>The purpose of youth sports is to provide experiences for future life activities by introducing the concepts and skills of a myriad of sports available in the United States. Wrestling, the oldest sport of all, is but one. Young people are attracted to wrestling because they have been "practicing" the skills of the sport since birth. A basic endeavor of any infant, at about two-three weeks old, is the back arch as an effort to roll from back to stomach. Parents boast the accomplishment. A child steps onto a mat and makes contact with another; each is a winner. The taste for competition is born. Wrestling is fun.
Every child can wrestle. Competitors are paired by approximate size, weight, and age. Athletes need not be tall in order to make the team, as in basketball; athletes don't have to be big, as in football; and athletes don't have to be speedy, as in track. Athletes of all shapes and sizes can excel and enjoy the sport. Children enjoy physical activity that makes them strong and improves conditioning. The result is a positive self-image and healthy self-esteem.
Wrestling is a great conditioner. It is a sport in which each athlete is in constant motion. Everyone on the mat is participating in the drills; everyone is involved in live wrestling and the action; everyone improves their stamina, strength, agility, explosiveness, and power. It is the universal conditioner of a myriad of sports and can enhance the skills of competitors in football, lacrosse, soccer, track, cross-country, ad infinitum.
There are innumerable reasons kids enjoy wrestling and innumerable benefits from participation. However, the ultimate benefit of this form of competition is the ability to meet a challenge and never let it "BEAT YOU!" Mental toughness is the "heart" of an athlete and no sport teaches it better than wrestling.
The wrestler quickly learns that only he/she and the opponent are on the mat and that they alone must make it happen. The wrestler is in sole control and responsible for the outcome...no one else made a bad pass; no one else dropped the ball; no one else missed the block; no one else drew the penalty; no one else missed the rebound. The individual wrestler learns that hard work, practice, and dedication, reduce mistakes and increases personal success. The individual wrestler develops a mental toughness and a work ethic that enables him/her to excel and achieve victory. This inherent requirement of wrestling is critical to success in every sport as well as to success in academics and to success in life.
Marcia Haise, New York State, USA. International wrestling official (being the only female wrestling official in the state of New York, she has officiated 12 world championships);
she is also a wrestling referee and trainer in freestyle, Greco-Roman and "Beach" wrestling. Marcia Haise officiated a women's wrestling exhibition at the Olympic venue in Athens in January 2004; in June 2004, she became the first woman to officiate the U.S. Olympic trials. Marcia Haise was a key figure in promoting the first open National Beach Wrestling ASICS Championship, Championship in August 2005 in Long Beach, New York. She helped to officiate the practice matches, provide the rules for all the commentators and helped to promote the event.
Al Bevilacqua - Prominent American wrestling official. He has been involved with USA Wrestling since its early years of existence, going back to the formation of the organization as the U.S. Wrestling Federation. He has served in many capacities within USA Wrestling, including working on the national staff, serving as a state chairperson, serving as a member of the national coaching staff and working with state and regional teams and programs.