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HS COACHING tips-from the corner...

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"cut me Mick!" from the Rocky movie comes to mind- good/positive things to do during the heat of the battle. Hopefully this list will be helpful, and contributed to for all to benefit/improve.



1*-be positive, even when mistakes are made.  Shouting "why did you do that!!" following a mistake only complicates communication from the corner and shows a lack of confidence in the athlete. Use short, positive phrases - "we have plenty of time"  "we can get that back"   "we're good, we're o.k."  and add a clap of the hands. I'm not saying don't be vocal, not even close, but be positive.


2*-the athlete must know the time/period/score at all times during the match. Some ref's don't make it clear when points are given, and your wrestler needs to hear your voice with the accurate score. After an out of bounds, as the athletes are moving to center for a re-start, is a good time to briefly communicate time remaining and score. Being verbal with this info also keeps the scorers table volunteers, who just finished a "free"  soft pretzel with cheese and a Coke, in the loop. Choice of position should be thought about and communicated constantly-sometimes the coach makes the call, or you leave it to the athlete who may have a feel for a certain choice, or both. Typically, with two coaches in the corner, I will comment as the period draws to a close- "what do you think about choice?".... we decide and then ONE of us relays the decision to our athlete.  It takes major effort during a two day tournament to be engaged in every match, every point, but it sure makes the kids better.


3*-teaching technique by "series" with identifying names makes your athlete better in a match. Be it "cradle series"  "bar series"  "cowboy series" "single, double, duck, drag"  "short sitout series, long sitout series" etc., if each kid knows what you are yelling certainly they are more likely to apply the technique. Situation: Your opponent attacks with a head inside single to your athletes right leg, and has his hands locked- "Hips back- head up- break the lock- whizzer"  or the opponent comes off the bottom with a bad inside stand up- "near side cradle, near side cradle"- may seem obvious, but is helpful. Over the years we have "named" various technique after an individual, event, etc. which adds to the "mystique" of our attacks.


4*- thorough knowledge of the rules, penalty chart, illegal moves, overtime procedures, etc. is definitely required to be match ready. Also, the athletes knowing how the team score is tallied in a tournament keeps them more engaged.


5*-I became a high school ref to make me a better coach. I don't officiate, but attending ref's meetings and listening to situational discussions helps me tell our athletes how to score more and quicker. Boundary calls, stalling, how control is established, etc. makes the kids smarter wrestlers. Our state requires attendance at 4 of the 7 local ref association meetings offered. Not that big of a time commitment- and it certainly helps if you go to table to "discuss" a call, and you sat next to that guy at the last meeting......


6*-certainly knowing your athletes strengths/weaknesses is critical when "coaching him up", choosing position(s), yelling technique, etc.


7*- scouting/observing potential opponents in a tournament is important. Tendencies, conditioning level, etc. of the opponent can be relayed to your athletes pre-match.


8*-right before AND right after a match, a quick handshake, quick word or two can keep a lot of emotions in check. Post-match contact is important, win or lose.


9*-school bus "board room" meetings are a good way to end a trip. Formulate your positives and area's of improvement, etc. as you travel home.  Once stopped in front of the A.D.'s office, or wherever you pull up, have the driver turn on the cab lights for good eye contact, and do a brief review/strategy session highlighting needed improvements going forward- conditioning, weight management, weight training, etc.   Can't talk too long, because its probably pretty late already, and cold outside.


thanks- CornerCoach


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