Are you wrestling obsessed? Do you want to know how to ensure your kid loves wrestling as much as you? Then don’t worry we have some great tips that will have your kid constantly shadow wrestling and shooting double legs!
How Can I Get My Child To Like Wrestling?
To get your kid to like wrestling you need to slowly introduce the sport to them, associate positive emotions with wrestling through gifts or enjoyable social interactions, not pressure your child to compete, explain the benefits, and don’t over train them.
Slowly Introduce Wrestling To Your Child
A great way to turn your child off wrestling is to just drop them off at their very first wrestling practice without them having any idea what they are in for and no prior exposure. The result is often sadness, frustration, anger and probably even some tears.
To avoid this you need to gradually expose your child to wrestling. Here is a great progression for introducing wrestling to your kid:
- Play wrestling – Start by just roughhousing with your kid, roll around on the ground and just play. Progress showing them a few basic concepts like how to stand, keeping their head up and elbows tucked. Then you can even show them a few basic moves like how to sprawl and take a penetration step.
- Show them some matches online – Hop on YouTube and bring up some of your favorite wrestling matches. Start introducing them to the best wrestlers. Your kid will be intrigued and want to start emulating them.
- Take them to your training or older child’s practice – Once your child has shown some interest in play wrestling you can bring them along to your own wrestling or one of your older child’s session. This way they can see what wrestling is really like.
- Take them to watch their age group wrestling practice – Find a suitable gym for your child to train but don’t immediately send them off to practice. First take your kid to watch so they can understand how the training is structured and meet some of the people without the pressure of having to train.
- Book a private lesson with a coach – It could be a good idea to book a 1 on 1 lesson a coach so your kid can meet the coach and get comfortable before diving head first into a wrestling practice.
- Sign them up – Once you have gone through this progression the chance of your kid being prepared for wrestling and ending up loving it is much higher than if you simply sent them off to practice one day.
Make Your Child Associate Positive Emotions With Wrestling
If your kid is having a great time at wrestling then they are going to beg you to take them to practice. You won’t have to worry about their lack of motivation but how do you get them to enjoy training?
Give them a treat – If you give your child a little treat every time they go to wrestling practice they are much more likely to want to go. The treat doesn’t have to be anything major, you could bring them a snack, take them to their favorite takeout place or give them a little toy. These treats serve as a great motivation tool that can help your child build a habit of going to wrestling and enjoying it.
Ensure they have friends – Kids who practice wrestling with friends enjoy the sport much more than other kids. Ideally you can find a wrestling club where some of your child’s friends already train. If not you could organize some play dates for your child and some of the kids from the wrestling club to help your kid break in and create some new friendships. If a child associates wrestling training with hanging out with friends they are going to be eager to train .
Don’t Pressure Your Child To Win And Compete
The pressure of winning and competing can really destroy a child’s love of training. As a parent you need to emphasize that wrestling is just a form of playing. At a young age the result doesn’t matter. It is all about having fun and learning the sport. When they are older and more mature you can start stoking their competitive streak.
I personally don’t think kids should be competing in tournaments until they have been wrestling for a number of years and are at least 10 years old. I think entering your child into tournaments too early can not only hurt their development but also turn wrestling into a negative experience for them.
The problem with entering your child into tournaments too early is many young wrestlers lack the physical preparedness and technical mastery to wrestler effectively. The result is something that can’t really be considered a wrestling match. It is best to let their body matures and wait until they improve their technique before you sign up them up for competition.
Explain The Benefits Of Wrestling To Your Child
To get your kid into wrestling you need to explain the benefits of wrestling to them in a fun and interesting way that will captivate their attention. Focus on these benefits:
- Makes you strong and powerful – Tell your child if they want to be like their favorite superhero and be super strong and powerful then they better wrestle. What kid doesn’t want to be like Batman or Superman!
- Great place to make friends – Explain to your kid that they will make so many good friends at wrestling and have amazing time laughing and playing with their new buddies.
- Ability to defend yourself – Tell your kid that thanks to wrestling they won’t have to worry about being bullied or being scared of getting into a fight. With wrestling they easily be able to defend themselves and stand up to bullies.
- Keeps you healthy – Let your child know that wrestling is a great way to keep them healthy, feeling great and ensure they live a long happy life.
Don’t Over Train Your Child With Wrestling
The best way to ensure your child quits is wrestling is to over train them. If you have been around wrestling long enough you would have seen so many talented kids who quit wrestling before the end of high school because of burnout. This burnout was often fueled by an overzealous parent who didn’t understand it is a marathon not a sprint.
When first getting your kid into wrestling you start off very slow. If they are training at a club only take them a couple times a week and only for particular portion of the year. Do not train them 5 + days a week for the whole year. You don’t want to overtax their body and mind.
I believe wrestling training should only start to get serious around the age of 14. Prior to that it should largely be focused on fun, developing technique and overall athleticism. The word grind should not be in your vocabulary.
The worst nightmare for wrestle crazy parents is that their child won’t follow in their footsteps and hit the mats. Well with our tips we are sure you will be able to inspire your child to love wrestling and have a long and successful career.