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  #1  
Old 03-19-18, 11:47 AM
queencitybuckeye queencitybuckeye is offline
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Why so many great wrestlers/excellent coaches?

In most sports, there's very little correlation between how good a player was and how good a coach is. Often the really good coaches never played their sport at a high level or were average at best, while a lot of the great players are bad to terrible coaches. Wrestling seems to be the glaring exception to this, where there are several names that can be mentioned that were/are top-level at both. What might be the reasons for this?
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  #2  
Old 03-19-18, 12:08 PM
bulldowg_Wrestling19 bulldowg_Wrestling19 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queencitybuckeye View Post
In most sports, there's very little correlation between how good a player was and how good a coach is. Often the really good coaches never played their sport at a high level or were average at best, while a lot of the great players are bad to terrible coaches. Wrestling seems to be the glaring exception to this, where there are several names that can be mentioned that were/are top-level at both. What might be the reasons for this?
IMO because wrestling is different than other sports. Guys like Randy Moss, Lebron James, and Tyreek Hill can't teach how to be fast and athletic, so they won't make a good coach because things come easy to them. Sure there are a lot of fast and athletic wrestlers as well, but that can be outworked on a wrestling mat, you can't outwork someone who is faster than everyone else, or more athletic than everyone else. Wrestlers have to grind and spend thousands of hours doing what they do to be great. I know those professional athletes above are also hard workers and put in their time, but we all know
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Old 03-19-18, 12:14 PM
CoachHoversten CoachHoversten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bulldowg_Wrestling19 View Post
IMO because wrestling is different than other sports. Guys like Randy Moss, Lebron James, and Tyreek Hill can't teach how to be fast and athletic, so they won't make a good coach because things come easy to them. Sure there are a lot of fast and athletic wrestlers as well, but that can be outworked on a wrestling mat, you can't outwork someone who is faster than everyone else, or more athletic than everyone else. Wrestlers have to grind and spend thousands of hours doing what they do to be great. I know those professional athletes above are also hard workers and put in their time, but we all know
This is actually a fantastic answer Bulldowg. As a teacher of Math, I often tell students when asked "why did you want to teach Math?" that I teach it because I struggled with it for a long time, and finally had a good teacher that changed my life and viewpoint, and I want to pay it forward.

I don't think I could teach English, even though I wrote really good papers and essays, because it came naturally to me. I didn't have to think it through, dissect it, I could just type/write away and always get A's and B's.

Great example about Lebron...if you could just coach that talent, everyone would be Lebron's.
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Old 03-19-18, 12:16 PM
OCEagle OCEagle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by queencitybuckeye View Post
In most sports, there's very little correlation between how good a player was and how good a coach is. Often the really good coaches never played their sport at a high level or were average at best, while a lot of the great players are bad to terrible coaches. Wrestling seems to be the glaring exception to this, where there are several names that can be mentioned that were/are top-level at both. What might be the reasons for this?
mostly because it is an individual sport with specific techniques that can be taught and implemented. Training techniques that work, nutrition, buying into the lifestyle of a wrestler, etc. Pure team sports are a lot different where everyone has a role to play in order to create the best "ensemble" with each guy performing at a top level in the particular role they have on the team.

Pretty difficult to do that if you have not wrestled at a very high level - unless you can find assistants to teach it while the head coach becomes "the CEO". I think there are also a number of cases where very good wrestlers have not made very good coaches.
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  #5  
Old 03-19-18, 12:20 PM
Suplexer130 Suplexer130 is online now
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Originally Posted by OCEagle View Post
I think there are also a number of cases where very good wrestlers have not made very good coaches.
The issue that probably needs defined is what is considered "really good" for both competing credentials and results as a coach?

I lean more towards, we aren't as different as other sports as some here believe depending on how we define each of the above.
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  #6  
Old 03-19-18, 01:11 PM
bulldowg_Wrestling19 bulldowg_Wrestling19 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoachHoversten View Post
This is actually a fantastic answer Bulldowg. As a teacher of Math, I often tell students when asked "why did you want to teach Math?" that I teach it because I struggled with it for a long time, and finally had a good teacher that changed my life and viewpoint, and I want to pay it forward.

I don't think I could teach English, even though I wrote really good papers and essays, because it came naturally to me. I didn't have to think it through, dissect it, I could just type/write away and always get A's and B's.

Great example about Lebron...if you could just coach that talent, everyone would be Lebron's.
Exactly.

