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Why Kids Not Wrestling


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#21 OldGrappler

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 03:22 AM

I'm not sure what the right prescription is.   Times have changed.   I grew up in Western Pa, and our hs had two winter sports--basketball, and wrestling, which started when I was a sophomore.   Now our high school has swimming, and hockey.   Most of the schools in the area now offer soccer in the fall, and some have winter track, as well as lacrosse in the spring. 

 

For the kids in the median and below size category (I was one), wrestling still gives the best opportunity for a "fair" chance at success.  But for median and above sized kids, there are opportunities and pressures that weren't there decades ago.  There are other sports in the winter, and more pressure from the fall and spring sports to do off-season development and conditioning work. 

 

Wrestling also suffers from not being a team sport where substitutions are possible.  (Baseball has the same issue.)  You're not going to get into the contest in high school unless you can win the spot for the weight class.   Which brings up another issue, which is the weight control aspect.  It's a serious negative for most parents, and, ironically, it probably affects the lightweights more than the upper weights.  Parents of a kid who is small in stature are loathe to see him controlling his calorie intake.  It's understandable.

 

I do think the weekend competitions might be able to be shortened.  The only point that I'd make is that in watching the grade school and middle school competitions,  my observation is that the matchups and competition you get at the larger weekend events is much better than what usually happens in most "duals".  In the duals, maybe a third of the matches are decently competitive matchups, and I'd say two thirds of them are mismatches in skill or strength that wind up being completely one-sided.  It simply happens because of the difficulty of matching two teams of say, thirty kids each spread across three or four grades.  I had an eighth grader one year that no one could handle.  I used to describe him to the other coaches by saying "he's a lean 160 pound eighth grader".   At the larger tournaments, there would be one or two other kids like him, but usually not on another team that was close to us to wrestle duals. 

 

I'm long on observations here and short on solutions, but not sure what can be done.  



#22 cbg

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:28 AM

I'm not sure what the right prescription is.   Times have changed.   I grew up in Western Pa, and our hs had two winter sports--basketball, and wrestling, which started when I was a sophomore.   Now our high school has swimming, and hockey.   Most of the schools in the area now offer soccer in the fall, and some have winter track, as well as lacrosse in the spring. 

 

For the kids in the median and below size category (I was one), wrestling still gives the best opportunity for a "fair" chance at success.  But for median and above sized kids, there are opportunities and pressures that weren't there decades ago.  There are other sports in the winter, and more pressure from the fall and spring sports to do off-season development and conditioning work. 

 

Wrestling also suffers from not being a team sport where substitutions are possible.  (Baseball has the same issue.)  You're not going to get into the contest in high school unless you can win the spot for the weight class.   Which brings up another issue, which is the weight control aspect.  It's a serious negative for most parents, and, ironically, it probably affects the lightweights more than the upper weights.  Parents of a kid who is small in stature are loathe to see him controlling his calorie intake.  It's understandable.

 

I do think the weekend competitions might be able to be shortened.  The only point that I'd make is that in watching the grade school and middle school competitions,  my observation is that the matchups and competition you get at the larger weekend events is much better than what usually happens in most "duals".  In the duals, maybe a third of the matches are decently competitive matchups, and I'd say two thirds of them are mismatches in skill or strength that wind up being completely one-sided.  It simply happens because of the difficulty of matching two teams of say, thirty kids each spread across three or four grades.  I had an eighth grader one year that no one could handle.  I used to describe him to the other coaches by saying "he's a lean 160 pound eighth grader".   At the larger tournaments, there would be one or two other kids like him, but usually not on another team that was close to us to wrestle duals. 

 

I'm long on observations here and short on solutions, but not sure what can be done.  

 

During off season K-8 tournaments we must find a way to get families in and out of the gym in no more than 2.5 hours on the weekends.  For parents to arrive at a tournament at 7:00am, not wrestle until 11:00am and not get out of the tournament until 6:00pm or later is unexcusable.  

 

At the high school level I feel to grow the sport it would be nice to allow a single school the opportunity to enter 2 wrestlers in each weight classification for tournaments and the state tournament series.  If the result is one school goes 1 & 2 in 4 different weight classifications that is great.    


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#23 superbowlhomeboy

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 04:59 AM

Getting kids in and out of the gym has to be a priority. For high school, two day tournaments every weekend are good if everyone is already bought in and committed, but if you are trying to build, this will drive many families away. For K-8, you have to get them out of the gym in only a few hours. Set a timeline and stick to it. Bigger is not always better. Get kids 3-5 matches and get them on their way. 



