Our 7-year old and 8-year old boys posted top-6 finishes in the Texas USA Wrestling State Rookie Tournament on Feb. 26. This tournament was the culmination to 4-months of training with the Highland Park Scots Wrestling Club. Our boys are learning how to wrestle, but more importantly, building life skills. The benefits to wrestling are endless, and here are my top five reasons how wrestling builds skills not only for a reason or a season, but also for a lifetime.
1. Wrestling improves your ability to focus
Wrestling is a sport that demands focus from the moment you step on the mat until the final whistle blows. If you lose focus for a split second, you will get pinned. Your opponent is trained to attack and show no mercy. Ending up on your back with someone on top of you isn’t fun, in fact, it can be demoralizing. But when you stay focused, you wrestle well, and win or lose, there is no greater adrenaline rush!
2. Wrestling builds resiliency (toughness)
No matter how you sugar coat it, losing stinks. If you wrestle, you will probably lose at some point of your career. When you lose, you have to have a short-term memory, forget about the past and be prepared for what lies ahead. You cannot teach someone how to be resilient or have toughness; people have to experience it for themselves. Wrestling puts you in a position that if you win, it’s because of you and if you lose, there is no one to blame.
3. Wresting brings out your competitiveness
Competitiveness can be a learned behavior, but more often than not, a person’s competitive drive is an innate trait. Don’t know if your child has a competitive spirit? Put him (or her…yes, girls wrestle too) on the mat, toe to toe, watch his or her instincts kick into overdrive and witness firsthand their individual will to compete.
4. Wrestling develops mental and physical conditioning
What might appear as two athletes lunging, thrusting and throwing one another around is one of the most mentally and physically grueling sports. Wrestling is an all out battle, which requires muscle strength, power, speed, agility, cardiovascular endurance and natural instincts. Need convincing? Watch the video link of our boys’ tournament and see first hand the will to succeed and ability to overcome failure.
5. Wrestling teaches hard work, discipline and camaraderie
Children grow up entitled. Wrestling doesn’t tolerate entitlement. Wrestlers earn their spot on the mat and their success comes from hard work. As for discipline, before each tournament, wrestlers have to weigh in and make weight. This teaches responsible eating and proper nutrition. Nothing brings me greater joy than seeing my children encourage and support one another through their wins...and losses.
Maybe wresting isn’t your child’s sport, but maybe your child can find an activity that encourages life skills like wrestling: focus, resiliency, competitiveness, conditioning, hard work, discipline and camaraderie. As a mom, I am proud of my boys’ effort and willingness to work hard and never quit. If you still need convincing of how this sport builds life skills, watch the Texas State Wrestling Tournament video.
Together, let’s encourage one another and our children to become the strongest they can be!
Niccole Maurici, University Park mom of four and former certified personal trainer, is the co-founder and creator of the StrongestMom.com? website and fitness videos, which promote values important to moms: encouragement, support, positive thinking, and dedication. To learn more visit our website strongestmom.com.