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MadMardigain

Would moving youth Greco season to the fall help interest/#'

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With the talk a new USA Greco coach and a push to get more Greco interest up across the nation I was trying to think a little outside the box. While I do not think the US will be a perennial Greco World Powerhouse, I do think their is some ability to interest interest in the sport at the youth level and by doing so grow a much deeper and stronger US Greco program. My thought is would moving the USA Greco season (youth season) to the fall help gain some interest and increase participation numbers.

 

The biggest issue I see with youth Greco is not many people end up giving it a try because the season overlaps with Freestyle, so most choose just to participate in those competitions only. However, if Greco was about the only wrestling style available for a few months in the early fall would that help peek more interest in Greco. Hold local events over 6 weeks starting in August with the state competition in the middle of September.

 

Positives

It's the only really competition around during that time so if you want to get some mat time in you will train Greco. The competition dates can conclude right around the start of most Pre-Season Folkstyle competition so no conflict there with what tournament to attend to style to focus on.

 

The move will allow coaches/wrestlers to focus on just learning the nuances of Greco rather than trying to fit it in with Freestyle practice. This will allow kids to understand Greco better so they will be more willing to try it, plus coaches won't have to worry about cutting into Freestyle practice time if they want to point out some of the Greco technique.

 

The competition time will coincide with the start of the school year when many of the wrestlers starting to get back in the weight room and lifting. Having Greco season coincide with this could could help attract more wrestling to preseason workout since they also will get some wrestling in, it will breaking up some of the monotony of just coming in to lift, as well as, it will help show the wrestlers the benefits of their time in the weight room though their some of the body control and lifting techniques needed in Greco.

 

It allows Greco in general and the athletes who do well at it, to get a little more recognition. Right now Greco is basically treated as a footnote at the end of a Freestyle news. If Greco was in a different season by itself it would actually be the wrestling news, rather than just a footnote at the end of a Freestyle report.

 

 

Negatives

It may leave some of the fall sports athletes (mainly football) out, if they can't (through time or athletic rules) participate in weekend Greco competitions. However, I don't see that as much different with the current late fall pre-season practices and competitions which already exclude these same people.

 

If the wrestling coaches are not willing to buy into an early fall Greco season during this fall times period(dont want to learn the style or want to push Folkstyle way early) then there will be even less competition at state/local events than we event currently have now. But, again in many states little Greco competition exists as is due to the spring Freestyle focus. So, I'm not sure it this will necessarily reduce numbers much, but it still up in the air if it will show at least a decent increase in the interest level. Another issue would be coaches/parents/wrestlers worrying about getting hurt in Greco and that ending their school Folkstyle season. But, lets face it not as many kids get in Greco competitions as people think, and the ones that do it is often a result of poor technique which this focus on Greco should help with. Plus, between football, other fall sports, weight lifting, Folkstyle open mat time, and just screwing around their are plenty of other ways to get hurt before Folkstyle starts so Greco shouldn't be the scapegoat if it was in the fall.

 

They would have to be some type of adjustment or arrangement made if we were to keep the National Greco Duals and individual Greco Nationals at the same time in the summer. One thought would be holding a state team trial similar to our own national ones. Top Greco state finalist (from that fall competition) are invited to a mini tournament and someone could petition to get in if they have good enough conditionals but missed out on the fall tournament due to sports. Another thought would be to hold a separate individual Greco Nationals at the start of October before many Pre-Season Folkstyle National Events occur or the school folkstyle wrestling practices official start. Then the same "extended" weekend hold a National Greco Duals Championship (similar to how the women's freestyle does it). Again this set up would end up leaving some of the fall sport athletes out of the mix. However, I don't think the national event held then would be hurt by too much early Folkstyle interest, since it is mostly for the top Greco guys who obviously would have an interest in that style if they are wrestling at that high of a level.

 

I'm not sure its the best plan, but something I've thought of for awhile when trying to find a way to increase interest and numbers at Greco events. It seems many state in recent years have been struggling to keep Freestyle interest up at the youth level, so I figured allowing the spring to be a full season dedicated to just Freestyle interests couldn't hurt that cause any either.

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What would really help if the Dave Schultz, NYAC and Sunkist Kids tourneys were all after folkstyle. You would see far more collegiate wrestlers there. The summer days are pretty idle for most collegiate programs because there is really only 2 tournaments to wrestle in. University Nationals and Senior/Junior Nationals.

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I'm all for finding ways to increase youth greco participation. I don't think separating it from freestyle will help. Freestyle and Greco pretty much go hand in hand anyway. In the fall, you are competing with football as well. Yes I know, baseball in the spring and summer. I think getting more youth coaches and high school coaches to actively promote and yell the praise of freestyle and greco is needed.

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