Women’s wrestling is a sport that’s growing quickly across both the college and high school levels. According to the National Wrestling Coaches Association, the number of girls wrestling in high school has grown from 804 to 21,124 since 1994. More than ever, college coaches are on the lookout for student-athletes who have done well academically and exhibit a passion for wrestling, even if a recruit’s athletic background is mostly in other sports and not freestyle wrestling (the style used at collegiate women’s programs and the Olympics). If you have good grades and a strong work ethic, you can put yourself in a good position to receive interest from college programs. But in order to get your best shot, you’ll want to use NCSA’s recruiting resources to get noticed by women’s wrestling coaches who are looking to fill out their rosters.
As an athlete, you can reach out to college coaches at any time. We recommend emailing coaches of programs you are interested in as early as possible, as well as asking each program about their eligibility requirements. Send them your athletic resume, which includes:
Athletic scholarships in women’s wrestling are awarded on a school-to-school basis. Schools decide how many scholarships they can fund on their own, whether it’s through fundraising efforts, donations, an endowment, or set scholarship budget. Because it can be difficult to gauge a student-athlete’s pedigree if they come from a region where women’s wrestling is not popular, scholarships are largely awarded based on academics. Therefore, your best bet for securing a scholarship is to have good grades and test scores in addition to athletic talent.
Women’s wrestling is not an NCAA-affiliated sport, and there are currently no restrictions on contacting coaches and programs. However, the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association—the governing body of women’s wrestling—states that athletes cannot sign a Letter of Intent before September 1 of their senior year of high school.
Women’s collegiate wrestling is growing rapidly, and schools are filling their rosters with athletes who come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some recruits will have had the opportunity to wrestle in girls’ state wrestling championships, unofficial girls’ state tournaments, or girls’ wrestling camps. Other recruits may have gained experience from boys’ wrestling teams or other sports. Fortunately, there are programs for every experience level.
College coaches recruit great students who have a good attitude and solid athletic background. Of course, additional wrestling experience will help you stand out. Coaches look for:
Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association freestyle weight classes in pounds
There is a limited number of women’s college wrestling programs out there and unless you’ve been a nationally ranked wrestler, you’ll need to take a proactive approach to getting noticed by college coaches. In fact, only about 3.5% of high school wrestlers compete at the college level—though the number of college programs is primed to grow in the near future. In order to secure a roster spot in college, you’ll have to take a proactive approach and focus on building relationships.
As we’ve already mentioned, academics are very important. College coaches are not shy about pointing out that they’re looking for athletes who excel in the classroom. You’ll also want to gain some wrestling experience if you can, whether that’s at a camp, tournament, or team—though some coaches consider wrestling experience as an added bonus to athletic skills. Coaches also love to see that you’re interested in their program and school. Reach out to them with personalized emails that show off your interest, and share pertinent information such as your athletic and wrestling experience, grades and test scores, and highlight video. Also, do not be afraid to cast a wide net. There are currently more than 30 women’s wrestling programs, and you can realistically reach out to all of them.
Recruiting videos are an important tool for high school athletes who want to wrestle in college.
College wrestling coaches don’t have the time to see every wrestling recruit in person, and that’s why a highlight video is one of the most important parts of your NCSA Recruiting Profile. A well-made recruiting video illustrates what a high school wrestling recruit has to offer in just a couple of minutes.
In order for your highlight video to be effective, you need to know exactly what coaches are looking for. When it comes to recruiting videos, all sports aren’t the same and NCSA knows what highlights wrestling coaches want to see. For example, a wrestling video should show highlights from your best matches and include a variety of takedowns, escapes, pins, reversal, throws and more to show that you’re a well-rounded wrestler.
If you follow NCSA’s guidelines and create an outstanding highlight video, you’re taking a big step in the wrestling scholarship process.
How to film
If you’re looking to ramp up your skills and experience, camps and tournaments can help you reach the next level. As an added bonus, they can also be a tremendous help to your recruitment process. But do you know where to find them and how to maximize your time there? Read this section to find out.
Find women’s wrestling camps and tournaments.
Wrestling is one of the fastest-growing sports among high school girls. New women’s college wrestling programs are popping up across the country, and college coaches are looking to fill roster spots with athletes. But in order to land a spot on a college roster, you’ll first need to find out which colleges are offering women’s wrestling.
Search for women’s wrestling colleges.
Insider tip: Despite the impact that coronavirus had on college sports, as of June 1, 2021, the NCAA resumed its regular recruiting rules and activity! Coaches are actively working to fill their rosters, so student-athletes should be proactive in reaching out to coaches. Read up on how the extra year of eligibility granted to athletes who were most affected by the pandemic in 2020 will impact future recruiting classes.