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Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know is right here…

  • What separates NOVA?

    There are several training opportunities in Northern Virginia. Here are some things that separate us:

    • Our coaches are certified…All coaches are Copper & Bronze Certified through USA Wrestling
    • We have our own independent training complex…We don’t train out of a high school. This means we don’t have to worry about logistical conflicts, weather cancellations, or any obstacle that would result in canceling training. We have a high degree of flexibility in our scheduling and the training options we provide.
    • Our partnerships…we have partnerships with numerous organizations in our surrounding area, including The Eric Monday Foundation, the Conner Strong Foundation, Wrestling Mindset, LuchaFit, among other credentialed wrestling organizations in the United States. We’re able to provide a plethora of unique opportunities to our wrestlers and families because of these partnerships.
    • We offer differentiated programs…we don’t have a one size fits all approach. We offer programs for all ages and abilities, so no one is “grouped together” for efficiency reasons. Our Little Hammers program is for ages 5 thru 9, our rising hammers program is for novice wrestlers in upper-elementary and middle school, and our advanced program is for wrestlers of any age ready for more intensive training.
    • We prioritize retention…We believe that retaining wrestlers is critical to them having a long and successful career in our sport. Our competition and training philosophy is designed to promote sustainable growth.
    • We’re community-oriented…We believe that wrestling is better when its grounded in community. We promote community growth by teaming-up with area businesses, non-profit organizations, and families. A strong community means stronger kids and stronger families.
  • How do I join NOVA?

    We encourage all wrestlers to try a practice out to make sure NOVA is a good fit for you. Once you’re sure it’s a good fit, simply go to our “Join” page and complete the registration package and get a USA Wrestling Card. Click here to get started.

  • What age groups are currently practicing at NOVA?

    Wrestlers can start in our Little Hammers program as early as age 4. We train high school, middle school, and youth wrestlers.  We also train senior level wrestlers for national and international events in our elite program. Middle School & High School wrestlers with national Freestyle & Greco-Roman credentials are eligible to train in our elite group.

  • What is the winter youth tournament team?

    Our winter youth tournament team is for wrestlers who are ready to make a strong commitment to wrestling during the winter months (November thru February). This team trains 3X weekly (Mon, Tues, Thurs), and runs a highly structured practice schedule. This program is NOT for the following: wrestlers who have difficulty focusing through a practice, wrestlers who can’t consistently make 3 practices weekly, wrestlers who are not ready to make winter wrestling a priority. Our winter tournament team is open to boys and girls in grades 3 thru 8.

    We have two teams for this program:

    • Gray Team: this team  is for wrestlers who aren’t ready to compete at the regional and national levels. We recommend this track for novice and early intermediate-level wrestlers who have been on the mat for a 1-3 years but aren’t ready for higher-level competition.
    • Blue Team: this team is for wrestlers who are ready to push their limits and test their abilities against the best in the country. The sole purpose of this intensive team is to prepare your wrestler to immediately compete at the high school level. Practices are drill-intensive; there is no room for a lack of attentiveness or disruptive behaviors. The expectations are high. This team will compete in regional and national-level tournaments; the wrestler must be prepared to truly compete. This requires a parent commitment to travel. Many of these trips are overnight.

    Practices are comprised of a warm-up, skills & drills, and a strong emphasis on drilling techniques. Live wrestling is included, but it’s not the priority or strong area of emphasis. Drilling techniques, developing muscle memory and physical literacy is the #1 priority of the training curriculum.

  • Do you wrestle Freestyle & Greco-Roman?

    Yes. Every March following the conclusion of the winter folkstyle season, we run an intensive Freestyle & Greco-Roman program which goes through June. Wrestlers who participate in our spring Olympic styles programs are required to compete in the VAWA Freestyle & Geco State Tournament.

  • What is your philosophy on competition?

    Per USA Wrestling’s Athlete Developmental Model, competing in the sport too early can be detrimental to a wrestler’s longevity in the sport. We do not require that our youth wrestlers compete in tournaments. We believe the ideal age to start competing is between 10-13 years of age. We believe that a kid should compete when he or she is psychologically and physically ready. This can be determined by the wrestler, parents, and coaches.

  • Does NOVA put a dual team together?

    Yes. Click here to learn more about our dual team opportunities.

  • What tournaments are you planning on competing in?

    We are constantly evaluating opportunities to get our wrestlers competitive matches. With that in mind, our competition schedule in the spring, summer, and fall months is fluid. Our winter competition schedule is set in November. Our current (tentative) schedule can be found on our Calendar page. Check this regularly and stay tuned for email updates.

  • "My Son or daughter has the goal to wrestle in college...what can NOVA do to help him/her reach that goal?"

    First, it needs to be recognized that your athlete will be the one who makes this happen. Being a college wrestler takes a lot more than being a good wrestler. Your athlete will need to excel on and off the mat, especially in the classroom.

    Our goal is 100 percent college/military/trade school placement annually. We understand that not all of our wrestlers will compete at the next level; however, we place a strong emphasis on the competitive opportunities available. We believe that if a wrestler truly wants to wrestle collegiately that there are opportunities available to accomplish this goal.

    See our Past Champions page for our current and past college commitments.

  • Is wrestling safe?

    Yes. Several studies have shown that wrestling is safer than many common sports such as football, gymnastics, basketball, and ice hockey. The most important finding in these studies is wrestling’s low percentage of serious, permanent, and life-threatening injuries compared to other sports.

    Wrestling is a contact sport and injuries will occur. As would be expected, wrestling has ore injuries than tennis and swimming, but most wrestling injuries are minor, consisting of sprains and strains. Wrestling has fewer serious injuries than football, basketball, or ice hockey. There is a lesser chance of getting seriously hurt when wrestling than when riding a car, skateboarding, or riding a dirt bike. -USA Wrestling

    Here are some things that contribute to wrestling’s high safety record:

    • High ratio of officials to athletes (1 for every 2)
    • Competitors are matched by age and weight
    • Greater strength and flexibility as a result of more emphasis on practice and preparation
    • Rules, regulations, and state certified officials
  • But what about ringworm and other skin infections?

    What is ringworm?

    • Ringworm (aka tinea corporis) is a fungus — it’s NOT a worm or parasite as the name implies.
    • It appears as a dime-sized circular ring or rash that can last for days or weeks untreated
    • It is NOT a serious condition, but it can spread fairly easily
    • Referees check for ringworm prior to competition and can disqualify a wrestler without a doctor’s permission if ringworm is found.
    • Ringworm accounts for 90% of the skin conditions in the sport of wrestling
    • Less than 1% of wrestlers will contract ringworm in the course of a season

    What if my wrestler has ringworm?

    • Take your wrestler to the doctor to be prescribed anti-fungal medication
    • You can also purchase anti-fungal medication over the counter at a local pharmacy (this is not as effective as prescription medication)

    What measures does the coaching staff take to prevent skin diseases?

    • Showering: wrestlers are required to shower after every practice
    • Mat hygiene: the coaching staff clean the wrestling facility 2-times daily
    • Street shoes: the staff does not allow street shoes on the wrestling mats

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