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AnklePicker

What age is the best to start wrestling?

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My 12 year old has been wrestling since 4

 

The early years were a challenge for sure (but he enjoyed rolling around on the mats)

 

Last weekend at schoolboys in Indianapolis his left ear exploded - now has a golf ball looking ear ala jake Varner

 

4 was too young

 

At 6&7 he started grasping things pretty good

 

I feel bad about his ear

The whole ear issue can be avoided if the parents insist on wearing the headgear at all times. My son is a high school freshman and has been wrestling 9 years. The past 3 years have been year round and he has never had an issue with his ears because he always wears the headgear.

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Ok it's time to get some real numbers. I'm not a twitter guy but if you are can any of you please tweet any of the NCAA champs from this year and ask them when they started?

 

When did you start Coach Brinzer? When did Herbert, Q and Coleman start?

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Trip,

 

I could understand why you wouldn't want your kid going out for wrestling based on your past experiences. But if your experience was so bad, why did you become a coach? If you left the sport altogether, fine. But how do you become a coach after apparently having such a bad experience? Also how do you say to your kid that they can't wrestle because they could suffer, but you can coach it?

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Hey WW

 

Yep my son wears headgear 100% of the time. USA wrestling mandates schoolboys and under to wear headgear.

 

In the match in Indianapolis, he got cranked to the side and his headgear rotated (strap popped loose). Before we knew it he got smacked hard with an aggressive collar tie and suffered the injury (the ref forced continuation). I drained it twice right after the match in 3 locations on the ear With a needle- but it is permanent it seems.

 

Freak accident

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Quote from an article on Jordan Oliver back in 2007, "Oliver got into wrestling not too long after he learned to walk."

 

Quote from Logan Steiber article, "WIN: And how old were you when you started wrestling?

 

Stieber: I was four.

 

Found another article that said Q. Wright began at 7.

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If you've read that book outliers the author talks about the 10,000 hour rule for mastery. Said it basically takes 10 years. When is the ideal time to get those 10 years in? If you start at 5 you will get there as a freshman in high school. I wonder how many NCAA champs started at 5 years old. I'd bet the number is fairly high.

That ten year thing is interesting AP. As I was wrestling , darn successfully, I never thought I was really very good. When I hit around ten years I started thinking."hey.... I am starting to really figure this out" That was when it got to be tons of fun.

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I am at a camp with 3 NCAA champs. 2 started wrestling in junior high, 1 started at 7.

 

When you are talking about starting young, you have to be careful about creating a cause and effect where one doesn't exist. I am sure there are 30 NCAA champs that have attended Ken Chertow camps. Did they win BECAUSE they went to Ken's camps? Or did they win because ofa combination of ability, work ethic, passion and parental resources that allowed them to go to these camps?

 

There is no doubt that a lot of future studs start early. They have Dads with passion for the sport who want to start them early. Sometimes it works out. Most of the time it doesn't. It you know an NCAA champ who started wrestling really young, ask him how many of his peers that he started with were wrestling in high school, let alone college.

 

With any sport, you need to balance what they will gain from starting early vs the chances they will have a bad experience. That's why it makes sense to start in the less grueling sports young but wait with wrestling, tackle football, even track. You can make up for lost time quickly in those sports. You can never get back the bad experiences. When you watch a pair of 6 year olds wrestle,,usually both boys wind up in tears.

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trip....... I agree on the wear and tear on your body. But I really think that is MUCH more on the college level. Not that there aren't injuries in pre-college years.

As a coach I didn't encourage kids to go past high school wrestling...........UNLESS I thought they would go and try to be the very best at that level. My thinking was exactly that...... too much wear and tear on the body at that level.

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I am at a camp with 3 NCAA champs. 2 started wrestling in junior high, 1 started at 7.

 

When you are talking about starting young, you have to be careful about creating a cause and effect where one doesn't exist. I am sure there are 30 NCAA champs that have attended Ken Chertow camps. Did they win BECAUSE they went to Ken's camps? Or did they win because ofa combination of ability, work ethic, passion and parental resources that allowed them to go to these camps?

 

There is no doubt that a lot of future studs start early. They have Dads with passion for the sport who want to start them early. Sometimes it works out. Most of the time it doesn't. It you know an NCAA champ who started wrestling really young, ask him how many of his peers that he started with were wrestling in high school, let alone college.

 

With any sport, you need to balance what they will gain from starting early vs the chances they will have a bad experience. That's why it makes sense to start in the less grueling sports young but wait with wrestling, tackle football, even track. You can make up for lost time quickly in those sports. You can never get back the bad experiences. When you watch a pair of 6 year olds wrestle,,usually both boys wind up in tears.

 

What weights are they...just curious?

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I think 149 and 197. I also recently read an interview with Chris Pendleton where he said he started wrestling in 6th grade and didnt compete until 7th or 8th.

