Wrestling Practice Etiquette
Practice time is valuable and should be taken seriously by those who want to succeed in wrestling. Newer wrestlers typically do not understand the level of discipline and focus required of them during training. This guide will help educate inexperienced wrestlers about what is and isn’t acceptable at wrestling practice.
Show up Early, but Don’t Leave Early
Showing up on time to wrestling practice is expected, but getting there 10 or 15 minutes early is even better. Arriving to practice early will ensure that you’ll be on the mat the second practice is scheduled to start. It will also show your coach that you are sincere and eager to train. Also, if there are any changes to the practice schedule or any other issues, they can be addressed before practice starts and you’ll be there to hear it. During this time, you can hang out with teammates or start to stretch on the side of the mat.
But just because you are there early, doesn’t mean you get to leave early. It’s extremely rude to your coach and your teammates to leave practice early. Of course, there are circumstances that you cannot reschedule, such as family engagements, doctor’s appointments, etc. However, leaving practice early due to the mismanagement of your time is not acceptable (having to leave for a homework assignment that could have been completed beforehand, for example).
Wrestling practice isn’t the time to daydream or shoot the breeze with your buddies. Training demands your undivided attention. When you are being taught a new technique or being given directions for a drill, focus all of your attention on the task at hand. There is nothing more frustrating for a coach than to have to explain something in full detail repeatedly because wrestlers were not listening the first time.
This also means no talking during wrestling practice, especially while another coach is speaking. It’s okay if you need to communicate with your partners about drills or help them adjust their technique. However, conversations outside of wrestling should be saved for after practice.
Hot Tip: No Shoes on the Mat!
One of the golden rules in all wrestling rooms is to never walk on the wrestling mat with your street shoes. This is a way of tracking dirt and germs onto the mat, and is seen as a sign of both inexperience and disrespect in the wrestling community. If you don’t have wrestling shoes, walking on the mat in socks or clean, bare feet is acceptable.
Practice Good Hygiene
Bad hygiene is not only a health concern, it’s simply bad manners. Having to practice with or nearby someone who does not take care of themselves physically is distracting, and potentially dangerous. Here are a few things you must do in terms of hygiene:
- Always shower after practice.
- Make sure your practice clothes and gear are clean.
- Trim your toe and fingernails.
- Wear deodorant.
Check out iSport’s Preventing Skin Diseases in Wrestling for more information about hygiene, as well as skin disease.
Follow Instructions & Act Quickly
It’s sort of a “no-brainer” to listen to your coach and do what he says. However, newer wrestlers may not understand that during training, time is of the essence. When a coach tells you to do something, do it as quickly as possible. If he calls on you to help him teach a technique, run to where he is. If he tells you to grab your partner and start drilling, find a partner quickly and don’t waste time. Doing so will show your coaches and your teammates know that you are focused and ready to train.
Respect the Facility
You should feel a sense of pride toward your wrestling room. It’s important to respect your facility and work to keep it clean and in good condition. Without your facility, you wouldn’t be able to wrestle! Here are a few ways you can show respect toward your wrestling room or facility:
- Don’t leave clothing or gear in the room or on the mat.
- Take responsibility for any damages done.
- Clean up any trash or water bottles left in the room.
Give It Your Best
Effort is what separates the winners and losers in wrestling, not medals or trophies. Those who give their best effort every time they step onto the mat are those who are most respected by all, regardless of actual awards or accolades.
Always give your best effort, no matter what. There will surely be days when you are not at your best either mentally or physically, but it’s important that you block out any issues you might be having and simply push through them. Good wrestlers will not want to practice with you if you are lazy and don’t take training sincerely. Furthermore, coaches won’t put much effort into helping you improve if they see you are not taking your wrestling seriously. So do yourself, your teammates, and your coaches a favor and give it everything you’ve got every time. You have nothing to lose!
Practice etiquette is rooted in respect. Following the information in this guide will help you show respect to your teammates and coaches. Furthermore, your team will have its own unique set of rules that you must follow. Respect your team’s rules in addition to the general rules detailed in this guide to get the most out of your practice time. Simply put, if you focus on respect, you can’t go wrong. Good luck!