Why Your Kid Should Wrestle

Why Your Kid Should Wrestle

There are innumerable reasons why it's a good idea to encourage your child to try the sport of wrestling. Here are the best reasons we can think of.

Aug 17, 2023 by Andrew Spey

Thinking of taking your child to wrestling practice for the first time? That's a great idea, which we support very much. But if you're still wavering on the idea, here's why you should feel comfortable dropping your child off at wrestling practice for the first time. 

Any BODY Can Wrestle

Wrestling is a sport for everybody, literally! Like boxing and MMA, wrestling has weight classes, so when it comes time for competition, your child would only be matched up with an opponent of similar size. Additionally, wrestlers only practice with other wrestlers who are fairly close in size. 

The National Wrestling Hall of Fame has long stressed the inclusive nature of wrestling with this exhibit

There are also many examples of people born with limbs missing that still excelled in the sport. 

Adonis Lattimore was born with no legs but overcame that obstacle and thrived in the sport of wrestling. 


Perhaps more famously, Anthony Robles won an NCAA title for the Arizona State Sun Devils despite being born with only one leg. 

Wrestling Community Is Diverse And Welcomes Everyone

The National Wrestling Coaches Association has stats and facts that illustrate why wrestling is a sport open to everyone. 

  • Wrestling has numerous weight classes for boys and girls so all students of any size have an opportunity to compete.
  • Historically, wrestling is a “blue-collar” sport that attracts student-athletes from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
  • Wrestling is one of the few sports that provide opportunities for the blind and physically handicapped.
  • Wrestling ranks 2nd for the most 1st generation college students at NCAA Sports.
  • Wrestling ranks near the top of NCAA sports in opportunities for minority athletes.

Youth Wrestling Teaches Incredible Values

USA Wrestling published an article by Matt Krumrie that explains the lifelong values that wrestling teaches. 

  • Accountability
  • Resilience
  • Importance of hard work
  • Teamwork/camaraderie
  • Discipline
  • How to overcome failure
  • Effort
  • Self-discipline

Click here to read the entire article. 

Once You’ve Wrestled, Everything In Life Is Easy

This is a famous quote from wrestling legend Dan Gable. It's not to be taken literally, rather it's a slogan that encapsulates the idea that the skills and values that wrestling teaches you will help you reach every other goal you set in life. 

It's also true that wrestling is one of the most difficult hobbies anyone can pursue, and after many years in wrestling, other difficult tasks seem comparatively easier. 

Defense Soap, a company that has long supported wrestling, expands on the topic in this article

The Philosophy Of J Robinson

Former University of Minnesota head coach J Robinson gained notoriety in the wrestling community both for leading the Golden Gophers to three NCAA titles and for his intensive training camps, which ere built around the following seven pillars. 

  • Discipline
  • Dedication
  • Sacrifice
  • Accountability
  • Hard Work
  • Responsibility
  • Service

JRobb is a legend in the sport and his philosophy has been absorbed by countless youth wrestlers who will themselves teach the same lessons to future athletes for generations. 

The Wisdom Of John Irving

Famed author John Irving was a wrestler in high school and later coached the sport. He often extols the virtues of wrestling in his books and in interviews. 

"Dedicating yourself as an athlete to any sport requires a certainly unnatural ability to focus"

You can read more about Irving's career and involvement in the sport here

Youth Sports Are Important To Local Communities

While there are countless benefits for individual participation in sports, it's also true that youth sports improve the communities in which they are hosted and supported. 

Community and youth sports development go hand in hand, as this article by Jason Clement, Co-Founder and CEO of The Sports Facilities Companies, shows.

The key features of youth sports as they pertain to community development are as follows:

  • Sports tourism can drive a community
  • Youth sports add economic vitality
  • Physical activity can support mental health
  • It can improve quality of life

An example of these principles in action can be found in the farming community of Eloy, Arizona, an area that long embraced the sport of wrestling. We document that town's incredible story in our series, The Eloy Boys. You can watch all six episodes here, and watch the first episode in its entirety in the video below. 


What To Do If You're Ready To Take The Kids To Wrestling Practice

Find a club! USA Wrestling has many resources to find a club near you which can be found here.  

Talk to coaches, teachers, and administrators in your community! Many towns have youth programs that feed into high school programs. You can find scholastic wrestling information about your state here.

Bring a friend! Wrestling practice requires practice partners, so the more the merrier. And don't forget to have fun. Wrestling is also a lot of fun!