West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Good and Bad Breaks in Wrestling and Life

In wrestling, as with life, you've got to learn to take the bad with the good. Why is it that people tend to forget their good fortunes and think only of those bad breaks-- dwelling on them for days. I know because I see it all the time, whether it be teaching in school, listening to friends' problems, or participating in or coaching and officiating wrestling matches. Individuals often feel that someone is out to get them when something goes sour. Well, in my opinion, it "ain't" so - especially in wrestling.

I have coached and officiated wrestling locally for over 25 years. As a coach, I have witnessed my wrestlers receive calls from officials that I felt were athletic gifts. They were questionable calls that went our way. Ironically, when close calls didn't go in our favor, I quickly forgot the good ones. It's the nature of the beast in the coaching ranks.

However, as the years went by and I began to mature as a coach, I perceived an equalizing trend. Over the course of time in athletics, one realizes that the good and the bad tend to even themselves out. And I learned to tell my wrestlers that they can't expect all those close calls to go their way.

As an official, I have had to make those close calls. And believe me, they weren't pretty situations. But you have to make difficult decisions because they're a miserable part of the job, which many fans and coaches complain about--though you'll see few change places with me. Still, even in the officiating ranks, I have observed the same phenomena occur. During the course of a wrestling season, when you add up all those close or questionable calls, the law of averages (somehow) seems to even things out for all involved.

So, try to learn what I have gleaned over the years as a wrestler, coach, and official. And that is "In all facets of life, sooner or later, everything comes out in the wash." Such is also the case with wrestling and athletics in general.

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Updated October 20, 1997