Glad you asked! Wrestling is the oldest sport known to mankind and perhaps the purest form of athletic competition to exist in the world of organized sports. This original Olympic sport has no bats or balls, no pucks or sticks, no pads or helmets or jerseys. There’s no time to huddle, rethink strategy, regroup, or even to catch your breath. There’s only you and your opponent of equal weight and size. Experience, preparation and the will to succeed will determine the victor. There’s no doubt about it, wrestling tops the list of intense, highly competitive sports.
Wrestling involves a unique balance of practically every aspect of physical and psychological conditioning. Strength is as important as stamina; speed as important as technique; strategy as important as intensity; and power as important as coordination. And it’s not always the natural athlete that succeeds in the sport—it’s often the natural competitor.
Kids that are strong for their weight, well coordinated and naturally aggressive are usually more successful early on in the sport. However, highly competitive kids really enjoy the sport and eventually achieve the highest levels of success. True competitors come in all shapes and sizes, and in varying degrees of natural talent. Many of the best wrestlers the world has ever seen, such as John Smith, Dan Gable and Dave Schultz, were not star athletes, rather ordinary people with an extraordinary drive.
Although it is best practice for parents and coaches to de-emphasize winning, particularly in young athletes, victories can give wrestlers a strong sense of personal accomplishment. The effort put forth in practice and preparation is apparent in competition, and it is not overshadowed by team competition. So, wrestling can be a very motivating sport and help athletes’ develop self-confidence and a strong work ethic that serves them well on the mat and in life. Wrestling is a great sport for exposing the “champion” within most any kid.