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MedalMan

Should I quit?

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I wrestled all through middle school, my dad first got me into it in 6th grade. I really enjoyed the sport and had a decent amount of success for a first year wrestler. My second year I did not enjoy the sport very much, mainly due to trying to cut way to much weight, and my third year was similar to my first. Now that I am in high school it is a different league, I have a daily schedule of waking up, going for a 5 mile run, going to school, practicing, lifting weights, studying/homework, and going to sleep. I haven't been getting any positive feeling from the sport and have just stopped enjoying wrestling. I want to quit, but I know my dad would be very upset, I would lose respect from anyone that knows me, teammates, coaches, friends. I tend to get very anxious and dreadful about the sport, but I am not sure what to do, any advice?

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If you don't like the sport then quit. What's the point of putting in all that work if you don't actually like it? 

 

Alternatively, consider skipping the 5 mile run and weight lifting and instead just go to practice.  I think that would free up a lot of time and make it more enjoyable.  

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Alternatively, you could continue with your commitment to the morning run and weight lifting.  Whether you wrestle or not, these are great life habits.  My grandfather always said if you don't do it when you're young, you won't when you're old!

Nothing in this world worth a damn is easy.

That said, perhaps the changes you might consider are on the perception side of things.  Ask yourself (as in, do not answer here):

--How is my attitude and outlook?
--Might I feel differently if I was near the end of a great season?
--Am I focusing on what I'm missing out on, rather than what I'm gaining that others are missing out on?

Like many other things in life, wrestling is hard.  That bears repeating:  Like many other things in life, wrestling is hard.  That means that it will, by definition, bring you to these moments, and these questions.  Do you know what else will?

--college

--marriage

--parenthood

--career

--getting / staying in shape

--bills

While you will be making choices and commitments the rest of your life, every one you make will be predicated on what you achieved by your previous choices and commitments.  That is to say, every day we set a pattern of living that we will begin tomorrow with.  Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be.  Chances are that if you have a pulse, your choice will necessarily involve some commitments that will bring you back to these very tests you're facing now.  What kind of person do you want to be tomorrow?  Are you becoming that person today?

Okay, no judgement here, bud.  Honestly.  Wrestling is tough.  I'll put you in my prayers, because I know you're facing a very tough set of tests right now.  Much love and respect, and good luck.  Whatever you do, be brave, don't sell yourself short.

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If you don't enjoy the sport then quit. Life is too short to voluntarily do things that you don't enjoy. Bear in mind you will no longer spend as much time with your wrestling buddies, but if they are real friends they'll understand.

Edited by TobusRex

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Maybe come up with your own definition of success?  John Wooden is one of the winningist coaches in NCAA basketball history and never talked about championships or winning with his teams.  Success could be something about commitment or improvement.  Honestly, wrestling sucks and coaches get their athletes to hate their lives, but wrestling can be used as a tool to learn how to cope with stress, how to follow through on your goals despite setbacks, adversity, or plateaus.  Ask yourself how you want to remember this experience when you reflect on it for the rest of your life and act in a way that will make you proud.  If you hate the sport there is absolutely nothing wrong with moving on.  You need to wrestle for yourself and not for your dad, coaches, or anybody else.  

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I will say this, we all hang up the wrestling shoes at some point, however I don't think you'll ever regret not hanging them up in the middle of a season. Out of the 23 guys on my college team my freshman year, over half of us expressed wanting to quit at some point over the course of the first semester. Some did. I have never regretted not quitting, though I came close several times. Most all of us have been there; wrestling can suck a lot sometimes. That said, if not even a little bit of the wrestling you are doing is for yourself, and purely for fear of what others will think if you quit, then maybe you have something to think about. There is no shame in quitting, but I have to think that it will be a lot easier socially in the long run to get through this one season and then just not go out for the sport next year than quitting in the middle of a season. Either way, good luck in your decision.

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I see no shame in quiting at the start of the season if you no longer enjoy it or other more important obligations have came up.  But keep in mind a few thing. 1. Almost all wrestlers will be done after their senior year of HS and never get to do the sport again.  You’ll have the rest of your life to do other things but only a short time left to do this sport.  2. If you are quiting with no plan of what to do next it may not be the vest idea.  If you are not filling that void with something useful and productive then it’s just quitting to be lazy and that rarely translates to anything positive that will help you in life.  3. If you’ve been training almost year round even see if you can have a week or two off to mill over your decision.  A physical and mental break is needed occasionally but use it to really evaluate the situation and talk to others about it.  If you come back it may mean missing a few meets as punishment but most coaches would be fine with a short hiatus (as long as it between you and him) rather than losing someone forever.  If those thing still don’t change your mind then you aren’t into it enough to stay.  With the season just stating there is not established final lineup where they would be counting on you.   But do it the right way and actually talk to the coach instead of just disappear.  Nothing worse than wrestlers just disappearing and the coach who has spent a lot of time working with you only getting second hand report.   Have a straight forward conversation with the coach.  The coach may not be happy with the decision, but deserves to hear it from you.  Plus having practice at those type of talks will serve you well in later situations.    

