Best Reasons For Kids To Wrestle


July 26, 2011 by David Gillaspie


You’ve seen it before.

The middle school Golden Boy has a meltdown in another sport.

The high schooler snaps.

He’s the starting quarterback, the pitcher, or the point guard.

A kid from another team gives him a hack, an obvious infraction, but the ref misses it. Golden Boy comes unglued. No one treats him that way. No one has the right to mess him up.

He forgets the game he’s playing and goes after the kid. The team concept fades in importance as he tries to either run the offender down on the next play, or goes out on the revenge limb on his own.

The secret hope of everyone watching is that neither kid gets hurt. Deeper down, the team of the guy going after the offender hope he doesn’t end up getting his butt kicked and thrown out of the game.

Golden Boys should know how to take care of their business better.

What will happen if one kid gets to the other before calmer heads prevail? Will he show up and break a hand slugging a helmet? Punch the other kid in the back of the head, a coward move that will scar him for life? Will he charge someone more prepared than him?

Listen moms and dads, your kid will get fired up beyond what you’ve seen when they start competing in sports.

Do him a favor and temper his edge.

Enroll him for a month of wrestling club if nothing else. What good will that do? Good question.

Golden Boys like the company of other Golden Boys. It’s an unfair term, but you know what I mean when I say Golden Boy? This is the kid with all the potential, all the athletic gifts of speed, coordination, and size. He might be the only Golden Boy in his entire family and has no idea how to act.

He needs wrestling more than anyone else.

Do you wonder how entitled basketball stars earn their entitlement? Twenty points and twenty rebounds a game is a great start.

How does a football star earn their entitlement? With hard running and bruising tackles, maybe a good stiff-arm.

Baseball guy does with his arm and his bat.

What do you suppose happens when one of them goes to wrestling club practice and gets paired with a mushy third stringer who’s been going to wrestling practice for years?

Golden Boy will be offended that he can’t just show up and dominate like he does everything else. He’ll be embarrassed when this minor physical specimen takes him down and rolls him with ease.

Most important, he’ll understand that if he acts out against a classmate he barely knows, he’ll get crushed worse.

If Golden Boy goes to wrestling club, he’s not winning and he won’t want to go back. He needs his safety zone where he shines brightest.

Moms and dads, take your boy back to wrestling club and explain how you will be taking him for the next month. Make a deal: if he goes to club practice, he’ll get a new pair of shoes he doesn’t need.

Golden Boys love trick shoes.

If this kid is an eighth grader on the way to high school, you’ve just done him the greatest favor of his short life. If he’s a high schooler, it’s even more important.

You’ve given him respect for his peers; you can’t judge a wrestler by their warm-ups.

You’ve given him the skills to avoid violence should it occur, and a way to end it quickly if it does.

Most of all you’ve given him a chance to shine even brighter in a way that won’t make people squint.

He deserves wrestling club, and so do you.

Ask the high school wrestling coach for some advice. They’re ready to give it to you.

After the month, ask Golden Boy if everything seems easier after wrestling.

Then show him some Dan Gable.


3 thoughts on “Best Reasons For Kids To Wrestle

  1. K says:

    Been involved with the sport of wrestling for over 30 years. Teaching and coaching (various sports) for over 15…you nailed it!

    • deegeesbb says:

      I appreciate the thought. Be sure and spread it around and we’ll both nail it.

      It’s good to hear from you,


  2. deegeesbb says:

    Handfighter and cat76 are the same person, me. This post is inspired by the kids who’ve got it all figured out by fifteen, except they’ve never been on a wrestling mat.

    Recently I got on the bench with 315 on the bar. That’s three 45’s on each side. Needless to say it was a whole new world after the lift off. Different balance points, incredible pressure downward.

    Getting on the mat is the same with kids learning how good they are on the fields and courts. The mat is a whole new world. And they might dig in. You’ve got to get them there first.


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