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To Be A Great Coach

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The best high school coaches are great at selling wrestling in their communities. I’ve know guys that were technically weak but had a passion for promoting the sport.

 

College is the same. The best programs are led by the best recruiters. Of course, available scholarship money is also significant.

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The best high school coaches are great at selling wrestling in their communities. I’ve know guys that were technically weak but had a passion for promoting the sport.

 

College is the same. The best programs are led by the best recruiters. Of course, available scholarship money is also significant.

Geographics, redshirting options, quality RTC guys in the room, being in a good conference, sometimes easier academics and majors play a part, and good facilities don't hurt either.

 

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Excellent coaches hang out where there is a lot of money.

I've been lucky enough to hang around some great coaches. There is some truth to this. I've seen a coach take a program from average to an area power house with a full gym of fans by aligning with people in the community who had money. He was a great networker. A couple of other things that I have noticed that good coaches at the high school level did compared to the ones who did not have success:

 

1. Have a consistent plan to improve the athletes. Practices were organized and consistent. Kids learned how to practice correctly.

 

2. Create a family atmosphere. No athlete was more important than another. Great coaches coach their jv, just as hard as their studs and find matches for everyone.

 

3. Find tough competition and are not afraid to get losses on the record.

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I think it is also necessary for a high school coach to get in and make a presence with the youth wrestlers as well.  A strong feeder program for the high school is important.  

This is HUGE!  Having kids come in with 2 or more years of experience before they reach High School is paramount to success.  Also, having that youth program that you are close enough to know for certain that the basics have been instilled correctly is a big deal.

 

It is sort of like just having to color inside the lines vs having to draw the picture before you color it in.

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In California, any prior contact between a high school coach and a pre-enrolled athlete is technically a recruiting violation. It's pretty broadly ignored, but the fact that it's on the books at all is a symptom of why CA can never quite catch the traditional power states. 

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This is HUGE!  Having kids come in with 2 or more years of experience before they reach High School is paramount to success.  Also, having that youth program that you are close enough to know for certain that the basics have been instilled correctly is a big deal.

 

It is sort of like just having to color inside the lines vs having to draw the picture before you color it in.

Very true. Youth programs are important. However, I think making sure your Jr High coach is good and on par with the program vision is MORE important. You can guarentee you will get 2 or 3 really good kids to come all the way through your youth program. 7th and 8th grade kids usually can play both basketball and wrestling. Middle school matches are low risk for a kids confidence and you can draw some of those guys who are bound to quit basketball come high school. I think wrestling loses a lot of kids at 7th and 8th grade.

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In California, any prior contact between a high school coach and a pre-enrolled athlete is technically a recruiting violation. It's pretty broadly ignored, but the fact that it's on the books at all is a symptom of why CA can never quite catch the traditional power states.

 

this is insane to me. I wonder what led to this rule.

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Very true. Youth programs are important. However, I think making sure your Jr High coach is good and on par with the program vision is MORE important. You can guarentee you will get 2 or 3 really good kids to come all the way through your youth program. 7th and 8th grade kids usually can play both basketball and wrestling. Middle school matches are low risk for a kids confidence and you can draw some of those guys who are bound to quit basketball come high school. I think wrestling loses a lot of kids at 7th and 8th grade.

Yeah I was looping Jr High in as several programs I know didn't/don't have Jr. High Programs and as such the youth program was it.  So we basically agree that at least getting the 2 years of experience from 7th to 8th is paramount along with being certain the coach is on the same page.

Edited by MSU158

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"Build it and they will come"

 

jordan-iso.png

Heck of a marketing photo....

Jordan would've never had the success in PA that he has in Ohio in a public school.

 

The PIAA is way too hard on transfers.

 

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Excellent coaches hang out where there is a lot of money.

 

I highly doubt there is much money being thrown around in Iowa City or Stillwater and I know there isn't much being thrown around in State College. 

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Best public school coach I've ever seen is Wayne Branstetter from Poway, High School in Poway, CA.  Keep in mind I'm from PA.  But I've personally witnessed the amount of juice he can squeeze from a kid, it's just insane!  

 

When people talk about turning a normal/unknown kid into a champion I think about him and his program.  I couldn't imagine if he came to PA and coached.

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I highly doubt there is much money being thrown around in Iowa City or Stillwater and I know there isn't much being thrown around in State College. 

 

http://www.espn.com/college-sports/news/story?id=2286820

 

Unfortunately I doubt the wrestling program saw much of that...T. Boone prefers to flush his money down the toilet for OSU's football program.

Edited by TobusRex

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Interesting that many people here are talking about what makes a high school coach great. I feel it is so different than coaching in college. The obvious biggest difference is no recruiting (for public schools anyway). I have often wondered if some of the great college coaches would be able to have the same success at high school and vise versa. Something tells me that some of best high school coaches would be excellent college coaches, but some of the best college coaches would struggle as HS coaches. 

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Not too different. College coaches recruit, high school coaches have to attract numbers and "recruit" kids to their sport. Only difference is college recruiting you need to know how to sell your school and knowing the admissions process is huge, especially at a smaller college with a small staff. Imo, both hs and college coaching wont be easy IF you want to be really good at it.

 

We may never know if a great high school coach could do well at the best D1 programs because the best schools only hire NCAA and Olympic champs. Maybe Goodale will change that trend someday.

Edited by russelscout

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Not too different. College coaches recruit, high school coaches have to attract numbers and "recruit" kids to their sport. Only difference is college recruiting you need to know how to sell your school and knowing the admissions process is huge, especially at a smaller college with a small staff. Imo, both hs and college coaching wont be easy IF you want to be really good at it.

We may never know if a great high school coach could do well at the best D1 programs because the best schools only hire NCAA and Olympic champs. Maybe Goodale will change that trend someday.

I agree. It's pretty well known that the best athletes don't always make the best coaches and the best coaches weren't always make the best athletes. I think wrestling is different from other sports due to the fact that outside of coaching there aren't all that many opportunities to make a living outside of coaching. So the best wrestlers having the biggest names end up snagging all the top level coaching jobs.

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Yep! Really, why does the success make them the best coaches? Are the coaches making the kids great, or are the great kids making the coaches look great?

My old high school coach and one of my life long mentors told me quite a few times that coaching is overrated. He was a very successful coach who produced numerous State medalists in wrestling, tennis, track and field as well as a number of team tennis and soccer State championships. He said if the kid isn't a naturally gifted athlete, there's only so much you can do with him. He also said a great coach has the ability to acurately gauge an athletes potential and get them there, but if that athletic base isn't there there's only so far you can take him/her.

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