Frequently Asked Questions
The coaches of the Mat Cats Youth Club would like to welcome you and your young wrestler to our program. As a new member of the club you are likely to have many questions, especially if you are new to the sport. Feel free to consult and ask questions at any time. This is not a sport that is learned overnight. It takes years to master this sport as an athlete and as a spectator. It is our goal to introduce your child to the sport of wrestling via a fun, constructive, and safe environment. Listed below are some of the more common questions. We encourage you and your child to ask questions and get involved!
My child and I do not have any experience with wrestling, does this matter?
Absolutely not! This club is designed for beginners. In fact, we have a group just for beginners and at tournaments wrestlers are divided into groups based on age, weight and experience. We will work on basics and build from there.
Does my child need to attend every practice? And what happens if he/she misses a practice or a tournament?
There is no penalty for not attending a practice or weekend tournament. The progress your child makes will correspond directly with the amount of time he practices and wrestles competitively. His absence will also have an impact on other team members since it is always important to have wrestlers paired up with others who have similar weight and skills. The less wrestlers attending practice, the less likelihood that wrestlers will have a good practice partners who fit into his/her weight range. Should your child have excessive homework, be ill or have a family or school activity there is no problem. School, family and health should always come first!
How will I be updated on club information throughout the season?
All information such as handouts, news, and practice cancellations will be handed out at practices and posted online on our club website: .
Are the weekend tournaments local? When we will receive and directions for the tournaments?
The weekend tournaments are located throughout Virginia, WV, and MD normally at High Schools. Maps and directions will be provided before each tournament. All mat cats are registered – you have to see a coach if you cannot make it to an event. There are a few events you have to travel to but it is very important that everyone attempts to make the meets. Our attendance is a major reflection on the club and team will not travel to our events if we don’t travel to theirs.
What about weight? Do the children need to "cut" weight?
Absolutely not! At this level there are no weight concerns. Your wrestler will be weighed during practices and sent into tournaments and then paired up with competitors that have very similar weights. This is not high school wrestling. It is an open league that encourages fun competition for the purpose of teaching the sport. There is no reason that anyone in this league should cut or worry about weight.
You can help your wrestler by encouraging a healthy diet throughout the season. Foods such as excessive soda, candy, and other unhealthy snacks should be minimized. Encourage your wrestler to drink lots of water to keep hydration level high. Water is recommended throughout practice and tournaments not juices and sugar added fluids.
I have another child on the Middle School team. What if there is a schedule conflict?
Middle school should always take priority. It is fully understood if your wrestler is involved in two programs and we encourage that he/she be excited and active in his/her school’s program. If you find that participating in practice at school and at Mat Cats is too much, your child may miss the club practices and wrestle at the weekend tournaments with no consequence.
Should my child bring lunch/snacks to weekend tournaments?
Most schools will have a snack bar which often benefits either the host club or that high schools athletic department. We encourage you to support these groups. However, most experienced wrestling families will carry some snacks and drinks with them. Be aware that some schools do have strict rules concerning the entry of food into the gyms and we ask that you respect the rules so that the clubs can continue to gain use of the facilities in the future. Remember water (not soda) is highly recommended!
What should my child wear at practice?
There are no specific practice uniforms - any type of shorts and t-shirt are fine to wear. There are specific wrestling shoes kids must wear. If you don't have any please see a coach before purchasing any. Many times we get donations from kids who outgrow their shoes.
Will my child need a uniform for tournaments?
The Club provides unifroms for all wrestlers. We do fundraisers and events to raise money to buy them. Although you are not required to attend these the more people that do significantly help the club and its ability to help all our youth wrestlers
Can I attend my child's practice? When/where do I pick up my child?
We keep practices open for the first two weeks to show how things are run and how our coaches conduct practices. After that we close practices. Kids neeed independence to grow and learn in the sport of wrestling. This is important for them to learn from their coaches and teammates. Practices are completed at 7pm - please be at the wrestling room promptly to pick your child up.
I have heard of instances of ring worm/other mat diseases in other schools. What can be done to identify and prevent them?
Mat diseases such an impetigo, ring worm, etc. are sometimes found at the high school levels but are very rare at the youth level. However, you should keep a close eye on your wrestler for such development. Should your child develop any skin condition please consult a Coach for advice. In most cases a doctor’s consultation will be needed and your wrestler may need to keep off the mats until the doctor ok’s his/her return. It is important that your wrestler bath well after each practice or tournament. Good hygiene is a very important deterrent of skin diseases.
How long are the weekend tournaments?
If a tournament is running on schedule you should expect to be there around 3 hours. If you have more than one child at different age levels, expect it to be longer.
What is the snow policy for practices & tournaments?
Since we are using a Warren County facility we must follow all school regulations. Therefore if the Warren County has cancelled after school activities (or classes) then our practice will also be cancelled. We will put the cancellation on this website and email it out to everyone on our email lists.
We are Guests: Please remember you are a guest at Warren County High School for practice - please treat the facility and the staff with respect. Do not let children outside the wrestling room by themselves.
What are the different levels at the tournaments?
At tournaments, all wrestlers are grouped by similar weights and age. Experience is a big factor when pairings are done between schools. Many parents want to wait before starting competitions because they feel their kid will be thrown to the wolves. This is not the case we encourage all kids to compete since they will only wrestle similar kids. It is important for the kids to try what they have learned in practice.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.