Women’s wrestling is a sport that’s growing quickly across both the college and high school levels. According to the NCAA, the number of girls wrestling in US high schools has grown from 804 to 14,587 since 1994. More than ever, college coaches are on the lookout for student-athletes who have done well academically and exhibit a passion for wrestling, even if a recruit’s athletic background is mostly in other sports and not freestyle wrestling (the style used at collegiate women’s programs and the Olympics). If you have good grades and a strong work ethic, you can put yourself in a good position to receive interest from college programs.
Athletic scholarships in women’s wrestling are awarded on a university-to-university basis. Colleges decide how many scholarships they can fund on their own, whether it’s through fundraising efforts, donations, an endowment, or set scholarship budget. Because it can be difficult to gauge a student-athletes pedigree if they come from a region where women’s wrestling is not popular, scholarships are largely awarded based on academics. Therefore, your best bet for securing a scholarship is to have good grades and test scores in addition to athletic talent.
Women’s collegiate wrestling is growing rapidly, and schools are filling their rosters with athletes who come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some recruits will have had the opportunity to wrestle in girls’ state wrestling championships, unofficial girls’ state tournaments, or girls’ wrestling camps. Other recruits may have gained experience from boys’ wrestling teams or other sports. Fortunately, there are programs for every experience level.
College coaches recruit great students who have a good attitude and solid athletic background. Of course, additional wrestling experience will help you stand out. Coaches look for:
Athletes in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association wrestle freestyle in the following weight classes (lbs.):