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Updated: Mar 22, 2022

A wrestler competes against one another to determine who is stronger and faster. As a result, injuries may occur. Here are some tips for keeping things safe.

Wear Safe Wrestling Protective Gear.

Having the right protective gear can reduce the risk of injuries.

Headgear. All wrestlers are required to wear headgear at the middle school, high school, and college levels. Also called ear guards, headgear has padded shells that protect the ears from ear and head injuries. The headgear needs to fit properly and all the straps need to be secure.

Kneepads. The knees of wrestlers may be protected by optional kneepads. A knee hitting the mat over and over again can cause injuries like swelling. Another type of kneepad, called a shooting sleeve, is intended to prevent mat burns by letting knees slide across the mat.

Wrestling Shoes. As wrestling shoes are lightweight and flexible, they should still provide ankle support and traction on the mat. Make sure your shoes fit correctly and that the laces are tucked in.

Mouthguards. Mouthguards offer low-cost protection for the teeth, lips, cheeks, and tongue. For wrestlers with braces, mouthguards are required in many states.

Wrestling Safety Training

All wrestlers need to get a sports physical prior to beginning their training program. The health care provider can screen for any health problems and address sports safety. Schools will not allow athletes to participate unless they've had a sports physical within the last year.

You can prevent injuries during training by:

  • Preparing for the wrestling season by getting fit.

  • Warm-up and stretch before practices and matches.

  • Practice proper technique.

  • If you feel pain, stop training. Before returning to training, consult an athletic trainer, coach, doctor, or nurse.

  • Participate in different sports during the year to reduce the potential of overuse injuries.

Wrestlers who want to gain or lose weight should work with their coach, athletic trainer, or nutritionist. Starving, exercising to the extreme, taking weight-loss pills, or becoming dehydrated deliberately is not safe.

Play it safe.

Other recommendations:

  • It is important to clean wrestling mats after every match or practice with a disinfectant cleaner. Skin infections like impetigo or ringworm can be prevented this way.

  • Wrestlers should obey the rules of the game.

  • All practices and matches should have a first-aid kit available.

  • During practices and matches, wrestlers should drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Bringing Home The Hardware

We write these articles to educate our community while raising the bar for the standards we set for wrestling. As a result of education, we keep wrestlers on the mat so they can bring home the hardware at the end of the day! Wrestling Savvy's mission is to educate the general public and the wrestling community at all levels. Your sharing, comments, and subscriptions are appreciated.

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