Wrestling is an institution in the state of Iowa and is one of the oldest sports in the world. Wrestling has been an important part of sports programs in Iowa’s small schools as well as the state’s colleges and universities. The Iowa State Wrestling Tournament held here in Des Moines annually showcases its dedicated athletes. Since wrestling is a popular sport here in Iowa there are several youth programs offered for a variety of ages and skill levels.
Wrestling is a true individual sport and can help develop confidence and builds character. It’s also great for small kids that may not be able to participate in other sports due to their size. There really is no other sport that teaches mental and physical toughness like wrestling does. The sport is excellent for developing body control, strength, endurance and aggressiveness. And, even though it is a “contact” sport wrestling is nonviolent. Grapplers are not permitted to strike one another, and imposes strict penalties or disqualification for violent behavior.
Whenever wrestling is discussed, the issue of cutting weight is always a hot topic. Making weight may not be as much of an issue for younger wrestlers, but as kids age it will become one. And, while the purging and binging tactics many wrestlers have embraced are not healthy, a wrestler who aims to lose a few pounds by devising a plan of discipline and personal sacrifice is laying groundwork for a healthy lifestyle as an adult. If your child is considering wrestling, visit a doctor first to get a clean bill of health and discuss healthy practices for losing and maintaining weight.
Success in wrestling requires the ability to attack, as well as the ability to stop your opponent’s attack. And, even though it is a very physical sport, wrestling is a mental “game”. Wrestlers must have confidence in themselves, and at the same time not be afraid to lose. Not all kids (or adults) are up for this type of pressure.
Beginners: Practices last 30 minutes to one hour, one or two times a week.
Intermediate: Practices last one hour to one hour and 30 minutes, two or three times a week.
Advanced: Practices last one hour and 30 minutes to two hours, three or more times a week.
Tournaments: It is up to the individual wrestler to determine how many competitive events they will participate in.
- Practice Clothes
- Wrestling Shoes
- Head Gear (optional)
- Singlet: $25+ (may be included w/ registration)
- Practice Clothes: 10+
- Wrestling Shoes: $25+
- Head Gear: $30+
- Registration: All ages – start at $50.00
- Club Fees: $50+/year
- Tournament Entrance Fees: $20+ per wrestler
- Travel Expenses: $100-$500 average per event
Fees vary according to what is provided by the organizing entity. Please keep in mind some registration fees are one time, others are monthly. All costs are approximate. As with any activity, as your child progresses, only your family can choose what you will spend in relation to your child’s specific goals within the sport whether competitively or recreationally.
There are several wrestling clubs scattered across the metro. A handful are listed below. Schools also offer opportunities to wrestle.
Little Rams Wrestling Club – Altoona
East Des Moines Jr. Wrestling Club – Des Moines
High Altitude Wrestling Club – Grimes
Indianola Mat Tribe – Indianola
Johnston Wrestling Club – Johnston
Excel Wrestling – Urbandale
Waukee Youth Wrestling – Waukee
Tiger Wrestling Club – West Des Moines
What do you think, is wrestling a fit for your kid?