What Shoes are best for a First Year Wrestler

Wrestling shoes for the beginning wrestler don’t need to be expensive.  While my son has been wrestling for a very long time, a lot of his friends recently decided to pick up the great sport of wrestling.

All of his friends were asking me about the best wrestling shoes to purchase.

After talking with my son’s friends, I realized that wrestling shoes come in with varying styles and prices.  A pair of wrestling shoes can range in price from 30 bucks to well over $200.

I tend to purchase high-end wrestling shoes for my son because he is serious about wrestling and plans on wrestling in college (hopefully).

There are different ranges of wrestling shoes available on the market that are based on the level of the wrestler. There are shoes for beginners, as well as for seasoned wrestlers.

New wrestlers should stick with more affordable shoes.  The reason for this is that wrestling is a tough sport and a lot of kids decide they don’t like wrestling after one wrestling season.  Let’s discuss how to select the best wrestling shoes for a beginning wrestler.

beginning-wrestler-first-year-shoes

Features to Look for in Wrestling Shoes

There are 3 things to look for in a pair of shoes for a new wrestler.  Those are the grip of the sole, durability, and price.  Wrestling shoes are extremely flexible. They are light and easy to carry. They provide extra support and strength to the ankle. Most wrestling shoes provide great support on the mat.  Here is what you should look for.

As a first year wrestler, the following features are absolutely required to be kept in mind while buying a pair of wrestling shoes.

Sole :

You want to make  sure that the sole of the wrestling shoe will provide a good grip on the mat. Most shoes will do a great job of providing traction, but it’s important to check out reviews to see what other wrestlers had to say.

Material :

The material used to make the shoe is also important. The leather and suede shoes tend to be more expensive and don’t breathe as well.  The mesh shoes tend to be cheaper.  The difference is that the mesh shoes are not quite as durable.  It’s not a big deal because your first pair of shoes only needs to last one season.

Price:

Since parents are the ones that make the purchase, the price of the shoe is an important factor.  My advice is to spend between 25 to 60 dollars on your kid’s first pair of shoes.  I would avoid the cheapest shoes and any wrestling shoes over the $60 threshold.

Fit:

I would recommend that you buy a wrestling shoe that is at least one-half size larger than your kid’s regular shoes.  I would recommend that you go to a sporting goods store for your first pair of wrestling shoes.  This way you can make sure they fit.  You want your shoes to have a snug fit, but they also need to be comfortable.

Affordable Wrestling Shoes to Consider

I did some research and identified 3 pairs of wrestling shoes that perform well on the mat, but will not cost a ton of money.

ASICS Matflex :   The matflex is by far the most popular shoe with new and little league wrestlers.  The shoes provide great grip on the mat and should last a couple of seasons.  You can usually find these shoes for about $40.

Adidas HVC – Adidas has a great shoe called HVC.  It also does a great job and typically runs about $50. The main difference between this shoe and the matflex is that it has a full-length rubber sole.

Nike Speedsweep –  The speedsweep is another great choice.  I have found these shoes for about $35.  Some people prefer Nike over ASICS and Adidas.  If that’s the case, these are a great pair of shoes.

Consider Last Years Model

If you are willing to look online, you can find last year’s models for a very cheap price.  Wrestling shoes get updated every year with new enhancements.  Buying last year’s model is a great way to get a very good pair of shoes for the same price as the shoes listed above.

While I was doing the research for this article, I found a great video on wrestling shoes.  The video is by suplay.com and provides some great info for anyone looking to buy a pair of shoes.

I hope you enjoyed the article.  If you’re a new wrestling parent, buying shoes can be a little daunting.  Hopefully, I have guided you in the right direction to get a good pair of wrestling shoes and keep a little cash in your pocket.

Using Wrestling Instructional Videos to Improve Technique

wrestling instructional dvds is a great tool to becoming a better wrestler.  Wrestlers should be constantly trying to improve their technique. A great way to do his is using wrestling instructional videos.  You can find great wrestling DVDs that will teach you whatever you would like to learn.  Today I would like to talk about the advantages of using wrestling instructional dvds to make you a better wrestler.

improve technique with wrestling instructional vidoes

Advantages of DVD’s over YouTube

If you are serious about becoming a better wrestler, I would suggest that you make a commitment to invest in a good library of wrestling dvds.  You might have the urge to use youtube to improve your technique, but it has been my experiences that the videos are not as thorough as they need to be .  A good wrestling dvd will be focused on a particular area of wrestling and will go into greater detail than a short youtube video.

