There are so many options for tournaments out there for wrestlers to take part in. Sometimes it can be a daunting task to figure out what types of tournaments are best for your wrestler. The first question the parent and wrestler need to ask themselves is whether they are wrestling to progress and improve in wrestling or they are wrestling to get awards and wins?
At Prodigy Wrestling Academy, the goal is always to improve and to progress in the sport. Those that just want the wins, the awards, and the recognition can easily seek out the easiest competition and win as much as they want. To improve, a wrestler (and Parent) needs to find a level of wrestling in which the wrestler can find success, yet also is pushed and challenged, even losing at times.
It can be a fine line. One that is constantly changing as the wrestler continues their journey.
Being in Dayton/Cincinnati, Ohio, we will be using our local area and Ohio based tournament organizations. Of course, the same ideas and concepts can be used anywhere because all areas and states have the same types of organizations. In Ohio, we would probably rank the wrestling opportunities from easiest to most challenging as the following.
1. Rec or Local Level - MVKWA (Miami Valley Kids Wrestling Association) and CYW (Cincinnati Youth Wrestling)
2. Novice Local/Regional Level - OAC Comp. Points Tournaments, A+ Tournaments, and OhioQuest
3. Local/Regional Level - OAC Comp. Points Tournaments, A+ Tournaments, and OhioQuest
4. OHWAY State Series - Districts and state Tournaments (Qualifications needed for state)
5. OAC State Series - District and State Tournaments (and sometimes sectionals)
6. National Level Tournaments - NUWAY Nationals Tournaments, RMN, Tyrant, and more
7. TRUE National Tournaments - Tulsa Nationals, Tournament of Champions, Reno Worlds, and more.
The key for parents is to continue to encourage your wrestler to branch out and wrestle in higher level tournaments as they are ready for them. If they are winning 75-80% of their matches at one level, start working on going to the next level. If they are struggling at a level, then have them go back down to get some success. The goal is to find a level that a wrestler can COMPETE at, not necessarily the level in which they always win.
If your wrestler is going 1-2 for the day and losing by a few points, then they are right where they need to be. If they are losing by tech fall or pin each match, then that level might be too much for them. If your wrestler is pinning, teching, and winning every match, then it is time to find a place to challenge them.
Find their level. Encourage their successes. Make sure they learn from their failures. Most important, it is about progressing, improving, and a little thing called FUN!
By: Willie Wineberg
Prodigy Wrestling Academy - Owner and Head Coach