Below is the first article from Steve Knapp who is one of my Elite Wrestling Alumni from Lacey. Talking to him over the weekend at Regions he stated an interest in writing and that he has written several article for his college website so we are happy to support his writing ventures. Enjoy!
The Wrestling Life Cycle
Wrestling is truly a sport like no other. It requires a different type of person to devout the time and make the sacrifices that are needed to succeed and excel. But at the end of your wrestling career you are left with more than just a list of wins and losses and a room of medals, trophies and brackets.
Youth wrestlers grow up learning a little more each year. After learning the basics and fundamentals you continuously gain knowledge on the ins and outs of a sport that even the most advance wrestlers don’t know everything about. You come to find there is always someone who can teach you something whether it’s a coach, other wrestlers or a former one. You start to see you can learn a lot from the older wrestlers in your room, especially in the clubs. They can relate to you when showing you technique. But where you learn the most is by watching them. Growing up in a wrestling room you don’t just learn more moves but you learn the work you need to put in and how to do it. You learn that the extra sprint at the end of practice means getting the overtime take down. This work ethic leaves an impact on every younger competitor in the room.
When you finally make your way into the high school room your freshman year you start with a blank canvas that you have four years to paint the best picture you can. You start to see the best wrestlers don’t just put in work three months a year during the hours of a scheduled practice. Fourteen to nineteen year old kids are willing to suck weight, go through hell in practice, head to there club practice after that and then go for a run after that if needed.
The mystery to those outside of the wrestling community is why would anyone put so much time and sacrifice into a sport with such little material pay off in the end? After all you can’t become a professional wrestler and make millions of dollars. Some fortunate young studs will get a free college education out of it. But what the dedicated wrestlers really take away from the sport is a life long love of the sport. This lifetime appreciation comes from unforgettable memories of wrestling in front of huge crowds on the big stage after all the hours of work you put in when no one was watching. It is an incomparable satisfaction to realize you have become the hero you idolized just a few years ago. It is the best lesson in dedication and commitment you can get. On top of that when your competitive days are over you cross the line into the wrestling fan club where you are joined by some of your best friends you have met from all over the state that share the same love and appreciation for the sport because you have the mutual respect that you lived the same exhausting lifestyle. In almost any wrestling room you can find alumni back to roll around and help groom the new products of the system in the programs they came up through. Wrestling is a one on one sport that is bigger then any one individual but will make anyone individual a bigger person.