West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on a Father's Advice to his Son

What do you say to your son before he decides to wrestle?

Since all three of my sons wrestled, I attempted to give them some advice that would not only help them in wrestling, but also in life. Below are the suggestions I made:
1. Work as hard as you can at practice.
2. Believe in yourself and fear no opponent.
3. Do not take any match you have too lightly.
4. Before walking out on the mat mentally visualize what you are going to do.
5. Think rationally at all times and don't get upset, or you have beaten yourself.
6. Be tough and aggresive on the mats, but a gentleman off the mats.
7. Pray to God before every match to do your best, and for the physical well-being of you and your opponent during competition.

As a parent, keep in mind that an athletic contest should be a means to the end, and not the end in itself. Oh, of course, we would all like to see our sons win every match, but that is wishful thinking. Furthermore, humans tend to learn more from their failures (loses) than they do from their successes (wins). So, prompt your son to savor his victories and learn from his defeats. Likewise, prepare your boy to view wrestling (or any competition, for that matter) as a vehicle that will assist in guiding him down the road of life.

Yes, the challenges of living are many (getting good grades, succeeding in sports, advancing in a career, etc.). How your son later conducts himself as a man will have a lot to do with what you teach him as a boy.

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Updated October 7, 1998