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Impact of a Coach
I have come to a frightening conclusion I am the decisive element in the wrestling room. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a coach, I possess tremendous power to make a wrestler's life miserable or joyous. I can be the tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and an athlete humanized or dehumanized.

Coach Miller's 10 Wrestling Principles

A philosophy of wrestling should be based on sound principles. Our wrestling philosophy is based on 10 principles, which we feel are necessary for successful wrestling.

Principle 1 A wrestler should be in condition to wrestle for six hard minutes. Many matches are lost in the third period when a wrestler becomes fatigued to the point that he is susceptible to making costly mistakes. It is for this reason that we work our boys to the level where they can wrestle at least two or three strenuous six-minute matches in the same manner that they would in a wrestling tournament.

Principle 2 A wrestler should be aggressive. We want our wrestlers to be on the offensive as much as possible when they are on their feet. It is felt that if a wrestler is aggressive on his feet, chances are he will be aggressive throughout the match in all positions.

Principle 3 A wrestler should be mean. We stress to our wrestlers that during a match an opponent is the enemy. It is all right to be friends with him before and after the match, but not during the match. We feel that toughness is related to aggressiveness and therefore we expect out boys to wrestle accordingly.

Principle 4 A wrestler should know what he is going to do before the referee blows the whistle. He should have in mind what initial move or series of moves he is going to make before the whistle blows. Many wrestlers simply do not think enough and therefore wrestle entirely too much by instinct.

Principle 5 A wrestler should move on the whistle. It is common sense that the wrestler, who moves first on the whistle whether he is up or down, generally has the advantage. We want our wrestlers to learn to anticipate the referee's whistle so they can beat their opponents to making the first move.

Principle 6 A wrestler should keep his head up at all times. We have observed that the wrestler who constantly keeps his head down in all positions is usually the one who loses or fails to achieve a particular move. In order for a wrestler to control his opponent's head, he must keep his head higher than his opponent's. This is particularly true when working for takedowns.

Principle 7 A wrestler should be mobile. We want our wrestlers to be constantly moving. When working for takedowns, we tell our wrestlers to circle, push and pull their opponents' head and arms to set them up for takedowns. We believe that standing in one spot, wasting time and waiting for the other man to shoot is simply not smart wrestling. We expect our wrestlers to be able to "shoot" at least 10 takedowns in a minute at practice. In addition, we want our boys to keep the pressure on their opponents in order to prevent them from getting to their base. It is important, therefore, that they learn how to use their weight and leverage effectively.

Principle 8 A wrestler should be able to execute combination moves. This principle is related to number seven in that we do not want our wrestlers to make one move and then stop if they are countered. We want to see them making two or more of the same or even different moves especially when the wrestler in the advantage situation counters them. These combination moves are to be performed without and hesitation or stopping between moves.

Principle 9 A wrestler should learn all the alternatives of every move he uses. For instance, if we want our wrestlers to learn a move such as a stand-up, they also would have to learn all its ramifications like counters, re-counters, and possible combination moves. When a wrestler learns the alternatives to moves in all situations, we feel that he will be well on the road to success.

Principle 10 A successful wrestler is a studious one. In order to become proficient at wrestling, a wrestler must be a student of the sport and continually strive to learn as much as he can. We Tell our wrestlers to observe good wrestlers in action, read the ample amount of good material on wrestling, and put into practice what they learn. Recent research has concluded that mental practice can be beneficial in the acquisition of physical skills and hence we tell our wrestlers to practice their wrestling skills mentally as well as physically.

These 10 fundamental principles form the foundation of our wrestling philosophy. We incorporate our philosophy into our practices, strategy, and style of wrestling. In the final analysis, we as coaches believe that wrestlers on all class levels should become familiar with these principles and use them wisely throughout their wrestling careers.


WWC Coaching Code of Conduct

The athlete/coach relationship is a privileged one. Coaches play a critical role in the personal as well as athletic development of their athletes. They must understand and respect the inherent power imbalance that exists in this relationship and must be extremely careful not to abuse it. Coaches must also recognize that they are conduits through which the values and goals of a sport organization are channeled. Thus how an athlete regards his/her sport is often dependent on the behavior of the coach. The following Code of Conduct has been developed to aid coaches in achieving a level of behavior, which will allow them to assist their athletes in becoming well-rounded, self confident and productive human beings.

