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This is quite a long post, so if you plan to go with the "too long; didn't read" choice, I respect your wishes.

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Joe Caprino, Mike Reiser, and especially Chad Hollenbaugh were making some great points near the end of the East Chicago Semistate Hangout  internet broadcast.  On one hand, they discussed the issue of many wrestlers from great teams coming into the semistate with double-digit losses.   As many know, those guys mentioned are wrestling brutal schedules, often against national level talent that prepares them for the rigors of the postseason.  So, it should come as no shock to see a few less higher winning percentages belonging to individual wrestlers at state.  Chad also alluded to coaching philosophy and discussed what the coaches from our best Region teams might have to do to get kids to peak at the right times, whether it is backing off a bit or leaner harder on particular kids.


When discussing Crown Point and the legacy of Coach Vlink, our IM team brought up how many thought they would fall off a bit this year, presumably through graduation losses.    However, they have been not only a solid team, but are getting their individuals through the postseason individual tourney and within striking distance of state.placements.    Apparently, their youth program has become a bedrock of sorts, but I want to ask how do coaches find the time and additional personnel needed to run a consistent youth program?


If I were guessing for the easiest answer, having strong alumni back in the room to pass along their knowledge and to be the benchmark makes the most sense.  The effect of giving back is seen prominently throughout the northern part of the state with the successes of programs such as Elkharts Central and Memorial, which are ran by alumni almost completely, and Prairie Heights, who also are fortunate enough to have many of their alumni as immediate family members or blood relatives of their current wrestlers.  


I can't speak for Crown Point, as I am not personally familiar with them and their routines, but one of the most important things I can recall from memory in my youth club years was the strong bonds that the parents had with one another, their kids and the kids of other parents in the club, and 100% support and trust of the coaches.    I was always traveling in some other parent's vehicle going to tournaments, as my own home situation did not come with the same support enjoyed by others on my team.    The parents on our team went along with our coaching staff's practice routines, schedule setting, and treatment of the kids as people.


Nevertheless, that unity allowed some of our club wrestlers to be competitive to a degree with some programs in our kids league that were turning out future NCAA champs and placers as well as Olympians.  However, the harm that a lack of togetherness brings reared its head in those times as well.  We had a head coaching change made at our club and some parents did not agree with it.  Infighting between supporters and detractors of the new head coach caused the team to splinter and for kids to seek other more stable clubs where they could thrive.  The same high school team that our club fed into went from having four complete strings of wrestlers (similar to what Penn has been fielding) to today failing to produce a fourteen-person roster.  Demographical and economic concerns factor in to a degree over a twenty-plus year time span, but they cannot be said to be solely representative causes for the team’s lack of numbers.


Several other region teams have great and knowledgeable coaches and a few dedicated wrestlers, but are struggling to field full squads for events and to prevent dwindling numbers as the season continues.   From my personal experience of helping coach a team, I would say that parent involvement past the point of rooting for their own kids or a teammate of their own kids is not happening in some places as it once did.  In fact, I have met parents who had rude and vulgar complaints for coaches coming out of the stands during events and ones who become offended if coaches dared to question why their kid is missing practices during the time school is in session and especially in the holiday season.  However, they refuse offers to come to practice themselves and contribute.  Others will not cooperate in getting physical forms in for their kids, even if offered financial assistance to do so.   


Conversely,  in other places where I have coached in recent times, some parents, perhaps even without kids on the team, would communicate with other team parents and feed kids on all-day Saturday meets.  This happened at a boarding school where these same parents would sometimes drive hours and hours to see our team wrestle, even if it was a single dual on a weeknight.  The Brownsburg people seem to be doing a lot of public relations work that is not often seen in wrestling.  Many other teams have booster club involvement, but that does not happen easily, as I have found out in the past.


What else can be done to help underachieving teams who want to be competitive get that way?

