West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Criticism and Winning Coaches

Believe it or not, even ultra-successful coaches can't keep everybody happy--or satisfied!

A few years ago, I had the very unfortunate occasion to experience something of a phenomenon. While at a summer community picnic, I was congratulating a parent whose son was on a state championship wrestling team, and whose daughter also played for a basketball squad that won state honors that year. Now if I were this parent, I would have been beaming with pride and praising both coaching staffs. But such was not the case.

Instead of complimenting those coaches for developing his children into fine athletes, this father immediately began to criticize their coaching strategies, and said that their teams could have done much better. I was stunned and for once in my life, I was speechless!

What do some people want from coaches? We are talking about those men and women who give so much of their time and energy, with very little compensation, for our kids. In reference to the case noted above, the parent was complaining about two coaches who have consistently produced championship teams, and who have always emphasized the importance of good sportsmanship.

So, the next time you are about to ridicule the actions of a coach, consider his or her point of view first--and maybe you would make a fool of yourself!

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Updated February 3, 1999