Wrestling is a beautiful and intense sport that requires the athlete to be in love with it and to enjoy it even when it’s not so enjoyable. For this reason, don’t think that once you buy the right wrestling sneakers, you are done looking for more info on this sport before starting your practice sessions and preparing for matches.
Finding the right coach is equally important, especially if we are talking about a kid who is just getting the hang of what this sport really is. Young minds tend to be easily impressionable, so it’s crucial that all the challenges and obstacles that might appear in the first years are managed in the right way, with the help of a coach and of family, to ensure success later on.
Since wrestling is an activity that requires tremendous levels of discipline and responsibility, it can also unveil a lot of personal issues or mental blockages that can be successfully overcome with outstanding results and effects in many other areas of the athlete’s life.
If you are a young wrestler looking for a new coach, or a parent trying to determine what’s the best way to pick your kid’s mentor, then this article might be just what you need. The following lines highlight some of the most important traits you should look for in the person who is most definitely going to have an impact over the wrestler’s life and development.
Meet the coach beforehand
Of course, this seems like the normal thing to do, but we are not talking about meeting the coach for a couple of minutes and discussing what you should do next before having the first practice. What we mean by ‘meeting the coach’ is to actually take the time and go to the gym a couple of times during practice in order to see how the sessions are going.
This way you can see if you are comfortable with the teaching style and if you feel that you’ll have the added value you are looking for during the training. Don’t forget that a coach has to do more than just teach. He or she has to act as mental support as well as to enable the wrestler’s development from every point of view.
You probably know this by now, but being negative is most of the times not helpful at all, especially for an athlete’s motivation. A good coach takes the time to find out what makes each and every single member of his or her team reach for the stars and then pushes the right and positive buttons in this direction.
Of course, some athletes do respond better to negative reinforcement, but these cases are rare compared to those who are motivated by positive feedback. What you can do to assess a coach’s effectiveness, in this case, is to take a look at the ratio of positive-to-negative remarks.
Also, a friendly high-five or a pat on the back can go a lot further in terms of getting someone highly motivated to go the extra mile and surpass obstacles and challenges.
Empathy & fun
A good coach is one that did not forget what it’s like to be in a young athlete’s shoes. This goes from figuring out how to best organize oneself and be on time, to the way the exercises are designed. Some of them might not be as mandatory as some coaches deem them to be, but ensuring that the young athletes enjoy themselves in the process is crucial.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that discipline shouldn’t be taught since it’s one of the main mental benefits this sport brings, but it should be done in an effective and positive way. Some coaches are emotionless and seem like robots.
If your coach does this, there’s little chance that you’ll be able to bond on a deeper level that allows you two to work together in a real way. Also, bringing some fun is never a bad idea.
It’s not a shame to admit that there are some moments and practices that are a drag, but getting over this fact in a positive way, instead of ignoring it, is what makes the entire activity, the coach, and the students successful.
It goes without saying that a good coach should teach by example. It’s true that, due to particular conditions or situations, there are exceptions to this, but most of the times, coaches should be right there, on the mat, with the athletes.
Some might be out of shape or might actually fear losing a round, but this is no reason to avoid being next to those being trained. If you see that the coach you are meeting with is in great shape, then this is a good sign that suggests active participation during practices.
After all, this entire process is not even about the coach, it’s about the athletes and about enabling them to reach their full potential.
The real value of a match
Some coaches tend to place too much emphasis on the importance of one match. While every victory counts, especially for self-confidence and mental strength, not every competition is absolutely crucial, especially if we are talking about young athletes who are attending a local tournament.
What any good coach aims for is to keep the athlete’s enthusiasm, energy, and realism in every situation, throughout the entire match and the entire season. You want a coach that allows the athlete to see exactly what the lesson is, how important a certain competition is, and what skills and techniques need to be practiced and learned.
In the world of wrestling, one of the most important challenges is to make weight for a certain category. While this is beneficial, since it forces athletes to study and understand various notions on nutrition and health, it’s also something you should consider when talking to a coach.
The right approach in this matter is to make sure that a healthy lifestyle is maintained throughout the year and the season, in order to avoid those situations where weight needs to be cut before an important competition. A good coach will make sure to instill this value, as well as to monitor the athletes and make sure they are on the right track.