  • Treat everyone fairly within the context of the sport, regardless of gender, place of origin, race, color, religion, athletic potential, political belief, economic status, age or any other conditions.
  • Direct comments or criticism at the performance rather than the athlete. Provide feedback to athletes and other participants in a caring manner that is sensitive to their needs.
  • Consistently display high personal standards and project a favorable image of the sport of wrestling and of coaching.
    1. Refrain from public criticism of fellow coaches; especially when speaking to the media or recruiting athletes.
    2. Abstain from the use of tobacco products while in the presence of his/her athletes and discourage their use by athletes.
    3. Abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages when working with his/her athletes and discourage their use by athletes.
    4. Refrain from the use of profane, insulting, harassing or otherwise offensive language in the conduct of his/her duties.
  • Ensure that the activity being undertaken is suitable for the age, experience, ability and fitness level of the athletes and educate athletes as to their responsibilities in contributing to a safe environment.
  • Give athletes the opportunity to discuss, contribute and to agree with proposed training and performance standards. Provide athletes with information necessary to be involved in the decisions that affect them.
  • Be responsible for achieving a high level of professional competence through appropriate training. Keep themselves up to date with relevant information on coaching skills and techniques.
  • Communicate and cooperate with registered medical practitioners in the diagnoses, treatment and management of their athletes' medical and psychological problems. Consider the athletes' future health and well being as foremost when making decisions regarding an injured athletes' ability to continue wrestling or training.
  • Recognize and accept when to refer athletes to other coaches or sport specialists. Allow athletes' goals to take precedence over their own.
  • Treat opponents and officials with due respect, both in victory and defeat, and encourage athletes to act accordingly. Actively encourage athletes to uphold the rules of wrestling.
  • Communicate and cooperate with the athlete's parents or legal guardians, involving them in management decisions pertaining to their child's development.
  • Be aware of significant pressures in athletes' lives, e.g., family and financial, and coach in a manner that fosters positive life experiences. Be aware of the academic pressures on student-athletes and conduct practices in a manner so as to allow academic success.
  • Honor all promises and commitments, both verbal and written.

Not exploit any relationship established as a coach to further personal, political or business interests at the expense of the best interests of their athletes or other participants in wrestling. (I.e. Conflict of Interest)


Coaches must:
  • Ensure the safety of the athletes with whom they work.
  • Respect athlete's dignity; verbal or physical behaviors that constitute harassment or abuse are unacceptable.
  • Never advocate or condone the use of drugs or other banned performance enhancing substances.
  • Never contribute to the abuse of alcohol or tobacco products by athletes.
  • Behave in a professional manner at all competitions.

If a coach is in violation of the terms of this Coaching Code of Ethics the coach may be subject to disciplinary action which may include: a reprimand; fine; withdrawal of funding; suspension; dismissal; or a combination of such actions.

Possible infractions and sanctions are not limited to those outlined above.


Our goal for our program is to be complimented for our "humane" treatment of the referee. However, this might say the most, NOT of what WE do, but of the way too many coaches treat referees.

For the following reasons, the coaching staff at WWC believes they are "out of line" if they argue with or verbally criticize the referee:

Referees are adults with the same feelings as everyone else. No one likes to be criticized and humiliated... ESPECIALLY in public.

If the referee does make a mistake, we try to remember that we as coaches make many mistakes as well as do our wrestlers. He is doing the best job he can do.

A referee has a very difficult job. We often expect to make instant perfect judgments every time. It does not HELP him to do a good job when a coach is yelling at him during a match. It only adds stress. Who does well under those circumstances?

We believe our job is to coach our athletes... NOT to be referee critics! We think we should do our job... and the referee should be left alone to do his.

Most times yelling at the referee is no more than a display of poor sportsmanship. When things don't go the way he would like them to, the coach often unloads on the nearest easiest target. This seems to be more a lack of self-control than anything else.

A coach's demeanor usually affects the behavior of the fans. We do not want to be responsible for "teaching" poor sportsmanship to those who follow our team.

