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Thread: Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

  1. #1

    Default Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

    Coaches:

    I need your input. My son is currently an 8th grader who finished his second season of varsity wrestling. He is really short for his age so he had no problem making 103 either year. He started his season at about 102 and ended around 99lb this year. He is currently playing lacrosse and is still around 100 lb. He is short and stocky, but pretty muscular for his stage of development (very early puberty).

    He is under the care of an endocrinologist for his size and he mentioned to the doctor that he wanted to wrestle 103 again next season. The doctor told my son that he had just begun puberty (he's 14) and that he could work out as much as he wanted, but that he should not restrict his caloric intake at this point in his life. The doctor was absolutely adamant that he was currently at a healthy weight for his height (4'11", 100 lb) and that he is NOT to restrict his calories.

    I don't think his coach is putting pressure on him to stay at 103. I think it's self induced.

    But-how do coaches decide what weight a kid should wrestle and do coaches take into account that most freshmen are still growing and really shouldn't lose alot of weight unless they are heavy to start?

    Thanks for your input. I am worried about my son. He is already small and I don't want him to affect his future growth.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

    I was pretty short, around 5'3" and then hit a little growth spurt. When I was in 8th grade I wrestled at 93 lb's which was a class then in Missouri. At ninth I went up to 98 and then did 105, 112 and 119.

    I would really go off of his BMI or body mass index. If he has very little fat and is short, he is going to be able to stay at a lower weight anyway. I was not a big fan of weight cutting and usually only had to lose 2-3 lbs in between matches so that was basically going to practice and then really restricting any food intake and little water for about 24 hours. I would hover around my weight so if I was close, I would eat. If I was under I would eat. If I was over, I would work out and then eat a little.

    If your son is a real talent then he can probably wrestle at his normal weight and still be successful. I would look at smaller guys like Sammie Henson and Jantzen as role models for your son. They were pretty short too. Trust me, Henson was not really having to cut weight to make 98-112 in highschool.
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  3. #3
    Olympic Champ therick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

    I would completely agree with your doctor. There's really no reason to restrict calorie intake during the off season anyway. I'd encourage him to stay in shape by running, lifting and getting some weekend tournaments in, but to eat whatever he wants and worry about what weight class he's going to wrestle in October. As long as he's somewhere around 7-9% bodyfat, he'll have a good idea in the fall what weight he should be targeting. However, as a freshman I'd discourage cutting more than a couple of pounds.

    I'd also remind him that 125 is the lowest weight in college and that most of those guys walk around at at least 135 in the off season. So, he needs to get bigger if he has any aspirations of wrestling beyond high school.

    To answer your question directly, we decide what weight a kid should go based on a BMI in October. That gives a kid plenty of time to lose any excess body fat before the certification. If it's a kid who's naturally at or below 7% we encourage him to lift and eat all summer to get up to the next weight class. But then I've never been a big proponent of cutting a ton of weight and I don't work with coaches who do.
    Last edited by therick; 03-07-2008 at 06:27 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    I would completely agree with your doctor. There's really no reason to restrict calorie intake during the off season anyway. I'd encourage him to stay in shape by running, lifting and getting some weekend tournaments in, but to eat whatever he wants and worry about what weight class he's going to wrestle in October. As long as he's somewhere around 7-9% bodyfat, he'll have a good idea in the fall what weight he should be targeting. However, as a freshman I'd discourage cutting more than a couple of pounds.
    He stays in shape all year. He is playing lacrosse (on 2 teams) right now and then he will have spring football. He's not sure if he will play football in the fall because he wants to concentrate on wrestling. If he plays football he'll be in good shape. Otherwise he will hook up with a local wrestling club in the fall to stay in shape.

    I really don't want him cutting weight at his age. A few pounds is no big deal, but as a freshman he is just starting to grow.

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    I'd also remind him that 125 is the lowest weight in college and that most of those guys walk around at at least 135 in the off season. So, he needs to get bigger if he has any aspirations of wrestling beyond high school.
    I would like to see him get bigger because his size definitely hampers his social life right now. The girls see him as more of a puppy dog than anything else and it upsets him when that happens. He's to young to worry about wrestling in college. My husband is short, but thick and I am sure he will gain some weight in the next four years.

    Quote Originally Posted by therick View Post
    To answer your question directly, we decide what weight a kid should go based on a BMI in October. That gives a kid plenty of time to lose any excess body fat before the certification. If it's a kid who's naturally at or below 7% we encourage him to lift and eat all summer to get up to the next weight class. But then I've never been a big proponent of cutting a ton of weight and I don't work with coaches who do.
    What would be a targeted BMI? He is currently at 20 which his doctor says is healthy for him. He is taking weightlifting as his PE class in the fall. The drive to stay at 103 is not driven by the coach, it's driven by my son. I think it will be unhealthy for him to stay at 103. He needs to weigh more in 9th grade than he did in 8th grade. He's not fat and does not need to lose weight.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Coaches: How do you decide what weight a kid should wrestle?

    Quote Originally Posted by goferphan View Post
    I was pretty short, around 5'3" and then hit a little growth spurt. When I was in 8th grade I wrestled at 93 lb's which was a class then in Missouri. At ninth I went up to 98 and then did 105, 112 and 119.

    I would really go off of his BMI or body mass index. If he has very little fat and is short, he is going to be able to stay at a lower weight anyway. I was not a big fan of weight cutting and usually only had to lose 2-3 lbs in between matches so that was basically going to practice and then really restricting any food intake and little water for about 24 hours. I would hover around my weight so if I was close, I would eat. If I was under I would eat. If I was over, I would work out and then eat a little.

    If your son is a real talent then he can probably wrestle at his normal weight and still be successful. I would look at smaller guys like Sammie Henson and Jantzen as role models for your son. They were pretty short too. Trust me, Henson was not really having to cut weight to make 98-112 in highschool.
    5'3" and 93 lbs? That's much thinner than my son who is 4'11" and 100. He lost some weight at the beginning of wrestling but it was a natural weight loss due to the intense workouts, not due to him not eating. He was eating a ton of food.

    What BMI would you target for a freshman? He is currently at about 20, which his doctor says is healthy.

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