This is part 2 of Lighthouse Wrestling’s interview Neil Alton a former Long Beach wrestler for Paul Gillespie and father of Dylan and Andrew Alton, two of the top High School wrestlers in the country.
Note, this part is divided into four pages; at the bottom, click the page number to navigate through the pages.
LHW: How did Dylan and Andrew get involved in wrestling?
Mr. Alton: Being born twins they were always wrestling even in the crib sometimes. Or on their beds at home, and on the living room floor. My wife was always yelling at them to knock it off, especially when they involved their sisters. The boys got started in wrestling when they were six almost Seven years old. I owned a Fitness Center called Fitness Unlimited and I always watched the boys after school while working at the gym. They were constantly fighting behind me at the desk and I was always breaking them apart while dealing with my customers.
It used to be a real pain in the [butt] sometimes, because when I would break them apart it only lasted a minute or two before they were back at it. I would get so mad sometimes I think my customers probably thought I was an abusive parent. Sometimes my Daughters where there to help me, but then they want to wrestle or fight them too. They just loved the physical contact. I can’t tell you how many Babysitters we went through, who just gave up because it became too much to keep them separated.
Then one day a state trooper who worked out at the gym saw them going at it and said I should get them involved in wrestling. I laughed and thought he was joking, but he wasn’t. I brought them to practice the next week and that’s when they started. In NY kids start wrestling in the Junior High, at least that’s what I thought. When I brought the kids to practice I couldn’t believe what I saw. Kids 6-12 years old hitting High C’s, sit outs, switches, etc… I knew then that my sons would fit right in, and they loved it as soon as they started it.
LHW: How many days per week did your kids train as youths? What kind of regime would you recommend for young wrestlers?
Mr. Alton: They were always active and have lifted in the weight room since they were seven years old. I followed Wayne Westcott’s theory on youth’s lifting weights. It turned out to be one of the best things I ever did. So an answer to your question is they should train all the time year round, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the wrestling room. While in season in the elementary program they would meet Three times a week to practice. Once in a while I would take them to another wrestling room and work with them on some of their weaknesses and strength’s.
They have wrestled Freestyle since they were Seven years old, but they never practiced because of other sports they were involved in. They would learn a lot by just going and watching the older guys wrestle in between their matches. Then they would try to do what they saw while at the tournament.
A good regime for a youth wrestler I think is three days a week in the wrestling room (during season), then one day or possibly two during freestyle. Also two days doing some type of strength training program (but keep it short and sweet and make it fun when training for strength – somewhere between 15-30 minutes). Competition on the weekends.