Wrestling is a terrific sport for people of all ages. Many current MMA fighters were involved with youth wrestling as a child, and the skills they developed decades ago are put to pretty good use years later when they’re pummeling opponents in from of a pay-per-view audience of millions. And very often, they credit youth wrestling as one of the reasons they were able to see so much success as an adult.
Most people would agree that the youth of today are out of shape. Sure, we all like to wax philosophical about how tough we were as kids. But the truth is that today’s generation is much more sedentary than the last, thanks to technology and more indoor living. Youth wrestling is a great way to defeat the many negatives that come with a sedentary lifestyle – obesity being the biggest of the bunch.
Kids that wrestle are in better shape, this is a given. But what comes with being in better shape? A higher level of self-esteem is a given. Kids can handle themselves and are not only less likely to be bullied, but also more likely to protect others from the same treatment. They learn to be leaders, protectors, and overall more helpful people.
Young people that wrestle usually eat better than their sedentary peers. They know that even youth wrestling requires a steady stream of wholesome foods from the protein and carbohydrate and fat groups, with plenty of water and a minimal amount of processed foods. Their cardiovascular systems function much more efficiently, and they grow stronger each year, than their peers.
Many adults suffer from fear of public speaking. Wrestling takes care of that for most people! Once you’ve been jeered and cheered, and performed under match circumstances either locally or in a tournament, you quickly develop that thick shell which allows you to perform optimally under public circumstances. Stress management is another great tool which is honed by young wrestling athletes.
There’s no doubt that most adult mixed martial arts enthusiasts look back at their youth wrestling days and are thankful for the foundation it gave them when it comes to ground game. But the other benefits also should not be overlooked. If you’re a parent, an uncle, a family friend – and you run into a youth considering sports options – suggest youth wrestling as a great choice. Even if the youth never grows up to be the next Dan Henderson, the discipline, work ethic, attitude and confidence, along with other good habits delivered from youth wrestling, will make the choice very much worth it!