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Let's be serious, wrestling isn't the toughest sport

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“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.”

 

That’s the line my coach used to say. I don’t think he came up with it himself because I’ve seen a similar line printed on wrestling t-shirts. That quote, in a sneaky way, alludes to the belief that other endeavors, including other sports, aren’t as tough as wrestling. I believed it, when I was younger and more impressionable.

 

But let’s be serious. We only think wrestling’s the toughest sport because we’re biased. I’m not saying it’s not tough, because it is, but it’s not the toughest. I’d rate it as upper-mid level in toughness compared to other sports.

 

There are way tougher sports (and athletes) out there, and I’ll list a few of them in a moment. But what I think takes away from wrestling’s toughness factor is that almost anybody can do it and become good (even elite) at it with enough hard work and drive. You can be short, tall, skinny, or fat and still be a great wrestler, a world/olympic champ even. There’s no barrier to entry, thus the talent pool is diluted.

 

You can’t say that about a lot of other sports. You’re not gonna win an Olympic gold in swimming if you’re big fat guy. You’re not gonna be a basketball superstar if you’re short . Of course somebody’s now gonna mention one of the short NBA players, but those rare guys are an exception to the rule (“exceptions only prove the rule”).

 

So what sports are tougher than wrestling? Here are a few in no particular order (and I’m talking about the elite level):

 

NFL quarterback. The whole team and its success is built around you. You can have a great defense, running game, etc but if you’re QB sucks then you’re not gonna go far as a team. Probably the most pressure-filled role in all of sports. You have to deliver the ball on the dot as half a dozen 6’5”+ 250+lb dudes are coming at you full speed. You’ll get dropped a whole bunch of times by those dudes during a game and you have to get back up each time and be on the money the next play.

 

Hockey. The fastest and hardest hitting team sport. The shifts are short because even the best conditioned players are winded within a minute of being out there on the ice.

 

Ultramarathon. Look it up, it’s no joke. You think 6 minutes on the mat is the ultimate testament to physical and mental toughness? Not after you read what these dudes go through.

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I tuned in for the NHL hockey finals. This dude gets accidentally whacked with the opponent's stick or puck or something and is knocked out COLD. They show him out on the ice, show a couple of replays, and then take a commercial break. When they come back from commercial break, the hockey action starts again and no mention of the dude that got knocked out! They could have just dumped him over the fence and started again for all I know. So a few more minutes into the game, that dude gets back on the ice and is playing again! That's tough. In wrestling, you can't compete again that day and some schools keep you out of the schedule quite a while to evaluate.

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“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.”

 

So what sports are tougher than wrestling? Here are a few in no particular order (and I’m talking about the elite level):

 

NFL quarterback. The whole team and its success is built around you. You can have a great defense, running game, etc but if you’re QB sucks then you’re not gonna go far as a team. Probably the most pressure-filled role in all of sports. You have to deliver the ball on the dot as half a dozen 6’5”+ 250+lb dudes are coming at you full speed. You’ll get dropped a whole bunch of times by those dudes during a game and you have to get back up each time and be on the money the next play.

 

 

NFLQuarterback isn't a sport. It is a tough position to play.

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From a three sport athlete perspective. Fielding and hitting in bseball are skills that need relatively NO CONDITIONING. Running with a football is determined by speed and quickness . JMO- wrestling skills are countered and the overall determination of any success is related to shape and conditioning. So, it is practical to believe that LEARNED SKILLS are easier than those who need to be CONDITIONED while doing theirs- WRESTLING unlike other team sports has the individuals out on a tightrope- exposed to the elements - exposed period to their disciplines. This alone , is TOUGHER than hiding within a group as in team sports.

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When I was in high school and college, the quarterback went out for wrestling and quit becuase it was too hard. I would say bull riding or surfing would be up there. One you have a chance on getting gored and stepped on by a 1200 pound animal and the other you can have a limb bitten off.

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"I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler."

- Socrates

Truth be told, I'd rather wrestle than run 10 miles any day of the week.

 

"Why Wrestlers Make the Best Employees" - Forbes

 

I'd say that wrestling is one of the toughest athletic sports because of the discipline required day in and day out. Everything has it's uniqueness. Boxing is less dimensional but tough in its own way, MMA has more opportunity to win, and lose. Wrestling is a grind on your feet, on the ground, and in the mind. Unlike team sports like football, soccer and baseball you can actually have a drinking habit during the season and still shine, or rely on your teammates to help you win. Unlike other individual sports like track, swimming or gymnastics you don't have a pre-determined target as the challenge that stands in front of you. The task is to beat the unknown on an empty stomach.

 

All sports are tough. I'm into cycling and can tell you that sometimes my hands tremble from lack of sugar on that 60th mile going up a hill. Skiing, kayaking and golf also provide challenges requiring technique and agility but not a grind like some of the other sports.

