First Year In Our Program Information
Welcome to Bella Vista Wrestling!
Your wrestler has joined one of the most storied wrestling programs in the state of California. If you read the cover page to this website, you can see that we've had many championship teams, many individual champions, and several alumni wrestlers who have gone on to continue to do great things at the college and above levels. These wrestlers all came from our program - from kids club through high school.
The single most important thing I can tell you is to PLEASE read the "Parent" section of this website under "current team information" each Monday. Please make it a habit,"Monday I check the wrestling website". This gets updated each Sunday with everything you need to know about what to expect the current week and important events coming up. We all know that kids give only pieces of information from school, checking this page each week gives you the straight scoop.
It would also be very helpful if you could take a half hour and read each section under "Parents". There is complete information on team rules, dieting, parent support, tournament suggestions, recruiting, etc. When done reading the entire parent section of this site you will be very well versed in what your child has joined.
Probably the biggest concern new wrestling parents have is about dieting. Understand that there is NO MANDATORY DIETING in our program. Do some kids diet? Yes. Do kids have to diet or are they told to diet? No, never. There is no question that if a wrestler simply eats healthy meals and works out hard at practice their body will be at its most lean, strong and fit level - they will perform their best! "I want my wrestler to be able to grow in a healthy manor" - we completely agree. The best dieter does not win, the best wrestler does. Dieting is zero fun, it would suck the joy from our sport. That being said, coaches will have conversations with wrestlers about an optimal weight class for them (and that may be down); but don't confuse that with "being told to diet"; parents have total veto power if the wrestler and coaches pick an optimal weight class that is lower than you are comfortable with. So we're talking apples to apples, if we ever suggest a drop in some weight to get to this optimal weight class, the conversation is always about eating healthy and working out to get there. Cut some calories out of your day through good nutrition - please don't stop eating. If your child is not eating we have a problem, and we are here to help you resolve that.
Are there any costs for my child to be on this team? There are zero mandatory costs.
Ok, no mandatory costs, so how much do you want me to donate? (smile). In terms of cash, if you could give us $20 - $25 to use to purchase food for our snack bar, we can turn your $25 into $50 for the program. We take your donation, purchase food, then mark up the price = double the income.
Is there anything else you need from me as a parent? Yes, two things. 1) We need you to set aside the weekend of January 14th & 15th to help us host our middle school and elementary school age wrestling tournaments. This is our ONLY fundraiser. It costs roughly $10,000 - $12,000 to run one season of wrestling; we get no money from Athletics. We need your wrestler to help referee and score the matches, and we need the parents to collect money at the door, sell at the snack bar, hand out medals, things of this nature. The parents jobs require zero wrestling knowledge, but we desparately need your help. We will have over 600 wrestlers and parents attending our tournament, it's a big undertaking, we need your help. Please set aside this weekend. 2) We need driver's to all wrestling competitions. The district/Athletics gives us no buses, we get ourselves there. So if you can volunteer to help drive it would be needed and appreciated.
What about uniforms? We provide the uniform only. You purchase their wrestling shoes. We have headgear for the kids to use and share, but most wrestlers buy their own (around $25). You don't have to buy the team sweats, but if you do they'll be the same sweats the next year; we don't change them. BV Wrestling does NOT sell the sweats, you call "All Awards" (729-0505). Tell them you want the BV Wrestling sweats, tell them what size and they'll tell you when to come pick them up. The cost is $70. If you don't want to buy these we just ask that the wrestlers wear BV colors with their uniform to competitions.
How do things work with weight classes? What weight class will my child be in? High school weight classes are as follows: 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, 285. How it works is that your wrestler must weigh exactly that weight class OR under in order to compete at that weight. So if your wrestler weighs 158 lbs, they'd have to wrestle in the 160 lb weight division. If your wrestler weighs 152.1 lbs, they'd still have to wrestle 160 lbs because they are not "on or under" 152 lbs. 99% of kids either wrestle the weight class up or down from what they actually weigh. Example: If your wrestler weighs 158 lbs, they'd most likely wrestle 160 lbs, but some kids would try to drop to 152 lbs so they can be a bigger 152 than most. It would be the rare kid to try and gain a bunch of weight and wrestle 170 lbs, or lose big weight and wrestle 145 lbs. That stuff happens, but not often. We would suggest nothing that doesn't involve eating healthier meals. Parents always have final veto power.
