“Swag” is a slang term often found in comments on social media and images. It’s frequently used as a synonym for “swagger,” which is a type of style or presence that exudes confidence. So I figured that as overused as this phrase is, it was appropriate for this post. Here is a list of my top ten ways for a wrestler, no matter what age, skill level, or economic status to have swag!
1. Matching Brands
The brand of your socks should always match the brand of your shoes. If you can’t match your brands, a simple pair of all white socks will do. For example: Asics socks = Asics shoes. Asics shoes + Nike socks = no swag.
Unlike in freestyle, you are required to wear headgear in folkstyle wrestling. But there are rules to wearing headgear with swag. First, you make sure it fits. There is nothing that says swagless more than a droopy headgear that keeps falling down your face during the match and requires constant adjusting. They’re adjustable, no excuses. The straps in the front of the headgear have to be crossed, and the finishing touch is a chinstrap. Swag.
There is a rule in wrestling that you have to either tuck or tape your laces to prevent unnecessary stoppages to tie your shoes. Believe it or not there is a cool way to tape your laces. Taping your entire shoe around the ankle says hurried, sudden, “I forgot to tape my laces and had to throw this together,” I don’t care about style. I prefer to tape just the laces, so they lay neatly on your shoes. You can even tuck them into the front of your crossed laces to secure them. This says, “I took my time, I’m well prepared, and I want to look good.” More importantly, it says “swag.”
You have to have them. But not just any socks. Nothing says no style more than wearing ankle socks in a wrestling match. When choosing socks, remember Rule #1 of matching the brand with your shoes. Crews usually do the trick. They should sit a couple inches below your calf, and should be pulled down just slightly. Swag.
You pretty much can’t go wrong here. The shoe game has changed in the last couple years. Thanks to the Funky Flicker Boyz and groups alike, many older shoes are being sought after for competition. Whether you’re going with old school Dan Gable UltraFlex, or a fresh pair of JB Elites, as long as they’re comfy and you like them, you’re golden.
As a part of a team, you really don’t have much of a choice on what type of singlet you get to wear. But don’t worry -- you can make almost any singlet look cool if you wear it properly. The most important tip to singlet wearing is to pull up the legs of the singlet to about mid thigh. Any higher, and you’ll look like you’re trying too hard. Any lower, and you’ll look like an amateur.
This may seem silly, but I’ve realized that briefs are the most comfortable undies to wrestle in and they are discrete. Nothing says uncomfortable like a pair of bunched up boxers inside of your singlet that looks like you’re wearing a diaper. Keep it clean and simple. Briefs.
If you’re going to wear kneepads, wear one. Choose a side and stick with it. One kneepad is enough for any wrestler. Usually you go with your lead leg side, since that’s the knee that will be hitting the mat on your shots. Double kneepads is a no-go.
Wrestlers are the kings of tucking things in. As silly as it may look to the public, it’s the most comfortable feeling ever. When wearing sweats to warm up or just lounge around on tournament days, keep your pants tucked into your socks and your hoodie or warm-up top tucked into your pants. Swag.
If you’re like me, you like to listen to music before your matches. Whether it’s to pump you up, or calm you down, music is a great tool. There is only one problem -- most wrestlers have cauliflower ear. This makes it pretty tough to fit normal ear buds into the small openings that have almost swollen shut. Plus, how many times have you warmed up in ear buds and they’ve fallen out over and over. It’s hard to look cool when you’re constantly trying to put them back in. Over the ear headphones are more stable and look cooler. Preferably Flips. Swag. (No headphones are equally cool).
This post is not meant to offend anyone. If you have your own style, go with it. Wrestling is all about confidence. Find what’s comfortable and own it. When you wrestle hard it doesn’t matter what you wear, but just in case you are style conscious, follow these ten rules and always remember:
Look Good. Feel Good. Wrestle Good.
Have any more ideas to add to the list? Tweet me @alliseeisgold with the hashtag #wrestlingswag