West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on the Benefits of Wrestling for Football Players

Could it be that many West Virginia football players are "missing the boat" off-season. To make a point, I'd like you to consider the following true story of many, many years ago.

There was a football coach from a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania who was anxious about keeping some of his players in condition during the winter months. Of course, his ends and backfield personnel were participating in basketball, but what about the offensive and defensive linemen?

Then an idea struck him like a sledgehammer--"Why not start a wrestling program for the bigger and, often less agile players!" Well, he did and his wrestling teams became so good that they had to compete with college freshmen. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, his powerful football units of the past are still the subject of conversation amongst his local townspeople.

What does wrestling have to offer an aspiring football candidate? Primarily, it teaches him "self-reliance"--the ability to make things happen without expecting help from others. A pigskin participant learns (via the mat sport) that although there are 10 of his peers on the field with him, he must perform his duties at all times. and not lean on his teammates for support when fatigued.

And that's not all. In the wrestling room, he improves his agility, coordination, quickness, upper body strength, and stamina--to name just a few benefits. So, if you have a son who's a tackle or guard and he's spending most of the snow season on his duff, suggest wrestling. He'll be a much better football player for it!

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Updated June 9 , 1997