What's the deal with the Body Fat or Hydration Test? All wrestlers nationally must pass a Hydration Test in order to compete - that's high school and college. What they do is measure the wrestlers height and weight, then have them take a pee test to see if they are properly hydrated. If hydrated, their height, weight and sex going into a formula that determines their body fat level. It is against the rules to wrestle below 7% body fat - unless they have a note from their doctor, and even then they are locked in at that weight and cannot lose more. The formula tells each wrestler how much weight they can lose per week (at a healthy level); this is usually around 1.5 - 2.0 lbs per week. So wrestlers are not allowed to crash diet. So if Johnny takes the hydration test on November 10th and weighs 150 lbs with 10% body fat, he'd be allowed to lose roughly 1.5 lbs per week (if he wanted to) until he reached 7% body fat, then he's locked in and can't lose more. Most kids don't worry about this, they just wrestle their natural weight. Most kids will lose some weight over the season just because the workouts are hard, you burn more calories - but they're not dieting, they're just lean muscle. They'll look like they got out of Marine boot camp.
How does this whole thing work with varsity and jv? Each schools single best wrestler at each weight class is varsity. The second best wrestler and down are JV; it does not matter what grade in school they are. If our best kid is a freshman and another schools best kid is a senior, doesn't matter, they'll wrestle each other. Each week kids can challenge for the varsity spot if they'd like. Read "rules" on this site for more details. So when we face another school in a team vs team format, this is how it works. Our best wrestler at weight class "X" against their best wrestler at that weight - that's the varsity match. All other matches at that weight class are jv. This goes for all weight classes.
Another thing to be clear on - while kids do wrestle off for "starting spots" on the team, the coaching staff has the right to pick any line-up we want to give our team the best chance for winning a competition (like every other sport). Most of the time the wrestle off winner is the starter, but sometimes we'll bump a wrestler up in weight class against a certain school to take advantage of a weakness for the other team. That one wrestler changing weight classes for that one competition has a ripple affect and will cause other changes too. So wrestle offs do matter, but the coach picks the line-up.
What about competitions/tournaments, how's that whole thing work? On the "parent" section of this site is a section just about that - both for you and your wrestler.
So if my senior wrestler is second best at their weight they'll never wrestle varsity? If my freshman wrestler (who's fairly new to the sport) happens to be the best at this school, my wrestler is stuck getting killed wrestling varsity? Neither of these are true. First of all, as long as kids go to practice, everyone gets to compete; there is no riding the bench in wrestling. In 90% of your wrestlers matches, the coaching staff will put them "at their level"; and it doesn't matter if it's a varsity or jv match. If your wrestler is the best kid on our team at a given weight, and the other team has a state champion at that weight, we'd not have them wrestle in most cases. "Sometimes" we do (for the sake of our whole team and the competition) have them wrestle the state champion, but mostly "no". At tournaments on the weekend it's definitely 100% true that we will send them to a tournament where they have a chance to compete on as much of a level playing field as we can provide. So if your wrestler is our best at a weight (so varsity for us), we still would send them to jv tournaments on the weekend because that's the true level they are at. On the flip side, if your senior wrestler can't crack the true varsity starting line-up, we will take them to as many varsity tournaments/competitions as possible so they can wrestle "at their level". It is not always perfect for sure, but most of the time the kids are "at level".
When attending a wrestling competition (or high school competition of any sport) the expectation is that athletes compete, parents watch and cheer. We ask that you do not come down to the bench during a match. At tournaments where you can't necessarily see from your bleacher seat, we ask that you find a wall in the gym where you can see, but please stay away from the coaches corner. We also ask that you "cheer" and not yell out instructions to your child. This is regardless that you've never played the sport before or were a champion in the sport yourself.
What about holidays, both Thanksgiving and Christmas vacations fall during the wrestling season, do we practice? YES. We do take some of the days off, but we also work out some of the days. The practice schedule on this site will tell you days and times. Clearly your wrestler can't get better unless they practice, and clearly we want them to attend. There is no penalty for not attending because of a family out of town trip, we would just appreciate 1) if you could "try" to limit this, and 2) don't let your wrestler sleep in - if in town, get them to practice. It's part of learning commitment, and the team does truly rely on them. If we have a match a couple days after the holiday break and your wrestler attended zero workouts, the odds are we'll replace them for that match so a prepared wrestler can compete for us. In most cases the practices are in the mornings, so if you could leave town after the morning workout, that too would be helpful.
I heard there are some skin issues with wrestling - ringworm, etc.? There are, and we need to take precautions. Steps we all take...1) The wrestling mats get cleaned and disinfected each day. 2) We give the wrestlers a foam skin protectant before each practice and match as a safeguard. 3) Wrestlers should be wearing clean workout clothes each practice. 4) Wrestlers (parents) should buy "anti-bacterial (or alcohol) wipes" from Raley's to wipe themselves down after each practice and match. 5) Wrestlers should shower immediately after practice and competitions. They should use a "cleaning soap", not a smell good soap - something like Dial soap. 6) Sweats and long sleeve shirts to practice can be helpful as well (another barrier).
