29 January, 2012

Final wrestling meet reflections

Yesterday our 12 y.o. had his final wrestling meet of the season, his first ever season. It has rushed past very quickly. I cannot allow this to pass without just a few comments.

Firstly. Having learnt a lot at the Wrestling Rules Clinic nine days ago (see here), yesterday was less of an quest in understanding and definitely more enjoyable. Thank you to Coach Kumate (and his mum for passing the idea on) for his excellent instruction. And Coach Rudd for continuing to enlighten us along the way.

Secondly, I have to say I've enjoyed watching my boy wrestle more than I enjoyed him playing basketball, or even running cross country. Part of it is that he's enjoying it (not that he didn't enjoy cross-country, but it could be more of a gruelling experience than sheer enjoyment) and has a good grasp of what he's doing. Also that he gets his moment of glory, I guess. He's not just another runner or another player who might or might not get some game time. But also, to see how much he's grown in knowledge and ability in just the short season of only about two months.

I love this photo, not just because it isn't blurry, but because
it represents determination. Our son (in blue) had been underneath
and managed to reverse the situation to be close to pinning his
That leads me on to reflecting again on the kinds of qualities that the sport of wrestling develops in a person. I've seen sportsmanship, and not taking a loss personally. And the ability to cope with losing, when you cannot blame anyone else on your team. This has particularly been noteworthy with our son's only other team mate. He hasn't had a good season, in terms of wins or even scoring points. But he has shown character. Many others would have given up a long time ago, would have collapsed in tears, or given over to anger. But this young man has persevered in adversity. I can only think that this experience has helped him grow and will give him an advantage over others later in life who have had easy success.

Perseverance is a notable characteristic that we've seen in both boys. Yesterday I saw my son come back from behind to dominate an opponent, almost pinning him. And in another match, he lost the first period, but was able to recover and win the next two periods, ending in pinning his opponent. He showed patience, and the ability to overcome his frustration in a challenging situation. I was impressed. These haven't always been characteristics we've seen in him. I'm excited that wrestling has helped his grow in these areas. 
At lunch time, kids were allowed out on the mats. You can see
our son practising his headstands. 
Just this side of him is his youngest brother wrestling a friend. What fun! 
With mum not saying, watch out for the shogi (Japanese-style 
paper-covered "curtains" of our lounge room).

After he pinned his opponent, he spontaneously expressed concern that his opponent was okay, after seeing his distress (partly shoulder pain, partly disappointment at being pinned three matches running). Compassion. Another valuable character trait. 

I've also seen him caring for his team mate. Coaching him, encouraging him. 

Who would have thought wrestling could bring out these things?

And of course it is great for their bodies. It is great for these guys to be gaining a great deal of control over their bodies. At the same time they're developing muscles that anyone could be proud of. And what guy doesn't like to develop visible muscles? Our guys love to talk about six-packs, show their biceps off etc.. 

Our son's loving doing headstands and can flip from a back arch to a front arch (hard to explain, but the photo shows a back arch, he can flip his legs over his head to the ground in front of him and back again). Most of the high schooler wrestlers at CAJ cannot do that and they're jealous! Now he wants me to get him some 2kg weights (dumbbells), so he can keep building up his strength even though the season is over.

I have mixed feelings about it being over for the year. It is good that we can get some of our quiet Saturdays back (and sleep-ins), but it is sad to see something that he was really getting into, coming to a close. But, I also figure, the way the year is already going, it won't be long until the wrestling comes around again in November!


Shirley Corder said...

Impressive, Wendy. Now to do an article on writing using these same concepts. :-) Go for it.

Wendy said...

Shirl, I'm not sure what you mean.