9 Things My Family Has Learned From Wrestling

Posted November 8, 2022 by Prairie Wife - 6 comments

As a child, I never participated in any sports.


And as I dreamed about my future as a mother, kids who participated in sports weren’t anywhere in the picture.

But, as our kids became school-age, I started to dip my toes into what it meant to be a “sports mom.”

First, it was ballet and tumbling, then it was flag football, and eventually, eight years ago, our middle son began to wrestle.

I knew nothing about this insanely complicated sport, and the noise and chaos at our first tournament were utterly overwhelming.

Added to the confusion of trying to learn to navigate through TrackWrestling (if you know, you know) and figure out when and where each bout was…there I was trying to occupy four other children, including cranky toddlers and babies, for 10 hours.

I almost wept tears of joy when that first wrestling season was finally done.

But then, somewhere around year three, I noticed a change in not only my children who were participating but also our entire family.

Now, as we begin our 8th season with all five kids (ages 16-7 three boys and two girls) wrestling, I can say that, without a doubt, wrestling has been an enormous blessing to our family.

Here are 9 Things My Family Has Learned From Wrestling

We Are Always Cheering For You

Our kids have learned that we are ALWAYS cheering for them, and whether they win or lose, it doesn’t matter to us. It’s all about showing up and giving your all.


As we’ve traveled around the state wrestling, we have learned that there truly is a sense of community and family wherever you go. When a coach from another club is gone, other coaches step in and help out. We take pride in other wrestlers’ successes and care for each other on and off that mat.

Do What You Love

When you genuinely love what you’re doing, it shows and is an example to others. Participate in the sport because it brings you joy and fulfillment.


When you’re stressed or upset, hurting, and confused, it can be hard to listen and take advice from others. Our kids have learned to accept help from others and truly listen and learn from the coaches and more skilled wrestlers around them…and the same can be said for us as we’ve continued to learn more and more about this sport through the years.

Be Gracious in Victory and Defeat

In wrestling, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. One of the most valuable lessons we’ve seen our kids learn is to be gracious no matter the match’s result. And, as parents, we are careful to model this for them as well.


Respect for other athletes is vital to the success of this sport. Anyone who shows up on the mat to work hard, whether it’s their first time or 900th time, deserves to be treated fairly. Every wrestler is helping their opponent to learn and improve; there is no greater gift than that.

There is Always More to Learn

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing something, there is ALWAYS more to learn.

It’s Okay to Cry

In any wrestling match you attend, you’re guaranteed to see more than a few tears. One of my favorite things I’ve seen is how acceptable it is to show emotion on and off the mat. From tears of joy to tears of pain and frustration, it’s seen as a sign of how much these kids care about what they’re doing. No one should ever be made to feel less than for showing that passion outwardly with tears.

Dig Deep

I have watched my kids be done emotionally and physically, only to have them dig deep and find new strength even they didn’t know they had. This is, in my mind, the most powerful lesson we’ve learned from wrestling. That you can do more than you ever knew possible if you just dig deep. And as parents, it has taught us not to underestimate what our kids are capable of.

I am so grateful for the powerful lessons our children have learned from participating in wrestling, and I hope that when they look back at this time in our lives, it is with appreciation and pride.

If you’re a wrestling family, you might be interested in our Fall Line of Prairie Wife clothing we created with Wyoming Vibes.

It has a distinct wrestling theme 😉 Use PRAIRIEWIFE15 for 15% off

Need some support parenting your teens?

This post might help.

Photo Credit: Skyla Lee Photography

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

6 thoughts on "9 Things My Family Has Learned From Wrestling"

  1. Linda Paul says:

    Great family lessons. Though I’ve never had kids, I’m a firm believer in extracurricular activities like music and sports. I learned enormously from kiddo rodeo competitions, where I racked up piles of third place ribbons, one cherished 2nd place but never that so desired 1st place. It took guts to face that reality time after time.

    Later, in high school it was music that put the air under my wings and forced me to confront fears and stage fright. I was so lucky to be born to a woman who could support and encourage these disparate and, frankly, expensive pursuits.

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Rodeo is another one of those sports where it’s all you, which can rewarding or tough as heck depending on the outcome! And I am very grateful that our kids go to a school that has music programs too. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment 🙂

  2. Joseph Lape says:

    Wow! Okay, what an awesome article..
    I took away from my own wrestling years the same as you folks … #1 sometimes we win, sometimes we lose… #2 listening to & taking direction from coach (or whomever the case may be) especially when upset/frustrated and don’t really want to, or it’s so hard to do in that moment…
    So much more can be said by me ~ but you basically covered it! my RESPECT to you and your kiddos.. I live in Wyoming & altho I am an old-ish goat, hehe, I absolutely dig going to scholastic sports events and rooting for every individual, every team! It’s just a good thing for everybody, I feel… and of course the whole live-vicariously-thru keep up the inspirational posts, please… so many get to enjoy the things u share ♥ #blessings

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      I’m so happy to hear that as a wrestler you truly learned so much from the sport, and I hope my kids can say the same. Thanks for continuing to support the athletes 🙂

  3. Jeremy mountain says:

    “if you can master wrestling, life is easy!” -Dan Gable
    This piece reminded of that quote. I’m 50yrs old now, I started wrestling around 7th grade. Continued into college. You don’t really realize it at the time(wisdom does come with age) but life it gets pretty damn hard sometimes. And then I’ll stop and think no that match with 15 seconds left a one point lead, with a badly hyper extend elbow hanging on to my opponent to keep him from scoring. Those 15 seconds were the hardest 2 minutes of my life. Wrestling is the most mentally and physically exhausting sport there is. You literally train to be tired. It will teach you just how amazingly strong our bodies and minds are when you think you got nothing left. Late February 1993 I wrestled my last competitive match. After shaking hands I went to unlace and remove my wrestling shoes and before I even got my other shoe off the place went nuts with a standing ovation. I will never forget it. The love and respect you get from fans, coaches, etc. it as in life is given and earned where it’s deserved. Sorry to ramble on

    1. Prairie Wife says:

      Thanks so much for taking the time to share your story here to inspire not only me, but anyone else that stops by! Wrestling truly makes amazing resilient adults.

Categories: Life As It Happens, Parenting, Prairie Life

Tags: , , , , , , ,


* indicates required