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Recommended Reading for All Wrestling Parents

"Parent's Guide to Youth Wrestling" by Bill Campbell, © 2000, article reprinted with permission from USA WRESTLING.

"The Ten Commandments for a Wrestling Parent" (author unknown)

"Why Wrestle?" (author unknown)

"How Safe Is Wrestling?"

"How a Match Works - What Takes Place in a Wrestling Match"

How Safe is Wrestling?

Wrestling, like all sports, has the risk of injury.  Wrestling has more injuries than tennis and swimming, but most wrestling injuries are minor, consisting of sprains and strains.  Wrestling has fewer serious injuries than football, basketball or ice hockey.

Your wrestler will get bumps, bruises, mat burn, and bloody noses.  Don’t panic, it’s all part of the sport and your child will never be asked to wrestle if they are hurt or not feeling well.

Wrestlers are more likely to get hurt in practice than in competition.  The wrestler spends very little time in actual competition.  Matches are usually 3 - 4½ minutes long and the wrestler is on guard and ready to protect themselves every minute of a match.

We are start each practice session and competition with warm-up.  The time spent in the wrestling room is measured in hours and children tend to goof around.  We try to structure our practice sessions in such a way as to keep it fun, fast paced to keep your child’s interest, and to minimize time for rough housing.  A child that is not paying attention winds up getting hurt.  

Here are a few things you can do to make sure your child's participation in wrestling is a safe and healthy experience:

  • Proper strength and conditioning regimes should be encouraged.  Ensure that your wrestler is doing the warm-up exercises properly, using correct body mechanics and form.  The harder your wrestler works in practice the safer and more successful they will be in competition.
  • Do not allow your child to decrease or deplete food and fluid intake to make a particular weight class.  It can and will eventually be detrimental to the health and safety of the your child.
  • Tell your wrestler to wrestle hard and fairly.  Encourage your wrestler to practice and use the holds and moves he or she has been taught.  Discourage the use of illegal holds or made up holds and moves.
  • Wrestlers should be encouraged to wear protective headgear that provides ear protection.
  • To reduce the risk of skin diseases, wrestlers should shower before and after workouts; wash their workout clothes daily; dry their skin adequately; clean mats daily; avoid wearing street shoes on wrestling mats or wrestling shoes off the mats; wipe headgear down with alcohol pads after each use; and conduct daily total body skin inspections.
  • Wrestlers with open wounds, broken skin or diseases of the skin should be discouraged from participating until the skin is healed or the wrestler has been cleared to participate by a licensed physician.  If allowed to wrestle, the athlete should have the affected skin covered to prevent cross-contamination.  No wrestler with a suspicious skin condition/disease shall be permitted to wrestle without current written documentation from a physician stating that it is not communicable and that the athlete's participation in practices and wrestling events would not be harmful to others that the wrestler comes in contact with.