Wrestling Takes a Toll on These Girl Wrestlers

Wrestling is one of the most difficult sports there is. Not only does it take a toll on you physically, but mentally, as well. Getting good as a wrestler in practice is 95 percent physical and 5 percent mental. You dedicate a lot of time and hard work into conditioning and the physical game to make that happen. 

However, the moment you step on the mat for a match, those percentages flip. Being successful is 95 percent mental and 5 percent physical. 

“Mentally, wrestling is very tough,” said Bailey Welu, ‘23. This is the third year for women’s wrestling at Wahlert, but the first year for Welu. 

“You can put in all this work and realize you still aren’t good enough to win a match. Putting in so much work and not seeing the best results has taken a toll on my mental health,” said Welu. “Towards the beginning of the year, I would get panic attacks before I would even go out onto the mat to wrestle because I didn’t think I was fully prepared. It was terrible. I did not want to show up at all, but as time passed, I eventually overcame the nervousness. Wrestling  is not only mentally challenging but also very physically challenging, as well. You have to put your all out there all of the time,” said Welu.

As a wrestler myself, I can attest to this. My first year of wrestling, I had zero wins. I went into each match feeling unprepared and feeling sorry for myself. I had no confidence, and I had a very weak mindset. I loved going to practices and being a part of a team, however, so I wanted to make a change. With time and a lot of hard work, I started developing a stronger mindset, and I started becoming stronger physically. 

Although I am doing way better than I did my first year, I still have a lot of room for improvement. I still tend to get nervous and I doubt my ability at times. Wrestling is a very tough sport, and it takes some of the strongest to join and put in their all. 

Ruby Duehr, ‘24, a first year wrestler agrees fully. “Wrestling stresses me out. It makes me emotional because I work hard at practice and haven’t seen the results I would like to see.” 

“It is a big change from the other sports I’ve been involved in,” said Duehr, “because it literally takes every inch of your body and your energy. Although I don’t always feel prepared, I walk into each practice and each match confidently and ready to wrestle.”

Girls wear their “Nobody cares, get tougher” shirts on the first day of practice.