TURF WARS, KIDS NATIONALS & FARGO TEAM NM GEAR BUNDLE
TEAM NM GEAR FOR SINGLE PURCHASE
MAY 31, 2023
TO: SOUTHERN PLAINS COACHES, OFFICIALS & LEADERSFR: RUSTY DAVIDSON
RE: NATIONAL COACHES’ COUNCIL UPDATE: SAFESPORT AUDITS
Coaches, Officials and Leaders,
We’re in for an exciting weekend ! Our Regional Championship in Mulvane completes the cycle of 2023 regional competition. We’ve saved the best for last !
I know we’ve all done a great job preparing athletes for the physical challenge of regional competition. In preparing emotionally and cognitively, please mention a couple of bullet points we learned on yesterday’s State Leader call.
First, we learned that regional participation is up 30% across the board. We must anticipate a similar boost in numbers. This impacts every group of stakeholders and their preparation.
Talk to athletes about longer sessions and wait times. Include parents in this conversation. Information is power. In preparation, we can take a little of the edge off anxious parents, which eases the stress their kids have to cope with. Every little bit helps !
Share the “Plan” with Coaching Staff. Make sure everyone is sharing the load of fatigue management. Discover the quiet places in the building where individual coaches can decompress a little. Stay hydrated !
Be aware of the increased demand on referees. Play to win ! What I mean by that is… If all of us come out chirping, we have to anticipate an exponential decline in referee performance as pressure takes its toll. If we all come out advocating for our clients Professionally and keeping our egos in check, we will see an early rise in officiating confidence and maintain a high level of poise through a long day.
We also learned that the national organization, SafeSport, is conducting audits at regional events. What this means is that any stakeholder: Parent; Athlete; Coach; Referee; Volunteer could be polled.
This is certainly nothing to worry about… simply to be aware of. All of us have the common sense and the training to know and do what’s right. In the SafeSport era, we need to be able to articulate how we all work together to ensure that right gets done.
Please let you folks know that SafeSport auditors may approach, and that they are there to support rather than threaten. Here’s one more spot where preparation can keep Mom calm and help our kids maintain focus.
Celebrate our Bob Cairns / David Stormo award winners and our Men’s Regional Developmental Coaches of the Year. Be sure to thank the Kansas organization and volunteers for putting on a class act. Have Fun !
MARCH 30, 2023
TO: SOUTHERN PLAINS COACHES, OFFICIALS & LEADERS
FR: RUSTY DAVIDSON
RE: NATIONAL COACHES’ COUNCIL UPDATE
Coaches, Officials and Leaders,
Last time I wrote was Groundhog Day, and I made reference to a couple of events that remind us of the movie. Buckle up, dear friends ! One of those is coming up soon and many of you will play supporting roles.
Those that ARE gonna’ be in Vegas: Prepare your athletes and yourselves psychologically / emotionally, as well as physically. If you are accompanying age-group athletes, especially first-timers, talk a little each day about the chaos to be expected. This is another great chance for us to live up to our promise of “Teaching Kids to Cope With Adversity” !
Make a plan. Identify quiet places to unpack the load of a big win or a big loss. Consider assigning Trust Partners. If you’re busy on another mat, maybe the kid that just came off this one needs a listener. Establish meeting places. There will be times when you need to see everyone’s eyes in delivering information. Yeah, technology can help. Consider establish group a WhatsApp, including parents. It’s good when everyone knows what everyone knows.
Which leads us to the next urgent point. We are all forged in the values and honor of an ancient art, and in molding our own next generation. But, we’re doing so in a society that often appears to have lost its way.
Dear Friends, the undertow of 21st Century coaching is SafeSport. Wear a vest ! Many of our behaviors and communication styles that “Have Always Been OK” are NOT. Hear me clearly: SafeSport seeks, honestly and purely, to do good. But, it’s policy and procedure CANNOT recognize and reward INTENTION. It can only identify and sanction ACTION.
