How to Get a Wrestling Scholarship

by Michelle Hogan ; Updated July 27, 2017

Getting a scholarship in wrestling may seem like a daunting task. After years of hard work to hone your natural talent for wrestling and develop your skills, it's only natural to want that work honored by receiving a scholarship to college. Hard work as an athlete, however, is not enough to win you a scholarship. Coaches look at character and grades as well. The best way to get a scholarship is not by sitting by the phone waiting for a coach to call you. Instead, get out there and start promoting yourself and your talent to the school of your choice.

Step 1

Check your state's wrestling rankings. It's important for most wrestlers that are looking at going to an NCAA Division 1 school to be at least in the top 5 percent of their state's wrestlers. The first place to look for this information is your coach. It is likely that your coach belongs to your state's wrestling association or varsity sports association and can find this out for you. Alternatively, you can call the wrestling division of your state's interscholastic athletic association or visit their website and find out the rankings for wrestling in your division. Each state has different criteria for ranking athletes. If you're not listed, find out why and how you can become ranked.

Step 2

Work on your grades. If you're not a great student academically already, start working hard to get your grades above average. Ask for extra help after school or get a tutor. It's important that you show your academic ability to handle college as well as you athletic ability.

Step 3

Volunteer for something. One of the best ways to show that you are a well-rounded student is to volunteer at your school or in your community. Teach wrestling to small kids or help out the booster club. Showing your sense of civic duty goes a long way toward illustrating your character.

Step 4

Make a list of the schools you want to go to. Visit them, if possible, and learn all you can about their wrestling programs.

Step 5

Write up a resume of your wrestling accomplishments. Include your academic and social accomplishments as well. It's important to show coaches just how much of an asset you would be to both the wrestling team and the school.

Step 6

Put together a video of some wrestling highlights. This video can be sent by mail or email to the coaches and assistant coaches of the college wrestling teams that you are interested in.

Step 7

Consider lower division schools. Some NCAA Division II and III schools have excellent wrestling programs. Some Division II schools offer scholarships. Doing well in one of these schools for the first year or two can put you on the radar for a scholarship at a Division 1 school in your later college years.

Step 8

Go to wrestling camps at the colleges you are interested in attending. This puts you in front of the coaches from large schools and can help you get their attention, if you do well.

About the Author

Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.