#24 BobDole

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 05:19 AM

During off season K-8 tournaments we must find a way to get families in and out of the gym in no more than 2.5 hours on the weekends.  For parents to arrive at a tournament at 7:00am, not wrestle until 11:00am and not get out of the tournament until 6:00pm or later is unexcusable.  

 

At the high school level I feel to grow the sport it would be nice to allow a single school the opportunity to enter 2 wrestlers in each weight classification for tournaments and the state tournament series.  If the result is one school goes 1 & 2 in 4 different weight classifications that is great.    

I am in agreement on the multiple kids per weight, but would rather go for the Michigan model of 14 kids no more than two per weight or the NAIA model of maybe allowing 16 or 18 entries into the state series. 



#25 gowrestle

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Posted 11 May 2018 - 11:03 PM

During off season K-8 tournaments we must find a way to get families in and out of the gym in no more than 2.5 hours on the weekends. For parents to arrive at a tournament at 7:00am, not wrestle until 11:00am and not get out of the tournament until 6:00pm or later is unexcusable.

At the high school level I feel to grow the sport it would be nice to allow a single school the opportunity to enter 2 wrestlers in each weight classification for tournaments and the state tournament series. If the result is one school goes 1 & 2 in 4 different weight classifications that is great.


I think during the off-season, K-8 kids should be playing other sports.
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#26 GockeS

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 02:36 AM

wait, wasn't there just an article about setting a record for memberships across all ages? 



#27 gimpeltf

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 02:46 AM

nobody told me what to do all day long.

 

Now, Ray...Maybe you didn't listen to anyone telling you what to do...;)


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#28 GockeS

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 04:35 AM

my son doesn't like other sports.

 

i had to force him to do those.

so i stopped.


Edited by GockeS, 12 May 2018 - 04:35 AM.


#29 Ray_Brinzer

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 05:13 AM

Now, Ray...Maybe you didn't listen to anyone telling you what to do...;)

 

I didn't listen... but that doesn't mean it wasn't irritating having them tell me.

 

Incidentally, one of the most interesting things about having children was discovering that "pain in the ass" is a congenital condition.  So apparently it wasn't my fault; I am a victim of biology.


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#30 Idaho

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Posted 12 May 2018 - 08:50 AM

The best way to get kids is to make wrestling easier and add it to Fortnite....however that works. 



#31 Voice_of_the_Quakers

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 04:37 AM

To this day, my brother and I (both DI wrestlers) love fighting in all of its forms: boxing, karate, judo, etc.  We would have wrestled as kids if our mother let us; she finally relented in middle school because practices were held near our house.

 

My son does not like sports, period.  I cannot imagine making him wrestle given how much he would hate it.

 

That being said, he is not exempt from learning what I call "life skills", and self-defense is a life skill.  So, he's working on his youth black belt in jiujitsu.  From my perspective, it's a more useful form of self-defense for someone like him, with its emphasis on neutralizing opponents.  I also make him swim - again, life skills - and he's good enough at backstroke and breaststroke to compete at a higher level if he wanted to, but, I can't wish it for him.

 

When he gets to high school, I will make him run track, because he's good at it and it will keep him off of Fortnite for a couple hours. 


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#32 JerseyJoey

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:00 PM

The year round club wrestler that gets his jollies pounding Rec kids is actually killing the sport. These type of kids are around in most sports but in team sport having one or two kids like that isn’t the same as an individual sport. And those club kids in team sports tend to play on club teams against other club teams so the normal kids can play against other multi sport kids. In wrestling, at least in PA and NJ, there is no middle class. There are beginner tourneys and then opens. In the open tourneys that 3 sport kid who is a good athlete but doesn’t wrestle in a club 4 nights a week gets hammered. And of course they are all money makers. There is no bigger disgrace than the NJ USA wrestling kids states where kids are paying close to $100 (for USA card and the tourney fee) to enter a single elimination tourney where, until you have placed in the states you are likely to run into a state place winner your first match

. Little Johnny’s parents pay the $100, go have him weigh in Friday night (kills an hour or more) and then sit around 4 hours on Sunday til he finally wrestles. Gets pinned in a minute, no wrestleback. Signs up for lacrosse the next day and who can blame him?
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#33 Idaho

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:07 PM

The year round club wrestler that gets his jollies pounding Rec kids is actually killing the sport. These type of kids are around in most sports but in team sport having one or two kids like that isn’t the same as an individual sport. And those club kids in team sports tend to play on club teams against other club teams so the normal kids can play against other multi sport kids. In wrestling, at least in PA and NJ, there is no middle class. There are beginner tourneys and then opens. In the open tourneys that 3 sport kid who is a good athlete but doesn’t wrestle in a club 4 nights a week gets hammered. And of course they are all money makers. There is no bigger disgrace than the NJ USA wrestling kids states where kids are paying close to $100 (for USA card and the tourney fee) to enter a single elimination tourney where, until you have placed in the states you are likely to run into a state place winner your first match

. Little Johnny’s parents pay the $100, go have him weigh in Friday night (kills an hour or more) and then sit around 4 hours on Sunday til he finally wrestles. Gets pinned in a minute, no wrestleback. Signs up for lacrosse the next day and who can blame him?

