Getting Started / 101

Get Ready For Your First Time

Before engaging in a wrestling practice or training session, be sure you are hydrated and have eaten. Fruits, nuts and vegetables are good pre-practice fuel. Avoid eating heavy foods or drinks, especially anything with a high sugar content. Give yourself time to digest before practice.

Be sure your nails are cut short so no one gets scratched. A common mistake is for a young wrestler is to come to practice without wrestling shoes. Not only is it embarrassing, it is hard to get traction on a wrestling mat in socks. Double check your bag to be sure you have your wrestling shoes, head gear, water bottle and the rest of your gear. Make sure you have all of your belongings as you leave practice as well. Remember that wrestling is a sport that very few ever master. It takes time on task. Take it slow and look for little pieces of success while learning new moves.

You will be humbled. Pick yourself up and keep going. The rewards will be great. Relax and get ready to learn a lot and have fun.


It is important to start each wrestling practice with a 10-15 minute cardio warm up followed by full body proper stretching. This will help prevent injuries as well as increase flexibility. Stretching should again be repeated at the end of each practice as the body cools down. Flexibility is an extremely important attribute of wrestling. Some people are naturally flexible while others need to work at it. The good news is it that flexibility can be increased with proper and consistent stretching.

Strength is another important component of wrestling. Strength training is no longer limited to just lifting weights. Core body and explosive strength exercises can be done in numerous ways. See your local fitness trainer for ideas and personal strength training workouts. In the meantime, pull ups, and sit ups at home are a great place to start.
Cardiovascular training is a requirement of most sports, in particular wrestling. Wrestlers must have a high level of physical endurance for practice and competition. Running, biking and swimming are all great alternate ways for wrestlers to develop endurance.


Many clubs or tournaments are sanctioned by USA Wrestling, the governing body for wrestling in the United States. A USA Wrestling sanctioned event or club will required a wrestler to have an annual membership card.

This covers insurance for wrestlers, coaches and facilities. This can be purchased by clicking on this link
Other non USA Wrestling sanctioned events or clubs may require other means of insurance. Check with your club or tournament director to find out what is required.

Beginner Check List

  • Athletic Shorts
  • Tight-fitting T-shirt
  • Athletic socks
  • Wrestling shoes (to be worn on the mats only)
  • Tennis shoes or sandals (not to be worn on the mats)
  • Mouth piece optional but recommended (mandatory for those with braces)
  • Headgear
  • Competition Singlet
  • Knee pads
  • Fingernails cut short
  • Athletic Tape
  • Small sweat towel
  • Water bottle
  • Lock for gym locker if available
  • Gym bag to carry all items
  • Towel and soap for shower
  • Deodorant