Youth Training In Wrestling

Reese Humphrey


What does 3x US Open Champion Reece Humphrey think about youth wrestling and training in general? Hear what this son of an Olympic team coach and father of two has to say on the subject:

For me, youth wrestling should be about fun and technique! Too many parents put too much emphasis on competing and even worse putting emphasis on winning. This is something only Americans do as the foreigners don't compete at all during their youth training. The winning will come later. 

Wrestling is such a physically demanding sport it has to be the athletes choice to train hard. My dad, Jim Humphrey, was the head coach of two Olympic teams and was a world silver medalist but never pushed me into wrestling. I started in 6th grade, which is a bit late, but it was my choice.

Too many kids have great accomplishments in their youth and burn out by the time high school comes around. To put it in perspective; if you have dreams of being an Olympic champ you will be wrestling for 15 years after high school so burning out or losing passion isn't an option. 

In my opinion, youth coaches should focus on developing athleticism and basic technique: head up, back straight, hips in and pressure into your opponent. This will be the best foundation and the athlete will be able to mold to whatever program they move into next. 

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