournaments out over multiple nights, which results in late nights on school nights. I much prefer a Saturday tournament as opposed to the aforementioned model.

 

It's not the kids so much as the parents. New wrestling parents, whose kid is a first year, don't want to spend all day sitting in a gym at a tournament to watch their kid compete 4 or 5 times in five minute increments over an 8 to 10 hour period. As a coach, I hear this all of the time from buddies of mine with kids in our club. 

 

The example you gave about that not being an issue in other sports is not analogous as those sports don't have as much downtime as wrestling tournaments. Your team competes and it might take two or three hours, but there is constant competition. The only thing that's close to the grind of hanging out at a wrestling tournament all weekend is a big track meet, but even at those, you know when your event is going to start. Wrestling is all over the place with when you will compete. If you look at the top high school teams and college teams across the country, most of them are not wrestling 60-70 matches a "season," it is the people trying to catch up that do that. Get your quantity in the off-season and look for quality in-season matches. 

Edited by superbowlhomeboy

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Can you find me that rule? I can find the 50 match limit, but can't find the six tournament rule anywhere in the MSHSAA handbook or wrestling manual.

Page 93 in the MSHSAA handbook.

 

b. WINTER 1. Basketball Option 1: 20 games & 1 tournament

Option 2: 18 games & 2 tournaments

Option 3: 16 games & 3 tournaments

2. Swimming/Diving - Girls 16 meets

3. Wrestling 15 (no more than 6 of which may be tournaments)

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I think it's the long youth league Saturdays and Sundays that turn off some kids who then never make it to the mats in HS, but I hear what you are saying. and this is largely anecdotal on my part, not like I've done a real survey on it. 

I will agree with you on this. I have experienced youth wrestlers and families that hate the long youth tournaments along with very early mornings. I just haven't run into at the HS level. It would be hard to discourage large youth tournaments however to ensure shorter tournaments, as these tournaments are in a lot of cases big moneymakers for the wrestling programs.

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Page 93 in the MSHSAA handbook.

 

b. WINTER 1. Basketball Option 1: 20 games & 1 tournament

Option 2: 18 games & 2 tournaments

Option 3: 16 games & 3 tournaments

2. Swimming/Diving - Girls 16 meets

3. Wrestling 15 (no more than 6 of which may be tournaments)

I open my mouth often, but usually it's just to switch feet...

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There needs to be top level HS varsity quality coaches at the middle school level. The coaches need to be visible within their school building and needs to be well liked by the student body. It helps if they're also the middle school football or soccer coach as they can recommend and encourage the first time middle school athletes to give wrestling a try. Youth clubs are always going to cater to the elite and are already highly trained. The middle school level needs to be more recreation/participation based allowing the kid to gradually fall in love with the sport. Growing the sport from within middle schools will expose kids that aren't even aware the sport exists. Coaches need to cast a big net and encourage every kid possible. Once middle school numbers increase, it will trickle up into the high school numbers. The truth of the matter is the most difficult part of all this is finding the middle school coaches. Often times people typically want to coach at the high school level and feel coaching at the middle school level is beneath them. It really does take a village mindset to build a solid program but what you'll find is kids and parents who knew nothing about wrestling start loving the sport.

I have two boys 11 and 12 that are about to go into middle school. You are right our club is elite with mostly top guys and beginners. The intermediate group is almost non existent which leads to a lot of quitting for the beginners. And I have them in a language immersion school in Charlotte NC which I can not leave. There is no middle school wrestling at all here-sucks. Travel to PA for camps is getting old:-) I have tried to bring wrestling to the attention of the school board in middle school here to no

avail! But to your point middle school is the key! Nice post. Nice to see others see my discouragement as well!

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There is no middle school wrestling at all here-sucks. Travel to PA for camps is getting old:-) I have tried to bring wrestling to the attention of the school board in middle school here to no avail!

 

There are no middle school athletic teams (in any sport) where I live, middle school age wrestling is run through the town recreation department.  You might have better luck with the rec dept than the school board.

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There are no middle school athletic teams (in any sport) where I live, middle school age wrestling is run through the town recreation department.  You might have better luck with the rec dept than the school board.

Exactly but was worth at least one shot. A lot of work and preparation though just to present it and they don't even respond. We are just going to wrestle at events through the club. But my boys want to wrestle for the school-I get that.

