Section One Youth Wrestling
Before you invest anything in your kids athletic future, regardless of the sport or activity, Read this article: How to Develop Your Young Athlete Into A Championship Wrestler
Why? ...Because the failed mantra for many young athletes is not starting young, its specializing young. The multi-sport athlete is becoming rarer by the day. Specializing at a young age is producing a slew of young athletes that suffer from stagnated performance levels and burnout - and its not limited to wrestling.
A 2001 study by the National Alliance for Youth Sports found that 70 percent of American kids who sign up for sports, quit by the time they were 13 because it wasn't fun anymore.
You can find it happening in football, basketball, baseball... you name the sport. There's even micro-grooming specific niches within these sports (pitcher, quarterback, goalie).
There are skills that you cannot fully develop when you only participate in your "chosen sport." For every "Tiger Woods" there are thousands of young athletes that pack it in before they reach their senior year in high school... without ever reaching their prime.
Martial Arts Got It Right
You only have to look at how the youth programs in martial arts are promoted to understand why they are so popular. There isn't much talk about being intensely competitive or winning and losing.
Instead, the focus is building self-esteem, confidence, mental and physical discipline. Then they wrap it in a compelling lifelong benefit package of physical fitness and mastering non-violent self defense. I don't know about you, but as a parent, that seems like a pretty good youth program.
Childhood obesity and the increasing rate of type 2 diabetes is approaching epidemic proportions. When we talk about youth programs for wrestling, why aren't we talking more about the physical fitness benefits?
Who wouldn't like to feel a little more confident about their kid being able to defend themselves? Any activity that enhances self-esteem and confidence will transfer those benefits to other aspects if life. Aspects like academics, social skills, sportsmanship and the positive feelings you get when experiencing success. Wrestling raises self-esteem and confidence. Lets talk more about these things instead of wins and losses.
Introduction to the Process of Achieving Sports Mastery
PASM (Process of Achieving Sports Mastery) - The parallel training of several means or motor abilities with the intention of producing multi-faceted development of physical fitness.
This type of athletic development produces a new physical state with a significantly greater work potential than would have resulted from the non-systematic use of the same means, even at increased volume.
This is the same method of physical training that produced the powerhouse Olympic and World Champion athletes of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. Its rooted in the theory that young athletes respond best to training in multiple sports and developing multiple skill-sets. The bottom line is that young wrestlers should participate in other sports and physical activities, but athletes from other sports should also wrestle.
Weaver Elite Youth Wrestling Club - Youth Wrestling War at the Shore
Youth Wrestling Resources
Parents Guide to Youth Wrestling - By Bill Campbell
Strength Training for Kids, Pre-Teens and Adolescents