 

I don't think waiting that long is the right path. I would say late elementary school depending on the kid, and wait until they are ready to compete.

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I coached many hundreds of young ones over the years. Every story is different.

When to start varies based upon emotional and physical maturity. Sometimes it merely varies based upon opportunity.

 

The average kid should start around 7 years old. In our program, we never discussed winning or losing other than to say that it doesn't matter until you reach junior high or high school. We never forced kids to go on to the mat, and we made sure that to the best of our ability the parents were there for support only, never pressure.

 

I know this may sound like the rantings of a bleeding heart liberal, but we eliminated team scoring from our dual meets. No more hiding kids to prevent a loss, no more pressure to 'win one for the team'. No more parents fighting in the stands. Coaches met before every dual to honestly (for the most part) attempt to match up kids based upon ability and experience.

 

I had a team full of studs and many rarely wrestled their own weight and age group. They got better competition and didn't have to worry about winning or losing. And in the post season, those younger and smaller kids at their actual age and weight sure looked a lot easier.

 

This method worked. One of my earliest teams included about 22 6-7 year olds, and all but one or two started for his high school. We encouraged the kids to not wrestle year round, but to play other sports in the off-season. I can remember telling them that when they were standing in the outfield waiting on a fly ball, they should think of themselves as wrestlers who like to play a little baseball. And that's what they were. (well, one of them ended up pitching for the Mets, but he was the exception.)

 

Some kids can start at age 5, though it's kind of rare. I remember having a 6 year old who I knew from the start was going to be a star. He ended up as an AA at Oklahoma University.

 

But I wouldn't hold a kid back until 10 or 12 or Jr High unless it was absolutely necessary. He's going to take a boat-load of butt kicking until he starts to catch up, which could take years.

 

The trick is to keep them involved with as little pressure as possible. Those of us who love wrestling know the most pleasure is derived from that perfectly thrown move, the camaraderie of the room, the satisfaction of being a part of something important.

 

The kids who were getting blown out by the early-developing studs at age 7 would be knocking off those early developing studs by age 12. Saw it happen over and over again. But the experience they developed from starting at age 7 traveled with them through high school.

 

Don't deny your kid the pleasure and opportunity of starting young. If done right, wrestling is pure fun for a kid. Why take that away from him?

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trip....... I agree on the wear and tear on your body. But I really think that is MUCH more on the college level. Not that there aren't injuries in pre-college years.

As a coach I didn't encourage kids to go past high school wrestling...........UNLESS I thought they would go and try to be the very best at that level. My thinking was exactly that...... too much wear and tear on the body at that level.

 

I wouldn't want them to wrestle at all. It's just the way I feel. If it makes you feel any better that goes for football, basketball and baseball too. Swimming, tennis and golf are the OK things on my list. I would encourage them in that if they wanted to pursue it, but I'm not going to push them into athletics, let it come naturally if it must be. But I'm not going to have my kid exposed to wrestling from before he can walk and have him wind up missing out on life to go cut weight or take it to some other extreme. Just not going to happen.

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TripNSweep lives in the Virgin Islands, so swimming tennis and golf are probably the only sports they have to offer his kids.

 

Seriously, there is very little validity to trip's apparent paranoia for his children. What wrestling has to teach is far more important than how to wrestle. It teaches discipline, self-reliance, planning, and the value of commitment to a goal among many other things.

 

I'm far enough away from my coaching time to have seen my kids go from young ones, to high schoolers, to college and then to adulthood. So many of them have become very successful adults and many of those continue to love wrestling and count it as an important component in their growing up experience.

 

At the same time in my entire history of coaching over 20 years, I cannot remember one major injury any of our youth wrestlers incurred. Heck there were darn few minor injuries. There may have been a broken hand once, incurred when the kids were fooling around before practice (not wrestling).

 

And none were ever allowed to cut weight while in our youth program.

 

I just don't agree with trip's POV in this. Doesn't make sense to me.

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Kids ages 6 and Under only need to know a few things. If they perfect them they can be very dominant. Double Leg (Tackle), Half, Stand up. If your showing a kid 6 years old and younger anymore then this your are waisting your time.

 

My son is 7 going on 8 and this is how my wife and I have handled wrestling with him so far to this point:

 

4-Years old- Hey buddy Im going to practice want to go roll around? Yes- Okay lets go. No- Okay see you when I get home. I didnt ever make him run with the other kids or drill. If he wanted to do it that was fine, just never forced him to do it. 8/10 times he would run and try to do everything the ol where doing because he liked the older kids and wanted to be like them. He was rewarded for his hard work with 2 novice tournaments.

