... on Competition and Cooperation
The keys to a successful wrestling program are competition and cooperation, which are observed primarily in the practice room.
The most important element for producing championship teams is practice competition. The more a varsity performer is pushed by his practice partner. the better he will compete in dual meets and tournaments. Cooperation takes the form of veteran wrestlers helping novice matmen in learning the various wrestling skills. Furthermore, many mat drills involve a cooperative effort.
Personally, I view it as very difficult to distinguish any difference between competition and cooperation. When a coach has developed a "competitive attitude" in his team, each member complements the one another by giving 100 percent at practice. Likewise, two practice partners, competitively motivated, are cooperating with each other by striving to be the best.
Just as competition and cooperation are essentials in the classroom, they should also be found in every mat room. To mesh the two into one word and coin an expression, "coopetition" is, in fact, the backbone of any winning wrestling program. Hence. they are paradoxically interrelated.
Updated June 17, 1997