We have told our wrestlers that winning is our responsibility. "Don't expect a referee to win a match for you!" is something our wrestlers know. For us to complain and "bellyache" means that we don't believe what we say.

We have told our wrestlers that winning is our responsibility. "Don't expect a referee to win a match for you!" is something our wrestlers know. For us to complain and "bellyache" means that we don't believe what we say.

If this referee quits, who will replace him? It will undoubtedly be someone less qualified and with less experience. Is this what we want?

Finally, we should always think, "If it was just me and the referee in my living room, how would I treat him?" Hopefully, it would be with courtesy and respect. In a gymnasium during the heat of competition, he should be treated no differently. Those are stripes on his shirt... NOT A TARGET! Should I not treat him, as I would like to be treated myself? (Sound strangely familiar, doesn't it? A voice from the past perhaps.)

Water or Coke?

We all know that water is important but I've never seen it written down like this before.


  1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.(Likely applies to half world population)
  2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.
  3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.
  4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a U-Washington study.
  5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
  6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.
  7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.
  8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%, and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.

Are you drinking the amount of water you should every day?


  1. In many states (in the USA) the highway patrol carries two gallons of Coke in the truck to remove blood from the highway after a car accident.
  2. You can put a T-bone steak in a bowl of coke and it will be gone in two days.
  3. To clean a toilet: Pour a can of Coca-Cola into the toilet bowl and let the "real thing" sit for one hour, then flush clean. The citric acid in Coke removes stains from vitreous china.
  4. To remove rust spots from chrome car bumpers: Rub the bumper with a rumpled-up piece of Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil dipped in Coca-Cola.
  5. To clean corrosion from car battery terminals: Pour a can of Coca-Cola over the terminals to bubble away the corrosion.
  6. To loosen a rusted bolt: Applying a cloth soaked in Coca-Cola to the rusted bolt for several minutes.
  7. To bake a moist ham: Empty a can of Coca-Cola into the baking pan, wrap the ham in aluminum foil, and bake. Thirty minutes before the ham is finished, remove the foil, allowing the drippings to mix with the Coke for a sumptuous brown gravy.
  8. To remove grease from clothes: Empty a can of coke into a load of greasy clothes, add detergent, and run through a regular cycle. The Coca-Cola will help loosen grease stains. It will also clean road haze from your windshield.


  1. The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. Its pH is 2.8. It will dissolve a nail in about 4 days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase in osteoporosis.
  2. To carry Coca-Cola syrup (the concentrate) the commercial truck must use the Hazardous material place cards reserved for Highly corrosive materials.
  3. The distributors of coke have been using it to clean the engines of their trucks for about 20 years!

Now the question is, would you like a glass of water or coke?

Wrestlers Diet

With the start of every season, there is always renewed interest in nutrition. Whether the focus is on dropping to a lower weight or staying strong through a proper diet, wrestlers always have many questions on what they should eat.

Judy Nelson, Nutrition Coordinator for the United States Olympic Committee helps America's elite athletes achieve success at the highest levels of competition. USA Wrestling's coaching staff relies on her expertise on a regular basis. Her suggestions should be high priorities for wrestlers and coaches trying to establish proper nutrition in a daily diet.

Step one: Switch to skim

Switching to skim milk can make a dramatic difference in caloric and fat intake for any individual. In an eight ounce glass of reduced fat 2% milk there is 122 calories with 4.7 grams of fat. In low fat 1% milk, there are 102 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. A wrestler that switches to skim milk takes in 86 calories and .4 grams of fat per eight ounce glass.

Clearly there is a benefit in switching over to skim milk. An eight ounce glass is generally smaller than what most people consume in a sitting these days. So, the benefit can be even further magnified.

Step two: Lots of fruit

in speaking to Ms Nelson about the importance of fruit in a diet, she sees benefits varying from fruit to fruit. "Bananas and oranges are very important because of the Vitamin C they provide. Melons are high in Vitamin A and blueberries are also great." So, when adding fruit to a diet variety can be an important factor to consider.

