September 2021 Scholastic Coaches Update

By George Way, Scholastic Director

Getting Ready for the Season

We can hear the excitement and enthusiasm developing across the country as we head into the Fall months closer to a new and much-awaited wrestling season. Foremost in our actions should be the recruitment of your school’s student-athletes, district-wide, k-12. We must get back to growing our participation numbers while providing enriching and nurturing educational opportunities for our kids. Another component of our pre-season preparation would be to re-examine our “why.” Why do we coach, why do we do things a certain way, why do we succeed or fail, why do I hold specific beliefs and ideals about my coaching approach and philosophies? You get the idea. This should serve as a self-reflection and hopefully rejuvenate our passion. If it does not, then obviously, we need to identify that reason as well. Additionally, reviewing and updating your program’s mission statement, team goals, and what you want to accomplish this year for each team member. These should all be well thought out, put in writing, posted, and communicated to not just your wrestlers but to all your program stakeholders. Communication either promotes one common culture or creates misunderstanding and potential issues that negatively affect attitudes and support. You should be crystal clear when communicating these.

How about these new NFHS weight class options? This issue seems to be getting a great deal of interest and plenty of feedback. I can state that some states have not made any changes to their weight classes. Others have changed not only the number of weight classes but the actual weights. Some states have selected one of the three options presented by the NFHS. If you’re not sure where your state stands on this issue, you should contact you’re A.D., school administration, local official’s chapter, or your state office. As always, it appears that the state adoptions are all over the place and impact cross-state competitions. Be sure to get clarification and understanding when traveling out of state to avoid later eligibility concerns.

There is still time to access the NWCA Annual Virtual Convention. You will have access to all content including presentations and keynotes. This is available through October 31. Take advantage of this excellent opportunity at a very reasonable cost. You will find a wealth of information and ideas to help frame your season goals and objectives. You can find information on the NWCA website and a registration link to get started.

A few random pieces of information as we approach the season. We have just added another collegiate women’s wrestling team bringing that number to 101. It is no secret that these programs will need a more significant number of high school girls to recruit to these programs, so we need to continue our growth of girl’s scholastic wrestling to support these programs—what a tremendous opportunity for our female athletes. Additionally, while we still need to get every state on board relative to sponsoring girls scholastic teams and state championships, we are currently at 32 states who have made that commitment. Eighteen more to go, folks. This is an important initiative and one that needs all of our attention and effort. Let’s see how we can progress to that goal by the Spring of next year. Let us know if you need support to get this done, as we’re passionately invested in this endeavor. Also, you should know that since 2000 we have seen 284 new men’s and women’s college wrestling programs established, four at the Division I level. For those of us who remember the 1980’s and major cuts to wrestling teams and where entire conferences dropped wrestling, this is a positive trend that we need to keep the momentum going forward. Last, we have 18 scheduled Fall NWCA Leadership Academies. If you are in a state/area that is offering one, you should consider signing up. These are excellent opportunities to grow as a coach, and the participants are a large piece of the interactive experience. We continue to receive excellent feedback on these events. If your state does not have one scheduled, you may want to inquire about hosting one in the Spring. Once again, information can be found on our NWCA website or by contacting our office at 717-653-8009.

Best wishes on the 2021-22 season!

Share this article:
Categories: Scholastic Update

Comments are closed here.