West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Success as a Coach

No dedicated wrestling coach should ever think his efforts are in vain.

Many years ago I had the worst wrestling team that anyone could ever imagine. We lost all our dual meets by wide margins, and not one of my wrestlers placed in a tournament that season. The year seemed to last forever; it was exquisite agony!

During this stetch in mentor hades, I constantly tried to get my grapplers to believe in themselves and their abilities. But nothing seemed to work. In the end, I began to "second guess" myself and even considered the possibility of hanging up my coaching whistle.

Well, a few summers ago the fruits of my labor were finally realized. I received a long distance phone call from Florida. It was from a former wrestler of mine (let's refer to him as "Bob"), who who participated on the varsity squad greviously noted above. Bob is presently a wrestling coach and he phoned to tell me that he, too, was faced with a team of "non-believers." In 1984, his matmen won only one match and had lots of blisters on their back. But then Bob proudly asserted, "I kept emphasizing what you taught us, and it paid off. This year we went undefeated and won our league championship!"

So, coaches, don't give up the "faith," because some rewards are slow in coming.

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Updated December 24, 1998