We had the opportunity to present this weekend among some of the top coaches and wrestlers in the world at the Pennsylvania Coaches Convention. Every year we learn a ton and get to meet with some great people in our sport. We are excited to share to some quick takeaways from the weekend. Topics include technique, mindset, coaching philosophy, faith and much more. If you are a coach, do everything in your power to make it next year.
1. Nazareth Head Coach Dave Crowell did a phenomenal job presenting on 3-D Coaching. They break coaching into 3 dimensions; physical, psychological, and heart. Crazy statistic: 85% of coaches only teach the physical dimension (technique, strength, condtioning, etc.). Only 10% teach the psychological dimension and 5% the heart dimension, yet most of the team problems (motivation, confidence, character, values) are in the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. If you want to be a better coach and impact lives in a more positive way it is essential to find a way to implement dimensions 2 and 3.
2. Dave Crowell discussed 3 things that kids need which will lead to more motivation:
a. Place to belong
b. Something to believe in
c. Someone to believe in them.
Coaches are the #2 influence in athlete’s lives outside of their parents. Make sure that you are providing these 3 things.
3. Footwork is critical! We talk about this frequently. NC State head coach Pat Popolizio makes this a focus. Instead of running around the room to warm up, his team does stance and motion and footwork drills. He said that 2x NCAA Champ Nick Gwiazdowski spends about 20 minutes after practice developing his footwork.
4. Pat Popolizio has his wrestlers immediately sit or lay in a sleeping bag after weigh ins. He mentioned that many wrestlers wear their legs out walking/pacing around after weigh ins because of nervous energy.
5. David Taylor gave a tip on how to relieve nerves: Keep things simple. He said to focus on getting to your tie ups and moving your feet. Have a couple takedowns you are really good at and 2 or 3 turns. Make that the point of focus not all the what ifs before the match.
6. David Taylor mentioned 3 things all great scholastic wrestlers do: Score easy points (ex: scoring off a bad shot), dictate the pace of the match and score on top. Top is called Offense for a reason!
7. NCAA Coach of the Year Tim Flynn mentioned that more isn’t always better especially late in the season. Put the work in the bank but make sure to take recovery seriously.
8. WVU Head Coach & World Champ Sammie Henson quick tip: On bottom focus on positioning and not giving up the wrist. Do NOT make hand control the main priority because easy to give up cross wrist of 2 on 1.
9. Sammie Henson said that Europeans focus much more on positioning than Americans. He believes that to be slowing down American wrestling. Watch some Russians and other Europeans wrestle. Sometimes they barely get in on a horrible shot. Instead of rushing to the finish. They emphasize getting into a better position first than the finish will be much higher percentage. Get back to the fundamentals and make sure you understand proper positioning in different situations.
10. Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan gave a very passionate speech as the keynote speaker. He emphasized the big picture and the importance of living the right lifestyle on and off the mat. He credits his teams success to surrounding them with positive people, knowing what they believe on and off the mat, and being willing to suffer more than others. I strongly recommend watching some of his interviews and speeches. He is inspirational and a great role model.