 

If you’ve made it halfway through the season, I think at that point you see it through.  You have a coach and teammates who have grown to rely on the commitment you established.  You should put forth your best effort for them at practice as a sign of the type of person you are.  Working through the struggle for others will make you a better person in the end.  In that case after the season you can talk to the coach about the your intentions  to move on.  Most coaches would be disappointed but would respec the fact you continued to work and saw the last half of the season through even though you were ready to walk away. 

Edited by MadMardigain

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I’d vote for starting with skipping the 5 mile run.  As someone that ran XC, 5 miles is probably overkill in addition to wrestling practice and lifting.  HS starts early enough,  so I bet that could be a big part of the unhappiness.   At most just do like 2 miles and maybe some sprints and you’re cutting that time in half.

But are you a freshman?  If so, I’d guess maybe you’re not having as much success as in middle school.  If you get more success as you get older you’ll probably enjoy it more.

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1032004, that morning run was the best part of my day, often.  it gave me energy and confidence that carried me through the day.  i KNEW i could outwork all of my classmates, and teachers.  did they get up and run 5 miles before they got here?  nope.  i sat feet away from them not intimidated by perceptions that someone didn't approve of me or my efforts.  i felt in the greatest control of my day and my success than i ever did before, on the strength of that morning ritual starting my day.  i was MORE alert, MORE ready to learn than i was following any other routine.  

MedalMan, so, how'd it go?  where are you in your though process now?  feeling better?

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On 12/5/2018 at 11:36 PM, MedalMan said:

I wrestled all through middle school, my dad first got me into it in 6th grade. I really enjoyed the sport and had a decent amount of success for a first year wrestler. My second year I did not enjoy the sport very much, mainly due to trying to cut way to much weight, and my third year was similar to my first. Now that I am in high school it is a different league, I have a daily schedule of waking up, going for a 5 mile run, going to school, practicing, lifting weights, studying/homework, and going to sleep. I haven't been getting any positive feeling from the sport and have just stopped enjoying wrestling. I want to quit, but I know my dad would be very upset, I would lose respect from anyone that knows me, teammates, coaches, friends. I tend to get very anxious and dreadful about the sport, but I am not sure what to do, any advice?

Quit the 5 mile run. It is over kill and probably not helping as much as you think. Get your cardio in practice. Take that time in the morning or find some time doing something you love. Wrestling is hard, but I think the hardest part is that it becomes all consuming. I loved wrestling, but if I didn't find time to get away from it burnout set in quickly

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On 12/17/2018 at 10:15 AM, John Coctostan said:

1032004, that morning run was the best part of my day, often.  it gave me energy and confidence that carried me through the day.  i KNEW i could outwork all of my classmates, and teachers.  did they get up and run 5 miles before they got here?  nope.  i sat feet away from them not intimidated by perceptions that someone didn't approve of me or my efforts.  i felt in the greatest control of my day and my success than i ever did before, on the strength of that morning ritual starting my day.  i was MORE alert, MORE ready to learn than i was following any other routine.  

MedalMan, so, how'd it go?  where are you in your though process now?  feeling better?

 

I often ran before school too and agree it helped, but I usually only did like a mile/mile and a half then some sprints.  5 miles a day plus wrestling practice and lifting is too much IMO, especially if OP is an underclassmen.   Some XC teams don’t even average 5 miles a day and running is all they do.  

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On 12/6/2018 at 1:14 PM, John Coctostan said:

Alternatively, you could continue with your commitment to the morning run and weight lifting.  Whether you wrestle or not, these are great life habits.  My grandfather always said if you don't do it when you're young, you won't when you're old!

Nothing in this world worth a damn is easy.

That said, perhaps the changes you might consider are on the perception side of things.  Ask yourself (as in, do not answer here):

--How is my attitude and outlook?
--Might I feel differently if I was near the end of a great season?
--Am I focusing on what I'm missing out on, rather than what I'm gaining that others are missing out on?

