How to Recruit More Youth Wrestlers to Your Club

Andrew Sarafa

The culture of wrestling is a lot like a family - from waking up early in the morning for tournaments, to training long hours in the gym, to the overwhelming support of wrestling parents and fans.

When wrestlers feel like they’re truly a part of a program, they’ll be more likely to stay and motivated to work harder because of it. And when it comes to expanding your wrestling family, there are a few steps you can take to increase your reach and likelihood of recruiting more wrestlers.

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    Step #1: Build Relationships with Local Schools and Youth Clubs

    By reaching out to your local school district and surrounding youth clubs, you can be sure to find a whole new market of potential wrestlers to recruit to your program. When I was first introduced to wrestling, it was at a meeting my school called to help support a local wrestling program. If it wasn't for that wrestling program reaching out to my school for help, I never would have been introduced to wrestling when I was and likely would have never even knew I had a passion for the sport. Therefore, if you take the time to build relationships with the right people in your local school district, you could find your program initiating a lot of new members fairly quickly. To help find some youth organizations to reach out to, you can start by google searching terms such as “Youth Clubs Near Me”.

    All in all, when reaching out to these schools and youth clubs, be sure to focus on building strong relationships and don’t be afraid to ask for their help! Often times, they love helping their students or members get into extra-circular activities!

    By reaching out to your local school district and surrounding youth clubs, you can be sure to find a whole new market of potential wrestlers to recruit to your program

    Step #2: Reach out to Higher Level Wrestling Coaches and Local Clinics

    By reaching out to your local high school or middle school wrestling coach, you may find they know of a ton of kids who would love to dip their feet in the sport of wrestling. From siblings of their own wrestlers to parents reaching out to them in search of guidance, the reach of these coaches shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to recruiting new wrestlers to your program.

    When reaching out to these coaches be sure to again focus on building a strong relationship that will help to create a funnel of potential wrestlers for your program in the future. These relationships may also come in handy when it comes time for your wrestlers to move up to higher levels of competition in the sport!

    Step #3: Host a Free Wrestling Clinic

    One great idea to help promote your wrestling program is to host a free wrestling clinic. Whether your new recruits from the previous two steps are beginners or have some experience, everyone can benefit from a free clinic. You can use this opportunity to teach these potential wrestlers cool pins, takedowns, and reversal techniques. You can also use this time to hold some fun games like king of the mat to help highlight the fact that well wrestling is a tough sport, it can also be a ton of fun! USA Wrestling has a great post on a few other fun games you can checkout too!

    Step #4: Build a Website and Grow your Youth Wrestling Programs Reach

    We believe building a website for your youth wrestling club is critical to your success as a program. Having a strong presence online not only allows your organization to keep all your information in one place, it also allows you to help build credibility with wrestlers, parents, coaches and other wrestling programs.

    By securing your own domain name and social media accounts, you can help to push your program to the first page of Google. Being on the first page will help wrestlers, coaches and others be able to find and contact your program easily.

    Another benefit of having your own website is that you can further establish your brand and online image which will go a long way when it comes to the credibility of your program. Furthermore, a website will help you easily manage your program, setup online registration, stream-line communications, create schedules, and even conduct background checks.

    From keeping all your information in one place to building out online registration programs, your website will act as a one-stop-shop for your wrestling program

    Need Help Getting Started on a Website?

    At Jersey Watch, we help hundreds of wrestling programs manage their websites, registration, online payments, and communications. If you’d like to learn more about our benefits or get started on a free account, you can visit our website, or send us a message at help@jerseywatch.com.

    Step #5: Build out your Youth Wrestling Brand

    When it comes to building a credible youth wrestling brand, there are a few things to consider, first being your logo and program name. You can use cool services online such as Fiverr to hire a cheap graphic designer for as little as $5. Having a professional logo design will serve a great purpose when it comes to branding your website, your youth wrestling gear, youth wrestling singlets, and even youth wrestling headgear in some cases. Another benefit is that young athletes love associating with cool recognizable brands that they can feel proud of.

    Having a recognizable brand could also lead to new recruits coming to your program first when they’re looking for a new organization to join. Furthermore, establishing a strong brand online that is concurrent across all your programs online accounts and website will further help your brand establish credibility. Not only with potential wrestlers and coaches, but it can also help your google searchability.

    All in all, when establishing your programs brand, be sure to keep all your branding concurrent across all platforms. Whether that’s on your website, FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. By keeping all your platforms on the same page, you can be sure your brand will be credible and recognizable.

    Additional Resources

    How to Make a Simple Youth Wrestling Registration Form

    How to Start a Youth Wrestling Club - 5 Steps to Success

    How to Get Your Club Ready for Wrestling Season in 20 Minutes

    How to Get More Youth Sports Donations Next Season

    How to Build a Website for a Youth Sports Program