Reflection and Evaluation of the Season (Scholastic)
As with the youth program coaches, the high school coach has a variety of components in a program to consider for a season-ending reflection and evaluation. Again, did the program participants learn basic wrestling skills and did the wrestlers have fun and enjoy the competitive experience? Did the parents exhibit proper parental behavior? Did the team peak at the right time of the year? Reflection and evaluation of these and other questions will hopefully provide answers that will help to guide a scholastic program in the future.
All of those are good questions and require reflection and evaluation. However, the high school years are the key component in the long term athletic development of a high school wrestler. Most wrestlers ages 14-18 have either entered what can be called the “train to train stage” or “train to compete stage.” These stages can be found in the Canadian Sport 4 Life and focus on advanced physical training, high level tactical-technical preparation, and formal competition. Athletes, in our case, wrestlers become more involved in annual periodized training, competition, and recovery plans which hopefully include regional, state, and possibly even national events (1). With an increased emphasis on performance, high school coaches might want to focus their reflection and evaluation more specifically on how they trained.
Coaches should evaluate their training and competition schedule for the entire season. Practice length, practice intensity, and the various types of competition (tournament and duals) should be analyzed. Did wrestlers peak for the big meets, state qualifiers, and state championships? Or did they become stale or even worse yet, become completely burned out prior to the championship season? I have seen many a team that was state caliber in January only to falter by the time states rolled around.
An in-depth evaluation of the training and competition schedule should provide coaches with valuable information in planning for next season.
“Find a way and make it happen”….dj
Associate Professor-Jamestown Community College (SUNY)
Former Wrestling Coach & Author of Wrestling Drills for the Mat and Mind