by Al Bevilacqua
The purpose of youth sports is to provide experiences for future life activities by introducing the concepts and skills of a myriad of sports available in the United States. Wrestling, the oldest sport of all, is but one.
Every child can wrestle. Competitors are paired by approximate size, weight, and age. Athletes need not be tall in order to make the team, as in basketball; athletes don’t have to be big, as in football; and athletes don’t have to be speedy, as in track. Athletes of all shapes and sizes can excel and enjoy the sport. Children enjoy physical activity that makes them strong and improves conditioning. The result is a positive self-image and healthy self-esteem.
Wrestling is a great conditioner. It is a sport that “eats calories and burns fat.”
Each athlete is in constant motion. Everyone on the mat is participating in the drills; everyone is involved in live wrestling and the action; everyone improves their stamina, strength, agility, explosiveness, and power. It is the universal conditioner of a myriad of sports and can enhance the skills of competitors in football, lacrosse, soccer, track, cross-country, ad-infinitum.
There are innumerable reasons kids enjoy wrestling and innumerable benefits from participation. However, the ultimate benefit of this form of competition is the ability to meet a challenge and never let it “BEAT YOU!”
Mental toughness is the “heart” of an athlete and no sport teaches it better than wrestling.
The wrestler quickly learns that only he/she and the opponent are on the mat and that they alone must make it happen. The wrestler is in sole control and responsible for the outcome…no one else made a bad pass; no one else dropped the ball; no one else missed the block; no one else drew the penalty; no one else missed the rebound.
The individual wrestler learns that hard work, practice, and dedication, reduce mistakes and increases personal success. The individual wrestler develops a mental toughness and a work ethic that enables him/her to excel and achieve victory. This inherent requirement of wrestling is critical to success in every sport as well as to success in academics and to success in life.
These after school programs, aside from teaching the basic skills of wrestling, also provide nutritional and wellness physical education activities for boys and girls.
Accorning to the 2008 from the CDC (Center for Disease Control) it clearly shows a “spike” in the reported cases of diabetes and obesity in our children.
The healthcare discussion emanating out of Washington the past few months has centered around the alarming tragedy of young boys and girls by linking the lack of physical activity and obesity.
Wrestling has made vast improvements in redirecting young people away from its most dangerous association with “weight cutting” by educating coaches to follow a more sound nutritional dieting program as it relates to wrestling.
The stigma of weight cutting has prevented wrestling from expanding the numbers of participants to continue with the sport. Millions of boys and girls are attracted to youth wrestling, yet many do not make it through its high school years.
Lastly, it is a sport that teaches leadership skills and has helped to build leaders.
There are 13 former United States Presidents, more than any other sport, who have been involved in wrestling. Historians have researched and written about wrestling in the biographies of all 13 Presidents.
Wrestling! It is a great activity for kids!
Contribute to the conversation and share your thought on Why Wrest le with a comment at the following link http://lighthousewrestling.com/2009/07/27/why-wrestle/