High School Wrestling Coaches: Importance of Work/Life Balance for Coaches

High School Wrestling Coaches:  Importance of Work/Life Balance for Coaches

by Dennis A. Johnson, EdD  | March 7, 2017

The work-life balance is difficult for many wrestling coaches to negotiate.  Coaches who may have spent years as a competitor enter the profession with the same passion for the sport, work ethic, and desire to excel.  Often times the coaching workload creates a negative impact on one’s health (i.e., physical, mental, and social).  For instance, we all know situations in which a coach got divorce (social health), had a heart attack (physical health), or was fired for losing composure during a practice or match (mental health).

The first step in maintaining the work-life balance is to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Get regular exercise, eat correct, maintain optimal weight, don’t smoke, limit alcohol, and manage stress (1).  Secondly, coaches need to learn how to manage stress in a positive manner. They need to learn how to schedule and manage their time and should deal with problems as they arise (i.e., don’t let problems fester).  Coaches also need to learn to laugh and not be so serious about the job, and set aside time for private thought on a daily basis.

Rainer Martens in his book Successful Coaching lists several steps for helping coaches to maintain the work/life balance.  They are:

  • Set time to plan
  • Set realistic goals and make a plan for completion
  • Set limits on your time-learn to say no
  • Create private time
  • Set and keep deadlines
  • Delegate when possible
  • Make quick transitions between tasks
  • Learn to manage stress in a positive manner (exercise, progressive relaxation, etc.)

Finally and this piece of advice is for all of the coaches who are married and have children.  Your families love you and deserve your undivided attention.  Make it a goal to leave wrestling on the mat when the practice or match is over and it is time to go home.   The first role for all coaches is to be a good parent.

Check out the NWCA Wrestling Coaches Resource Manual (Scholastic Edition) for more ideas on how coaches can work to maintain a work-life balance during the season.

“Find a way and make it happen”….dj


1. Martens, R, (2012). Successful coaching.  Champaign, IL:  Human Kinetics.

NWCA Sport Blog

High School Wrestling Coaches:  Importance of Work/Life Balance for Coaches Dennis A. Johnson, EdD

Associate Professor-Jamestown Community College (SUNY)

Former wrestling coach & author of Wrestling Drills for the Mat and Mind


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