West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on a Father's Advice to his Son

What do you say to your son before he decides to wrestle?

Since all three of my sons wrestled, I attempted to give them some advice that would not only help them in wrestling, but also in life. Below are the suggestions I made:

1. Work as hard as you can at practice.
2. Believe in yourself and fear no opponent.
3. Do not take any match you have too lightly.
4. Before walking out on the mat mentally visualize what you are going to do.
5. Think rationally at all times and don't get upset, or you have beaten yourself.
6. Be tough and aggressive on the mats, but a gentleman off the mats.
7. Pray to God before every match to do your best, and for the physical well-being of you and your opponent during competition.

As a parent, keep in mind that an athletic contest should be a means to the end, and not the end in itself. Oh, of course, we would all like to see our sons win every match, but that is wishful thinking. Furthermore, humans tend to learn more from their failures (loses) than they do from their successes (wins). So, prompt your son to savor his victories and learn from his defeats. Likewise, prepare your boy to view wrestling (or any competition, for that matter) as a vehicle that will assist in guiding him down the road of life.

Yes, the challenges of living are many (getting good grades, succeeding in sports, advancing in a career, etc.). How your son later conducts himself as a man will have a lot to do with what you teach him as a boy.

... on Tips for Head Wrestling Coaches

Every mentor has the responsibility of attempting to keep all his athletes enthused and this includes wrestling coaches. Below are ten factors that head wrestling coaches should consider as part of their philosophy for developing content grapplers:

1. Include frequent "fun" activities when creating daily practice schedules.
2. Add a little variety to your daily practice sessions.
3. Always seek ways of strengthening your program. Attending coaches' clinics will aid you in this area.
4. Recognize the little (as well as big) successes of every one of your matmen.
5. Constantly emphasize team work or cooperation with your wrestlers.
6. Be aware of individual wrestler "Creativity."
7. Be a model of leadership for your wrestlers to emulate.
8. Hold short weekly meetings where open lines of communicate can take place.
9. Keep coaching goals in the ability range of your athletes.
10. See to it that all members of the team are given the opportunity to compete often throughout the season. In other words, along with your varsity schedule have a vigorous junior varsity and freshman schedule as well.

If you truly want a wrestling program that caters to the interests of your matmen, follow the above guidelines and your team members will experience much more satisfaction--win or lose.


"One machine can do the work on fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man."
- Elbert Hubbard

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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