How to Become a Woman College Wrestler

Recently, one of my former students asked me to talk to a female high school wrestler from IL about the process of getting to the next level in wrestling.  My first reaction was to send this female high school wrestler to & social media pages that sort of showcase female wrestling at all levels.  

Then, it hit me: “There may be thousands of girl high school wrestlers who would like to know this info too.”  More to the point, there may be thousands of parents, coaches, & administrators (decision makers) of female high school wrestlers who might benefit from knowing the process to become a prospective woman collegiate wrestler.

So how do girl high school wrestlers become women college wrestlers?

First, high school wrestling coaches could promote, recruit, & grow girls high school wrestling!

Second is to: introduce the girl high school wrestlers to freestyle wrestling; learn & train to wrestle freestyle, wrestle in freestyle state, & qualify/wrestle Cadet & Jr. Nationals in consecutive years.  An alternative to this answer is to: learn to wrestle freestyle, wrestle in the U17-Cadet World Team Trials and/or wrestle in the U20-Jr. World Team Trials in consecutive years.

Third (or maybe 1.5) involves finding out who is the State Director for USA Wrestling in the state the girl high school wrestler lives in plus this info: date/location of freestyle state, date/location of Cadet/Jr. National State Camp, & cost of all.  Most of this info or answers to above can be found via this link: USA Wrestling State Associations & Chartered Clubs.  After clicking that link, scroll down to find the state lived in per wrestler and click appropriate state (in IL, these links are

Fourth is to review the hyperlinks in this article (above & below) and to research other media like the Parents Guide to Wrestling in College  by Dany deAnda.  Research by students, parents, & coaches is one of the main sources of finding out “the how & why”.

Finally, when girl high school wrestlers are juniors & seniors, they should complete recruit forms like the Women’s Wrestling Questionnaire.  These forms can generally be found on official college websites and  social media.  Completing recruit forms lets college coaches know the student-athlete is interested in pursuing college & athletics.

In The 6 National Championships for College-Aged Women, a point was made about the growing number of freestyle national championships for the 100+ college teams while the 30+ high school state associations that have sanctioned state championships are wrestled in folkstyle.

Some may read this article (or the above article) and think “Okay, I know that” or “Big deal”.  It actually is a big deal because to grow female wrestling to the optimal level and to educate the masses about most college wrestling (including high school coaches) – all need to be ‘in the know’ regarding this process or the changing of wrestling styles for female wrestlers from high school to college… 

For more about the freestyle & folkstyle debate for female high school wrestlers and in depth look on How to Become a Woman College Wrestler, please watch this video featuring: Shannyn Gillespie, Head Coach Lakeland University (WI); Randi Miller, Olympic Bronze Medalist, Texas Women’s University; Dany deAnda; Liz Short Joliet Central H.S. (IL) Assistant Coach; & Erin Golston USA Wrestling National Team:


Articles for the Growth of Female Wrestling
The Great Debate for Female High School Wrestlers: Freestyle or Folkstyle
Closing the Gap with Japan
Three Steps to Building a H.S. Girls Wrestling Program
We Want To Wrestle Too
10 Reasons Female Wrestlers Should Throw
The College Coach’s Influence
Growing Women’s Wrestling
The 6 National Championships for College-Aged Women
Performance Enhancement Training: Thinking Through Your Plan
African-American Pioneers in Women’s Wrestling
The Title IX Factor
The Big College Boom
Another Paradigm
Why Shouldn’t All Girls Have the Opportunity to Benefit From Wrestling?
Open Letter to College Presidents & ADs: Women’s Wrestling
NCAA DI Coaches for Women’s Wrestling: Growth  ‬
Where It All Begins for Many Females: High School Wrestling Coaches
Jenna & Erin Wrestle
The USOEC Women’s Wrestling Program
Women’s Wrestling Pioneers: Kent Bailo and the USGWA

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