This sounds like a lot of protection, is it that bad? Doing half this stuff should be enough, here's the problem...Our mats are clean, our room is clean. Most skin infection stuff is contracted at competitions from schools that don't do a good job. The problem is that our kids who contract something on their skin don't tell a coach or don't notice, so instead of sitting out until it's cleared up, they practice and now others on the team have exposure. Our staff can easily detect skin issues in most cases. Much of the time something is just a blemish or pimple of some sort, but the skin things we're talking about are different and we can recognize it, then have the wrestler seek attention. We talk to the kids, "hey let us know if you think something on your skin is more than just a pimple", but they don't always follow through, so we now take all these procautions. Follow good basic hygiene, along with our skin protectant, and this topic will be an "off the table" issue.
Eligibility: To be eligible to practice and play. #1 - must have a completed physical done by a doctor. #2 - must complete the online "athletics packet"; go to the Bella Vista HS website and click through "athletics". They will ask you on this website to download your completed doctors physical or bring the physical slip to the attendance office at school. #3 - If you transfered this year into BV from another high school, you must complete transfer paperwork - from both BV and your old high school. #4 - athletes must always maintain a 2.0 GPA with no more than one "F". If an athlete falls barely below this requirement they may go to "mandatory study hall" before or after school and they may still practice and compete (if the attend study hall every day). If their grades are way lower than the 2.0, they may not attend study hall and they may not be on the team anymore. FYI - you may only use the "study hall and still play" once per school year and you may not save it for later. #5 - you must attend practice; each team having its own rules for missing practice penalties.
Concerns: We have your child's best interest at heart, but at the same time we are not perfect. If you have any concerns do me a favor and go straight to the horses mouth and talk to Coach Lee (501-5408 or email@example.com). Let him listen to your concern and try to explain, find answers, or make corrections. If after speaking with Coach Lee about your concern you still are not satisfied, please contact our Athletic Director at Bella Vista. Athletic Directors, Vice-Principals and Principals in reality know very little about the day to day of the teams on campus. If you have a wrestling concern speak to Coach Lee to find answers. If you go straight to the administration they're only going to come back to Coach Lee and ask about the situation.
On this site under "wrestlers" is a section called "How to be a champion wrestler". It's really about being good at anything - wrestler, employee, husband/wife. You may find it interesting, certainly have your wrestler read it.
Please understand that High School Athletics is another level up from youth sports. All expectations are higher, even the stakes are higher (scholarships), coaches expect "full commitment" from the athletes. Most sports have a "recreational" level for kids to begin to play, learn, and have fun. Then most sports have "competitive" levels where parents monetary commitments go up, time commitments go up, but it's still youth sports - play, learn, have fun. In high school ALL TEAMS practice 5 days a week in a normal week. Many sports have weekend competitions as well as week day competitions. Sunday games are illegal in high school sports, so that won't happen. Athletes are expected to be in attendance at all practices and all competitions. Are there penalties for missing something, that depends on the team, but the expectations are for the athlete to be there. Your athlete is on a team that is committed to playing at a high level and the coaches are trying to lead these athletes to that level. While we understand family time, relatives visiting, family concerns - please don't schedule family vacations during your athletes season of sport. Most high school teams practice to some extent all year round in hopes of the "team" having a memorable season. Coaches get zero off season pay, and about a dollar an hour for what they do "in season". We put in a ton of time towards the success of their sport (your kids), please help that cause (your child joined) by not taking them away from practice or games during the actual season. The priority is always #1 family, #2 church, #3 academics, then "team", but do your best to help this and don't try to schedule around your athletes chosen sport.
Bottom Line: The philosophy of our program is that Wrestling is not life. Wrestling should be fun and it should be challenging. We want to teach them a work ethic. We want them to learn that through hard work and dedication their dreams can come true. We want them to learn that they will have set backs, but we don't give up; we simply try to work harder and smarter so I can get to where I want to go. We want them to have Grit. We want them to develop friendships that will last a lifetime - in sense they've gone to war together (tough, hard sport); we respect each others work ethic and that's why we get along and are friends. If they win along the way that's great, it's the journey the coaches have with the kids that is the fun of coaching wrestling at Bella Vista.
Thank you for all your efforts at helping us bring this sport alive for your children.