My 13 year old son is a wrestler and has been from the time he was two years old. Way back when he was still in diapers he would constantly launch himself at anyone in arms reach looking for a scuffle. His older brother was usually the one he would grapple with on the daily. Fast forward to present day and he is still somewhat obsessed with physical contact although the majority of his time wrestling is now done at Triumph wrestling club. Triumph is run by Nick Roy, a two time NJ state champ and an All-American at The University of Michigan. Nick teaches his wrestlers the many fundamentals and skills they will need in order to be successful in a such a grueling sport. When my son first started wrestling I knew very little about the sport and the enormous amount of hard work, discipline, and dedication that’s required for young men (and women) that are seeking success on the mat.
The more time I spend at the practices, tournaments, matches, and with the wrestlers themselves the more impressed I am and the more in love I fall with wrestling. Growing up as an athlete I have a high regard for athletic competition and the many life lessons that come from being involved in athletics. I can’t help but notice that there’s something special about wrestling. When you look beyond the physicality of the sport and you delve deep into the psyche of a wrestler that’s where you find many treasures. Wrestlers are extraordinarily tough people both physically and mentally. One of the greatest 1-2 punch lessons these kids learn is humility and perseverance. Imagine what it takes to walk out alone into the the center of a wrestling mat in front of an audience of on lookers made up of mostly relatives and your peers to face an opponent. Now imagine what it feels like to get your ass kicked by an adversary that’s stronger, more aggressive, and more skilled than you are. By the looks on their defeated faces and the occasional tears they fight to hold back it appears as if they are momentarily devastated, embarrassed, and humbled. For many of these wrestlers this is the scenario that will play out over and over again.
What impresses me most is how these kids accept the defeat, shake off the disappointment, pick themselves back up and get back to the drawing board with hopes that at the end of their next match it will be their arm getting raised. The lessons that these athletes are learning are very valuable tools that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. These are also lessons that any one of us can apply to enhance our life experience. Learning how to cope with hardship and adversity is something that can prove very useful for many of us. There’s a lot to be gained from recognizing how hard work can sometimes beat talent and level the playing field. Success, no matter in sports, work, relationships, or just life in general requires a commitment to developing a never quit attitude. If we learn how to give it our all the end result will most likely be a satisfied Soul. So whatever it is that you wrestle with in life it can’t hurt to consider applying some the powerful characteristics that these little warriors exemplify.