Thoughts on Wrestling, Business, and Life

How do I know if my child is old enough to wrestle?

How do I know if my child is old enough to wrestle?

One thing that I see parents do quite frequently is wonder how soon that they can get their kids signed up to compete in a sport. One of the biggest questions that a parent should ask themselves when they are looking to get their child enrolled in a sport is “Why?”. “Why am I signing up my child in this sport? What is the end result that I want to see from them participating in this sport?” If the answer is “Because I want them to compete and be a champion.”, then you are probably not doing it for the right reason, and you must remember that you don’t have to actually do the work involved with becoming a champion. It is less physically challenging to drive your son 5 miles to practice than it is to actually practice. If your response is more like, “They seemed interested in trying it out.”, or “They have some friends that do it, and they wanted to give it a try.”, or “They asked me what I did as a kid, and they want to try it out too.”, or “There are some good kids in that group, and I would like my kids to be around some positive influences and learn some positive lessons.”, then I think it is a good idea to get your child involved in that sport. So step number 1, remember it’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM!

Now that you have figured out that you want something beneficial for your child, figure out how much they are going to be able to pick up at this age, and then find a good team for them to be a part of. You will want your child to be with kids around their same age and skill level, and there is a good reason for this. If your child is 3 and you throw them in with a bunch of 5 year olds, they will have a tough time. They aren’t as developed as 5 year olds meaning they aren’t as strong, they don’t have the attention span of the older kids, and they will not seem to progress as much as the other kids in the group. Even the public education system has this one figured out, so don’t try to break the mold by throwing your child to the wolves from the get go. As they have a better understanding of the sport and how to train, then it is good for them to start going with kids who are a little older because it will help to speed up their development, but everything in good time.

So you haven’t answered my question. How young is too young?

From my experience, I have worked with kids as young as 3. I will tell you that 3 and 4 year olds attention spans is not something to write home about. You should make sure that the practices are short and fun. 5 and 6 year olds do a much better job of paying attention as long as the group doesn’t get too big. The bigger the group, the harder it is to keep the children focusing on what the coach is covering. By 7 or 8 kids can learn quite a bit of technique. One of the most useful things that you can do for the young kids, or really any age for that matter, is to get them individual coaching. When your child is able to have private lessons, they will get much more attention, and the coach will be better able to assess what your child needs to work on. During a normal practice, it is challenging for a coach to meet every individual’s specific needs. They are trying to do what is best for the group. By investing in private or small group sessions, your child will have more specific things to work on during the group practices that they are involved in.


Children are very resilient, adaptable, and intelligent. The sooner you start teaching a child something, the more time for mastery that they will have as they grow up. Let your child try new things and focus on overall development. Remember it’s not about all the trophies that your child can amass while they are young but more importantly, the skills and attributes that they will develop along the way.


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