Questions Program Questions For parents new to the sport, elements of preparing for the season may be confusing. We hope this proves helpful in answering some of your questions. What does a wrestling season entail? Regular practice begins in November and continues through sometime in February or March, concluding before the start of Spring sports. Practices begin with warmups, where basic body movements are emphasized. Usually focus will then move to a particular move will be taught or reinforced. Wrestlers will pair up to practice the move, while coaches will rotate around providing instruction. Time permitting, practice often concludes with some live wrestling and then a fun game. During the season, the team will compete in select age and experience-appropriate competitions. Throughout the season, the emphasis is on safety, balanced competition, progress, and fun. Will the team participate in tournaments, leagues and/or state competitions? Younger and less experienced wrestlers will typically participate in “jamborees” and “king of the mat” events with a handful of other towns and novice tournaments. These are less formal competitions focused on the accumulation of experience. Older and/or more experienced wrestlers may participate in duals and tournaments. It is a goal of the organization to field a league team that will compete against other towns in the area. The exact form that will take will depend on the number of wrestlers registered as well as their distribution across weight classes. In recent years the team has been very young and lacked the heavier weights. We hope to field a league team this year. Our wrestlers may elect to participate in New jersey state qualifiers in early 2023. Options are available for even the youngest age groups. This is a great way to gain experience and get a taste of more formal competition. Traditionally, qualifiers take place in January through March, including in nearby Randolph. Toward the end of the calendar year, qualifier information will be posted here: https://www.usawnj.org/home What kind of wrestling will my child be doing? Scholastic / Folkstyle I have a daughter, but I am not sure if wresting is for her. How do I know if it is a fit for her? https://sisterhoodofwrestlers.com/10-reasons-why-you-should-join-girls-wrestling/ Will my child need or be encouraged to cut weight? Never. Even at the high school level substantial precautions are in place to prevent this. At the youth level, this should never happen. What about injuries and concussions? These are extremely rare in youth wrestling. Very strict rules are in place to prevent slamming to the mat and other collisions. What if my child is inexperienced at sports or very shy? Both the physical and mental elements of wrestling make it an excellent sport for novice and aspiring athletes. The lessons in concentration, balance and body control, anticipation and planning, and assertiveness have applications to all sports and to life. Practices are, in part, design to build muscle memory over time such that fundamental moves become instinctive. Wrestling offers a particularly egalitarian and supportive sporting environment. Walking alone onto the mat to compete one-on-one against a stranger provides an experience that even many adults have never had. Wrestling parents note an increase in confidence and self-reliance as a special benefit of having their children wrestle. Many standouts college and professional athletes formed the foundation of their success in youth and high school wrestling. Finally, many successful leaders throughout history credit wrestling for building character. For one sample, see this list: https://www.nwcaonline.com/growing-wrestling/promoting-wrestling/famous-wrestlers/ What if my child plays other sports? MCW is home to many wrestlers who participate in multiple sports. MCW celebrates the multi-sport athlete experience. The coaches request is that the wrestler is respectful of the commitment to the team and be present at most team events. Communication with our coaching staff is key. For those participating on the competitive level we do need commitment to matches. If there are conflicts, we need advance notice. It is unfair to our team (and opponents to make time to attend) and will become an issue with the league if we show up with weights unrepresented. What kind of equipment will I need? Shoes A positive element of the sport of wrestling is that it is an accessible for all. The primary equipment cost is shoes. While there are a variety of choices, COVID-related supply chain issues have impacted children’s shoes generally. Amazon and Dicks Sporting Goods are examples of good places to search. Putting shoes on and off and tying them can be a challenge. Some parents of very young wrestlers have preferred Velcro shoes, although they are considerably more difficult to find. The shoes you purchase will generally look like this (any color the child prefers is fine, while red, blue, red or black are most consistent with our singlets). For very young wrestlers if available: Headgear Headgear is mandatory for matches and recommended for practice so that wrestlers get used to them. Headgear should last for years and can be found at the same places as shoes. There are a variety of styles but generally should look something like these: This one is probably the easiest for the little guys and gals.