Youth wrestling tips
When you think about kids and wrestling, you might consider that this is an activity too violent for someone so young. Still, there are a lot of children and teens who practice it. There are a few tips one can use in order to make this sport suitable, even at such ages.
First of all, the main focus should be on developing and becoming better, not on winning. The biggest obstacle for a wrestler is putting a great amount of effort during a match, whether he or she wins or loses.
In order to achieve that, the mind needs confidence but also discipline. This helps push away any fear or doubt from the brain. Cultivating a strong mind is the best but also the hardest thing for a young wrestler.
You should be very careful with pushing your child, as this only hides his or her inner vulnerabilities, and it does not develop mental toughness.
The main reason why kids wrestle is to have fun. In the beginning, at least, they do not think about winning or becoming champions. That is why it is essential to make practice fun. If you are a coach, make sure to include games into the practice.
Activities and challenges which are multidimensional such as sumo/push out, chess, dodge ball, or tug of war are very appropriate. They increase focus, strength, and cardio without the kids even realizing that they are actually learning. This can also be a way to increase your numbers and keep your students coming back. You know, word tends to get out faster about fun clubs.
Young children are learning about goals, and they are working towards achieving them. Pushing your kid to be a junior champ is the way to burn him or her out before even going to high school.
Having to go to tournaments on the weekends with a big team can be fun, but it might also not be what your child really wants. It is best to focus on practice, and not getting a hundred tournament matches in a season. Simply winning does not make the young wrestler better, but learning in practice does.
One of the biggest mistakes is to condition a child to like wrestling, or any other sport, because he or she is winning tournaments. It is harder to keep them interested as they get older, and face tougher competitions.
The main target should be learning and giving 100% in practice — this is the key to becoming your best in the short and the long run. If you want your kid to love this sport and keep training do not push him or her through tournaments, but focus on the practice. If you don’t even compete, it is even better for your child’s development.
No pain, no gain
Now, it is not a bad idea to cultivate the concept that you have to work hard to achieve anything in life into a child’s mind. Still, cutting weight at this age seems just as wrong as a kid smoking cigarettes.
If your child struggles with weight issues, it is recommended to attend to this problem before facing obesity, but making him or her starve for the sake of a sport is just wrong.
Instead, try focusing on increasing the wrestler’s strength and athletic abilities. You should know that cutting weight under middle school age increases burnout and quitting dramatically.
Moreover, speaking about pain, make sure your young wrestlers always have the appropriate wrestling gear, especially their wrestling headgear, in order to avoid serious injuries.
When practicing a sport, building up a base of strength and coordination is essential. Have you noticed that your kid’s stance is bad after a few weeks of practice? The reason is that his or her body is not strong enough to hold a stance.
You need to help the kid build the body so that it can do what is required to learn the sport. Many warm-ups focus on athleticism, but the body still needs to be well constructed in order to be athletic.
What many coaches and parents are missing is that in order to achieve performance in any activity you need to build and develop the skills, and only then practice the sport as you see it on TV, for example.
This is an essential aspect that your kid needs in order to excel at wrestling. It’s the same in real life — we do our best when we are confident. As a parent, but also as a coach, you need to build the young one’s confidence, and not his or her doubt.
If you tear your child’s confidence down, even if it is unintentional, you are doing exactly the opposite of what any parent or coach should be doing. You should resist the urge to push them especially before big matches and just be calm and help them relax.
Be there for your kid
Be a part of your child’s life. Understand the sport. For example, there are wrestling books you can read to get a clear picture of what it involves, what the rules are and various recommendations.
This is a big issue in today’s world. Parents do not have time for their kids. Many enroll them in different activities, they take them to practice, but they cannot show up to a match. Others push them too hard, without actually understanding their kid’s needs.
All this pressure or not enough attention can destroy a child’s confidence, believing that he or she is not good enough. Unfortunately, these parents don’t even realize the issues their children will face later on in life.
We all have busy lives and have to deal with a lot of pressure, but a child is not to blame. Even if you are short on time, make some room to spend time with your kid. Play wrestling video games on a rainy Sunday, or find ways to involve yourself more in your child’s activities.