Every once in a while, I remembered my high school wrestling teammates and I would start to feel sorry for ourselves. Especially when we were cutting weight or training hard.
Then my wrestling coach would put things in perspective by telling us that were weren’t in war … and nobody was trying to kill us.
His point was that things could be much worse.
I appreciate this now because life can be hard … and most of us hadn’t seen hard yet.
I’ve come to realize that the sport of wrestling (and a great coach) has helped me become more successful in more ways than one.
With the right coach, I’m confident that your wrestler will get these same benefits.
So here are 7 ways that wrestling will help your wrestler kick life’s ass.
(This is much better than the alternative … which would be your wrestler getting his ass kicked by life.)
- Wrestling helps teach about losing. It will happen … we all will eventually get a whoopin’ both on the mat and in life. In wrestling this might be much clearer cut than in life. Some of us learn to struggle, fight, and come back harder. Others learn to roll over and die. Those people were not wrestlers.
- Wrestling helps teach goal setting. I’ve heard that only 5% of the population has a goal. For wrestlers … they all want to win the championship. A good wrestling program (and coach) will look at strengths and weaknesses and get strategic about what needs to happen to reach that goal. This way of thinking is helpful for other areas of life too.
- Wresting teaches the value of having a mentor. A mentor is someone who has traveled the path you want to take. They have seen the pitfalls and know the risks and rewards. They know the shortcuts and the rabbit holes to avoid. We can all use some type of mentor in business, in marriage, in parenting, or in sport. Having a mentor will help your wrestler go further in life.
- Wrestling teaches physicality. Let’s face it, most kids nowadays ware so unaware of their bodies that it’s disturbing. I had a professor in chiropractic college remark that I was able to pick up chiropractic technique much faster than most … and this wasn’t because I was a gifted learner. And it wasn’t because I played video games a lot as a kid. It was because I was used to controlling my body in a way to produce a specific outcome. This is what wrestling is all about. This can be useful whether your wrestler becomes a surgeon or a mixed martial artist.
- Wrestling teaches self-discipline. We all know what this is. Watching your weight, training when tired, getting through tough practices or getting enough sleep. Many adults struggle with this because they’ve never had to perform at a higher level.
- Wrestling teaches delayed gratification. I once read a book called The Road Less Traveled. This book made the bold statement that delayed gratification was the sole reason why many adults struggle with their finances, their marriages, their health/weight, and their careers. What better time to learn this principle than as a young wrestler. Yes, the M&Ms might affect your weight later this week or staying up to play video games might make have a crappy practice.
- Wrestling teaches about pressure. Sometimes, it all comes down to that final test in school, that final business meeting, or that one shot to talk to that cute girl. A good wrestler is used to pressure and doesn’t freeze when they need to act. My college wrestling coach used to call this a sense of urgency. When the pressure is on, you act … and let the chips fall where they may.
So there are 7 ways that wrestling will prepare your wrestler for the real word. In reality, there are probably 700 ways … but these are a good start.
Wrestling legend Dan Gable one said “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”
Let’s make life easier on our wrestlers.
If you liked this article then share it with someone who has a young wrestler … or is thinking about getting a son started in the sport. They need to see that the sport of wrestling teaches you about much more than wrestling.