Kudda. Why Coaching Matters.

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Wrestling Parents

One of the worst experiences as a sports parent was the year my son, Kyle, wrestled when he was in the 1st grade. We’d go to these all day tourneys. Get there at 6:30 am for weighins… first match starts at 8:45. Over 15 seconds later as Kyle gets pinned by a kid 7 years older but who weighs the same as a 1st grader. Next match is at 11:00. That too, is over 30 seconds later as Kyle gets pinned again. Next match 2:30. This time Kyle pins his guy in 20 seconds. Last match starts at 5:30 and once again Kyle gets pinned in under 15 seconds.
Hours spent at a wrestling match…12.
Total time watching your son wrestle… 90 seconds.
Watching him get turned into a pretzel… priceless.
Well not quite a Mastercard moment.

Of all of the sports to watch your kid play, wrestling was the most difficult to watch. There is this incredible anxiety of who is he going to wrestle? “Oh please let it be a girly boy!” Please let him wrestle the kid who flops on the ground and giggles every time someone touches him. (That was me during my brief but notable wrestling career) Unfortunately most times it was the tall lanky farmboy w/ the crew cut who proceeds to
introduce Kyle’s right ear to the back of his left ankle. It took every ounce of restraint for me to stop from running onto the mat and smacking that kid around. As I’m watching this I’m thinking to myself, ”What if he is in the army and has to be able to do hand-to-hand combat, he’s going to die!” Needless to say that wrestling was a one year experiment in humility.

My hats off to all of you wrestling parents out there. Not only are you dedicated and willing to spend entire weekends at meets, but you control the anxiety that you must fell before every match. That’s a lot of control!!!

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