 

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I feel all programs have to be built from the ground up. Strong feeder programs will result in strong teams. I think it takes a lot of time. I know once Fabio aka Nick posted his weekly schedule and it was grueling. But those are sacrifices that need to be made to make a state caliber team. alot of the Cp kids are going to region. I'm not sure if all are but a lot are. There are opportunities for kids to advance their games with school or clubs

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Here's mine (last year when I did HS)

 

3:30 - 5:30/6 HS everyday

Club Youth - 6:00 - 7:30 2-3 days a week

Saturday HS super duals, etc

Sunday Youth Tourney

 

This year I'm doing MS so it has left me w/ Saturdays open but later weeknights b/c of Jr High Duals. We wrestle 2 duals a week, usually Tues/Thurs

 

 

So Mon/Wed/Fri Jr High practice 330 - 500, Duals on Tues Thurs, 

 

Youth practice on Wed and any open Tues I have, I still go to some HS on Saturdays, Youth on Sundays. And I find Double B mat time on Friday nights, either driving 30 - 45 minutes after MS practice or bringing in a few MS kids and one of our other Youth coaches to work with him. 

 

What's not built into those times are waiting for parents, writing newspaper articles, away matches, etc etc. 

 

Saturday making the 6 hour round trip drive to Evansville, Sunday the 7 hour round trip drive to New Castle.

 

And I commute 45-60 minutes one way to work everyday.

 

How the Mrs hasn't left me yet is beyond me!!!

 

My daughter asked me the other day why everything has to revolve around wrestling. I looked at her and said b/c I owe my life to wrestling and I owe everything that I have become as a man to this sport. I wouldn't change a thing! 

 

And Madison isn't even that good, I can't imagine what the better programs do. Well they probably have more than 3-4 people doing everything, but still.

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Triple B and Tskin keep an extremely busy schedule at Madison.  I own my own business and live 30 minutes from the school, so leaving at 2:30 and getting home at 6:30 during the week.  Then Saturday tourneys and trying to make it to youth travel matches on Sunday and Middle School matches during the week.  

What Triple B forgot to mention is he coaches little kids club during the spring, Tskin coaches Older Kids Club and I help run the little league. Until last season I also ran 2 hour open mats on Sundays throughout the spring summer.  

This is how many hours you have to put in at a small rural school to be able to compete.  Even with that in 5 years we still have yet to fill a full team. We hope the hard work that the coaches and volunteers are putting in at the grass roots will soon begin feeding into our HS program.  But until you get youth numbers and kids taking advantage of off season, you can put in 80 hours a week and not see large gains especially at smaller schools. 

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Here's mine (last year when I did HS)

 

3:30 - 5:30/6 HS everyday

Club Youth - 6:00 - 7:30 2-3 days a week

Saturday HS super duals, etc

Sunday Youth Tourney

 

This year I'm doing MS so it has left me w/ Saturdays open but later weeknights b/c of Jr High Duals. We wrestle 2 duals a week, usually Tues/Thurs

 

 

So Mon/Wed/Fri Jr High practice 330 - 500, Duals on Tues Thurs,

 

Youth practice on Wed and any open Tues I have, I still go to some HS on Saturdays, Youth on Sundays. And I find Double B mat time on Friday nights, either driving 30 - 45 minutes after MS practice or bringing in a few MS kids and one of our other Youth coaches to work with him.

 

What's not built into those times are waiting for parents, writing newspaper articles, away matches, etc etc.

 

Saturday making the 6 hour round trip drive to Evansville, Sunday the 7 hour round trip drive to New Castle.

 

And I commute 45-60 minutes one way to work everyday.

 

How the Mrs hasn't left me yet is beyond me!!!

 

My daughter asked me the other day why everything has to revolve around wrestling. I looked at her and said b/c I owe my life to wrestling and I owe everything that I have become as a man to this sport. I wouldn't change a thing!

 

And Madison isn't even that good, I can't imagine what the better programs do. Well they probably have more than 3-4 people doing everything, but still.

 

And their are still idiots that complain about the previews and Semi-State rankings on here lol

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I think there really is something to what you are saying. Riley gets younger Goerring through with double digit losses. Mishawaka gets Hess through at 220 as a sectional alternate. Penn gets 156 lbs Hurley through up at 170. The top programs really are putting a lot of investment into these kids.

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