West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on the Master Coach

What qualities do "master" coaches possess?

Recently, I read an athletic booklet dealing with the three most prominent coaching styles: indulgent, compromising, and authoritarian. The author stated that the compromising style was the best approach for coaching athletes. I consider this to be a "politically correct" belief conceived by the writer to appease those special interest segments of our contemporary society, because lifelong experiences as an athlete have taught me otherwise. Before I explain my point, consider these brief descriptions of each style:

To continue, I found the authoritarian style to be the most beneficial for developing sportsmanship and character in team members, and producing championship squads. The best coaches I ever had ran their athletic programs with very tight reins and seldom compromised. They also possessed the following personal traits:
- They were very knowledgeable.
- They knew how to motivate.
- They were firm, but fair when administering discipline.
- They displayed a sense of humor.

In my opinion, truly great coaches are 95-percent authoritarian, 5-percent compromising, and just forget indulgent. I'm sure if you were to list the outstanding coaches (and teachers) you were blessed with during your lifetime, you would agree with my observations.
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Updated December 15, 1997