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Thread: The Evils of Weight cutting

  1. #28
    Olympic Champ r.payton@att.net's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    What makes me happiest about this thread is the care and concern of you parents for your kids . Health and well being to all.

  2. #29
    World Champ ODH's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by r.payton@att.net View Post
    Everyone remembers Gable -how many people remember Owens or what he did the rest of his career ?
    I am not sure what you are implying about Larry Owings.
    He dropped two weight classes to beat Gable as a sophomore, then finsihed 2nd twice, both times coming in as the #1 seed.
    He had an outstanding college career. Obviously did not have the international or coaching success that Gable did, but he does deserve respect.
    Last edited by ODH; 04-17-2008 at 12:00 PM.

  3. #30

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    The wealth of knowledge on this forum is amazing! Whether it is help with a specific technique/move or more general issues like weight cutting, I am always amazed by all of the information in the posts. The personal stories in this thread are particularly good.

    I don't have a lot of posts and most of them contain questions rather then answers. This is mainly because I wasn't a very good wrestler and don't have as much to add as some of the other posters.

    Once again, I have a question. When my 6 and 8 year old sons began wrestling last year I didn't even give a thought to weight cutting. In the little bit of wrestling I did in high school I didn't really have to cut weight. My kids wrestle for a local club in open tournaments, not dual meets. The club can send as many kids to the same tournament at the same weight as they want. There is no need to cut weight.

    With that being said, it didn't take them too long to figure out on their own that if they dropped a couple pounds they would get to wrestle smaller kids. To my 8 year old, it didn't matter. Other then making sure he had tried to go to the bathroom before he got on the scale he didn't do anything to "manage his weight".

    My 6 year old on the other hand has started going to greater lengths to "manage his weight", including not eating or drinking hardly anything on the days of weigh-ins. He wrestled at 52 lbs for much of the season and usually weighed within a half a pound of 51. He is pretty lean and athletic and can't drop very much more.

    We recently went to an off-season tournament run by a different league. For this tournament the weight classes were slightly different. Instead of a 52 pound class they had a 50 and 55 pound class. He decided he wanted to try and get under the 50 pounds. He hardly ate anything for two days before the tournament and weighed in at 50.6 pounds. He was very disappointed but still went out and won the 55 pound class. I reinforced the fact to him was that he was going to be a good wrestler at whatever weight he wrestled at.

    To this point I have not really tried to intervene. I have never told him to do any of this, but I haven't done anything to stop him either. It is not like he is running in plastic suits, riding stationary bikes in a sauna, spitting in cups, or taking diuretics but after reading some of your stories it looks like a very slippery slope. Obviously I would prevent him from commiting any of that insanity whether he was 6 or 16.

    My question is, should I continue to allow him to "manage his own weight" by skipping meals on weigh-in days or should I force him to sit and eat at least a couple of minimal meals before this gets out of hand.

  4. #31

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Glad to hear there is another parent out there that feels the same way as I do.

    We wrestle in NE Ohio in a 128 team league that has a sectional, district and state championship. I love the format, however i see kids losing 10-15% of their starting body weight just to win a state title. I take a lot of flack in the league because I am not quit about it and have been asking for the league to mandate a pre-season weigh in. That weight would go out to all the teams.

    I am the same way with my son. After the first week of practice we weigh-in and I make him wrestle one weight class above ( to give room for growth.). He does fine being a three time qualifier and placed this year as a 5th grader. He does complain how they are stronger, yet wins 95% of his matches. I tell him when he hits puberty and starts lifting he will become as strong as them and will have the technique to beat the other 5%.

    Once again you are definately doing the right thing.

    My boy is also 11 and wrestled 73# this year so maybe we will see you somewhere in the future.

  5. #32
    National Finalist MOJO's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    sroman said:
    "To this point I have not really tried to intervene. I have never told him to do any of this, but I haven't done anything to stop him either. It is not like he is running in plastic suits, riding stationary bikes in a sauna, spitting in cups, or taking diuretics but after reading some of your stories it looks like a very slippery slope. Obviously I would prevent him from commiting any of that insanity whether he was 6 or 16.

