10 Ways to Get Your Kid Hooked on Wrestling (and be GOOD at it too!)

1. Get them ready for the sport by using a slow foundational progression at home. Note: if your child isn’t used to physical play wrestling is gonna be a hard sell. Dads – your job is to start this when they’re young. You’ll know when they’re ready by their behavior. The next part is to educate your wife about why this is necessary and that your son will be much better for it as a grown up.images
2. Find a good coach and club. Lots of parents want their kids with their friends. I get that, it’s part of having fun, which is the number one reason kids play sports. That said there are so many poor coaches that its worth looking around. Good clubs make wrestling practice fun and positive. Wrestlers make friends so quickly that going out of your school district shouldn’t stop you. Poor coaches and clubs = no fun, don’t build the mind or body, focus on winning vs. best efforts, only focus on a few of the wrestlers and can turn kids off permanently. Get your youth wrestler hooked on the sport with fun, quality coaching. Peaking at 6-11 years of age isn’t a good long-term strategy. In my experience puberty is the great accelerator. If they like the sport and have a good foundation they can take off quickly from there.

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  1. Am a middle aged person… have grandchild who wrestles and I put a huge THUMBS up! To your article. Today in fact, I mentioned stretching and performed a few and always talk suggestions of various nutrient foods!! Thankyou!

  2. I’m a kid who has a reputation of not liking contact sports but now I want to but my parents will think it’s fishy if I suddenly “want to be a wrestler”
    What do I do?

    1. Without knowing your exact details…
      I’d just ask your parents if you could try a summer wrestling camp. There are plenty to choose from and require a short commitment of a week. If you like it and your parents see your interest, getting them on board for a full season will be much easier.

    2. Find an open mat event. Forget what your parents will think and go see if you actually like it first. If you like it, then explain to them honestly and accurately why you like it.

  3. Great article, thank you for taking the time to write it. As a wrestling dad, I always look for ways to be a better dad for my little guy!

    1. Gook luck. it’s not easy but it can have some great rewards.

  4. Hey I always want to wrestling

  5. My 14 year old is interested. We live in Sugar Land, TX(20 min) from Houston. Suggestions for my first step?

    1. I’ll ask some friends in Texas and get back to you when I hear something

      1. Jason Nickal (B0’s dad) recommends
        Vici Wrestling Club
        400 Hobbs Rd #106, League City, TX 77573
        FVXP+F2 League City, Texas
        (888) 221-4254
        recommends https://viciwrestling.wildapricot.org/

  6. My sons desperate to try wrestling but can’t find anywhere for him to go
    We live in Scotland near Edinburgh

    1. Use this link to the British Wrestling Club finder
      and Facebook Group
      Good luck to you both

  7. I’m in southern california and my 6 year old son wants to do wrestling. I seem to only have two clubs near me and I think they’re both closed. I’ve reached out to both and have heard nothing back, neither have up-to-date facebook pages or websites. Am I looking in the right place…any help is appreciated. Zip Code = 92337

    1. Hi
      You’re in a terrible area for clubs/business to be open. I know a couple that are open for older and experienced wrestlers but not novice.
      Did you try the USA wrestling feature? Here
      Cut and paste this into your browser. Recall Newsome and open your state

      1. Thank you…that’s where I got the names that I did find. There were 3 results, I reached out to two of them (the 3rd said Alabama…I’ll probably reach out anyway).

        I was just thinking that the scarcity of options might be pandemic related…we should be opening up soon. I’ll try again at that time.

        On another note, I see there are different types of wrestling styles: Greco-Roman, Freestyle, and I’m blanking on the third. What’s the difference between them, and which one should we be starting with?

