Let’s Get Organized-Selecting and Educating Coaches

Let’s Get Organized-Selecting and Educating Coaches

by Dennis A. Johnson, EdD

The recruitment and training (education) of youth wrestling coaches should be based on a sound fundamental philosophy.  I discussed the “athlete first, winning second” philosophy which emphasizes life skill development in the most recent blog.  Coaches at the very highest levels have been successful utilizing this type of a philosophy; e.g., John Wooden (UCLA basketball national champion) and Tony Dungy (NFL Super Bowl champion).  Hopefully program administrators can develop such a philosophy and recruit coaches who can agree to align themselves with such a philosophy for their youth wrestling program.

Again, the Youth Coaching Manual produced by the NWCA is an excellent guide for thoughts on the selection of coaches.  The manual offers practice plans, parent education, and competition guidelines.  If selected coaches are not a physical education teacher educator or have some type of coaching certification they should be encouraged to participate in one of the National Federation of High School’s on-line coaching education programs.  The Fundamentals of Coaching course delivers research-based content in the areas of training, rest and recovery, hydration, growth and development.

Additionally, the NHFS also offers a wrestling-specific on-line course entitled Coaching Wrestling: Sport Specific Course which was developed by the NWCA. It offers information on risk management and demonstrates the basic tactical-technical maneuvers associated with wrestling. This course would be of special interest to inexperienced coaches who have limited knowledge in the tactical-technical aspects of wrestling.

Finally a note of caution, coaches who may agree with program philosophy during the selection process may not actually “walk the talk” when competition commences.   McCallister, Blinde, Weiss, and Windee found in a survey of youth coaches that a coach’s stated philosophy was not implemented during the heat of competition (1).  Program administrators and parents should constantly monitor recruited coaches to assure that they are subscribing to the program philosophy of the youth wrestling program

“Find a way and make it happen”….dj

References: McCallister, S.G., Blinde, E.M., & Weiss, W.M. (2000).  Teaching values and implementing philosophies: Dilemmas of the youth sport coach. Physical Educator, 57.1, 35.

Youth Program Wrestling Coaches: Let’s Get Organized-Selecting and Educating 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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