    My question is, should I continue to allow him to "manage his own weight" by skipping meals on weigh-in days or should I force him to sit and eat at least a couple of minimal meals before this gets out of hand.
    "

    Brother SRoman,
    I think that for a 6-yr old, issues related to diet & weight management are health issues, and as such, should be fully in the hands of his parents. I know that you are looking for the best for your boys, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you describe the weight cutting morass as a slippery slope. The most seductively dangerous aspect IMO is when a kid cuts 3 or 4 lbs, has adequate recovery time, and then wrestles well in the lighter weight class. 3 lbs leads to 5 seeming reasonable, 5 to 8, 8 to 10......" In my original post on this thread, part of the reason I felt that it was reasonable to try and cut 18 lbs in 7 hours was because I had cut 9 and 15 lbs respectively just two days before. Looking at that decision from a 45 year old perspective, its easy to see how insane that was, I could have died! But from the mindset of a typical teen wrestler "If I did it once, I should be good to do it again and again as needed". I think it may be reasonable for a 16 -18 year old wrestler to have the majority (but still not all!) of the decision-making around weight management, I feel pretty strongly that this is not the case for 6 and 8 year olds. You have to take charge here Dad.

    One more comment Brother SRoman, and please accept my apology if I am coming off as preachy or self-rightious, it truely is not my intention. I have a great deal of respect for you for bringing your questions to the forum.

    This final comment is said as a child psychologist as much as a wrestler, but one major trueism of family dynamics that I have seen play out time and time again is this: When our kids make a statement, push a boundary, take a stand or even just perform a new action, they are watching VERY closely as to what our reactions are , verbal and/or non-verbal. So if we give our opinion or put up a stop sign or give the OK, they are watching for and receiving an answer, wanted or unwanted. If we do nothing, they are still getting an answer, but this time it is surely interpreted as acceptance on our part. Remember this scenario as a teen: Dad: What the hell do you think you are doing coming in at 2 AM? Teen: Well, you didn't say anything when I came in at 11, so i thought you were cool with it! I worry that by being passive when your 6 yr old is eating an ice-cube for dinner you tacitly giving your support for behavior that the vast majority of your fellow posters on this topic would agree is potentially dangerous. Best to you and your boys.

  6. #33

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    I agree with all of that but, a six year old that wants to cut weight seems crazy to me even if it is just a few pounds. Obviously the kid is very competitive, but if a kid starts cutting weight at six, it will get out of hand, not to mention could stunt his growth. IMO



    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO View Post


    My question is, should I continue to allow him to "manage his own weight" by skipping meals on weigh-in days or should I force him to sit and eat at least a couple of minimal meals before this gets out of hand.
    "

    Brother SRoman,
    I think that for a 6-yr old, issues related to diet & weight management are health issues, and as such, should be fully in the hands of his parents. I know that you are looking for the best for your boys, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you describe the weight cutting morass as a slippery slope. The most seductively dangerous aspect IMO is when a kid cuts 3 or 4 lbs, has adequate recovery time, and then wrestles well in the lighter weight class. 3 lbs leads to 5 seeming reasonable, 5 to 8, 8 to 10......" In my original post on this thread, part of the reason I felt that it was reasonable to try and cut 18 lbs in 7 hours was because I had cut 9 and 15 lbs respectively just two days before. Looking at that decision from a 45 year old perspective, its easy to see how insane that was, I could have died! But from the mindset of a typical teen wrestler "If I did it once, I should be good to do it again and again as needed". I think it may be reasonable for a 16 -18 year old wrestler to have the majority (but still not all!) of the decision-making around weight management, I feel pretty strongly that this is not the case for 6 and 8 year olds. You have to take charge here Dad.

    One more comment Brother SRoman, and please accept my apology if I am coming off as preachy or self-rightious, it truely is not my intention. I have a great deal of respect for you for bringing your questions to the forum.

