By Malcom Mortley
In recent years the Tech Wrestling Program has been dominating the PSAL. The team has won multiple City Championships, and continues to control their league with their strong roster.
But that’s just the boys’ wrestling team. Now, Tech is getting ready to take on the competition with a little flair from the girls.
This has been the inaugural year for PSAL Girls’ Wrestling. The Tech team has so far won two matches and lost four. However, headed by their very knowledgeable coaches, Chris LaCarrubba and Vitaly Simpkin, the girls have nowhere to go but up.
There is a certain toughness that comes with the sport of wrestling. It is a mental and physical battle that tests both athletes involved; they use techniques and holds perfected after hours of practice to try to get their opponent to fall.
The thought that girls cannot match the intensity of the boys’ team and be able to deal with the challenges that come with the sport is a sentiment shared by many.
Wrestler Vivian Vu ’15 disputed that thought, saying, “The guys won the championships this year and they will again next year. They go through tough practices every day also and they’ve definitely earned their highly regarded status. I don’t think being a girl or guy determines how good of a wrestler you become but rather how much you want it.”
Vu epitomizes the mindset that the wrestling program has been embedding in their athletes from the program’s beginning.
The mindset is one thing, but there is another aspect that must be considered: the effort.
Vu says, “There’s no better way to gain control and discipline than through experience day by day, practice by practice. Doing well is mostly dependent on how much effort you give, so just by being a part of this program you learn to work hard. I feel lucky getting this chance to be a part of something huge.
Not only do athletes have to be mentally ready to perform, but they must also have the proper conditioning and work ethic to outpace and overpower their opponents.
But how are these new wrestlers going to deal with the pressures of the spotlight and how they will be perceived while they are practicing their sport?
Vu responds, “Personally, I don’t find any complicated stigmas being a female wrestler. However, maybe if you’re embarrassed about your weight or too nervous to wrestle in front of a bunch of people it may be difficult. Once you get used to it though, you become more comfortable with wrestling and you learn to adjust to these circumstances so you can focus more on your match.”
A female wrestler will need to make adjustments as well as expand her comfort zone in order to achieve her goals. Fortunately, they will have tons of support from the boys’ team and coaching staff.
In the end, when athletes step on that mat, they are no longer boys or girls. They are wrestlers.