What Are the Pros and Cons of High School Wrestling?

Some potential advantages to high school wrestling include the development of athletic skills, improved mental toughness, and experience with nutrition and weight management. Some potential disadvantages to high school wrestling include an unhealthy pressure to make weight, dehydration, nutritional deprivation, and the risk of injuries or skin infections.

As an individual discipline, wrestling requires more personal responsibility than most other sports. Wrestling relies heavily on the coordination of the wrestler’s entire body. To be successful, a wrestler must learn to control everything from his neck and back to his legs and feet. The sport demands that athletes use flexibility, strength and explosiveness, all qualities that improve basic athletic skills.

Wrestling increases the risk of multiple injuries. Injuries to the hand, wrist and fingers are most common, with nearly one-fifth of wrestling injuries in a six-year span harming these areas. Despite the use of helmets, contusions, lacerations and concussions are fairly common.

To make weight, wrestlers must sweat out the pounds, and often do so in a variety of questionable ways, including exercising in a heated environment while wearing a rubber suit. In 1997, a series of reforms to the sport took place due to deaths from kidney and heart failure.