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Are private lessons necessary in wrestling?

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Private lessons are now offered in almost anything imaginable, from music to art to chess to sports. While the sport of wrestling has primarily been taught in team practice settings, private lessons in wrestling are growing in popularity. 

Parents and wrestlers are often times faced with the decision of whether or not to pursue private lessons. Many parents wonder if private lessons are necessary for their son or daughter to reach his or her potential in wrestling.

“I believe that each individual is different,” says Kerry Boumans, director of Overtime School of Wrestling in Illinois. “There are some kids that are phenoms and can just compete. They don’t need private lessons. I think private lessons will help any wrestler with the right instructor who will give them what they need.”

Joe Kemmerer, a two-time NCAA champion at the Division II level for Kutztown University (Pennsylvania), coaches wrestlers from ages 6 to 18 and runs Hammer Wrestling Club, which has locations in Tennessee and Virginia. Kemmerer believes the decision process comes down to two things.

“It comes down to who is a real wrestler and who is a throwing dummy,” says Kemmerer, who was named Outstanding Wrestler at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships in 2009. “The real wrestlers want to learn as much as they can. They love it. The second aspect of it is money. Not everybody can afford it, even if the kid wants to do it.”

The cost of private lessons in wrestling varies from club-to-club and coach-to-coach. Most clubs and coaches set hourly rates and those rates differ by the number of wrestlers in the private lesson. A one-on-one lesson will likely cost more for a wrestler than a group lesson that includes two or more wrestlers.

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