 

5-years old- Hey buddy do you want to wrestle this year? Yes-Okay well practice will be 4 days a night I would just like you to go to 2 of those practices a week. If you want to go to more thats fine. He would pick the nights he wanted to go. Some weeks it would be all 4 nights some weeks just 2 nights other times he would do his 2 nights and just go the other 2 nights to hang out and watch. Just being in the room watching he learned alot. For his hard work he was rewarded with 2 open tourney and 4 novice tourneys.

 

6 years old- Practiced 3 days a week. Wrestled in Open tourneys every other weekend. Ended the season as Section Champ, Qualified for Districts where he was runner-up.

 

7 years old- Practiced 4 days a week through the season. Wrestled in open tourneys almost every weekend. He was just having fun with his buddies and didnt want to miss out on anything (practice, tourney, hotels) Earned All-American status. Continued practicing through the spring 2 days a week. Finished when soccer started in the first week of June.

 

His soccer game got cancelled last night due to the rain, I asked if he wanted to go to practice. He said "No" and I left it at that. At this point I feel as if I have pointed him in the right direction, but the ball is in his court.

 

This was pretty much my approach with my son, and even though he's now in middle school, I still allow him to decide what/when/where he's wrestling. Started young, went to practice when he wanted. When he hit 9, I believe, is when I said "if you sign up, you're going to all the practices", and he did.

He wrestles for a club team, our town's team, and gets pulled into other club duals on a pretty regular basis. He works out privately quite a bit, with me and with another coach, and one training partner. As far as building his skill set, those workouts far surpass the team setting.

He's a state, MAWA, War, etc place winner, and enjoying himself. He can't wait for HS.

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As I stated previously, my son started this past season at age 6, with just practices. He wants to continue, which is great, but I told him no tournaments next year either, and maybe not for a couple of years. I want him to understand exactly what he's doing and why he's doing it before he endures the stress and insanity of a youth wrestling tournament, not to mention the sheer uncomfortableness (is that a word?) of wearing a singlet and headgear for the first time in front of a crowd. The coaches of his club were/are pushing the kids who have just started to get into tournaments, which makes no sense to me.

 

Regarding cutting weight - there is no thought of this unless he wants to, and not until he's in high school. If it's a few lbs it's not a big deal - for example, he starts the season weighing 143 and wants to go 138. I won't allow any major weight cutting, especially remembering all the hell I went through to make weight (though many of those weight cutting measures are no longer allowed). Hell, he started out last season weighing 45 lbs, and on the last day of practice weighed 41 lbs. Lost 4 lbs just running around and (kinda) drilling moves.

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TripNSweep lives in the Virgin Islands, so swimming tennis and golf are probably the only sports they have to offer his kids.

 

Seriously, there is very little validity to trip's apparent paranoia for his children. What wrestling has to teach is far more important than how to wrestle. It teaches discipline, self-reliance, planning, and the value of commitment to a goal among many other things.

 

I'm far enough away from my coaching time to have seen my kids go from young ones, to high schoolers, to college and then to adulthood. So many of them have become very successful adults and many of those continue to love wrestling and count it as an important component in their growing up experience.

 

At the same time in my entire history of coaching over 20 years, I cannot remember one major injury any of our youth wrestlers incurred. Heck there were darn few minor injuries. There may have been a broken hand once, incurred when the kids were fooling around before practice (not wrestling).

 

And none were ever allowed to cut weight while in our youth program.

 

I just don't agree with trip's POV in this. Doesn't make sense to me.

 

Actually I have residency in the USVI, but spend most of my time in Arizona. You are correct when you say wrestling isn't a big deal there. Basketball and soccer are actually much more popular there than anything. Then swimming, track, golf, etc.

 

I know the virtues of wrestling but I just wouldn't want to subject my kids to the negative aspects. It's something they can do without, and barring my untimely death or having kids so late in the game I croak before they hit high school, it's not going to happen.

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I know the virtues of wrestling but I just wouldn't want to subject my kids to the negative aspects. It's something they can do without, and barring my untimely death or having kids so late in the game I croak before they hit high school, it's not going to happen.

 

I must say, if you wind up with a kid who deeply wants to wrestle, this seems no better than the fathers who force unwilling children into wrestling.

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I know the virtues of wrestling but I just wouldn't want to subject my kids to the negative aspects. It's something they can do without, and barring my untimely death or having kids so late in the game I croak before they hit high school, it's not going to happen.

 

I must say, if you wind up with a kid who deeply wants to wrestle, this seems no better than the fathers who force unwilling children into wrestling.

 

It will exist on the fringe. Some kids find their parents jobs incredibly boring and want no part of it ever. Hopefully I can do the same.

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What is it that you don't like about the sport trip? The weight cutting aspect? Easy solution, don't cut weight.

 

Honestly I think 95% of the negativity towards wrestling from the competitors who actually did the sport is from losing weight. Without that aspect what's not to like?

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