Many girls only have the opportunity to wrestle against boys on their high school teams. While coaches still largely recruit athletes based on their academics, background in other sports, and willingness to learn, logging time on the mat against other women can be very valuable for skills development. Indeed, it can be challenging to compete with boys throughout the year but getting the opportunity to wrestle other women at a camp or tournament can be a tremendous learning experience.
Camps can offer an intensive experience where attendees can get a taste of the college wrestling lifestyle. This type of all-about-wrestling environment can help wrestlers make great improvements in a short period of time. Attendees can learn technique, sports psychology, strength and conditioning, nutrition, goal setting, and motivation while also getting plenty of mat time in a single camp. This type of experience can prove to be extremely helpful in the recruiting process and shows coaches that you’re passionate about the sport. If a camp is held at a particular college, then obviously that program’s staff will be in attendance, which can help your chances of getting recruited at that program.
The following list of women’s wrestling camps can help take your skills to the next level, but you should also research if there are any local camps that are closer to your location. Some camps are not offered every year, so make sure to stay up to date.
High school girls who live in the states such as Alaska, California, Hawaii, Tennessee, Texas and Washington have the opportunity to wrestle in an official girls’ state championship, and some other states also hold unofficial tournaments. Tournaments are an excellent opportunity to gauge your skill level, and with that knowledge wrestlers can make an informed decision about what level of program they’d like to wrestle at. An added bonus of attending tournaments is that there’s a chance college coaches will be in attendance, and you’ll have an opportunity to get on their recruiting radar. In fact, at the USAW Girls and Junior Women’s National Folkstyle Tournament in Oklahoma City, wrestlers will find a recruiting fair for girls looking to wrestle at the college level.
Performing well at a tournament can help you receive attention from a college program, but your time there should be all about putting yourself in the best position to succeed. That includes staying mindful of your attitude and demeanor, because coaches are interested in athletes that are not only passionate about wrestling but will also fit the team culture that they’ve cultivated in their respective programs. Make sure to exhibit sportsmanlike behavior on and off the mat and give it everything you’ve got whenever competing.
Additionally, it can be difficult to stand out from the dozens of athletes that attend a tournament, so don’t forget to utilize your communication skills. A coach is a lot more likely to remember you if you’ve introduced yourself by email—and especially in person. It also can’t hurt to follow up after the event to increase your impact.
The following list of women’s wrestling tournaments can help take your skills to the next level, but you should also research if there are any local tournaments and camps that are closer to your location. Tournaments may change their location, so make sure to stay up to date.
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.
We are continuously adding new camps to this list, so check back often to find more camp opportunities!