Strong preparation and dedication are required for every athlete to compete in their sports; however, wrestlers take it to a whole other level. Wresting is commonly known as one of the most physically demanding and exhausting sports in the world.
To succeed as a wrestler, you need a combination of physical power, speed, technical skill, mental toughness and endurance. To reach this success, members of the South wrestling team take their preparation for the upcoming season to another level.
Something that separates wrestlers from other athletes is how they manage their weight for an upcoming season. Since wrestlers often need to cut a substantial amount of weight prior to a tournament, they prefer to stay as close to their competition weight as possible throughout training.
“Keeping up your strength and fitness levels without gaining too much mass is very difficult and isn’t often seen within other sports. When I am cutting weight, it can be very hard to even hang out with friends and watch them have such relaxed diets. The weight watching never ends,” said Parker Greenfield, junior.
Another part major part of preparing for the season is working on strength and conditioning. Some athletes, like football players, can train their bodies to do one or two basic things for a position. Wrestlers can’t afford to be one-dimensional. Every wrestler has to constantly keep up his muscular endurance to go along with explosive speed and power.
“Like many athletes, wrestlers split their time between strength training and cardio exercises, but that’s all outside of the wrestling room. On the mats, wrestlers have to spend time working on different techniques since the slightest mistakes can lead to losing a match,” said Andrew Mikuls, senior.
Along with being extremely physically demanding, wrestlers often have to face injuries when preparing and competing. According to LiveStrong, more than 50 percent of high school wrestlers will deal with a minor injury. Additionally, skin infections are extremely common do to the large amounts of skin-to-skin and skin-to-mat contact within the sport.
“I have had everything from athlete’s foot to ringworm. I can’t tell you how many times I have had a good case of the ringworm. It’s not fun,” said Greenfield.
According to the wrestler boys at South, the grind doesn’t stop. They continue to cut substantial amounts of weight, build up strength and technique and overcome the dangers of the sport.