What it Takes to be a Good Wrestler at HHS

March 27, 2023

Here at Hueneme High School, we have many sports. As a wrestler, I have personal experience with its unique demands. Because I enjoy it and because it seems like HHS wrestling goes mostly unnoticed, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you how much work it takes to be a successful wrestler. To get a clear perspective on what it takes I interviewed some of our HHS varsity wrestlers to see what they had to say.

Largely due to the great coaching here at HHS, our wrestlers stay on track, whether it’s their academics, diet or exercise. All HHS wrestlers work out in school or a gym to get the strength they need to be a successful wrestler.

HHS varsity wrestlers, freshman Layla Mariah and junior Alvaro Orellana let me in on their workout schedule, and to my surprise, these wrestlers train every day for 2 or more hours, and weightlift after training.

Can you imagine being a wrestler? Imagine the strength one has to have… As a fellow wrestler, I can attest to the fact that wrestling is one of the most difficult sports in high school. Layla Mariah agrees that wrestling is a very tough sport. When I asked her if wrestling is all about physical strength? She stated that “Physical strength is important, but you don’t necessarily just need that to be a wrestler.” For example, once you step on the mat for a competitive match, you have to wrestle–you can’t stop or back out. You have to finish. It takes a lot of strength and confidence in order do that.  Layla stated, “Yeah, being confident is important…but so is mental health.”  Alvaro Orellana responded that “If your mind is not cleared during a match, you’re most likely going to get stuck.” These responses inform us that one’s state of mind is a major part of what it takes to be a successful wrestler.

 I asked Alvaro Orellana another related question: “ Do you believe diet can affect the way you wrestle?” to which he responded, “Definitely. If you don’t watch what you eat the sloppiness will show in a match.” I asked Layla a similar question. She responded, “Yes, diet can affect me. Say I’m overeating– that affects how I wrestle.”

I then asked senior varsity wrestler, Audrey Diaz, what helps her when she steps onto the mat for a match. Audrey responded, “Mental preparation. Although getting fit is part of wrestling, so is mental preparation.” Alvaro stated “honestly, just having the mentality that I’m going to win.” Other wrestlers like Layla stated that “music helps me to prepare” before stepping onto the mat. It’s scary to imagine having to step on the mat and always know you have to wrestle 3 matches every tournament–and you can’t just quit in the middle of a match.

Wrestling is a tough sport, but these HHS wrestlers seem to have the mental and physical determination to be successful. 

I give props to these wrestlers. Not everyone can keep up with the demands that wrestling workouts and training put on you. Every single one of these wrestlers started as a newbie at one time, and as time progressed they became skilled and experienced enough to get a spot on varsity.

So, what does it take to be a good wrestler? “Honestly, just not giving up,” States Alvaro.  Layla had a slightly different response: “You may not be the best, but patience is key.” Audrey stated that it comes down to  “…patience, and dedication.” Different responses, but when put together these mental strengths will probably produce a very capable wrestler.

After conducting these interviews with our varsity wrestling team, and reflecting on their responses, I’m here to say, are you mentally and physically prepared enough to play one of the hardest sports in high school?



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