Why should I wrestle in the off-season?
I saw a quote on Facebook not too long ago. It said, “You think off-season wrestling is optional? So is winning.” Life gets busy in the spring and our wrestlers are pretty heavily involved in other sports. I understand that, but I just want to ask you to consider trying Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. These are the two international styles of wrestling that will greatly enhance your ability on the mat during our high school season.
Here are some common misconceptions about wrestling Freestyle and Greco-Roman (FS/GR).
There are no practices close by. Even though the LHS practice room isn’t available for FS/GR practices, you can find a Regional Training Center close by. These RTCs are designed by USA Wrestling-Kansas to help promote the international styles of wrestling and to make them more accessible to Kansas wrestlers. There are area RTCs running practices every weeknight.
I don’t have time for them. FS/GR practices are weekly and usually run about an hour and a half long. No one is taking attendance. You can attend periodic practices. You might find you like it and then you would be able to make time for it.
It’s too expensive. All you need to pay for is a $37 USAW membership card, which can be ordered through me with the Wildcat Wrestling Club. Our club has a fund set up to help cover the costs if there are wrestlers who have trouble coming up with the money for the USAW card.
It’s too complicated. You learn as you go. My first FS/GR tournament, I was as nervous as can be, and all my coach told me was to go wrestle. I’ll figure it out. And I did. Most tournaments have a brief rules explanation prior to their start. The coaches at the RTC practices are very helpful with those wrestlers who want to learn these styles. No one will judge you for being inexperienced.
Only the best wrestlers do FS/GR. The most goal-oriented and dedicated wrestlers do FS/GR. Not every state champion or state placer has done these styles, but most have. Look at the kids who make huge strides from one season to the next. All it takes is the willingness to give it a shot. You’d be surprised how much your skills improve with a little off-season dedication.
Here are the local RTCs that are available if you want to do any FS/GR:
- Mondays @ Baker University, 6:30-8pm (Mabee Hall on the BU campus, 2nd floor)
- Tuesdays @ SM West, 6-7:30pm
- Wednesdays @ Leavenworth, 6-7:30pm
- Wednesdays @ Baldwin, 5:30-7pm (Multi-purpose room at Baldwin Junior High)
- Thursdays @ Olathe South, 6-7:30pm
- Thursdays @ Baldwin, 5:30-7pm
- Saturday, April 14: Black and Blue Freestyle, SM West HS
- Saturday, April 21: Fight or Flight Freestyle and Greco-Roman, Staley HS (MO)
- Saturday, April 28: Ultimate Freestyle Championships, Blue Spring HS (MO)
- Saturday, April 28: Battle at the Junction Freestyle and Greco-Roman, Junction City HS
- Saturday, May 5: USAWKS State Freestyle and Greco-Roman, Hutchinson HS
- Saturday, June 2 / Sunday, June 3: Southern Plains Regional Freestyle and Greco-Roman, Dodge City