Being a successful wrestling coach requires more than experience and the ability to teach the proper techniques and maneuvers for every situation. You also need to understand how to motivate and inspire your wrestlers. Wrestling is such a physically demanding sport that you need to be able to convince your players that their hard work day-in and day-out during practice will be worth it. Unfortunately, this is not as easy as just telling them to trust you. You need to show them and lead by example.

We asked CoachUp Wrestling Coach Victor S. if there are any qualities the best coaches he’s encountered share, and he immediately responded, “Being a good coach means being a great leader. This is because great leaders are able to get their players motivated, excited, and eager to succeed.” When asked how he suggests coaches go about earning the respect of their athletes, Victor says, “Great coaches do this by leading, not dictating. A great wrestling coach conveys excellence in everything; being not just the best coach, but the best man that he can be.” To Victor, wrestling is more than just a sport, but also a way of life, which can teach principles that can be applied both on and off the mat. If you want to be a great coach you need to be teaching not just athletic lessons, but life lessons.

It is important you don’t rely too heavily on the techniques that worked in motivating yourself as an athlete. Don’t assume that your players will be motivated in the same manner, because in all likelihood they won’t be. Your players are individuals, so you must adapt how you inspire each of them on an athlete-by-athlete basis.