Talents and Skills Thesaurus: Wrestling

As writers, we want to make our characters as unique and interesting as possible. One way to do this is to give your character a special skill or talent that sets him apart from other people. This might be something small, like having a green thumb or being good with animals, to a larger and more competitive talent like stock car racing or being an award-winning film producer. 

When choosing a talent or skill, think about the personality of your character, his range of experiences and who his role models might have been. Some talents might be genetically imparted while others are created through exposure (such as a character talented at fixing watches from growing up in his father’s watch shop) or grow out of interest (archery, wakeboarding, or magic). Don’t be afraid to be creative and make sure the skill or talent is something that works with the scope of the story. 



Beneficial Strengths or Abilities: physical strength, coordination, stamina, balance, quick reflexes

Description: a sport in which two people try to throw, pin, or force each other to the ground. Wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of com bat, dating back to the ancient…

Character Traits Suited for this Skill or Talent: competitiveness, teachability, passion, discipline, focus…

Associated Stereotypes and Perceptions:

  • The Pro-Wrestling stereotype of people in flamboyant suits hitting each other with chairs and clotheslining each other has very little in common with the classic sport of wrestling
  • Wrestlers defined as stocky and solid
  • Wrestlers starving themselves or purging to make weight

Scenarios Where this Skill Might be Useful:

  • If one has been abducted and is being physically subdued, being able to throw a larger opponent or get out of a hold can allow one to escape
  • In a street fight, knowing how to gain a superior position can greatly increase one’s chances of winning or surviving
  • For someone who is small or young, wrestling can give them an advantage over larger opponents…

Resources for Further Information:

Talents and skills not only make our characters stand out, they often help them attain their goals. So choosing them strategically can greatly enhance both the character and the story.

If this is something you’d like to learn more about, you can find the entries in their entirety at One Stop For Writers, where all our thesauruses are cross-referenced and linked for easy navigation. If you’re interested in seeing a free sampling of the Talent and Skill Thesaurus and our other descriptive collections, head on over and register at One Stop!

Image: TPSDave @ Pixabay


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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8 Responses to Talents and Skills Thesaurus: Wrestling

  1. Wrestling Equipment says:

    This is, like all of your alternative posts, extraordinarily useful. Thanks.
    I have a matter, can you get in the varied martial arts, or can you mix them into the Mixed Martial Arts category?

  2. One of my favorite books is Robin McKinley’s The Outlaws of Sherwood. In it, Little John, who learned to wrestle as a boy, disguises himself as a wrestler at the fair so he could gather information about the sheriff of Nottingham. His ability to wrestle had nothing to do with his character or the story, but it was a handy tool when the author needed him to be able to have working knowledge of a practical skill. That’s why I’m loving this thesaurus. We don’t have to be experts on our characters’ skills; in many cases, we just need enough working information to show the reader what the character can do. Hopefully each entry will provide that spark of inspiration to help writers come up with viable talents for their characters.

  3. C. Lee McKenzie says:

    I know so little about this sport that I’m afraid I’d mess up entirely if I tried to write about someone wrestling. 🙂

  4. Penelope J says:

    An excellent interpretation/analysis of how to use wrestling as a skill. How about when it is used as an action verb to describe a mental/emotional conflict as in “Wrestling with my conscience?”

  5. jeffo says:

    Funny that this should come up, as I just finished John Irving’s latest. He knows a thing or two about wrasslin’.

  6. This is, like all your other posts, extremely helpful. Thanks. 🙂

    I have a question, will you go into the various martial arts, or will you combine them into the Mixed Martial Arts category?

    • I’m not sure; we’ve got martial arts on our potential list of things to cover. While I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Angela being a secret black belt, our experience seems to be pretty limited in this area; rather than try and fake our way through the various disciplines, my guess is that we would lump them together.

  7. Rosi says:

    This is a skill I probably would never have thought of for one of my characters, but there are some good reasons to keep this in mind. Thanks!

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