This may seem obvious to those who are familiar with the sport but wrestling is great for a child’s physical development. The following excerpt from The Parents Guide to Youth Wrestling, written by Bill Campbell explores some of the specific benefits.
Sports offer opportunities for children to improve their strength, flexibility and coordination, while having fun. Most sports activities rely more on some muscle groups and less on others. For example, most sports focus primarily on pushing motions (leg/arm extension) such as throwing, hitting, kicking, jumping and running.
Experts believe that unilateral (equal emphasis on all muscle groups) physical development is especially important in young athletes. Isolated development at an early age, over a long period, increases the risk of injury and limits long-term foundational growth. Swimming, gymnastics and wrestling are among the few sports that engage both pulling and pushing muscle groups.
Of all the sports choices a parent and child can make, wrestling is perhaps the best sport for overall physical development because it involves all muscle groups, and requires the greatest balance of athletic skill. Not only does wrestling improve balance, speed, agility and intensity, but it strengthens virtually all muscle groups from hips, legs, torso and upper body, but also neck and grip strength.
Wrestling is the sport that can dramatically improve one’s ability to perform in other sports. A ten-year old, for example, who was considered by coaches to be a slow base runner, later won a large and very competitive multi-county base running contest after only one season of wrestling. Many soccer and football coaches are known to recruit wrestlers because of their superior athletic capabilities, and parents often notice improvements in athletic ability after a season of wrestling.
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