Again, make a plan ! Room checks ? Text messaging ? One-on-one conversation / compliment/ critique, congratulatory / sympathetic hugs / pats ? Transportation from one hotel to another ?v
Make these topics part of your practice plans, leading up to this and all events. Make it your business to include parents in this part of the deal. VISIBLE and INTERRUPTABLE are key components.
I’m not here to preach doom & gloom. But, colleagues, none of us keep helping kids for years to come, if we ignore this reality and shoot ourselves in the foot. Please be careful and conscientious. If you need to talk about this, please contact me or Coach Mike Clayton (Manager of Coach Education, USAW)
Moving on… RULES MODIFICATION
Your National Coaches’ Council met last night. Part of our discussion related to a tiny re-interpretation of FLEEING THE HOLD IN GRECO.
Do Not Panic ! Plan ! Take a good look at one of the best things our Officials’ Association offers: “The most up-to-date Rules Guide on the planet”. Go to themat.com Click on Menu, then Coaches, then Rule Book. Go to Chapter 23: Points of Emphasis.
What’s being emphasized is simple and makes sense. When wrestling Greco, both athletes need to stay Chest On, Hips In. No-Brainer for those who prepare. Whether athlete, parent, coach, referee, all of us appreciate the fine ballet of beautiful Greco-Roman Wrestling.
Here’s the problem… Those who don’t prepare overreact to little things, then panic, then fail miserably. Athletes and Coaches: There’s a way to protect a lead without making it ugly. Referees: Reasonable acceptance of risk does not require an athlete to forfeit the right to defend.
Sad but true, many of our peers will learn this point of emphasis, for the first time, at the clinic in Vegas. It’s a reality that volunteer referees who don’t get a ton of practice may overcompensate. It’s a reality that volunteer coaches who don’t get a ton of practice may spend an entire event feeling cheated.
We all work so hard to get Developing Athletes to compete in both Olympic styles. We can’t afford to have our better freestylers walking around, trash-talking Greco. We can’t have loggers trying to cut trees with a scalpel any more than we can have surgeons operating with a chain saw ! Most importantly, we can’t have accomplished freestylers walking the hallways, explain to youngsters “Why Greco sucks” !
Try this: “Cheat” your kids in live goes, in the practice room. Allow them to “Blister” in practice so they can show “Callous” in competition. Allow them to come to grips with the notion, “Bad calls happen, and it’s not our job to figure out why. We have to stay on course, so we can be survivors rather than victims.”
By now, we’re all seeing a similar scenario: “We’re up by one; 50 seconds; guy’s charging us with double unders or swingin’ for the fence with a wild head throw; we sag out of the double unders or push out of range of the head throw, and our hips drop. Bang ! We eat an iffy caution and one; it’s the last point scored; we lose.”
Re-Boot ! We dominate the center and act like we’re supposed to be winning. We get weight / pressure on the hands and arms. If they can’t lift they can’t score. We control the tie. (Practice pummeling with authority and purpose. It’s not some cutesy warm-up dance. It’s dictating opportunity.) If we get pulled, we use some authority in Returning to the Center (even if we temporarily break contact). If we get pushed (in panic), we throw and win by five or six instead of one.
The key remains the same… prepare and practice. Put your best kids in the most threatening situations, during every practice. Discuss adversity. Emphasize that, In a sport based on honor we must not fear failure, but dare to succeed.
OK… can I get an amen ?
FARGO QUALIFYING: USAW policy and procedure has been revised. JUNIOR AND 16U WOMEN CAN NOW ADD MORE QUALIFIERS TO FARGO VIA REGIONAL PERFORMANCE. THERE IS NO MORE OPEN ENTRY. MALE AND FEMALE ATHLETES QUALIFY UNDER ABSOLUTE EQUITY.
URGENT DEADLINE: As per February, I need any and all nominations for Southern Plains Greco and Freestyle Developmental of the Year by this weekend. If you wish to nominate someone for Women’s DECOY, share that with me and I’ll forward it to the Women’s Age Group Committee.
We are on a different timeline than we have been in the past. Get me your nominations ! The people you’re thinking of deserve for you to ACT. No whining, in June, that you got left out. Call up your peers, tonight!
I appreciate you.
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