It's why small college football players, or guys who barely sniffed the field in college always make good coaches. They have to think about everything and how to get better at it. Lebron doesn't have to think about a lot of things because it comes so natural to him and he has a body and athleticism basketball has never seen before. Same thing for Tyreek Hill. You cannot teach someone to be that fast, and you can get away with not working hard when you're that fast, sometimes.
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  #7  
Old 03-19-18, 02:07 PM
Huge Huge is offline
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Most good coaches, in any sport, were very good at their sport. Just because injuries limited Terry Francona doesn't mean he wasn't highly skilled and isn't highly knowledgeable. Also, I don't know who Tryeke Hil is but you insult Lebron James with your comments. I guarantee you know one in the league out works him. This guys is the hardest working , most dedicated player in the league. Most of the best are. Don't begrudge them their athleticism but the world is full of talented failures (Ryan Lief, Johnny Manziel). Back to the original question, I think the best coaches in college were very good (all-American or better college werstlers) and the best in highschool were often D1 strarters atleast or maybe very successful at a smaller college. Its not a guarantee because one needs to be a leader and a teacher to but I would expect the successful coach and the successful wrester share many f the same qualities. Plus unlike other sports, they get out on the mat and wrestle with the kids.
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  #8  
Old 03-19-18, 03:57 PM
Cramer Cramer is offline
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James Green tweeted not that long ago on this topic and thought differently. Tervel had a nice response as well. It was a very good discussion with quality wrestlers weighing in on this. You can see IMAR got in on the discussion too saying he'd love to see a coaches panel/ discussion on this topic from the best in the biz.

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  #9  
Old 03-19-18, 04:25 PM
Huge Huge is offline
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I guess we need to define high school or college coaches and let's agree to stick to wrestling. Then define what having a successful career as a competitor is? I mean TR was a two time all-American and he's good. Cael, Brands, Pat Smith, the ASU guy, McFarland were all successful on the world level and they are great coaches. In high school, Jeff Jordan, John Heffernan, and Eric Burnett are 3 of the best in Ohio and I'd argue the country, they all had great success in high school and college. So, I don't think being a national or world champ or state champ is the cause of success or failure at the coaching level. It boils down to can you relate, can you teach, can you lead, can you inspire. Personal success gives one a foundation or "street cred" but its the wrestler's belief/trust confidence that the coach knows what's
best and wants what's best and will lead them to success is what makes the wrestler respond to a coach. The more they trust a coach and they believe in them and their system the better the success of the wrestle and of the coach.
So its more about trust and communication than anything.
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  #10  
Old 03-19-18, 05:34 PM
Blast82.5 Blast82.5 is offline
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I'm gonna say this thread is an example of "availability bias," plus some sort of tautological arguement. The guys who are successful coaches and were also very successful athletes are very visible ("available" to our minds). Get past Cael, Tom R, Brands, John Smith, and 50 others, and look at DII and DIII levels, and see if you reach the same conclusion.

The tautological part is that if they were NOT good coaches, they would not be in D1 positions, or have the best HS teams, etc. They would have washed out, and moved on to something else. Another way to look at it would be to list all great wrestlers, and then ask how many of them are also great coaches (not the other way around). Do the same for other sports, and then compare. Probably a lot more work than ...

Or, think of guys who were NOT great in teh sport, but had strong programs ... and compare that list to other sports to see if the "great athlete = great coach" theorum still holds.

An exception to the theory: Howard Ferguson who built the St. Eds program in the 70's -80's.
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  #11  
Old 03-19-18, 07:18 PM
Cramer Cramer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast82.5 View Post
I'm gonna say this thread is an example of "availability bias," plus some sort of tautological arguement. The guys who are successful coaches and were also very successful athletes are very visible ("available" to our minds). Get past Cael, Tom R, Brands, John Smith, and 50 others, and look at DII and DIII levels, and see if you reach the same conclusion.

The tautological part is that if they were NOT good coaches, they would not be in D1 positions, or have the best HS teams, etc. They would have washed out, and moved on to something else. Another way to look at it would be to list all great wrestlers, and then ask how many of them are also great coaches (not the other way around). Do the same for other sports, and then compare. Probably a lot more work than ...

Or, think of guys who were NOT great in teh sport, but had strong programs ... and compare that list to other sports to see if the "great athlete = great coach" theorum still holds.

An exception to the theory: Howard Ferguson who built the St. Eds program in the 70's -80's.
If yappi had a like button feature, you sir would get a like from me with this post.

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  #12  
Old 03-19-18, 09:04 PM
Huge Huge is offline
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I I wrestled for Ferguson and he was more CEO than coach. He created the blue print and the culture. Tim Welch and slot of others (Brian Millick, Don Murphy, Dave Holian ) taught the technique . He brought in legendary strength coach Joe Terebenic but he wasnít the one teaching technique and wrestling with the guys. Just as Urbas isnít that guy now but Heffernan and others are. Point is Great or good and or great wrestlers are generally pretty successful at anything they put their mind to and that my friends just might be the whole point.
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  #13  
Old 03-20-18, 10:37 AM
bulldowg_Wrestling19 bulldowg_Wrestling19 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huge View Post
I I wrestled for Ferguson and he was more CEO than coach. He created the blue print and the culture. Tim Welch and slot of others (Brian Millick, Don Murphy, Dave Holian ) taught the technique . He brought in legendary strength coach Joe Terebenic but he wasnít the one teaching technique and wrestling with the guys. Just as Urbas isnít that guy now but Heffernan and others are. Point is Great or good and or great wrestlers are generally pretty successful at anything they put their mind to and that my friends just might be the whole point.
Great head coaches are almost universally good at one thing in particular: facilitating. They're their for their vision, intelligence, goals, leadership, organization, motivation, and dedication. They know what they're good at, what they need from their assistants, how to reach their wrestlers, and what to do in practice. They bring in coaches to fulfill everything above. As you said, creating the blueprint and culture is the hardest part, and what makes a great coach great. Guys who know a ton of technique are much easier to find than a head coach like Ferguson is.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-18, 11:04 PM
innoshape innoshape is offline
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What Iíve gathered so far from above thanks to Huge and Bulldog and others on some criteria of what makes a great coach (I added 2c):
Relate- you know how to get through to the kids
Teach- Intelligence (Technique) and always a student of the sport
Lead- Vision, Organized, Role model, Sportsmanship
Inspire- Motivate, Goal-setting for Team and Individuals
Culture- Create a positive one and stay the course
Community- Solicit all available resources- School, Boosters & Community & repay with Community Service