Like many other things in life, wrestling is hard.  That bears repeating:  Like many other things in life, wrestling is hard.  That means that it will, by definition, bring you to these moments, and these questions.  Do you know what else will?

--college

--marriage

--parenthood

--career

--getting / staying in shape

--bills

While you will be making choices and commitments the rest of your life, every one you make will be predicated on what you achieved by your previous choices and commitments.  That is to say, every day we set a pattern of living that we will begin tomorrow with.  Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be.  Chances are that if you have a pulse, your choice will necessarily involve some commitments that will bring you back to these very tests you're facing now.  What kind of person do you want to be tomorrow?  Are you becoming that person today?

Okay, no judgement here, bud.  Honestly.  Wrestling is tough.  I'll put you in my prayers, because I know you're facing a very tough set of tests right now.  Much love and respect, and good luck.  Whatever you do, be brave, don't sell yourself short.

Hi John - I don't look at the HS forum that often so I just saw this - That is one of the best answers to any question I have seen on this forum - very astute.

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Get back to enjoying the sport.  Everything else depends on that.

In theory, you run, lift, cut weight, and all that in order to win.  But winning is predicated on actually wrestling.  If you quit, the game ends.  It would be a shame if you quit, because you basically like it.

Quit doing all the other stuff (particularly cutting weight), and wrestle.  The sport hasn't changed, and you haven't in any fundamental way, either, so you can probably get back to enjoying it.  Then start building.

When your head is in the right place, you want to win.  So when you lose, start fixing things.  If you lose in a particular position, study it and practice there.  If you lose because you're not strong enough, add some strength training.  If you find you're not in good enough shape, do more conditioning.  Maybe this eventually leads you back to running in the morning, and stuff like that... but if it does, it will be because you chose to do that, in order to solve your own problems.  That makes an enormous difference in how you feel about things.

Here's the hard part about all this:  it means taking over your own life.  Right now, you're doing things because you don't want to disappoint your dad, or your teammates.  You're doing what your coach and other people tell you to do.  That's not a bad way for a child to live, but it's not compatible with being an adult... and by high school, you need to start making that transition.

This may cause some conflict with the adults who care about you, and who are accustomed to making decisions for you.  If so, however, that conflict is now inevitable.  Quitting the sport will cause conflict also.  Sucking it up and continuing to be miserable just postpones it (briefly, in all likelihood), and makes it worse when it comes.  Making a positive plan and moving ahead with it will probably produce the best outcome all the way around.

Burnout isn't permanent, and if you ever loved wrestling, some part of you still does.  Change the details of your life until things work for you.  Be bold about it.  Have a good life, and go pin as many people as you can.

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Sounds like your dad needs to quit trying to relive his life through you.  Talk to your coach and let him know you are not enjoying the sport because of your dad....maybe he would talk to him. 

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I would ditch the 5 mile run and do some shorter, more intense conditioning workouts in its place.  Many wrestlers still buy into old school conditioning techniques, but there is a lot of evidence that higher intensity training such as sprints (the best being hill sprints) or intervals is more efficient for weight loss.    When you do long distance cardio, your body stops burning calories shortly after stopping, but when you do sprints your body has an after-burn effect for several hours.  Not to mention that you can get your conditioning done in less time - most wrestlers would need at least 30 minutes to run 5 miles, whereas a sprint workout could be done in 10-15 minutes.  Imagine that, you'll spend less time running and less time cutting weight.

And if that weren't enough, sprints and intervals more closely mimic the energy systems needs of a wrestling match than long distance cardio does.  Jogging is good for building a conditioning base when you're getting back into shape or doing active recovery, but after that it has diminishing returns.  As one NCAA All-American told me: "It [a wrestling match] ain't no five mile jog - heck, it's a friekin' one mile sprint!"

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45 minutes ago, John Coctostan said:

sounds like that guy pinned his guys in the first period.  ;-)

I kinda see your point but I stand by his statement because a match is 6 (or 7 in the case of college) minutes, roughly the amount of time to run a mile, give or take. Running a mile as fast as you can mimics the energy system needs of a wrestling match more closely than jogging 5 miles.

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1 hour ago, UsedToBe103 said:

I kinda see your point but I stand by his statement because a match is 6 (or 7 in the case of college) minutes, roughly the amount of time to run a mile, give or take. Running a mile as fast as you can mimics the energy system needs of a wrestling match more closely than jogging 5 miles.

i don't think so, bud.  but okay.

Edited by John Coctostan

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