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Youth Wrestling Frequently Asked Questions

My child is in X grade, is it too late to get started in the sport? No - it is never too late to start. Our club welcomes any student at any time. Our coaches will work with each wrestler so that s/he can get the basic moves.

Is a parent required to attend the tournaments with their children? Wrestlers are required to arrive earlier in the day to be weighed in (usually between 7 am and 9 am). Wrestling usually begins around 10 am. It is required that prior to the start of wrestling, the wrestler’s parent be at the tournament. The parent of the wrestler is required to be at the tournaments in case of a sport injury that may require a medical decision.

This is my child's first year, is s/he ready to compete? Often the sport of wrestling is misunderstood and it is the fear of the unknown that keeps people away. The first time we try anything new, the nerves put a little fear in us. First year wrestlers can benefit from competition. Once the first match has been completed, the nerves settle. Competition in our club is strictly voluntary. However, the coaches encourage all wrestlers to at least try competing in the Big Gain Duals. Talk to the Coach to get his opinion on your child's readiness.

What equipment do I need to buy? The only equipment needed to wrestle in practice would be a clean pair of athletic shorts/pants, t-shirt, wrestling shoes, and clean socks. Headgear are very helpful. Equipment needed to participate in a tournament would be wrestling shoes, clean shorts/shirt or a singlet, headgear is optional (required at youth regionals) but encouraged.

Does the wrestler have to attend every practice? One of our goals is to get youth exposed and interested in the sport of wrestling. We know that there are other events that families are interested in exposing their children to. Attend when you can. If you don't understand a technique or something else at practice, speak up - let the coach know that you don't know the move or terminology. We don't take attendance.

What does the wrestler wear to practice? Every wrestler must be clean, have fingernails trimmed and have proper attire before each practice. Athletic shorts or sweatpants, t-shirt and clean socks are mandatory. No exceptions. You can wear headgear (recommended), wrestling shoes, and a mouth guard also. Jewelry, watches, jeans, street shoes and bare feet are prohibited. ABSOLUTELY NO STREET SHOES ALLOWED ON THE MAT…EVER! We need to keep our wrestlers healthy. Thank you for abiding by this very important rule.

How to care for your uniform (singlet?) Do NOT place the singlet in the DRYER. Place singlet on a hanger and let it air dry. It may be washed. Please do wash it on a regular basis if worn often. Wash after scrimmages and tournaments. Singlets are expensive. The one issued to you will cost over $60 to replace. Take care of it. At the end of the season, the singlet will need to be returned to the club in good shape and clean. Failure to do this will result in you being charged for the singlet.

What if we cannot afford the fees? We don't want to turn anyone away because the fees cannot be met. If you truly need financial assistance let a coach or an officer know. We keep all situations confidential.

What is headgear and is it required? Headgear is designed to protect the wrestler's ears. If headgear isn't worn "cauliflower ear" may result. Headgear is not mandatory but strongly recommended by our coaches. To acquaint a child to wearing headgear parents are encouraged to enforce the use as soon as the child starts wrestling. Headgear can be purchased from Dick’s Sporting Goods or at All American Wrestling Supply.

What is cauliflower ear? Cauliflower ear occurs after someone gets a hit or repeated hits to the ear. Wrestlers and boxers are more likely to have cauliflower ear because their ears may be hit while they're in a match. These blows can damage the shape and structure of the outside of the ear. For cauliflower ear to form, the ear has to be struck hard enough for a large blood clot (lump of blood) to develop under the skin. Another way cauliflower ear can happen is when the ear's skin is stripped away from the cartilage, the flexible material that gives a normal ear its shape. Wearing the right headgear when playing sports - especially contact sports - is a must.

What if my child is not sure about wearing the singlet? Wrestlers may wear a t-shirt under the singlet for practices; club issued t-shirt for exhibitions/tournaments or away scrimmages. Once they get into the singlet and see others wearing singlets, the fear is usually gone.

I hear about wrestlers "making weight" or "cutting weight" does Waunakee youth wrestlers do this? NO! This is one of the myths of youth wrestling. We do NOT have children in our club cut or make weight. One of the greatest aspects of wrestling is that it is a venue for all sizes. If you feel at any time this is an issue with children within the club notify the Head Coaches immediately! At the high school and college level, weight classes are more of an issue. For our wrestlers who enter the regional meet in March and then proceed on to the State meet, weight is important. The weight you qualified at in the Regional meet must be the same weight for State, which is 2 weeks later. There are several weight classes that are close together for the wrestlers.

My child wrestled then stopped, can he come back? Yes! The club welcomes back any wrestler. Some techniques may need to be relearned. Don't expect to pick up right where you left off. If your peers stuck with it and are doing well, don't expect the same. You'll have to get back into it.

How many tournaments can my child compete in? Talk with the coach. Competing in tournaments varies from the occasional tournament to the extreme- every weekend/both days. Where do you place yourself? If you are just getting started, the normal recommendation is the tournaments that the club sponsors. These are included in the tournament package fee you pay for at registration. The coaches will not necessarily announce other tournaments beyond the Club sponsored ones. We want to push the sport of wrestling, not the tournaments. If you have been wrestling a few years and like the tournaments, speak up! Several of the club members compete on a regular basis. It starts by adding 2-3 tournaments each year beyond the club sponsored ones. There are tournaments every weekend during the regular season (January - April) on both days (Saturday and Sunday). The club wants to keep your interest in the sport. Make sure that you and your parents are ready for the competitive step. Set your own pace and goals. Let the coach know what your goals are. Grades are just as important. Our wrestlers don't just wrestle - they are good in school. There are those who take it further and get extra coaching. These wrestlers are looking to strive for excellence at the high school level and beyond.

How involved do parents have to be? Transporting your child to/from practices is a great start. Being at scrimmages/exhibitions and tournaments is another. These are just the basic steps to being involved. The success of your Wrestling Club depends on volunteers. There are regular Wrestlebacker meetings every 2nd Wednesday of the month. Attending the meetings just to observe and learn more would be fantastic. Finally, whether or not you have wrestling experience or enjoy helping kids, jump in - we can always use help coaching. The more adults helping on the mats, the better for the kids. Please let the Head Coach know of your interest.

I have some wrestling shoes, headgear, and/or singlets that are still in good shape and my child or family do not need them anymore. What should I do with them?

We accept donations of these items as long as they are in good shape and clean. Bring these items up to the wrestling room prior to or after a practice. There are other families that may be looking for some of these items.

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