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Damn that's a good point on tournaments. I remember, as young as 10, leaving the school at about 5am and getting to the tourney site an hour or so later and weighing in. We'd have to wait around at least a couple hours before the tourney started and usually you'd wrestle 2 or 3 times in a day (to the semifinals), which lasted until about 10 pm. That's insane. As a kid I didn't mind it, I could run around checking out a different school/town, whatever, but as a parent it would be pretty annoying. Then rinse and repeat the next day. I think it's worse now than when I was a kid, back then we didn't have 5th-8th places to wrestle off like they usually do now.

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Damn that's a good point on tournaments. I remember, as young as 10, leaving the school at about 5am and getting to the tourney site an hour or so later and weighing in. We'd have to wait around at least a couple hours before the tourney started and usually you'd wrestle 2 or 3 times in a day (to the semifinals), which lasted until about 10 pm. That's insane. As a kid I didn't mind it, I could run around checking out a different school/town, whatever, but as a parent it would be pretty annoying. Then rinse and repeat the next day. I think it's worse now than when I was a kid, back then we didn't have 5th-8th places to wrestle off like they usually do now.

I hated open tournaments back in the early 80's. I'd weigh in at 7:30, wait for brackets until 10 am. See that there is only 8 kids in my bracket. Take a nap until 2 pm. Pin my opponent in the first period. Take a break until 4 semi. Hopefully win. Wrestle for gold at 7pm.

 

So it was a 12 to 14 hr experience (paid experience) to wrestle 3 bouts.

 

It wasn't the best way to grow the sport imo.

 

 

 

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Edited by cjc007

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Hey let's be honest here, the long tournaments would be easier to handle as spectators if the seating in the stands was comfortable. Lol. Bleachers are a pain in the ass literally when sitting on them all day. When watching the state tournament all day, it is tolerable because it's padded seats and somewhat comfortable.

 

I know this has nothing to do necessarily with the decrease in participation but just commenting on how that would make long tournaments more tolerable.

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Hey let's be honest here, the long tournaments would be easier to handle as spectators if the seating in the stands was comfortable. Lol. Bleachers are a pain in the ass literally when sitting on them all day. When watching the state tournament all day, it is tolerable because it's padded seats and somewhat comfortable.

 

I know this has nothing to do necessarily with the decrease in participation but just commenting on how that would make long tournaments more tolerable.

It's tough on the competitors too.

 

 

 

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A lot of wisdom in this thread. The long tourney's do stink for parents. So much so around me that many don't even show up for it. Not great support for the kids.

 

Coaches are key.

 

Specialization hurts. Gap gets very very wide. Specialization occurs in other sports but the gap is so very clear in 1 on 1 sports --- and wrestling is even more brutal --- being a non-specialist and getting your ass kicked in front of a crowd, often, is demoralizing. If at least it was competitive, and you fought a good fight, you can feel better.

 

I know, I sound like a pansy --- I've seen it and thought I'd mention it.

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A lot of wisdom in this thread. The long tourney's do stink for parents. So much so around me that many don't even show up for it. Not great support for the kids.

 

Coaches are key.

 

Specialization hurts. Gap gets very very wide. Specialization occurs in other sports but the gap is so very clear in 1 on 1 sports --- and wrestling is even more brutal --- being a non-specialist and getting your ass kicked in front of a crowd, often, is demoralizing. If at least it was competitive, and you fought a good fight, you can feel better.

 

I know, I sound like a pansy --- I've seen it and thought I'd mention it.

Back in the day only the very weak and nonathletic got their butt kicked. Today, the average athlete gets humiliated by the specialist and psychologically feels the same way that the nonathletic kid felt. We now lose the average athlete. Specialization may have helped some but it has hurt our sport.

 

By the way, I'm not seeing high school wrestling coaches telling their kids that wrestle year round to play 3 sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by gowrestle

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Back in the day only the very weak and nonathletic get their butt kicked. Today, the average athlete gets humiliated by the specialist and psychologically feels the same way that the nonathletic kid felt. We now lose the average athlete. Specialization may have helped some but it has hurt our sport.

By the way, I'm not seeing high school wrestling coaches telling their kids that wrestle year round to play 3 sports.

Everyone hates specialization when it comes to other sports, but love it when it comes to their own.

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