        1. Freestyle and Greco-Roman are what most of the world wrestles and are the forms used in the Olympics and Word Championships. In American boys generally wrestle Folk Style from youth through college, unless you’re in a Beat the Streets program or advanced club. Girls and women’s wrestling in America is generally Freestyle, unless competing in a boys division.
          Folk has a greater emphasis on scoring while in control of your opponent. Freestyle allows for points to be scored while not in total control of opponent. Greco only allows you to attack your opponent above with waist.
          This is Freestyle/Greco season.
          Most novice/beginner youth programs start in the fall. Many clubs put their current details on social media and don’t update their websites very often. Check Facebook, you might get a quicker response on that platform. Good luck

  8. Awesome article and you have truly helped me as a parent do some soul searching in terms of how I interact with my kids, specifically youth sports related. Question; my middle son who is 9 started wrestling just before his 5th birthday…he experienced a lot of early success however in the year just before the pandemic hit he was asked to wrestle at a higher level where he lost a lot (but fought hard). He’s 9 now and this coming season would be the first time back since the pandemic and it doesn’t appear he wants to wrestle again (at least for now). I fear that the last season of losing left a sour taste for him. Should I proactively address the benefits of wrestling (he also plays tackle football and the relationship between the two sports are excellent) OR, should I let it go and allow him to come to me should the spark come back? Any thoughts to consider are greatly appreciated.

    1. Ways to try and get him back on his own. Will he have friends at practice? This can be a big lure. Does he have a good relationship with a coach? Maybe a conversation between them helps.
      If he is on the fence maybe the promise of not wrestling at the higher level unless he really want to do it will help take pressure off and have more fun. Winning more than you lose is fun.
      He is young enough that missing a season isn’t that big a deal. Make sure that he does a sport not matter what. THis may help steer him back to wrestling also. good luck

  9. My 11 year old is struggling bad. He has a slight learning disability and his ability to use technique and chain wrestle as he’s maturing has decreased substantially. He tells me he still wants to wrestle (I think it’s more the social atmosphere and his friends), but his actions on the practice mats if “half assing” it are playing out in tournaments now. Kinda at my wits end. Beginning to wonder if he peaked earlier as a youth and has hit a wall. He doesn’t wrestle year round like many kids do. Wondering if putting in off-season work and tournaments is the trick?

    1. Almost sounds like my own son.
      This is a tough one. I usually advocate following the child interest versus pushing. Let me take your question apart and see if I can get to an answer.
      First, a few people that I know have used some of the techniques in a book called “Healing Your Child’s Brain” and it might be worth a read or listen to see if it can help your 11 year old. I would do this prior to pushing him into year round wrestling this spring. Not sure what state you’re wrestling in but in PA the competition at this age is already intense and seasonal kids are close to them in the majority of cases. If he can’t retain the chain wrestling technique and progressions in a match I’m not sure that spring wrestling helps. Help the mind and then try to help the body and wrestling mind. Don’t take it personally.

  10. Hi! I found your article searching for ways to help my 5 year old son who is struggling with wrestling. He loves the practices, he wants to wrestle. His problem is when an opponent gets him in a position in he can’t immediately get out of, he freaks out and gives up. He doesn’t do this in practice, only matches. Any advice on how to work with him on this? Thank you!

    1. I don’t think that you’ll like my answer, lots of people won’t.
      I don’t think that 5 year olds should be competing, for many reasons. In my experience more than half of kids that wrestle under the age of 10 don’t finish high school on the wrestling team. I’ll focus only on what it sounds like your son and many young wrestlers have trouble with, the emotions around competition. Especially when they are struggling. This isn’t generally a fixable issue, it’s a maturity issue that only age and emotional development can help with. Let him practice and hold him out of competition.

      1. I am really glad to have read this article. This is my son first year wrestling and is doing great. I am good at complementing and encouraging him. Having said that I am also good at being to hard on him and sometimes without realizing it putting him down. Really sucks seeing yourself messing up as a father. Thank you for this article. Their are many dads that are looking for wins and I see I’m beginning to be that as well. This article and chat puts it into perspective for me and I’m gonna do better for my boy. Thanks again

        1. Thanks for the kind words. Good luck going forward

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