Parents need to remember that their approval is paramount in the eyes of their wrestler. Parents must offer as much positive support as possible and understand that the kids are busting their butts.
As head coach, I ask all parents to be careful about riding kids too hard, and making sure they offer “relief valves”. Athletes cannot endure/sustain when there is never a break from criticism. Sometimes the best thing to say is simply “ love you”, “you rock”, or even nothing at all.
Coaching on the way home is a great example. Kids have busted their tails, (trust me on this :), and are exhausted. The last thing they want is to get picked apart over what happened at practice or the tournament. As a youth coach for over 15 yrs, I have learned the value (the hard way in some cases) of not being overbearing.
Remember this- as badly as you want them to succeed, in the end it’s on them. You can guide and nurture and support, but you can’t force it. If they are successful, it’s because they made the choice, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
What you say to them is what they hear. If you tell them they’re a quitter or some other negative statement, that’s what they’ll come to believe. Losing and failing is part of the process, learning to overcome failure is THE POINT!!!!. Embrace it, work through it, and it will be replaced with success.
Yelling at them without purpose or out of frustration DOES NOT lead to success. Often, when a kid is crying, it’s because they’re emotionally attached to a feeling of letting down their parents. I personally never want my kid or my athletes to think they’ve let me down.
As the coach, it’s my job to make sure that point is never reached. Coaches and parents should uplift and inspire kids and create windows for success well before this occurs.
That said, don’t think for a minute that I won’t get fired up and bring the heat if they aren’t giving me 100%. However, when I raise my voice or use physical reminders, it’s contrived and part of the plan to get them to find what’s inside all of them. I do my best to never yell out of anger or frustration.