Dedication
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Old 03-21-18, 06:40 AM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innoshape View Post
What I’ve gathered so far from above thanks to Huge and Bulldog and others on some criteria of what makes a great coach (I added 2c):
Relate- you know how to get through to the kids
Teach- Intelligence (Technique) and always a student of the sport
Lead- Vision, Organized, Role model, Sportsmanship
Inspire- Motivate, Goal-setting for Team and Individuals
Culture- Create a positive one and stay the course
Community- Solicit all available resources- School, Boosters & Community & repay with Community Service


Dedication
When talking college, you need to add 2 that go to the very top of the list. Recruiting and fund raising.
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Old 03-21-18, 08:43 AM
innoshape innoshape is offline
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ProV: Right on! 100% agree when talking college wrestling Recruiting has to be at the top with fundraising.
Like a business, if you don't have a good product or capital, you go under.
Which brings up another criteria:
Sound judgment & discretion in hiring excellent assistants to delegate duties such as recruiting. Great coaches know their limits, set aside egos, they recognize that they cannot do everything themselves, and delegate to trusty talented assistants to handle tasks and flourish.
My best example is Coach Ryan brought in Anthony Ralph for whatever reason(s) even though he was doing a great job himself

Last edited by innoshape; 03-21-18 at 08:57 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-18, 10:32 AM
ProV1 ProV1 is offline
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College coaching success can be boiled down to 4 things in order:

1. Recruiting - Look at the NCAA top 5 the last 10 years and then look at the recruiting rankings. You might notice a correlation.
2. Fund Raising - If you have not noticed, wrestling has joined the other major sports as an arms race. Facilities, RTC's, assistant coaches cost money. Flo did a piece last year on finances and you will see another correlation between best funded and highest finishing. Also, notice that programs that can not sustain themselves at least partially, run the risk of being dropped.
3. Create a culture - Good points being made on burnout. A positive culture that kids want to be a part of is critical.
4. Teaching/Technique - Sure it is important but I chuckle when I see folks over emphasize. A good head coach surrounds himself with good technical assistants but at college level, success is as much mental as physical.
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Old 03-22-18, 05:25 AM
wlpdrpat wlpdrpat is offline
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I've had good coaches, bad coaches, mediocre coaches and great coaches.
My experience says Great Coaches are Great Coaches and Great Athletes are Great Athletes but being one doesn't necessitate the other.

One of my favorite analogies for coaching is Golf. (if you are not familiar with that sport then I do apologize but you should get the point)

If a person's handicap is 25 or greater then 95% of coaches will help them to improve their game but 5% would make their game worse.

If a person's handicap is 15-25 then 75% of coaches will help them improve but 25% would make them worse.

If a person's handicap is 10-15 then 50% of coaches will help them but 50% will make them worse.

If a person's handicap is 6-10 then 25% of coaches will help but 75% will make them worse.

If a person's handicap is 3-6 then 10% of coaches will help but 90% will make them worse.

If a person's handicap is 1-3 then 5% of coaches will help but 95% will make them worse.

If a person's handicap is less than 1 the 1% of coaches will help but 99% will make them worse.

In golf who spends more money on coaching; the 25 handicap or the less than 1 handicap?

And who spends more hours/week practicing?

So, how does that relate to wrestling? Wrestler's very seldom can improve beyond what is in their wrestling room. In the vast majority of cases the level of competition in their workouts and the coaching available to them dictates the maximum that they can achieve and great coaches know that and get their kids to go to clubs and camps or start running their own.

Great coaches create a competitive environment where the toughest matches you will have all year are in your wrestling room. When your workout partners are state champs, national champs and world champs you will rise to the occasion. Similarly, if your workout partners are going out in 2 at sectionals then you are likely to follow suit. Great coaches know this and bring in graduates and college wrestlers to beat on their wrestlers to help them rise to the occasion.

Great coaches inspire kids to work hard during practice and to put in extra time in the mornings and evenings for conditioning and strength building.

Great coaches build their varsity years in advance by having a strong youth program.

Great coaches consistently create great athletes.

Why are the vast majority of NCAA wrestling coaches NCAA champs because Universities use that as one of their top criteria. Does that automatically make them a great coach - absolutely not.
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