Beginner’s Guide To High School Wrestling!

All Of Your High Wrestling Questions Answered!

High school wrestling is an amazing sport which every kid should try out at least once! However, it can be a bit intimidated for new athletes especially if they have never wrestled before and everyone else has been wrestling since they were 5 or younger!

In this article we are going to help you decide if high school wrestling is the right sport for you by answering some common questions beginner wrestlers have. Let’s get started!

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How Popular Is Wrestling In High School?

Wrestling is the 7th most popular high sport in the US with 250,000 wrestlers. And almost 11,000 schools across the country have a high school wrestling program. Wrestling is a regional sport and is highly popular in states such Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Illinois and New Jersey. 

While some people like to claim wrestling is a niche sport in the US it is actually highly popular and is currently ranked 7th in terms of participation. Wrestling is more popular than other large sports such as golf, swimming and tennis. Currently, there 250,000 high school wrestlers who are representing 11,000 different schools.

Unsurprisingly football is the most popular sport in the US with slightly over 1 million high school players but I think some people would be shocked to know that football is only 4 times as popular as wrestling. In some people’s minds wrestling is this tiny sport that nobody knows but the high school data tells a different story.

For the last 10 years both high school football and wrestling participation has declined by roughly the same amount, 9% for football and just under 8% for wrestling. This is not surprising as many parents don’t want their kids involved in a contact sport especially after all the new research relating to concussions is emerging.

However, due to the increasing professionalization of wrestling with paid matches, stipends and sponsorship deals it will be interesting to see if there is an uptick in high school wrestling participation as some kids may look to cash in on their athletic talent.

Is Wrestling Hard In High School?

High school wrestling is hard due to the intensive cardio nature of the sport, the techniques are complex to learn, there is significant risk of injury and it is 1v1 combat sport where there are no teammates to save you.

  • Techniques Are Complex – Wrestling techniques are not always simple and in a match you need to be able to perform them perfectly at a lightning quick pace otherwise they won’t work. This ability takes years to develop
  • Cardio intensive – Wrestling is on of the most tiring things you can do. After wrestling a hard go your lungs will be on fire and your muscles will be pumped full of blood. Getting into wrestling shape takes a lot of hard work and effort.
  • Injuries – In wrestling injuries particularly to the back, neck, knees and ankle are common. It can incredibly frustrating to start making progress only to have to sit on the sidelines because of a serious injury.
  • 1 on 1 Combat Sport – Wrestling is 1V1 combat sport which means you have to go out there and fight another high school kid. You can’t rely on your teammates to help you. Not all kids can handle this intense type of competition.

Is Wrestling Fun In High School?

Wrestling in high school is lots of fun as you will get to go on exciting trips to tournaments, make some lifelong friends and experience the thrill of winning big matches. However, be warned it is a tough sport that will test you physically and mentally.

High school wrestling doesn’t come to most people’s minds when they think of fun but here are some key reasons it can be a blast:

  • Excitement of winning a big match – Is there a better feeling with the duel on the line you go out there and crush your opponent? With wrestling you get to play the role of the hero and experience some glory!
  • Travelling to tournaments – With wrestling you can travel and see the whole country even the world if you are good enough. Going on road trips with your wrestling buddies is sure to create some long lasting memories and some hilarious stories.
  • Making life long friends – Wrestling creates a special bond between athletes. While you may not become close with all of your teammates you are likely to develop at least some close friends from your time on the mats.
  • Overcoming adversity – Wrestling will challenge but it is a great feeling to meet this challenge head on and conquer it. Through wrestling you will become physically and mentally stronger and achieve some goals you never thought possible.

Can I join Wrestling In High School?

Any high school student can join the wrestling team, as long as the school has a program. You do not need to have prior experience as the coaches will teach the basics. Your teammates and coaches will be excited to have new recruits so don’t feel nervous about signing up.

There are no prerequisites to joining the high school wrestling team, any student is welcome to join. Some kids are worried about joining if they have never wrestled before but these fears are unfounded because the coaches will be more than happy to teach you have experience working with beginners.

One thing you have to consider if you don’t have any previous wrestling experience is that it may take a while to develop the fundamentals. You will be competing against kids with a few years of experience but don’t worry if you work hard you will soon catch up with them, just be patient and don’t get frustrated!

If you want to know why you should wrestle in high school head here.

What Season Is Wrestling In High School?

Wrestling is a winter sport and runs from October through to March. Serious wrestlers will often compete year around and take part in Greco Roman and freestyle tournaments once the folkstyle season is completed.

High school wrestling is made a little bit tougher because it takes place in winter. Getting up for those early workout is a little more challenging when its freezing and pitch black. However, old school coaches think this builds extra toughness and love that the sport takes place in the winter.

The standard high school folkstyle wrestling season starts in October and then wraps in March. If you can’t get enough of high school wrestling you can continue to train and compete in freestyle and Greco Roman.

How Long Is A High School Wrestling Match?

A high school wrestling match is 6 minutes long and consists of three 2 minute periods. Whereas a college match is 7 minutes long with one 3 minute period and two 2 minute periods. 

New high school wrestlers are usually aware that wrestling has a reputation for being exhausted and testing your cardio but are sometimes shocked to hear a match only lasts for 6 minutes.

Trust us 6 minutes is more than enough time to become exhausted in a high school wrestling match. To ensure you can wrestle hard for the full 6 minutes you need to get in the best shape of your life!

How Long Is A High School Wrestling Practice?

A high school wrestling practice is typically between 1.5 hours and 2 hours long. It consists of a 20 to 30 min warm up, 30 to 60 min of technique and 15 to 30 min of live sparring.

High school wrestling practices are very similar all over the US and follow this structure:

  • Warm up (20 to 30 minutes) – Jogging, dynamic stretching, tumbling, wrestling moves such as bridging and shots, sprints, plyometrics, push ups, sit ups and static stretching.
  • Technique and drilling (3o to 60 minutes) – Coach will show moves and you will practice them against your opponent who won’t resist, your coach will walk around and give tips on how to improve.
  • Live training and sparring (15 to 30 mins) – In this part of the training you either have mock matches against your teammates or you may do positional sparring where you start in certain positions and then wrestle until one person escapes or scores and then reset in that same position.

After high school wrestling training is done you are going to be very tired and ready to chill! If you want to learn how to get good at wrestling quick check out this article.

Wrapping Up

We hope you are now well informed about all things high school wrestling and are excited about trying the sport. If you commit to high school wrestling you will not only develop as an athlete but you will grow as a person and make some great friends along the way!

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