Step three: Juice over pop

Pop provides nothing of value to for a wrestler's body to run off of. There are no nutrients to digest. Further, youthful consumers have gotten hooked on oversized drinks. A wrestler should definitely consider the numbers before they grab a soda. Eight ounces of pop has about 140 calories. The "average" pop serving has increased in size, with many people drinking as much as 24 ounces of pop in one sitting. Using a caloric intake of 4200 calories a day, 24 ounces of pop would be 420 calories or nearly 20 percent of the energy intake for the day. Throw in the fact that it has no nutritional value; coaches and wrestlers should see that fruit juice is a much better beverage to reach for.

Step four: Baked Potatoes

Baked potatoes are an easily prepared food that should become a staple in a wrestler's diet. Don't forget to eat the skin though. According to Nelson, the baked potato has almost no fat and a minimal amount of sodium with a good supply of complex carbohydrates.

Of course a wrestler's nutritional training can run afoul if the potato is loaded down with condiments like butter and sour cream. A wrestling secret in eating a potato is adding water to the potato. Wrestlers know that baked potatoes can be dry, so the best thing to do is re-hydrate it. After breaking it open and smashing it with a fork pour a little more water on it and it won't taste as dry.

Step five: Maintain Variety.

Once again Judy Nelson's nutritional point is very simple. "No one food has everything a wrestler needs." Variety in food, even in a specific food group is important. Don't rely on one food, to supply all of the vitamins and nutrients needed for day-to-day health. Remove the junk from the diet, but maintain variety.

Step six: Lots of water.

Staying properly hydrated is difficult for the average person. For an active athlete it can be very hard to stay hydrated without a conscious effort. Nelson offers that fluid needs can be estimated at 1 milliliter per calorie. So in a 3000 calorie a day diet an individual would need to three liters of fluid.

Generally speaking water is overlooked as an important part of good nutrition. One old standard is 64 ounces of water consumption a day. Although Nelson states that this is not very scientific, it is probably well above what most wrestlers are consuming daily. Clearly wrestlers work hard and perspire significantly so wrestlers should work to replace the lost fluid. Water replacement is a critical part of a nutritional plan for a wrestler.

Step seven: The secret of egg whites

Wrestlers need to understand where hunger pains come from. Foods that are high in sugar, for example, are broken down quickly after consumption. So, while a candy bar might taste good, its satisfaction is limited because it is broken down before other foods that contain higher amounts of protein.

If wrestlers want to maintain a fuller feeling for a longer duration they need to look to having a diet with good protein. Egg whites are a common source of quality protein. Additionally, egg whites contain no fat. Throw the yolk away, that's a whole other topic.

Wrestlers can prepare egg whites easily by boiling up a dozen eggs and storing them in the refrigerator. Egg whites contain about 3.5 grams of protein each. Encourage wrestlers to make use of this source of protein.

Step eight: High fiber is highly important

again variety is certainly important for wrestlers focusing on proper nutrition. Fiber is one part of a good daily diet. Judy Nelson encourages wrestlers to make a high fiber cereal part of their daily food consumption. Cereals like All Bran and breads can be good sources of fiber. In checking the nutrition panel on cereal or bread try to find a product that has at least three grams of fiber per serving. Don't be deceived by the packaging or the name, make sure to check the nutritional outline.

Step Nine: Don't rely on meat

Protein is a highly important element for good nutrition for athletes. But a person does not have to rely only on meat to get good sources of protein. There are many soy -based products and dairy products that can work just as well as red meat does for protein. Wrestlers should consider trying legumes such as black beans and pinto beans as protein sources. Again variety can help in nutrition and make it easier to maintain a positive outlook when a person watches what they eat.

Step Ten: Plan for after the weigh-in

Wrestlers after making weight need to focus on foods that will help recover and won't adversely affect performance. Foods with fat are definitely slower digesting. Carbohydrates can be easier on a wrestler's stomach. Foods like applesauce, crackers, and cereal can be easily digested and aid in recovery. After making weight don't let a lapse in judgment affect your performance, plan ahead and shoot for smaller portions spread throughout the tournament day.

Reaching a high level of achievement requires mental focus on all aspects of a wrestler's performance. Proper nutrition can be an area that can really help a wrestler attain their goals. Of course being a wrestler, in a junk food culture will hold anyone back. So, please take the ten simple suggestions to heart. Make use of the same nutritional training that athletes in the Olympics rely on.