West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Finishing What You Start

Whatever happened to "Finish what you start?"

A number of years ago my dad expressed his feelings toward sports and life. Basically, he stressed to me two very important points -- "Don't give up when times are tough" and Don't make excuses." It's too bad many parents and their teenagers today don't live by such rules. In my opinion, our society would be in much better shape if they did. However, a large number of adults and their children have found a new slogan--"Take the easy way out." Consider the following examples.

--"Is this class too hard for you, honey? Then drop it and sign up for an easier one."
--"You say the coach yelled at you and you didn't make the varsity squad. Then quit!"
--"Your marriage of one year is on the rocks because the two of you can't make financial ends meet. Then of course, get a divorce."

Now listen to what one wrestling high school coach said when 11 of his young sophomores handed in their wrestling gear because they couldn't take the practice sessions. "If these kids are any indication of the kind of young men who are going to be around in the future, then it's my contention that if we ever get into another war, it had better be a "push button" one. These are the same type of kids who will race to their guidance counselors to complain about their teachers when things don't go their way in the classroom. And as long as mom and dad keep filling their pockets with quarters so that they can play Pac-Man, this problem will not get better." I guess this sounds like "sour grapes" from a coach whose losing streak has finally got to him. Not hardly. These words were those of the late Rod Oldham, the ultra-successful coach for the Parkersburg South "Patriots."

So, the next time you contemplate telling your son or daughter that it is okay to quit, remember this comentary and the "bad habit" you'd be teaching your child.

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Updated October 22, 1998