Values We Embody
Molding kids into great wrestlers isn't enough. We aim to also develop elite human beings.
Why is This Important to Us?
Wrestling eventually ends, and real life begins. As coaches of youth athletes, we're with the kids for many hours over the course of the year. As such, we have a unique opportunity to act like 'extra parents' and pass on concepts, ideas, and skills that will help them become successful adults. We believe that athletics are simply an outlet to help prepare kids for life after athletics. Due to the structure of the Wrestling, it's perhaps the best sport to get participants prepared for the highs and lows of the real world.
How Do We Teach These Values?
It's our job to define these values, articulate the importance to the wrestlers, make positive examples of those doing the right things on and off the mat, and keep these principles front-of-mind. The graphic on this page hangs from a banner at our practice facility. You can't get to the training floor without being forced to see it. Other ways we teach these values include:
1) We don't value winning at a young age. While we give kids the tools to win, competing in wrestling at a young age is simply about developing a Learner's Mindset. We preach that its not "Win or Lose," but "Win or Learn," and that kids should take ownership of their losses, work hard to fix their shortcomings, and continue improving.
2) The Student of the Week Championship Belt. Oftentimes, this has little do with competition success, and everything to do with positive traits. We address the group and highlight the aspects of the winner's practice habits that earned him/her the honor.
3) We have discussions with the kids at the end of every practice. Every day is different, but we use it as an opportunity to make connections between developing good habits and routines, and success in wrestling.
4) The 1% Rule: Progress happens incrementally. It takes time for a wrestler to develop to their fullest potential. We are very big on the phrase "Get 1% better everyday." Once wrestlers buy into this concept, each practice is framed as a way to become just slightly better than the day before.