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Wrestlingmom3812

How do you help a youth wrestler

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Hi everyone, I have a 7 year old youth wrestler that is having a hard time not panicking or not getting frustrated and not giving up during a tough match. As long as he can go out and wrestle someone who really isn’t competition for him he’s great and can keep it together. But if they are competition for him, he seems to beat himself and begins to cry and panic during the match and loses. 

What can I do to help him get past this, it’s frustrating for all of us and I could really use some advice please. 

Edited by Wrestlingmom3812

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How do you and his coaches act during matches? If it is a close match or he is losing do you panic and scream or is everyone calm? With youth wrestlers, they often react the same way that the adults react. If the adults stay calm, it will help the kid stay calm. 

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On 5/9/2019 at 12:40 PM, Wrestlingmom3812 said:

Hi everyone, I have a 7 year old youth wrestler that is having a hard time not panicking or not getting frustrated and not giving up during a tough match. As long as he can go out and wrestle someone who really isn’t competition for him he’s great and can keep it together. But if they are competition for him, he seems to beat himself and begins to cry and panic during the match and loses. 

What can I do to help him get past this, it’s frustrating for all of us and I could really use some advice please. 

Hey, I'm seeing this three months after you wrote it but hopefully it can still be helpful.  I'm a middle school wrestling coach (also with 25 years teaching / classroom experience) who has also done work with younger wrestlers.  What you are describing is something that happens a lot with kids who are tough on themselves and hold themselves to a super high standard.  It's probably not something you did, or his coaches did, or anything like that.  In my experience, it's just who the kid is right now.  Don't make it bad or wrong - he's 7, he's got a LOT of growing to do, and it's part of that growing process.  The main thing is time, having patience.  I'm sure it is terribly frustrating in the moment, but it's normal, and in time he'll start to figure it out.

So how can you help him now?  The main thing is to stay calm - let him know that you love him no matter what.  (I know this seems so obvious, but in the heat of the moment we sometimes forget to remind them.  I'm also speaking from experience, as a parent of an almost 9-year-old.)  Let him know you understand that it is hard to lose - any challenge is hard, by definition - but by finding the bravery to overcome our fears we become better human beings.  This is why I love coaching this sport.  There's a girl on my team who lost literally every match when she was in 5th grade.  This past year, as an 8th grader, she wrestled with the upper school varsity and had a winning record.  Talk about personal growth, grit, determination, not giving up.  But she didn't get there right away.  It was really hard for her for a long time - and she started older than your son!

I hope this is helpful to you.  In my experience, kids are never too young to be told that beating yourself up has never made anyone a better person.  And it's OK to feel like crying and panicking - but finding the strength to do it anyway in the face of fear is the key to being a better wrestler and human being.  And when your son does do it anyhow - win or lose, let him know how proud you are that he did.  (I have no doubt that this is obvious to you and you do this already.)

I hope this is helpful!  I hope your son sticks with it and finds the joy - win or lose - next season.

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I have the same problem, but i realised that the most kids that are high ranked after a tournament are wrestling for 2-3 years in this age. So if your child is 8 and wrestling since 7 Rank 4-8 is normal like 1-2 Fights sometimes 3 Fights won. It mayb makes sense to learn wrestling for 2 years before fight other people outside own training camp. My son start good wrestling after 1 year but if he fights someone with 4 year exp he han have more muscles more training but still losing on lack exp and bad handle grips.

Edited by kimbo

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