 

 

Someone has to wrestle the tough kid first...all sports work that way

 

If they want to do something for the good of wrestling they need a wrestle-back. Out West a lot of the bigger folk style tournaments are doing second chance tourneys after kids are eliminated. 4 matches instead of 2 guaranteed. 



#34 JerseyJoey

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 02:34 PM

Someone has to wrestle the tough kid first...all sports work that way
 
If they want to do something for the good of wrestling they need a wrestle-back. Out West a lot of the bigger folk style tournaments are doing second chance tourneys after kids are eliminated. 4 matches instead of 2 guaranteed.


Actually no other sports work that way. If you face a baseball team with an elite pitcher everyone faces the same kid. And usually that kid wants to play on a club team against other club players. There are different circuits that are more clearly defined. Also, you don’t have to wait for 4 hours and pay $100 to get only one at bat against that pitcher. This is true for all team sports.

For individual sports, in track you are in heats with a bunch of dudes and even if you can’t win you can try to set a personal best. I don’t know much about tennis but again I know you don’t wait 4 hours to play for 30 seconds

The wrestling model is totally flawed.

#35 mlbruem

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:31 AM

Wrestling having zero roots in grade school sports offerings is a big part of the problem.

You play basketball, football, run track, and play soccer among other sports with your grade

school friends. Zero orientation is given in the grade schools to wrestling.



#36 gimpeltf

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 01:58 AM

Wrestling having zero roots in grade school sports offerings is a big part of the problem.

You play basketball, football, run track, and play soccer among other sports with your grade

school friends. Zero orientation is given in the grade schools to wrestling.

 

Where are you from to say that? Kids start wrestling in kindergarten around here. (Lehigh Valley- District XI Pa). When a friend of mine retired from coaching (Rick Thompson then coaching Bangor) I went to the match which was also senior day. One of the seniors is a kid of one of the assistants (also a friend that grew up down the street from me). When he was introduced it was mentioned that he had been wrestling 14 years. I said to those around me that it was remarkable to be able to say that and NOT cause a stir.



#37 gowrestle

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:01 AM

Where are you from to say that? Kids start wrestling in kindergarten around here. (Lehigh Valley- District XI Pa). When a friend of mine retired from coaching (Rick Thompson then coaching Bangor) I went to the match which was also senior day. One of the seniors is a kid of one of the assistants (also a friend that grew up down the street from me). When he was introduced it was mentioned that he had been wrestling 14 years. I said to those around me that it was remarkable to be able to say that and NOT cause a stir.


That’s a long time wrestling. Some/a lot, of wrestling coaches encourage this. Most educators discourage that degree of focus. I know many wrestlers that did the same and now, years later, they don’t think it’s a good idea.

#38 iGranby

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:12 AM

I'd say its about 50/50 in most of your "hotbed" states if an above average kid grew up on the sport. 

 

I'd also say that a considerable amount of kids in those same states that do not wrestle in HS did in fact wrestle at some point in their youth. Its always interesting to me when I hear that an elite track athlete, or FB player in my building wrestled at some point but did not stick with it for various reasons. Not a shock that many say the time commitment was huge (in the wrong situation, it totally is). 



#39 SikeD

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:13 AM

That’s a long time wrestling. Some/a lot, of wrestling coaches encourage this. Most educators discourage that degree of focus. I know many wrestlers that did the same and now, years later, they don’t think it’s a good idea.

 

Why isn't it a good idea?  Is it because the assumption is that said wrestler was wrestling 10 months a year for 14 years?  What if I said, he wrestled three months out of the year for the first 10 years practicing 2-3X a week, and the last fours as a high school athlete just during wrestling season?



#40 SikeD

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 03:14 AM

I'd say its about 50/50 in most of your "hotbed" states if an above average kid grew up on the sport. 

 

I'd also say that a considerable amount of kids in those same states that do not wrestle in HS did in fact wrestle at some point in their youth. Its always interesting to me when I hear that an elite track athlete, or FB player in my building wrestled at some point but did not stick with it for various reasons. Not a shock that many say the time commitment was huge (in the wrong situation, it totally is). 

Why do we as a sport expect athletes to commit to wrestling at such a young age?  Why can't we take the same approach, recreational baseball, basketball, etc take?  






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