Coach's Corner #5 - Communicating with Wrestlers and Parents
In this week's installment of Coach’s Corner brought to you by The WrestlingVault.com, we discuss how to communicate with your wrestlers and parents.
- Marketing 101 for your program! Promoting wrestling in your community.
Forms of Communication with Wrestlers
- Text Messages
- Becoming more common because of COVID.
Forms of Communication with Parents
- Parent Meeting
- Use your wrestlers to communicate information to your parents
- Parents will appreciate the opportunity to have a conversation with their child. Relying on your wrestlers to communicate information to their parents forces wrestlers to listen during practice and also forces them to talk with their parents, which can be a rare occasion for high school students.
Wrestlers Communicating with College Coaches
- College coaches appreciate a wrestler who is a good communicator.
- Wrestlers that.... Look them in the eye, respond well to texts and emails and respond promptly. This shows a coach that a wrestler is able to manage his time well and also has an appropriate level of respect for their coaches and elders.
Apps, Software, and other creative ways to communicate with parents
- DCC - Senior Parent Group
- Coaches communicate information to the Senior parents then those parents communicate information on down to the other parents.
- Lowell - Remind App
- Parent text group and wrestler text group.
- This app allows a coaching staff to send mass text messages to different groups in a program.
- Email Software - MailChimp
- Makes it easier to keep track of a database and email people program wide for both current and past wrestling parents and alumni.
- Google Classroom
- Many schools are now using Google Classroom to communicate to students, so wrestlers may be familiar with this form of communication.
- This platform allows you to easily post documents, assignments, video links, etc. so your athletes can easily access them.
- Speaking to parents of accomplished youth wrestlers. Letting those parents know that there is an expectation that their child will participate in team activities.
- Handing your child over to the program
- This is difficult for parents to do, but in order to give the athlete the best chance of success it is imperative that the wrestler and parent believe in what the coach is doing, and that they are supportive of that coach.
- Negative talk at home - “Dinner Table Talk”
- It is important to talk with your parents about being positive regarding the state of the program, the coach, and anything else associated with the team.
- When a parent is bashing a coach, it only makes it more difficult for the athlete. The athlete then goes to practice with a negative attitude which only makes it more difficult to achieve success.
- Weight Management and Nutrition
- DCC - Talk with parents about how your program manages the body weight of their athletes. Weigh in and weigh out at practice. Monday weight allowances are some of the things DCC does to help athletes manage their weight.
- Other things to cover at meeting
- Wrestle off Policy
- Transparency - It is important to be transparent with your wrestlers and parents about how the coaching staff decides who wrestles at each particular weight. Make sure you cover these topics with all constituents at the beginning of the season.
Positive Relationship Building
- It is important that you create opportunities to interact with your parents and athletes in an informal setting. Let your parents get to know who you are as a coach and a person.
- Examples: Community Service, out of state travel, wrestling camps, etc.