Have you ever wondered what it’s like to play a certain high school sport but felt like it was too hard or you didn’t know anything about the sport at all? Well I have, so I decided to go out of my comfort zone and try a sport that I never would have dreamed of experiencing at all.
I decided to sit in on the wrestling teams practice to see how they prepare for the competition.
Not only physically demanding, wrestling is a also a psychologically taxing sport.
The team started the three hour practice with a fast paced game of handball to get the team’s blood flowing.
Though I expected some warm up activities, we jumped right into practice with forty five minutes of grapple techniques–no breaks in between.
It was the equivalent of running a mile without being able to stop once while having someone physically hurt you.
After a long forty-five minutes of pure torture, began what seemed like a safe and easy grapple drill, until I realized it was a fight. I got smacked more times in the ear then a drum–it felt like my eardrums had burst.
Wrestling, I’ve learned, is unlike any other sport because requires all of the body’s muscles in order for someone to get the upper hand in a tournament.
Each person has a unique style when it comes to wrestling , so each contender to face means changing the game plan to combat their particular style, strength, and weaknesses. And unlike some sports where watching a recording of a game gives someone insight into what to do when facing different people, in wrestling, the only way to see how an opponent works is by facing them on the mat.
After practice I had a chance to sit down with the team’s head coach, Joel Smith, and got some insight on what it takes to be a wrestler.
“We look for people with a good attitude, and someone who’s not afraid to work hard,” Smith said.
Smith described wrestling as a sport of heart and determination–one where coming into practice everyday with specific goals is essential.
“Once you’re in shape it’s the easiest thing to maintain. Once you get out of shape it’s the hardest thing to get back in,” he said.
Being in peak physical form is a key part of each day’s practice. The three-day-a-week lifting schedule with an ex marine paratrooper, marine drill sergeant, and ex cop Coach Will. Aside from weight lifting, wrestling practice is five days a week during the season.
“[But] we’re a non cut sport,” Smith said.
If you’ve ever wanted to join wrestling or any sport in Novi and you possess the passion to compete and grow as a individual you should really consider trying out for that sport. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at the sport or not. You would be surprised at the lasting friendships you make with your teammates and coaches.