West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Dieting and Smallfry Wrestlers

Nobody loves the mat sport more than I do. So, you can imagine how difficult it is for me to voice the following criticism. But I feel it must be said.

There is absolutely no place in smallfry wrestling for "dieting." Some adults have gone way overboard for the sake of winning. And unfortunately, it's the trusting young ones who suffer. Thus, if you are a parent or coach who asks pee-wee wrestlers to drop weight, you are totally wrong!

Those guilty of this offense are committing what I believe to be a mild form of "child abuse." That's right! A pre-adolescent body is constantly growing and this process should never be arrested via dieting (Unless, of course, it is suggested by a physician.).

Furthermore, no one takes pleasure in losing weight. So, let these mini-matmen enjoy their childhood, because the hardships of the adult world will come soon enough.

Note, the primary goal of sports for grade schoolers should be two-fold in nature:

Now, consider this true incident. Last April, my son Ricky and I were watching two of his peers (and former adversaries) wrestle in a smallfry tournament. While their match was in progress, I asked my boy who he wanted to see win. Ricky replied, "I don't care who wins, Dad. They're both my friends." To me, that sums up what pee-wee organizations should be about.

In truth, remember, midget athletics should be a "positive learning and fun-filled experience" for kids, not a win-at-all-costs "ego trip" for adults.

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Updated July 16, 1997