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Thread: How good do you need to be to wrestle in college?

  1. #1

    Men How good do you need to be to wrestle in college?

    How good do you have to be to wrestle Division 2? division 3? I am freshmen in high school but alway wondered... Do you have to be a state champ? Placer?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How good?

    You don't have to be a state champ or a placer to wrestle div I. It's all up to you.

    "I like to relax with a chainsaw." Tom Brands 12/4/09

  3. #3

    Default Re: How good?

    I mean.... Like if I am a State placer in CO can compete at the DIV. 1 level? I mean for a freshmen. There are people who never get on varsity for college. So I guess its more of a question.. How good do you have to be to be on the team?

  4. #4

    Default Re: How good?

    You can do anything you put your mind to.

    "I like to relax with a chainsaw." Tom Brands 12/4/09

  5. #5

    Default Re: How good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sterling View Post
    I mean.... Like if I am a State placer in CO can compete at the DIV. 1 level? I mean for a freshmen. There are people who never get on varsity for college. So I guess its more of a question.. How good do you have to be to be on the team?
    You need to be able to beat out the other guys on your team, at your weight. Enter some open tournaments and see how you do.

  6. #6
    National Finalist MOJO's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Philadelphia, PA

    Default Re: How good?

    Best indicator IMO is to spend a several years under a good coach at the H.S. level. Whle you are doing this, join a good, open freestyle and greco club in your area that provides an open mat and workout partners of various ages and from a variety of programs, styles and wrestling philosophys. Assess how you are doing against different types of wrestlers, which you will come into contact with consistently. You can/should also ask one of the coaches in the room for an honest assessment of your skills and how he thinks you might fare in a college environment. Most prep wrestlers are behind working off of the bottom and defending well-set-up shots (singles, doubles, high-crotch shots.) If you can find a college head or assistant coach who is not too busy, he may be willing to give you some good, sound, defensive tecnique geared toward stopping these moves, and (just as importantly) are seen as legitimate, sound, collegiate wrestling technique. I also cannot stress enough, the importance of spring tournaments and summer camps. Camps are important every summer prior to moving on to collegiate level. Wrestling in spring freestyle & greco and/or scholastic open tournements is great and amazingly profitable every year, but especially the Spring of your Jr. and Sr. years in HS. I found that it was equally important to wrestle in the Open (no age/grade limit ) class instead of or along with wrestling in your typical age/grade level class at these tournements. I did this, mainly because I saw that nearly ALL of graduating seniors and many jrs and sophs did this. It is amazing how much confidence you gain by beating a college wrestler when you are only 16 or 17, or how much more at ease you feel the next year as a freshman when you walk into a gym for a tourney and see a couple of college upper-classmen whom you have soundly beatten the summer before. Some people will say "Ah no, that was freestyle, it didn't count". You can come right back and say (in your head is probably the wisest course of action here) "Yeah pal, wrestliing is wrestling and when I headlocked you ino oblivion last summer, that was a 5-pointer in ANY style!

    As for what division to compete in, ALL of the divisions have major similarities and significant differences. As a wrestler who has had the good fortune of wrestling in all three NCAA divisions, I found that the biggest differences have to do with expectations as to how much time you are going to devote to our sport, and the general competative caliber of the assistant coaches and workout partners /teammates you have. On the two D1 teams I worked with (both teams won their conference/qualifier or the NCAA team championship the year I was there) there were pretty much at least one HIGHLY SKILLED coach per weight class on the team and most (but certainly not all) of the guys in individual weights in the room were State or Iowa/Fargo champions/high placers. This general truism along with the time commitment expected of ev ery wrestler (more if you were not progressing at the level expected by your coaches) could be the most daunting aspects of wrestling in the different divisions. While the time expectationa in D1 were tough (you still had to fullfil the demands of your academic major to make progress towards graduation AND to stay eligible to compete, while your coaches are deciding that you need to drop down a weightclass for the good of the team, so a 60 minute AM mountain run was added to your already filled to the bursting point! The tougher competiton from your teammates could be a blessing however. If you are the kind of wrestler who tends to rise to the level of competition that you are surrounded by, this environment is perfect! Because of the caliber of wrestlers you are teammed up with, as long as you dont quit out of frustration, YOU WILL GET BETTER. I was amazed to see that this happened to me in spite of myself! Even when my freshman year didn't go as well as I wanted it to [lets just say that I didn't become the 1st Cael Sanderson] but when I took a couple of weeeks off after nationals, I came back and wrestled in my 1st spring tournament and was amazed to find my body, practically of it's own volition, cleanly hitting moves that had frustrated me all year and putting a serious beatdown on guys who had humiliated me during the bulk of my freshman year!

    Pretty much the same thing happened when I transferred to a D2 school the following year, in order to be closer to my beautiful girlfriend (Now beautiful wife of 27 years and mother of our two wonderful children). The D2 program was very similar to the D1 program in terms of schedule - we still hit Midlands, Las Vegas, Duals with Cal Poly, Bakersfield, Ohio St.,Fresno St., and back then D2 AND D1 nationals. The Academic load was not quite as rigorous, but could be made that way if you so desired. The caliber of daily workout partner was not as strong as in D1 schools and there were FAR fewer assistant coaches than in D1. Someother, more superficial things were also noticable like less $$$per dium for lunch and dinner (come on, I'm a heavyweight dammit! We NEED our daily ration of Ranch Doritos and Gatorade!!!) and rarely traveling by plane.Those things seemed not to matter at the time because I much happier. The atmosphere was more relaxed, there was MUCH less attention to the rankings (at least the team rankings. I was still all over the individual rankings) the wrestle-offs were still intense, but it didnt feel like a matter of life and death. I wound up being the happiest (and most successful both on the mat and off) in the little D2 school. In the D3 school I attended, I felt like wrestling was kind of an afterthought. Not so much by the coach, who was/is a great guy, but by my teammates, the administration, even to a certain extent, our opponents. In looking back at it all some 28 years since I retired from collegiate style wrestling (I kept up Greco, Freestyle, Judo and Sombo for another 5 years) I think that what was right for me in wrestling is similar to what tends to be right for me in life, having the right Balance. Just enough intensity, intellectual challenges, opportunities to shine, opportunities to lay low in the shade, enough competitive role models in the wrestling room AND the classroom, etc, etc.... I found it in a D2 school. Some of my good friends and fantastic wrestlers have been able to find their balance in D! schools, Other equally good friends and excellent wrestlers found it in D3 programs. While I am less familier with other programs, I know that guys who I have a great deal of respect for intellectually and on the mat have found good homes in NAIA Schools, Community College programs, and the MIlitary wrestling programs (quick shout-out to my buddies Greg Gibson, Eric Sewarard and the late,great Tod Giles!) Brother Sterling, no one can tell you which program is best for you, there are so many factors involved. I would strongly encourage you however, to make sure that finding your personal balance and which program can help you reach that, is one of the most important factors that you consider.
    So there, to make a short story long, is my take on it. Best of luck to you Brother. Be good to the sport and it will be good to you 1000X over.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How good?

    thank you.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How good do you need to be to wrestle in college?

    With a strong work ethic you can expect to go to a DI room and have a wonderful experience. Plenty of guys on every DI team never see the starting line up and wouldn't trade their experience for the world. Just to be in that environment is special and something that will serve you in every area of your life forever. If you have even the smallest desire to wrestle DI then do it! Get the best coaching you can right now, work your butt off, and do it!

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