Ask Cael: I graduated 2 years ago and recently got a coaching job coaching my old middle school team. What is some advice you could give me to help me get moves across to my team without skipping important details?Story Published Tuesday, November 16th, 2010
question:¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Cael, I have wrestled since¬†I was four years old. I graduated 2 years ago and recently got a coaching job coaching my old middle school team. What is some advice you could give me to help me get moves across to my team without skipping important details?
Wrestling is a tough sport to coach because there are so many different moves and so many different ways to do each move.¬† I would suggest that you figure out what fundamentals you want your team to work on and work on those all most every day.¬† When I say fundamentals, I mean penetration step, tie ups, set ups, holding base on bottom, escapes, breakdowns, shot finishes, shot defense etc.¬† but Less than 10 things.¬† Kids aren‚Äôt going to learn more than a couple things a day.¬† If your team can get a good feel and understanding of the fundamentals that will be a great foundation for them.¬† Then I would slowly introduce new techniques and add to that foundation.¬† Because you are going to have different levels of athletes on your team I would suggest working with individuals on more advanced or unique technique.¬† ¬†It takes time to learn technique and a ton of repetition.¬† Wrestlers need the foundation of fundamentals.
As far as teaching specific technique I would just try to figure out what the key points in the technique are.¬† What makes the move work?¬† Most of the time attitude and determination is the most important ingredient.¬† That’s important to teach.¬†
Teaching takes patience.¬† Learning new moves takes time.¬† Some wrestlers learn faster than others.¬† ¬†Teaching takes humility. ¬†¬†You can show a kid a move hundred times and they might not quite “get’ the move until they do it in a match and then they think they made the move up.¬† Every kid is different and every kid learns differently.¬† The teaching attitude needs to be focused on the positive instead of on what the kids aren’t doing or what they are doing wrong.¬† That is difficult to do but is the best way to create a healthy learning environment.¬† The difficult part of coaching is that you have to move at the pace of the individuals on the team, not the pace you would necessarily like to go.¬†
I think it¬†helps to understand that coaching is a job of service.¬†¬†I didn’t realize that until I started coaching.¬† You are there to help kids learn how to be the best they can be.¬† Some are highly motivated, most are not.¬†¬†You are going to want most kids to win even more then they want to win themselves.¬† No two kids are the same.¬† No two teams are the same.¬† You will never stop learning as a coach.¬† ¬†Also I would think¬†back about what your coaches did that worked well¬†and maybe what didn’t.¬† I would look around and learn from other coaches as well, even if they are your competition.¬† Also no two coahes are the same.¬† No two coaches think the same or will do things exactly the same either.¬†
Have fun and allow the kids to have fun.
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