Reed Shelger is the co-founder of Paradigm Training Center, a martial arts gym and Houston wrestling club in Houston, Texas. Reed was a state champion high-school wrestler and went on to wrestle for UC Davis. He also is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black-belt.
Why start your child in houston wrestling?
I have a message for kids and parents of kids who may be considering getting started with houston wrestling, but you are unsure if wrestling the right activity for you. I want to share my perspective based on over 20 years in the sport both as an athlete and a coach and my involvement with our youth wrestling club here at Paradigm. So why is wrestling such a great sport for kids?
To start with, I understand wrestling might seem scary or intimidating because of the physical contact involved. But the truth is—wrestling is FUN! Wrestling provides an outlet for the natural human instinct that kids have to roughhouse.
If you put yourself through the physical rigor it takes to be a competitive wrestler, it’s because you love to wrestle. And we have that in common with our teammates and other kids that love wrestling from other teams across the country and around the world. There is a true fellowship among all wrestlers.
When we compete, we try our best to win and become champions. We wrestle hard, and we are trained to be aggressive, relentless, and tenacious. We aren’t trying to hurt or injure our opponent, we just want to win the game. And it’s a game that can be won by physically wearing down, and mentally breaking our opponent. However, we show respect before and after the match.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the sport of wrestling. There are physical benefits too, which are common across many sports and other forms of exercise. Like getting in shape, losing body fat., etc. But, there are some important lessons that wrestling teaches better than most.
- Hard work beats talent. You do not need to be a god-gifted athlete to be highly successful in wrestling. If you’re not over 6-feet tall and can run very fast or jump very high, you are going to have a tough time finding success in a sport like basketball or football. But wrestling might be the perfect sport for you! And if you are willing to work hard to prepare yourself, there’s no limit to what you can achieve in this sport.
- Wrestling makes you tough. Not only in the sense of physical durability, but tough in the sense of “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” In wrestling you are going to face adversity. We either shy away from it, or we learn to persevere. We learn to push ourselves when we feel like quitting.
- Wrestling teaches humility. To wrestle is to struggle against another person the same size as you are who is trying his best to pin you down, which can be a humbling experience. And if you come into this sport overly arrogant or cocky you are going to learn what it feels like to be put on your back! So, although wrestling builds confidence, we also learn to be humble and compassionate.
- Wrestling teaches accountability. When you are on the mat in wrestling competition, it’s just you alone who is responsible for your performance. You must rely on yourself and the work you did in preparation to earn a victory. There is nobody else who can be blamed as in team sports.
And yet, wrestling is a team sport in a sense. Anyone who has had success in wrestling knows: nobody gets there alone. We need training partners, teammates, families, and coaches to support us and push us to be our best.
If you are ready to give houston wrestling a shot, I encourage you to find a USA Wrestling club near you and join the fellowship of wrestlers!