For Parents

Attitude determines how well you do it. – Lou Holtz

For match scoring and wrestling basics – click here

For Mat Rats Team Bus Policy – click here

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How old does your child have to be to wrestle?

Children must be 5 years old and as old as 6th grade to participate in the Club.  Some exceptions have been made for Pre-K children.  The latter children require extra supervision, so you will need to consult one of the Mat Rats board members to get permission for a Pre-K student to participate.

How much does it cost?

The fee for Mat Rats is $40 plus a $6 Community Ed fee for insurance. USA Wrestling cards are also available for purchase for $30. These cards allow wrestlers to qualify for the state wrestling meets but are not necessary for team or open tournaments. Additionally there is a fully refundable family activity fee of $50. This fee will be returned to you after family participation in the club’s activities during the season. We are looking for each family to help at various times, including: tournaments and fundraising.  Please contact us directly if financial assistance is needed.

What kind of equipment is needed?

For wrestling practice you must have clean pair of wrestling (or gym) shoes, comfortable clothing, and a water bottle, at minimum.  Head Gear is important to protect your wrestler’s ears, but we consider the use of headgear during practice to be optional.  For weekend tournaments, you will need to have a headgear.  You can buy this equipment at sporting goods stores (such as Dick’s), as well as online stores.  Also, at the start of each season we hold a swap-meet, where parents can trade and obtain gear.

What is expected of my child?

Each child is expected to be at every practice and match possible. As their development is dependent on their attentiveness and work ethic, wrestling will be taught and learned in ‘building blocks’. Coaches will demand that the kids are paying attention and not disrupting during a practice or match.  Children who cannot pay attention or are disruptive may be asked to sit out or leave practice.  Children who are ‘goofing off’ will increase the chances of someone getting hurt, in addition to being an unnecessary distraction!  We have only a few hours so quality practice time is critical.

What is expected of parents?

Coaches expect parents to be positively involved with your child. Positive participation is beneficial to everyone involved.  Always support your child, encourage them to do their best, never chastise or belittle them.  During practice we ask that you sit quietly and allow your child to do his best.  It is important that each child listen attentively to their coaches so that they can master the skills of the sport.

How do you select the “starting lineup”?

For team events there is typically a “wrestle off” to determine the strongest wrestler at each weight class.  Usually only one wrestler per class can participate, but several alternates are also carried on the tournament roster.  For individual events (and all exhibition events), all wrestlers participate.

What do parents do at practice?

First, this is not a baby-sitting service. We ask that you don’t just ‘drop your kid off and leave’.  However, space in the wrestling room is limited.  If you choose to stay in the room, please sit quietly off to the side and watch.  It will be difficult to ‘watch your baby’ get all twisted and turned, but they will be okay!  Also, it is important that the wrestlers stay focused and attentive to the instruction, please refrain from talking with them during practice.

Are there any fundraisers?

The Mat Rats are fortunate to have a wonderful Field House that allows us to host multiple tournaments throughout the year.  Proceeds from these tournaments provide needed funds for the club.  Parents are asked to volunteer their time to help during these tournaments, typically a couple hours is all.

What should I do if my child gets frustrated and wants to quit?

Don’t let them!  Wrestling is not an easy sport.  The demands can sometimes be overwhelming on your child.  It is important for a child to learn that they must finish what they started.  Please encourage and love them no matter the outcome, but do not teach them to be quitters.

Do I need to worry about skin infections?

Unfortunately skin infections are common in all sports.  There are basically three ways to help prevent them.  The first line of defense is good health.  Eating properly is essential to successful athletic performance but it is also an excellent way to defend against disease and infection.  Secondly take the time to exam your child from time to time.  Should you notice anything different on their skin please inform a coach immediately.  Finally, have your child take a bath or shower on a daily basis and do not let them practice in used or dirty clothes.

When does the season start/end?

Practice and tournament events are posted on this website under the “Schedule” tab.

How do I sign up?

Visit our Sign Up page.