Wrestler Support From Parents

Bella Vista philosophy about wrestling, how you can support it and give your wrestler the best chance to succeed...

The Bella Vista wrestling program has a very rich tradition. We've been a top 15 team in the state (1,000 California schools) several times, won 10 Section championships, and over 30 league championships. None of this was done with a "wrestling is everything" attitude. The fact is, wrestling/sports means very little in the big picture of these young peoples lives. Sports is supposed to be fun and challenging. Sports is supposed to be a chance to make life long habits. Habits of a work ethic, rising to challenges, overcoming challenges, good sportsmanship to others trying to do the same thing, working with others trying to do the same thing. What makes wrestling unique is that our children have to step on a line and face an opponent one on one who wants to literally attack us. This opponent can bend us, be physical with us, and it's within the rules. They have no teammate to help, it is a one on one battle. That by itself takes great courage. While we never want our kids to get into a fight, we do want our kids to be brave and to stand up and face fear, and to some measure be able to handle themselves. This being said, the only goal is that our kids walk away better people. So many students go home to play video games, hang out, nothing really to gain. Our kids go through practices that are about as hard as hard gets - physically battling as they practice wrestling, running sprints, running hill charges, lifting weights, and many other conditioning drills. Everyone knows it's hard to wrestle, most don't try, our kids do it every day. We should all be very proud. Like a farmers child going to school, then working very hard on the farm after school - it's hard, but a work ethic is being forged that will serve them for a lifetime.

So how can you support them at home? Try your best to not have comments on their wrestling skills, and even harder try not to comment on wins or losses. Have conversations about how proud you are of their efforts, and call them on it when they aren't putting in the effort - just don't comment on wrestling skills or the wins and losses. They are going to hear that stuff from the coaching staff. The coaching staff has planned the skills to be taught, and then implimented them into the daily practice schedule. The wrestler has a bug in their ear all season long about their wrestling skills. What the wrestler needs from you at home is support of the effort. The wrestlers need to feel safe that their performance on the field doesn't matter in terms of the support at home. While you mean to help them with comments about their wrestling, the wrestler starts to make the connection that if I don't succeed on the mat, I don't get the support at home or that they are a disappointment. You talk in terms of helping, all the athlete hears is "corrections from failed work". So let the wrestling staff be the critical person in their life asking them to do it better each day, and allow your wrestler to come home and just be your child, who you love unconditionally.