Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Wrestling Countdown Continues...

So up until now my posts have been largely gymnastics related, in part because we have been in the middle of competition season, but also because I just don't know a lot about the world of wrestling. However, now that we've started identifying which tournaments we're going to sign up for, and they are quickly approaching, I am getting more and more nervous.

My husband and I decided based on our own busy schedules and A's inexperience that we would wait until after Christmas to let A start competing. While I know that the real competition is going to go a LONG way in teaching and learning, and at some point you just have to bite the bullet, it was also important to me that I didn't set my child up for failure. My son is 6 and incredibly competitive. Learning how to lose is a skill that I am hoping we begin to work on throughout this wrestling experience. However, knowing how competitive he is, and hearing about what an emotional sport wrestling is, it was important to me that we all (A included) feel like he had some knowledge and skills before jumping right in. I don't expect a first place trophy his first time out, but I want him to have fun and feel good about what he has accomplished.

So on a less serious note, I still have a couple questions.

1. WHY is there such a huge gap between weigh-in and the actual wrestling? What takes place during this time? As I was getting registration forms organized I realized that there is often a 1.5-2 hour gap between weighing in and when they start. Are they eating? Warming up? Trying to get me to buy more snacks? Help me out here, people.

2. WHY is head gear optional?! I feel like this will be a future blog post all its own, but when I see 4th graders with cauliflower ear already I have to wonder why this protective piece is a choice. I feel very lucky that A likes his head gear and just wears it around the house because we told him flat out that for him, it's not an option. What exactly is the debate, here?

I know I'll learn as I go, I had tons of questions about gymnastics meets too, but at least that was somewhat familiar territory. Are you feeling my anxiety yet?

1 comment:

  1. Great questions.
    1. During the long break between weigh-ins and when wrestling actually starts, the people running the tournament are bracketing. Once everyone has weighed-in, they organize each wrestler into groups of four based on weight, age, and sometimes even record or skill level if they ask for that on the registration form. This grouping is usually done with notecards (1 notecard per wrestler). Once the notecards have been grouped accordingly, other people take those four wrestlers and then write out their names on the brackets you see hung up. The more wrestlers there are, the longer it could take. But speaking of technology, there is an online tournament management tool that a lot of tournaments are going to: But as some who is tech savvy, I cannot figure it out that well. It's not very easy to navigate. People I have talked to say it takes some training. I've brainstormed how to use Google Apps to maybe do the same kind of functions or just make the process faster. This year, I'm having everyone register for our tournament via Google Form ( That way it all populates in a Google Spreadsheet and we can just make labels for each wrestler and put in on the notecard. People just pay that day. I am using a few Google Add-Ons for this process too.
    The long wait time is usually a good time for parents to work with their kid on some moves or drills. Some like to just socially interact with their friends as well. All learning is social :)

    2. Headgear is optional for the open tournaments. Once kids reach middle school and high school wrestling, it's mandatory...only during competition - not practice. Cauliflower ear usually doesn't occur until wrestlers get much more physical. Cauliflower ear only occurs when the cartilage takes repeated pressure and rubbing. That's when it breaks. It can be medically drained very easily which takes care of most of the deformation. Some (like myself) who have cauliflower ear find it as a badge of honor. It's kind of like a tattoo (which I don't have) that shows the tremendous work that you have put into the sport. But wearing headgear is very easy way to prevent cauliflower ear.

    Let me know if you have other questions.