    This final comment is said as a child psychologist as much as a wrestler, but one major trueism of family dynamics that I have seen play out time and time again is this: When our kids make a statement, push a boundary, take a stand or even just perform a new action, they are watching VERY closely as to what our reactions are , verbal and/or non-verbal. So if we give our opinion or put up a stop sign or give the OK, they are watching for and receiving an answer, wanted or unwanted. If we do nothing, they are still getting an answer, but this time it is surely interpreted as acceptance on our part. Remember this scenario as a teen: Dad: What the hell do you think you are doing coming in at 2 AM? Teen: Well, you didn't say anything when I came in at 11, so i thought you were cool with it! I worry that by being passive when your 6 yr old is eating an ice-cube for dinner you tacitly giving your support for behavior that the vast majority of your fellow posters on this topic would agree is potentially dangerous. Best to you and your boys.

  7. #34

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by MOJO View Post
    sroman said:
    "To this point I have not really tried to intervene. I have never told him to do any of this, but I haven't done anything to stop him either. It is not like he is running in plastic suits, riding stationary bikes in a sauna, spitting in cups, or taking diuretics but after reading some of your stories it looks like a very slippery slope. Obviously I would prevent him from commiting any of that insanity whether he was 6 or 16.

    My question is, should I continue to allow him to "manage his own weight" by skipping meals on weigh-in days or should I force him to sit and eat at least a couple of minimal meals before this gets out of hand.
    "

    Brother SRoman,
    I think that for a 6-yr old, issues related to diet & weight management are health issues, and as such, should be fully in the hands of his parents. I know that you are looking for the best for your boys, but I think you hit the nail on the head when you describe the weight cutting morass as a slippery slope. The most seductively dangerous aspect IMO is when a kid cuts 3 or 4 lbs, has adequate recovery time, and then wrestles well in the lighter weight class. 3 lbs leads to 5 seeming reasonable, 5 to 8, 8 to 10......" In my original post on this thread, part of the reason I felt that it was reasonable to try and cut 18 lbs in 7 hours was because I had cut 9 and 15 lbs respectively just two days before. Looking at that decision from a 45 year old perspective, its easy to see how insane that was, I could have died! But from the mindset of a typical teen wrestler "If I did it once, I should be good to do it again and again as needed". I think it may be reasonable for a 16 -18 year old wrestler to have the majority (but still not all!) of the decision-making around weight management, I feel pretty strongly that this is not the case for 6 and 8 year olds. You have to take charge here Dad.
    Mojo,

    Nice to meet you. I mean no disrespect here and think you made some wise decisions with your son. I like people of character. Like most of us, I have weight cutting horror stories (worst ever: Butch Hibbard, Canandaigua High School, NY, circa 1985) and with a dad as coach pushing to drop weight classes, well, it caused a rift between us that has thankfully been mended. Why he wanted me to drop to 98 pounds my senior year and face Jeff Prescott (yep, 3x NYS champ, 2x NCCA champ and '91 OW) at inter-sectionals, I have no idea! Lunacy!

    My thoughts about your post are not about weight cutting per say, but more about weight management. And I do think there is more than just a semantic difference between the two. You say your son was on weight Wed and it sounds like maybe he didn't have to "cut" to get there, maybe just watch what he eats and work out some, maybe a jog around the block. That to me is weight management. Now, somehow, mysteriously, he was 2.5 lbs over Friday. Well, assuming he didn't really "cut" to get on weight Wed, it isn't a mystery how he got to 2.5 over Friday.

    I'm not passing judgment here and don't know the specific, but once he makes weight Wed, maybe talk about food in and calories out (with mom) and what it will take to stay on weight. Maybe have a scale at home and see how much he loses over night. Putting food on a small scale in the kitchen is great, "Hey a banana weighs a 1/4 pound, look that piece of chicken is a half pound. Since you sleep off one pound over night, you can eat 1.5 pound for dinner and still be on weight at lunch time..." having mom involved is key, because often mom's are the one making dinner and lunch. You are right, you have to take charge, but take charge wisely and with a plan. Maybe you want to monitor what he eats between Wed and Friday and while not restrict his diet, talk about "fighting weight" and exercising somehow on Thursday.

