Joe HulenAP Literature3rd PeriodMs. Tillery Senior Project: Youth Wrestling Youth wrestling is the catalyst, through its teaching, participating, andprogression, for the advancement of wrestling in the nation. The concepts taught atthe beginning of a person’s wrestling career carry through all their years ofparticipation. Opportunities for young wrestlers can encourage further interest in thesport of wrestling. With the teaching and participation increases in wrestling thereshould be increase also in the nation’s wrestling competition internationally. To begin with, wrestling is considered one of the most technique driven sportsin the world, so the first teachings of a young wrestler can instill good or bad habits.The sport of wrestling is “based on self-discipline, hard work, skill, anddetermination”(Desmaris 2). While at a young age, coaches try to influence youthwrestlers to work as hard as they can during practice. Wrestlers are to do what thecoaches say and in the time they say to do it. This coaching creates a child’sself-discipline and hard work. Many people may believe that pushing a child at tooyoung of an age can deters the child from the sport , this is also known as a childbecoming “burnt-out“ of the sport, but that’s why wrestling enthusiast like MichaelBonora suggest that “no learning will ever take place if your son or daughter is nothaving fun at that level of the sport”. So to combat this fear of losing kids, manycoaches like to reward their young wresters with games that may or may not actually
help the children with basic concepts of wrestling or conditioning. Once a child starts to realize that wrestling is fun, he or she is more likely tobecome more interested in learning how to better him or herself with technique.With this new technique, there can be more complex concepts of wrestling taught as achild is growing through wrestling programs. Wrestling is a sport where everythingbuilds off another thing, one move transfers into the next and so on. This techniquetaught by coaches around the nation is what can make an average wrestler a greatwrestler. Technique concepts are not usually taught to children in depth at this level,however, it is beneficial for a youth coach to start introducing the techniques to thewrestlers. In equal importance, it is potent for a coach to teach wrestlers “skills,fitness, fair play, and values” o the sport of wrestling (Coaching 58). A coach is toinstill the techniques and physical conditioning needed to wrestle, however, the coachis also to implement the role of sportsmanship with in a young wrestler. These valuesinclude how a wrestler carries himself before, during and after a wrestling match. Acommon courtesy in wrestling that every young respectful wrestler should learn is toshake hands with his opponent before and after the match along with shaking theopponent’s coach’s hand. This tradition keeps the image of a wrestler positive as longas the tradition continues. After practicing the techniques of wrestling and learningthe values and sportsmanship of wrestling, a child may want to start participating inactual tournaments. The process of starting competition in wrestling is one of many differentsituations that may occur depending on how well a child is doing is his or her ownmind. For a beginning wrestler, there will be many hard losses. In this part of a
wrestler’s career, there maybe a phase in which Jason Christenson calls “the“burn-out” effect that comes with overworking”(Maloney 1). Many times once achild stops having fun on the mat, he or she my try and work harder on their skills,but if they see a lack of improvement in their own eyes, they become verydiscouraged and lose interest. In this time many people leave the sport of wrestling tosee what that person is better at. In turn, to discourage this notion of low confidence wrestlers who are younger,Beginner’s tournaments were invented. These tournaments “provide a venue for firstand second year wrestlers to compete against other wrestlers with similar years ofexperience. To give them an opportunity to succeed, keep them interested inwrestling, and grow the sport”(Team GA Beginner Tournament Standards 1). BeforeBeginners tournaments were introduced in the state of Georgia, new andinexperienced wrestlers, under the age of fourteen, would go to youth tournamentsand be placed in brackets containing other wrestlers who could have many more yearsof wrestling experience. So in theory, a thirteen year old wrestler, who has neverwrestled a match in his life, might have to wrestle against another thirteen year oldwrestler with eight years of experience on the mat. A loss to the less weatheredwrestler is bound to occur in most cases. Instead of letting this continue, and “leavingthe sport after one or two years due to an initial lack of success…competing againstmuch more experienced wrestlers week after week”, Beginners tournaments wherebrought forth to “allow them to build confidence by wrestling kids with the samelevel of experience” (Team GA Beginner Tournament Standards 1). This missionstatement for Beginners tournaments is the reason the sport of wrestling is growing
in the younger ages around the nation. Allowing wrestlers of the same experienceeliminates may uneven matches that occur at a lot of tournaments. A Childs first tournament may in tell many emotions for the wrestler. Once atthe tournaments some inexperienced wrestlers may become nervous, in which theyneed their coach to “go over strategies with the entire team and individuals andremind the wrestlers to use solid techniques used in practice”(How to Coach YouthWrestling). This reassurance provided by the coach can calm down a wrestler about toparticipate in their first match. Many coaches do this by making “wrestlers perform amoderate warm-up activity” that involves the drills included in a normal wrestlingpractice (Safety and Fitness). Wrestling, in either drills or live situations, before amatch gives the wrestler one last chance to hone their skills before a match.