Which Video to Choose

Wrestling parents ask me all the time “what is the best wrestling video”?  My answer to them is that, it depends on what area(s) a wrestler needs to improve on.  For example if a wrestler need more work on bottom, I would focus on videos that help a wrestler master standups and escapes.  Determine where you need work and buy the videos that are focused on that area.  Most online sites will allow you easily to choose dvds that are focused on a particular aspect of wrestling.

Buy a Set to Save Money

If you are in the market to invest in good wrestling instructional dvds, I would suggest that you buy a set.  The reason is that you get a better deal when you buy a set.  You also get an advantage learning from the same coach in multiple areas.  For example, if I wanted to improve takedowns, I would buy the takedown series by John Smith for around a 100 bucks.  I would save 20 dollars and have three great instructional dvds.

What do You Think?

Wrestling instructional dvds are a great way to improve your technique on the mat.  I hope you think about the benefits of investing in good wrestling instructional videos.  I hope you enjoyed this article.  If you have any feedback we would love to hear from you. Please post a comment at the end of this article and let me know what you think.  Thanks for reading and continue training hard.

Will Wrestling Headgear Prevent Concussions

I was recently asked what is the best headgear to prevent concussions?  I was a little surprised to hear someone ask me that question.  The answer is that headgear for wrestling will not prevent concussions.  I’m positive that there are other people that are unfamiliar with that question and will benefit from this post.  Today, I would like to talk about the function and purpose of wrestling headgear.

great wrestling throw

Photo Credit: Oklahoma Wrestling

Wrestle without Damaging Ears

The sole purpose of wrestling headgear is to prevent cauliflower ear when two wrestlers are wrestling each other.  If you have every seen anyone with gnarly cauliflower ear, you would know why most wrestlers will wear headgear.  While the headgear is hard enough to protect the ears, it is also has a soft outside to prevent an opponent from getting injured.

How to Prevent Concussions in Wrestling

I hate to tell you this, but there isn’t much you can do to prevent concussions.  When you wrestle, the main protection a wrestler has on the mat is the referee.  You can only hope that the referee is paying attention and preventing situations where a wrestler won’t get thrown on his head.  Even then, there are times where a wrestler can land on their head and get a concussion.

Another layer of protection comes from years of wrestling.  Most wrestlers have been thrown to the mat so many times that they have instinctively learned how to land without getting hurt.

What are Your Thoughts?

I hope you enjoyed the article.  Thousands(may be hundreds of thousands) of wrestling matches occur each year without injury to either wrestler.  Having said that, wrestling is a contact sport and injuries are part of this sport.  Do you have any comments for feedback?  We would love to hear from you. post a comment at the end of this article and share your thoughts.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Mental Toughness Training for Wrestlers

At a recent wrestling tournament, I watched a very good wrestler strap on his brute headgear and step on the mat. I have been watching this young man wrestle for the last five years.  One thing I have noticed about him is that he manages to win the super tough matches.  I had a chance to talk with this wrestler.

I asked him how he prepares himself for those tough matches.  He told me that he works on chain wrestling. In addition, he tells himself he is going to win and he can see himself winning in his mind.

Wrestling is a sport that I believe is mostly mental.  In fact, I’ve heard numerous coaches tell me that wrestling is 90% mental and 10% physical.  If the mental aspect is a huge part of wrestling, shouldn’t wrestlers learn how to train their mind to gain a competitive advantage?  Today, I would like to discuss mental training for wrestlers.

wrestling mental training

How Does a Wrestler Get that Mental Edge?

You hear the same thing over and over again.  If you want to learn how to become a better wrestler, you should train harder than your opponents.  Doesn’t every good wrestler train hard?  Wrestlers who don’t train hard, won’t last long in this sport.  The elite athletes gain a mental edge because they train their brains as much(if not more) than they do their body.  How does a wrestler train his mind?

Positive Self Talk

I’m a firm believer that people believe whatever they speak.  I think this applies to wrestling as well.  If you look at your opponent and you say “This guy will be tough”, you are telling yourself that you don’t think you can beat this wrestler.

VerWell.com has a great article on how Athletes Self Talk to Boost Performance.

On the other hand, if you tell yourself that “I’m going to win this match”, then you are reinforcing positive self-talk.  You are more likely to win that match.  Learn to tell yourself positive messages about you winning and you will notice that you start winning those close matches.

Positive self talk is just as important as a wrestlers diet.  I would even say your self talk is more important than watching calories.

I think positive self talk can help any wrestler.

Here is a video by Dr. Jarrod Spencer of Mind of the Athlete that talks about listening your self talk.

Visualize the Win

The best wrestlers in the world can see themselves winning matches.

Take a look at Jordan Burroughs.  He says that he focuses and takes the time to see himself winning championships and wrestling matches.

He steps on the mat every time expecting to win.  If a world champion wrestler, applies these techniques, then you should follow.  How do you visualize the win?

