10 Reasons Why You Should Join Girls Wrestling
By Rebecca Li
1. Wrestling Brews Confidence
Confidence is a critical piece both on the wrestling mat as well as in life. Wrestling teaches you how to be confident, from the first handshake with your opponent to walking off the mat. On the mat, you learn how to not hesitant.
Whenever you go for a shot or hit a move, you learn to finish it, even if you doubt that you will get the points. Learning how to move with intention and express your hard work at practices through your performance in the matches will improve your overall confidence in yourself.
2. Wrestling Teaches You about Nutrition
Wrestling is quite an unique sport compared to most other youth or high school sports because of its weight management aspect. Most wrestlers engage in an activity known as weight cutting where they manipulate their weight to get the best results at the weigh-ins.
It may be true that some people have done weight cuts in an unhealthy way. When done right, however, you can use this opportunity to change your diet for the better and learn more about nutrition through this experience.
3. Get in the Best Shape of Your Life with Wrestling
Pairing weight management with strength training and conditioning, you can achieve a ripe body after you wrestle. Already in shape? Great, you will be able to keep your body fit in this sport and have an advantage in conditioning. Not in the best shape? No problem! Use this opportunity to get yourself motivated to be in shape by becoming a wrestler.
Before I started to wrestle, I was a girl who was super out of shape. I was a zero-sport student, not a gym-goer, and hated P.E. But through this sport, my body has changed in so many ways. Not only did I become leaner, I also gained the endurance to run more than three miles when I couldn’t run one before.
4. Wrestling Develops Grit
Grit, perseverance, and hard-work is a lesson that you will learn through the sport. You learn how not to give up when it is hard, when you feel like you’ve exhausted your energy in a match or practice.
Wrestling is an immense blessing, but it is also a challenge. You learn what it means to dedicate sweat and hours of practice in the wrestling room for 6 minutes on the mat. One of the biggest hurdles that you will have to overcome is to not lose your conviction to wrestle or quit the team. It’s not all going to be pain-free, easy, and win. The sport of wrestling will help you develop grit and not quit when things may seem hard.
5. Wrestling Teaches Self Defense
Specifically for girls and women, we often experience sexual assaults because of our gender. Wrestling teaches a lot of the concepts like how to control your and your opponent’s body and leverage your techniques against other’s strength. It is useful in not just combative conflicts but also everyday life.
For example, you learn how to hold your ground and sometimes disengage in different situations and how not to panic. Wrestling can also be a good foundation for other martial arts like jiu jitsu and judo.
6. No Fancy Equipment, Just Your Body
Wrestling, at its core, requires little equipment to do. You may have to buy wrestling shoes and a headgear for wrestling tournaments. If you are just starting out wrestling, you may be able to get away with just having wrestling shoes or borrowing a loner. Because there is no huge starting fee to buy equipment or rent spaces to practice (like ice hockey), it’s easy for anyone to start.
7. There’s a Weight Class For Every Body Type
There are certain sports or that demand participants to have a certain body size. For example, ballet emphasizes skinniness and high flexibility, which may make it hard to join if you do not meet these criteria. Other sports, like basketball or volleyball, reward those who are taller or can jump higher than others. In wrestling, however, you have high school weight classes from lightweight (95 or 101 lbs.) to heavyweight ( 200+ lbs.) and everything in between. There is a weight class for everyone no matter your body size.
8. Teamwork and Shared Experience
Although wrestling is an individual sport, the team aspect is also very important. In the wrestling room, you will learn how to work with others in practice and support your teammates on the mat. A shared experience in the practices (buckle down, it’s not going to be easy) will naturally cause the team to bond over a shared experience or hardship. Even if you are one of the few girls in the wrestling room, the guys will see that your dedication if you really try your best in wrestling practices.
Through wrestling, I met people who I normally may not hangout with. There is just like a natural bond that forms after the team goes through a season together. It is an experience that taught me a lot of discipline and other great lessons.
9. Women’s Wrestling is the Fastest Growing Emerging Sport
Wrestling is the oldest sport known to men, but women’s wrestling is one of the fastest growing at the high school and college level. Compared to many traditional sports, you will have a better chance of being able to compete in girls wrestling and stand out as an athlete.
That’s not all! You get to be a pioneer in the sport to shape a sport for the future generation of girls. With women’s wrestling being an Olympic sport, an official NAIA event, and placed on the emerging sport list for NCWA, girls can expect to see a lot more opportunities later on for competitive and coaching roles.
10. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone & Push Yourself Beyond Your Limits!
For most of us, wrestling may not be the sport in our comfort zone. However, it is usually by putting ourselves out of our comfort zone that we can find the most reward and excitement. Wrestling pushes you to try things that you may not have done before, perhaps it may be joining a full contact sport or occasionally wrestling with boys. It also encourages you to go beyond your limits in practice to improve your physical and mental strength.