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Cutting Weight for Youth Wrestling – How Young is too Young? — 13 Comments

  1. Thank you for this article. I’ve been looking around for perspective on this topic. My son is 9 (2nd yr wrestler) & our head coach is strongly opposed to cutting before puberty. I feel even stronger. If the kids is overweight its called proper diet & exercise. If you start cutting calories on a low body fat kid it could possibly stunt their growth, especially if the wrestler is working out at a high level.

  2. Awesome article! I’m a firm believer that kids cutting weight is a silly practice that should never be used. A weight cut is an advanced competition technique and kids are anything but advanced in the sport.
    Thanks for the great article, really well written!

  3. I live in a small town where the youth wrestlers start cutting weight at age 6. They wrestle from November to April and are only supposed to eat chicken and rice during the season. It’s no wonder there are no wrestlers at high school age above 5’6′. It makes me sick. 5th grade boys wrestle as low as 52 lbs. You can’t tell me it healthy. I’m glad to see an article that speaks common sense!

  4. I don’t believe it should not be aloud for youth to cut weight. They cut just to win and at this age they should have to stay at the weight they weigh in at or give a two pound allowance. My son is in the 5th grade who weighs 57lbs we struggle with him gaining weight he loves wrestling but he works hard and is good for his size but when you allow a kid that has been wrestling at a higher weight all year to cut to get down that upsets me because my dr. On doesn’t have a chance they weigh in at 57 and then go eat and by the time they wrestle that other kid is anywhere from 5 to 7 pounds heavier then my son so he gets dis courage. We let my son eat whatever he wants on a daily base and still can’t gain weight yet these kids are cutting. It’s all about winning to these parents that allow their kids to cut or they are avoiding some other kid to be the best you have to wrestle the best!!

    • Carla,

      Cutting weight will never be eliminated from the sport. The only way to prevent the weight cut is to get certified just like you do in high school and college. I just don’t see youth parents doing that. The other way is to do two weigh-ins for national tournaments. As a parent, if you focus on technique over weight cutting, your child will be better in the long run. I have a kid that wrestles in college. If I had it to do over again, I would have focused a lot of effort on takedowns and strength training. Thanks for reading the article and I appreciate the feedback.

  5. Is there any books out that focus on this I am afraid that my 10 year old grandson is starting to develop eating disorder because of the focus to stay in a weight group. He is bing eating and then throwing up. He is already thin I am looking for books that encourage muscle strength and healthy diet for wrestlers to hopefully educate him and his parents.

  6. To begin, you need to nip the binge and purge habit in the bud asap. No wrestlers should be doing this and this can lead to lifetime problems. To hear of a 10 year old that purges to make weight is concerning. As the adult, its time for you to step in. it’s time to have a talk with your grandson, his coach, and a counselor if his purging doesn’t stop.

    I’m not sure of any books that recommend strength over weight cutting. I would advise you to seek out coaches and older wrestlers in your community that can give your grandson guidance.

  7. Thank you for the article. Great topic among a lot of contact sports that has been a topic of concerns for many parents of young elementary kids. I gree focusing on technique at this age will make them a better wrestler in JR. high/ middle school. I feel as parents and coaches we should start by building a good solid foundation. Trust me, all athletics will find there own struggle to make their own decisions to cut weight before competition.

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