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Jan Report






NM High School and Youth Coaches and Leaders,

​Below, please find my most recent update for the Coaches of USAW’s Southern Plains.  I’m not sure who’s interested in the scheduling of the Pan American SchoolBoys / SchoolGirlsevent, or in the Fargo schedule.  It’s there, if you want it.

​I do hope you can make some small use of the sections of prevention and working referees.  With it, please accept my Best wishes for you and your athletes, as we continue our journey toward the State Championship.  RD


Coaches and Leaders,

​It’s Showtime in the scholastic season !  Everyone, from kids club through high school to university, is into the money month of our competitive season.  Everything we do in January has a huge impact on our February and March outcomes.  

Maybe, the most important thing I offer in this update is to say a heartfelt THANK YOU.  The things you do for kids make a difference.  There are a lot of things kind of messed up, in the world today.  Wrestling’s not one of them.

​I hope you got the very most of the Holiday Season.  I appreciate how important all our families are, with the intensity of our chosen lifestyle.  Remember how lucky you are to have them !

​Business-wise, I have only a few items:  Some helpful reminders about “Little Things”; Notes on our most recent conference-call meeting; and a little philosophy on “Working” referees effectively.

​With the significance of January events, none of us can afford to give up Ticky-Tack points.  Knowing that we, as coaches, get caught up in “Bigger” worries, let me offer some reminders, hoping to save you some grief.  Much of this is pointed at High School competition, but I think we can all use it.

​If you haven’t already, ask your kids, “Who got new shoes for Christmas ?”  Take a minute to remind everyone about the rules related to SECURING OUR LACES.  There’s an emphasis on laces, this season.  Better safe than sorry.

​With the social life of the holidays and maturity, many high school athletes change their hair styles and facial hair, this time of year.  Taking a minute to remind the whole room about these rules, and the reasons for them, can prevent a blow up at weigh ins or on the mat.  

​Skin checks are as critical as Grade checks, as we near the climax of the season.  Make sure one of your coaches is assigned to this task, DAILY.  

​This one is not rule, but still can prevent you some grief with excessive bleeding.  Living where we do, many of our kids (especially in rural areas) live in wood-burning homes.  Even with central heat, we still lose a lot of humidity in the depth of winter.  Watch during practice.  See if your group is bleeding more than they were, early in the season.  Suggest to kids and parents that your athletes use a dab of plain old Vasoline, on the end of a pinky finger, to lubricate those capillaries in their nasal cavity, morning and bedtime.  It works !




​During our December Coaches Council Call, we reviewed and continued much of our November discussion.  Of note, we learned that the Pan American SchoolBoys / Girls event will be held in AUGUST, rather than October, as previously reported.  There is no perfect time for age group events.  Still, the August 17 – 19 date is much better for American kids than October ! The Pan Ams will be hosted in Santiago, Chile.

​As I mentioned in my November update, the Council had some pretty heated discussion regarding Fargo 2017.  Our Region Director, Mike Juby, asked me to clarify…  That schedule IS locked in.  No further negotiation is needed or appropriate.  That being said, I still need you to know that the National Coaches Council is interested and maintaining a “Lively” discussion about Fargo, both short term and long term.

​We will continue to keep an ear to the ground and advocate for constant definition of Best Practice in event planning and promotion and their service to our athletes.  Your thoughtful input is always welcomed and appreciated.


​Speaking of “Input being Appreciated”, haven’t you noticed that those of us with experience in the Freestyle / Greco Roman world have just a little better success communicating with referees, during the scholastic season ?  I’m sure there are a lot of variables that play into this.  We certainly need to capitalize on it !

​It could be as simple as the fact that we just see more wrestling than our folkstyle-only peers.  Perhaps we’re used to a tad higher level of intensity, with more chips on the table.  For kids, though, there’s no such thing as an insignificant match.  They always have chips on the table.

​I hope our advantage is the way we coach and prepare.  I hope our experience in the Olympic styles helps us instill a more honest swagger in our kids.  I hope we carry ourselves in a way that encourages the confidence to overcome and discourages the tendency to panic.

​I believe most of us start and end our communication with referees with the goal of making the entire experience better for everybody in it.  Experience tells us we’re never getting a bad call back, but we do have some minor influence over the rest of the match and event.

​If what I just said feels natural to you… Congratulations ! You’re offering one more tiny intangible to your kids’ success.  If it’s foreign to you… don’t hate me for calling you out !  Just remember that, when we recruited the kid, we promised Mom and Dad that we would teach them to cope with adversity.  All of us can keep growing better at Walking our Talk.


Happy New Year !  I hope 2017 is a Great one for you, your family and the Athletes you serve.  





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