West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on the Importance of the Assistant Coach
What role must the "assistant coach" play in the development of a successful wrestling program?

Primarily, the assistant coach needs to understand the head coach's philosophy, and believe in it. Furthermore, the assistant coach should be the top mentor's "public relations man," while helping to promote the mat sport throughout the school.

The faithful assistant coach must also be instrumental in helping the head coach cope with such concerns as scouting, keeping track of wrestler's grades, discipline in the classroom, and practice absenteeism, and evaluating parent attitudes. (Note: An open line of communication with the parents is very important. And, at times, the parents will tell the assistant coach certain things they wouldn't express to the head coach.)

In reference to the team, the assistant coach must act as a "buffer." He's the one who often consoles the wrestles after the head coach has reprimanded them. In essence, he is sometimes the "mediator" with the squad members, explaining the reasons behind the head coach's decisions.

Likewise, the assistant coach should be actively involved at all daily workout sessions. Why? Well, the wrestlers need to have as much belief in the assistant coach's abilities as they do in that of the head coach. If not, when the head coach can not make it to practice, the team members won't respond or work nearly as hard for the assistant coach.

Briefly stated, a truly great wrestling program is comprised of dedicated wrestlers, supportive parents, a zealous head coach, and a very loyal "assistant coach!"

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Updated October 15, 1998