West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Tips for the Wrestling Parent

Wrestling parents must make a total commitment!

In my opinion, no other athletic contest asks as much from its parents as wrestling. Why do I feel this way? Well, in the mat sport, it is imperative that mom and dad learn the unique roles played by their son (the wrestler), the coach, and the official. Below are some helpful hints for dealing with these three individuals.

The Wrestler
Of utmost importance is making sure that your son eats the proper foods throughout the season. Moreover, do not place undue pressure on your boy during competition. Individual sports (especially wrestling) have a way of doing that themselves; you needn't add to it. Finally, and here is the tough one, teach your son to accept the consequences of his actions, allowing him no false crutches to stand on.

The Coach
Parental trust is the cornerstone in reference to the coach. Keep in mind that the coach is responsible for doing what he thinks best for the team and your son. If you are upset with a decision made by the coach, ask him about it. You'll probably find out that he has legitimate reasons for his action. But most importantly, support your coach; he deserves all the help you can give him.

The Official
As wrestling parents, try to keep in prospective the fact that the referee is faced with over 100 judgment calls per dual meet, and certainly many times that amount during tournament competition. Thus, you can not expect the official to be right on the money with every single call. So, acquire a satisfaction in knowing that he cares deeply about the safety of your boy, attempts to be as consistent as possible, and truly concerns himself with doing a fair and unbiased job.

To be totally honest, wrestling parents have quite a burden to bear. However, by following the above suggestions, the wrestling experience can be just as rewarding to them as it is for their son.

... on Wrestling Booster Organizations

Wrestling booster clubs should boost, not boss!

With the start of every wrestling season, I believe that there is a need to review some timely points to parents who are active members of such organizations. Today's dedicated wrestling coach needs all the support he can get, especially in the area of money-making ventures. But your coach wants people who are workers, not complainers. In my opinion, the ideal booster club member should:

1. Help the coach acquire the funds needed to equip team members with the finest wrestling gear available.
2. Let the coach run the wrestling program, whether it be determining who wrestles varsity or scheduling matches.
3. By all means, support the coach wholeheartedly - win or lose.
Of course, if you have a problem, talk to the coach in private. There's no better way to turn-off new booster club members than by publicly airing your gripes during a meeting that's supposed to be devoted to more constructive endeavors.

Remember, "Any fool can condemn, criticize, and ridicule--and most fools do!"

"Progress always involves risk; you can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."
- Frederick Wilcox

Editor's Note: A former Pennsylvania State Champion, Dr. Welker is a nationally recognized authority on amateur wrestling who has published hundreds of articles and two best-selling books (The Wrestling Drill Book, 1st & 2nd Editions) on the subject in which 1000s of copies have been sold nationwide. His drill book can be purchased at www.Amazon.com or www.HumanKinetics.com.

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