Each year some coaches and parents debate the benefits to freestyle and greco in spite of the overwhelming number of high school and NCAA Folkstyle Champions that have a strong background in freestyle and greco. Since my oldest son that wrestled is over 30 now with three kid's I can recall the many outstanding "folkstyle only" kid's that achieved great success in high school and maybe even received a college scholarship only to struggle with making college varsity any of the four years or achieving any success at the university level. Last year I was a mat official at University Nationals in Akron Ohio and seen first hand the benefits and success of athletes that compete in all three styles.
Many of the "folkstyle only" athletes are simply incredible but they lack the skills in Freestyle and Greco and this is a limitation. Hard work and experience are a concept built on accumulated time, focus and effort. The benefits to FS/GR are great and we see this all the time. Summer wrestling makes winter champions.
If you look at the numbers the top NCAA D1 Champions almost all have placement in Fargo and a background in Freestyle and Greco. However, here are just a few practical reasons why it makes sense to continue and compete in FS/GR:
- Kid's enjoy a change and have fun with FS/GR. Through the years the kid's have a great time and there does not seem to be the pressure of performance that exists with competition during the folkstyle season.
- Prepare for Regional and National Freestyle and Greco Events - Each year I see so many great athletes that have achieved high levels of folkstyle get beat at Regional and National FS/GR events only because they lack mat time, practice, rules knowledge and effort during the FS/GR season. If you want to do well at regional and national events it is best to attend as many local/state events as possible. Last minute entry without preparation does not end well.
- Most of the technique in the room is applicable to all styles. There are a few techniques for just feestyle or greco but most is "just wrestling" and applicable to all styles. Huge benefit to knowing how to defend FS/GR technique during the folkstyle season.
- Conditioning, weight lifting and training - Let's face it during a grueling folkstyle season with daily hardcore practices it is difficult to focus on strength and conditioning. This is emphasized and required in FS/GR to throw bodies. Excellent development for athletes destined for a state title in Folkstyle.
- More one-one time - Mistakes that limit success can be worked on an overcome with good coaching and more time during the FS/GR season. This is a great time to work on bad habits and improve technique.
- Team Time - Setting team goals and individual goals is at the core to any high level program. The FS/GR season is a great time to live the olympic dream and enjoy high level competition but and even better time for teams to set the goals resulting in success down the road.
The purpose that CUSAW exists is to "prepare athletes, coaches, mat officials, pairing officials for regional and national competition". We also coordinate the representative teams for National Competition. We have some great events coming up. I hope you all enjoy springtime, the month of April and wrestling!