 

Come to think of it, Socrates was probably right.

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"I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler."

- Socrates

 

Truth be told, I'd rather wrestle than run 10 miles any day of the week.

 

"Why Wrestlers Make the Best Employees" - Forbes

 

I'd say that wrestling is one of the toughest athletic sports because of the discipline required day in and day out. Everything has it's uniqueness. Boxing is less dimensional but tough in its own way, MMA has more opportunity to win, and lose. Wrestling is a grind on your feet, on the ground, and in the mind. Unlike team sports like football, soccer and baseball you can actually have a drinking habit during the season and still shine, or rely on your teammates to help you win. Unlike other individual sports like track, swimming or gymnastics you don't have a pre-determined target as the challenge that stands in front of you. The task of a wrestler is to beat the unknown on an empty stomach.

 

All sports are tough. I'm into cycling and can tell you that sometimes my hands tremble from lack of sugar on that 60th mile going up a hill. Skiing, kayaking and golf also provide challenges requiring technique and agility but not a grind like some of the other sports.

 

Come to think of it, Socrates was probably right.

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"I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler."

- Socrates

 

Truth be told, I'd rather wrestle than run 10 miles any day of the week.

 

"Why Wrestlers Make the Best Employees" - Forbes

 

I'd say that wrestling is one of the toughest athletic sports because of the discipline required day in and day out. Everything has it's uniqueness. Boxing is less dimensional but tough in its own way, MMA has more opportunity to win, and lose. Wrestling is a grind on your feet, on the ground, and in the mind. Unlike team sports like football, soccer and baseball you can actually have a drinking habit during the season and still shine, or rely on your teammates to help you win. Unlike other individual sports like track, swimming or gymnastics you don't have a pre-determined target as the challenge that stands in front of you. The task is to beat the unknown on an empty stomach.

 

All sports are tough. I'm into cycling and can tell you that sometimes my hands tremble from lack of sugar on that 60th mile going up a hill. Skiing, kayaking and golf also provide challenges requiring technique and agility but not a grind like some of the other sports.

 

Come to think of it, Socrates was probably right.

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Muay Thai...and I'm not talking about the watered down version we see in MMA here in the states, I'm talking about the sport they do in Thailand.

 

For training they harden their bones by repeatedly hitting them with hard objects, which creates mini fractures, and grow back as calcium deposits. They have people repeatedly strike every part of their body, to kill off all of their nerves endings and pain receptors. I could go on and on, but you can find info about it easily, if you want to learn more.

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Muay Thai...and I'm not talking about the watered down version we see in MMA here in the states, I'm talking about the sport they do in Thailand.

 

For training they harden their bones by repeatedly hitting them with hard objects, which creates mini fractures, and grow back as calcium deposits. They have people repeatedly strike every part of their body, to kill off all of their nerves endings and pain receptors. I could go on and on, but you can find info about it easily, if you want to learn more.

 

 

You do realize there is a difference between tough and downright stupidity, right?

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The thought of Water Polo gives me the willies. Some a-h trying to hold you underneath just so he can swipe the ball, and I'm already struggling to stay afloat. Yeesh! :o

Bleacher Report has a list of the hardest sports and ranks Water Polo #1:

 

Scoring

 

Attribute Rating

Endurance 9

Speed 7

Strength 7

Agility 7

Skill 6

Physicality 8

 

Total Score - 44

 

Football is #6:

Scoring

 

Attribute Rating

Endurance 3

Speed 7

Strength 9

Agility 5

Skill 4

Physicality 10

 

Total Score - 38

Ice Hockey #5, Rugby #4, Boxing #3, Aussie rules Football #2

 

WRESTLING is not even on their list, so it can't be that tough.

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I have played rugby at high levels, and I can say that rugby is right up there as being a tough sport (at least for the forwards). Physically, mentally, endurance, playing while hurt, etc.

 

- we don't take breaks in between plays, the ball is always live.

- after you sprint for 100s of meters you have to still have the ability to take a guy down.

- we also only wear a type of headgear to protect from cauliflower ear. Thats all the protection you get.

- participants also play dirty like in wrestling. we had eye gouging, finger torquing, stepping on each other, etc.

- the team with the fittest, most mentally tough guys were the winners.

 

Having learned how to shoot a double leg helped me immensely in tackling properly in rugby. That and the work ethic I learned in wrestling.

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ESPN did an article on this a while back. Even basketball is harder than wrestling. Wrestling is roughly equivalent to girls gymnastics.

 

Probably wrestling style without high amplitude throws...not greco and freestyle.

Wrestling in the octagon is the best style. This the proof that espn and others sites isn't credible.

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Wait! There's BIAS in the media? Let's see, Basketball a liberal sport, Wrestling a conservative sport with no money to contribute. Hmmm, the Walt Disney owned ESPN couldn't possibly support wrestling, economically speaking, right?

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