As a younger coach, I used to always post our stats and leader board on the wall of our locker room and wrestling room after each match. I thought it was a cool way to keep guys engaged and motivated.
After a lot of trial and error, talking to a lot of other experienced coaches in wrestling (and other sports) and reading a lot of books on sports psychology, my viewpoint started to change.
Turns out a lot of psychological studies out there prove this doesn’t necessarily help with motivation, at least not for a big portion of our kids. It turns out this can actually be de-motivating for many of our wrestlers.
Achieving these stats (wins, pins, takedowns, etc.) are not fully in our wrestler’s control – his opponent obviously has a say in the matter!
So what happens is a lot of kids will go out there, particularly our newer or younger kids, they’ll “try hard” or at least as hard as they can, and not see much success, at least not initially.
They’ll see other teammates racking up the points and meanwhile they’re thinking: “I’m giving it my best and failing. Look at everyone else getting points. I’m no good at this. It’s not fun. Why do I bother?”
We all can name some kids in our program right this second who think that way!
These are the kids that lose interest, don’t show up to off-season workouts and, oftentimes, eventually quit. The crazy thing is these types kids are the most important ones in our program. These are the average or middle-of-the-road kids who make up the majority of high school wrestling!
If all our kids were State Champs every year life would be easy and we wouldn’t have to worry about it, but that’s definitely not the case for my team! It’s the average kids who we need to attract and keep to build our sport!
So, what’s the solution?
Well, if you’re an avid ASW and GableTrained.com subscriber like I am, you know that teaching your kids an aggressive, physical style of wrestling based on tried-and-true fundamentals is what ultimately leads to success.
You also know that helping your kids develop a growth mindset and keeping them focused on the process instead of the outcome is the quickest way to get them there.
Having learned this from ASW and GableTrained.com, we started keeping and posting our own “Attack Style Stats” that are based on process instead of outcome. They emphasize actions that are more controllable by our wrestlers, so they can feel some degree of success, regardless of competitive outcome.
For example, here are a few of our Attack Style Stats:
- For each match stoppage, does our wrestler run back to center and wait for his opponent or does he walk or crawl?
- For each whistle start on top, are we grinding our opponent with forward pressure or not?
- For each whistle start on bottom, are we exploding on the whistle or not?
Since these are all “controllable” by our wrestler, regardless of their experience and skill level, every kid on our team can be successful. That means our new kids can see their names on the leaderboard too, and, at the same time, we’re emphasizing the style of wrestling that we know will ultimately lead them to a lot success!
These stats keep all our kids motivated and focused on the process of wrestling hard, physical and aggressive from start to finish.
Now here’s the thing: I’d love to take credit for this, but without the technique, mentality and coaching strategies and tactics I’ve learned from ASW and GableTrained.com, I never would have gotten to this point.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Our full list of Attack Style Stats covers every position, and has ALL of our wrestlers (even the brand new ones and the kids that aren’t that physical) locked-in and focused every match on doing the things that develop them into tough, aggressive, dominant competitors. It works for everyone!
Want the full list of stats we use to turn all our wrestlers into Attack Style Machines?