Fayetteville Wild Hog Wrestling
If you are new to the sport, forget anything you have seen on television.
We are not actors.
We are athletes.
Wrestling is a hand-to-hand sport involving takedowns, throws, holds, tilts, pinning combinations, a scoring system based on control of your opponent, and is the oldest sport in recorded history. It is highly unique in that, while incorporating a team aspect, focus is placed on the individual on the mat. You need to be balanced with stamina, strength, and technique to succeed.
While wrestling teaches many techniques, holds, stances, and combinations, the more profound impact of the sport is in its mental teachings. Confidence, determination, self‐motivation, leadership, courage, and even strife are natural components of wrestling. The team factor stops the moment the match begins. This is an individual sport with no nets to stop you, no balls to pass around, no chalk lines to tip toe, no cheerleaders to impress, no goalies watching your back, no quarterback to protect, and no offensive line to protect you. All credit, good or bad, goes to the “Man in the Arena.”
Since it became sanctioned in the state in 2006, wrestling has expanded rapidly in Arkansas. Youth clubs are great for up and coming athletes and vital to high schools across the state as they work to build competitive teams. Arkansas’ advantageous location also allows it to be close to two of the strongest wrestling states in the country: Oklahoma and Missouri. Wrestling is also a great springboard for athletes looking for an off-season workout to prepare for football and baseball.
Wrestling is different from many other sports for several reasons. The biggest reason is that, unlike other sports, it is not one that can be understood by simply watching it on television. To help introduce you to the sport and youth wrestling in particular, here are some of the key differences:
In youth wrestling, kids train as a team but compete as individuals. In practice, the kids work together to learn new moves and polish their skills, but when it is time to compete, a wrestler steps to the center of the mat alone. He/she cannot rely on superstar teammates to carry them to victory. If he/she is going to win, they have to do it alone. That's a powerful thing for any child to learn. Ask any wrestling parent about the impact that wrestling has had on their child, and you can be certain that they will talk about the self-reliance their child has developed through wrestling.
There is no "local" youth wrestling league. Every weekend of the wrestling regular season, novice & open tournaments are held throughout AR, OK, MO, and other states. Any team or individual can enter any tournament, with few exceptions. While this does involve some travel (which we as a club try to manage to help minimize the time and expense), plan on traveling no further than Tulsa, Joplin, or Little Rock. This gives the kids the opportunity to meet and befriend kids from all over the state. It is quite common to see kids from different clubs socializing together in the stands, pull off their warm‐ups and go wrestle each other, then go back to the bleachers and resume whatever they were doing together.
Every youth wrestler has the opportunity to compete for an undisputed state championship. The common team sports do not have true state championships, either because there are multiple governing bodies or because it would be impractical to play enough games to determine a champion. Youth wrestling does not have those limitations. There is one governing organization, Arkansas Wrestling Association, and every year they hold a state tournament where a champion is crowned in every weight class in each age division.
There is no such thing as second‐string in youth wrestling. Everybody is given equal opportunity to compete. If there are two wrestlers in the same age/weight class, they can both wrestle; one doesn't have to sit out because the position is taken. It is not uncommon to see teammates wrestling against each other in tournaments, though brackets are usually drawn to minimize the chances of that happening. The only time a youth wrestler is "on the bench" is while he's waiting for his next match to start. Parents never have to confront a coach about a lack of playing time. For those that want some extra "playing time," we encourage wrestlers to compete in two divisions in the same tournament.
There are practically no differences in the competition rules between youth wrestling and high school wrestling. Youth wrestling is not a simplified version of the sport. There are no special rules just for kids. The only significant difference is that the youth matches are shorter in duration.