    I image you get the point, that we can manage our weight, and I'm even a proponent of getting into "fighting weight" which to me means tons of exercise, and eating properly and seeing where your weight goes. This to me is different from "cutting weight" which in my mind is starving and saunas and dehydration.

    With regards to your experience later, again, not to judge, but it seems almost a complete lack of self-control to gain 18 pounds in a day, when you know you have to make weight the next day. They must have known you by name at the concession stand. LOL At some point, one's mind (no coach?!) has to kick in and say, "every [fill in five pounds of something! =] I eat, I will have to lose tonight." Maybe having a strategic plan on what to eat after weigh-in is the way to go there (same with your son on Thursdays). I know as a coach I used to gauge how many pounds of food my kids could eat on day one for a two day tournament. They have all their food in a bag, step on the scale, and can't go over a certain amount, because then they will have to sauna and lose dangerous weight.

    In my day (our day) two-day tournaments allowed us to weight in Friday night. That seems so decadent now compared to Saturday morning weigh-ins; it's one area where we really did have it easier than the kids of today.

    Good luck to you and your son, hopefully I have a chance to photograph him some day.

    Cheers,

    TR

  8. #35

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    Quote Originally Posted by sroman View Post
    The wealth of knowledge on this forum is amazing! Whether it is help with a specific technique/move or more general issues like weight cutting, I am always amazed by all of the information in the posts. The personal stories in this thread are particularly good.

    I don't have a lot of posts and most of them contain questions rather then answers. This is mainly because I wasn't a very good wrestler and don't have as much to add as some of the other posters.

    Once again, I have a question. When my 6 and 8 year old sons began wrestling last year I didn't even give a thought to weight cutting. In the little bit of wrestling I did in high school I didn't really have to cut weight. My kids wrestle for a local club in open tournaments, not dual meets. The club can send as many kids to the same tournament at the same weight as they want. There is no need to cut weight.

    With that being said, it didn't take them too long to figure out on their own that if they dropped a couple pounds they would get to wrestle smaller kids. To my 8 year old, it didn't matter. Other then making sure he had tried to go to the bathroom before he got on the scale he didn't do anything to "manage his weight".

    My 6 year old on the other hand has started going to greater lengths to "manage his weight", including not eating or drinking hardly anything on the days of weigh-ins. He wrestled at 52 lbs for much of the season and usually weighed within a half a pound of 51. He is pretty lean and athletic and can't drop very much more.

    We recently went to an off-season tournament run by a different league. For this tournament the weight classes were slightly different. Instead of a 52 pound class they had a 50 and 55 pound class. He decided he wanted to try and get under the 50 pounds. He hardly ate anything for two days before the tournament and weighed in at 50.6 pounds. He was very disappointed but still went out and won the 55 pound class. I reinforced the fact to him was that he was going to be a good wrestler at whatever weight he wrestled at.

    To this point I have not really tried to intervene. I have never told him to do any of this, but I haven't done anything to stop him either. It is not like he is running in plastic suits, riding stationary bikes in a sauna, spitting in cups, or taking diuretics but after reading some of your stories it looks like a very slippery slope. Obviously I would prevent him from commiting any of that insanity whether he was 6 or 16.

    My question is, should I continue to allow him to "manage his own weight" by skipping meals on weigh-in days or should I force him to sit and eat at least a couple of minimal meals before this gets out of hand.
    HELL NO, NOT AT THAT AGE. HE IS STILL GROWING. YOU ARE THE PARENT, YOU NEED TO DECIDE WHATS BEST FOR HIM AND AT THAT AGE, YOU DON'T CUT WEIGHT.
    "Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until they speak."

  9. #36

    Default Re: The Evils of Weight cutting

    MOJO and others, I agree... these kids should not be cutting weight. I am also a parent that will not let my youth wrestler cut weight. IMO youth wrestling should be about having fun and getting better as a wrestler. Cutting weight doesn't promote either one of those things.

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