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Attention Parents
March 11, 1999

Do you love wrestling? Does your son love wrestling? Do you want your son to reach his fullest potential in this sport? Do you want him to be a champion? Well, then you must consider encouraging his participation in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling with the Maryland National Team.

Have you heard the saying: "Summer wrestling makes winter champions"? Do you believe it? You should, because it's true... very true! I want to add to that and say "Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling makes Folkstyle champions". Do you believe that? You should, because it's also true.

If you have been resistant to Freestyle and/or Greco-Roman wrestling, please allow me to take a few minutes of your time to dispel some myths and, hopefully, change your mind. First, allow me to introduce myself so that you will know that I speak from experience. My name is Ron McAdoo. My son, Scott McAdoo, recently won the 3A/4A Maryland State Championship in the 160 pound division. He has been wrestling just a little over four years. He was a JV his freshman year but has since compiled 100 wins in his three years on the varsity. He has done very well in a very short period of time. How? I am absolutely convinced that the number one reason has been his participation in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling over the spring and summer of 1997 and 1998 as a member of the Maryland National Team.

I know that some parents are fearful of Freestyle and Greco-Roman due to their belief that there is a greater chance of injury. I must admit that I have no statistics to give you, but I simply do not believe this is true. I have personally witnessed thousands (yes, thousands) of matches over the past three years and I have not detected any disproportionate number of injuries in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling versus Folkstyle wrestling.

I also have heard some parents say that wrestling Freestyle or Greco-Roman will hurt their son's Folkstyle wrestling because they'll want to lock their hands on top or they'll forget how to escape or reverse their opponent from the bottom. While each individual wrestler may go through a very small adjustment, while switching from one style to another, I assure you that this is not a problem.

Finally, I hear parents say that their son needs a break from wrestling. Okay, fair enough, each of you has to make your own judgement there. But let me point out that going to club practice only two days a week is like getting a break when compared to the six day a week high school practice schedule. And changing to Freestyle and Greco-Roman is just different enough to let your son feel like he is getting a break from the rigors of Folkstyle wrestling/practice.

Okay, let me cut to the bottom line. Freestyle and Greco-Roman is fun. In fact, my son and I both enjoy it more than Folkstyle. It is fast paced and, we believe, more exciting to both watch and to participate in. You meet new people, go to new places and learn new moves. You improve your balance, mat sense, timing and, maybe most of all, your confidence. Freestyle wrestling is all about takedowns and turns. Virtually every single takedown you learn and practice in Freestyle can be used in Folkstyle. Folks, you can become a Folkstyle champion by just being a takedown specialist. And Greco-Roman will enhance this too. The rules which limit the use of the legs force the wrestlers to try the upper body moves like headlocks and arm spins. This is fun stuff and, you'll be surprised, once they're forced to do this by the rules they'll actually learn how to do these moves right and then enjoy looking for those opportunities in their Folkstyle matches too.

In closing, let me thank you for taking the time to read this. I know this is a little unorthodox but I thought that maybe I could talk to you as one wrestling parent to another. I just want to let you know that there is nothing to fear and everything to gain when it comes to permitting, or even encouraging, your son's participation in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling. So let me summarize:

Freestyle and Greco-Roman Wrestling:

Is fun!
Improves/enhances your Folkstyle abilities!
Can be the key to your Folkstyle success!

Won't you please consider finding out more? I recommend you talk to one of the Maryland National Team coaches or, better yet, talk to the parents of other wrestlers who have participated in the past. I think you will find that what I have said here is true. For a very small cost, your son can participate in a local club and attend the local tournaments. Who knows, you may find out that your son wants to be on the Maryland National Team, but remember, this is not a requirement if all you want to do is give Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling a try.

I encourage you to find out more and then get involved. This is a great sport and there is always a need for more adult involvement. We all need to promote the ideals and disciplines that can shape our children into the confident, successful adults we want them to become. Wrestling, can help you do this.

Thank you,

Ron McAdoo

Executive Member
Maryland State Wrestling Association

P.S. In case you were wondering what I think the number two reason for my son's success is... it's mat time. That includes practice and, maybe even more important, tournaments. Encourage your son to join a wrestling club and then get them into as many tournaments as you can. While you're there, consider double entering your cadet aged wrestlers in both the cadet and the high school divisions and your high school age wrestlers in both the high school and open divisions. Don't push this too soon... you'll know when they're ready. But when you do, they'll get twice as much out of each tournament. And remember, one of the best ways for them to get better is to wrestle people that are better than they are so don't worry about winning, just get out there and wrestle. For those that follow this formula, the winning will come... I guarantee it!

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