I suggest closing your eyes and seeing yourself winning.  Try to be very detailed in what you see.  The more you apply this technique the better you will get at it.  Do it over and over until you see yourself getting your hand raised.

What do you think?

I think mental training is an aspect that wrestler do not spend enough time on.  I think this could take you from simply being a good wrestler to a great wrestler.  Do you have any comments?  I would love to hear from you.  Post a comment and let me know what your thoughts are.  I hope you enjoyed the article.  Thanks for reading and keep growing in wrestling.

How are Wrestling Brackets Set Up

I often have new wrestling parents ask me how a wrestling brackets are set up. I tell them that it depends on what type of wrestling tournament you are talking about.  There are some wrestling websites that make creating wrestling brackets easier.  Each type of wrestling tournament is slightly different in how a bracket is created.  Today, I would like to discuss the different types of wrestling brackets.

Different Types of Wrestling Brackets

There are basically three types of wrestling brackets.  Those are the blind draw bracket, a seeded bracket, and a round robin wrestling bracket. The blind draw bracket has the wrestlers randomly placed on the bracket. The seeded bracket tries to separate the best wrestlers and the round robin wrestling bracket means wrestlers either wrestle everyone or wrestle three matches to determine their seed for next round of a tournament.

Blind Draw Bracket

In a blind draw wrestling bracket, wrestlers are randomly placed on a bracket.  This is the type of bracket that is created for most youth wrestling tournaments.  This is done because most wrestling clubs do not want to go through the trouble of seeding.  The one rule that most wrestling clubs follow is that they try to separate kids from the same club.

Seeded Bracket

A seeded bracket is used for national, college, high school, and junior high tournaments.  In a seeded tournament, the best wrestlers are separated so that the best wrestlers meet each other in the finals.  For example, the first and second-seeded wrestlers are placed on opposite sides of the bracket.  Seeds are usually done for the first four to six wrestlers. After the seeds have been done the rest of the wrestlers are randomly placed on the bracket.  Wrestlers from the same club are also separated.

Round Robin Bracket

a round robin wrestling bracket is done one of two ways.  Either a wrestler wrestles everyone in their bracket or a round robin bracket is created so that seeds can be done for the next round in a wrestling tournament.

Most round robin wrestling brackets consist of six wrestlers or fewer.  The objective of  this type of wrestling bracket is to get each wrestler a lot of mat time. I like this type of bracket for new wrestlers.  If you have six wrestlers, each person is guaranteed five matches.

The other type of round robin bracket is done to determine seeds.  For example, let’s say you had sixteen wrestlers in a bracket.  You would have four round robin groups of four wrestlers.  Each group would wrestle everyone in their group. When that is finished the top two in each round robin would be seeded in an eight-man seeded bracket.

What do you think?

I hope you enjoyed the wrestling article.  Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how wrestling brackets are created.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!

Dixon Brothers from Edmond Make Wrestling History

Last night I had the pleasure of watching the Oklahoma Wrestling state high school championships.

There were a ton of good matches.  For example, the match between Keegan Moore and Joe Smith was epic and there two wrestlers who were 4-time state champs.

In my opinion the fact that the Dixon Triplets(Lance, Joel, and Andrew) all won a state championship.  This has to be the first time that three brothers(that were triplets) have a won a wrestling state championship on the same night.

dixon brothers wrestling

Their Dad must be Proud

I don’t know the Dixon brothers, but I have watched them wrestle for the last 9 years.  The father must be super proud.  He is probably telling himself that it was all worth it.  He has had to buy three of everything like wrestling head gear, shoes, wrestling bags, etc..

I know first hand that wrestling can get expensive and I only have one child to pay for. I’m thinking the dad woke up and thought to himself… “I must be doing something right”.  I completely agree.  These brothers have accomplished something that has never been done before.

The Dixon Brothers are the Three Musketeers

All three brothers wrestle for Edmond North high school.  Last night Edmond North won its first team state title in school history.  They dethroned Broken Arrow, who has won the previous three titles.

In fact, they have been so dominant this year that they won 6A dual state, 6A academic champs, as well as last night state championship.  It’s safe to say that the Dixon brothers were a major reason for their team’s success.

Next year will be their Last Year

The rest of the 6A Oklahoma wrestling squads better watch out.  These young men are only juniors.  That means they will be a dominant again next year.  I’m guessing there will be quite a few wrestling articles about the Dixon triplets.  In signing off, I want to say congratulations to all of the Dixon brothers as well as Edmond North.  Can the three brothers do the same thing next year?  We will have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts?

These are just my thought of a wrestling dad.  I hope you enjoyed the article. Feel free to post any comments at the end of this article.  Thanks for reading and have a great day!