Expectations for the Coaching Staff

1.  Be technically and tactically proficient—Be competent & organized.  As leaders we must know our jobs thoroughly and have a wide range of knowledge in our content area.  We should continue to improve our knowledge every year.  We need to stay current and up to speed with the newest techniques in the sport.  Student-athletes want teachers that comprehensively know the material they are teaching them.  We must be proficient technically, tactically, and physically.  We will also instruct wrestlers on proper nutrition, and psychological methods to reduce stress.  We must lead with competence if we want our teams and athletes to respect us.  We must be professional educators when planning and instructing wrestlers on technique.

2.  Have a sense of humor and make it fun.  It’s estimated that student-athletes laugh 90 times more in a day than their adult coaches.  If we want to relate to and bond with our athletes we need to see humor in life the way they do.  When we smile positive thoughts will enter our minds.  We need to know the personalities of the student-athletes we coach.  

3.  Be committed to excellence---Walk the walk.  We must do whatever is necessary (within the rules) to help student-athletes improve and achieve their goals.  This means we are consistently available to open the wrestling and weight rooms; we are always encouraging them to do the extra things, which make wrestlers great; we should always demonstrate doing the extra things so our student-athletes pick up the habit.  It only takes 28 days to form solid work habits.  Student-athletes need to know that we are committed to their success----we truly care about them.  Actions speak much louder than words when communicating this to them.  As coaches we must be self-transcendent—It’s not about what we accomplish as coaches, but instead what we can help the student-athletes accomplish. 

4.  Set the pace.  We will convey good examples to our student-athletes in integrity, work ethic, physical fitness, discipline, courage, competence, and conduct.

5.  Be a great communicator and listener.  We must keep our doors open, and make ourselves available to our student-athletes and their parents.  They must not fear speaking to us or asking us questions.  In being a good listener we must hear them out and let them know we have considered what they said.  When explaining something to student-athletes we must use great eye contact, and positive body language.  We should be direct and specific when communicating with student-athletes and remember it is better to correct in private and praise in public.  We will ensure tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.  When correcting a negative behavior we should still be positive with the athlete.  We think the most important leadership skill a coach can learn is to be a highly effective communicator.  We have to be culture builders, and in some cases change masters.  

6.  Appreciate the sociology and psychology of their age group.  As coaches we need to understand the potential pressures and problems our student-athletes face (physical stress signs, mental stress signs, and emotional stress signs).  We must be able to identify where stresses come from (academics, school social life, home, sports, social media, chemicals, etc.)  We must recognize that it can be tough being a teenager, and instruct our student-athletes on the benefits of time management in handling their stress.  Their basic social, emotional,  & safety needs must be met before the necessary wrestling work ethic can develop.

7.  Use minimal verbiage.  We should be direct with the information we need to pass on and then get on with practice.  Student-athletes don’t want to hear a long drawn out explanation of everything.  Instead they want to cut to the chase and work on motor skills.  We will define, model, shape, practice, and reinforce when teaching motor skills, character, and values. 

8   Look out for their welfare.  Knowing our wrestlers both personally and professionally gives us an indication on how they will function in real match situations.  We can coach an individual better if we know them.  We need to know what buttons to push to help them get an optimal mental performance out of themselves.  We will let our wrestlers know that we have an active interest in their lives.  We must be empathetic to their concerns.

9.  Keep wrestlers informed.  The student-athlete that is informed about situations and purposes of specific tasks is more effective in performing than when uninformed.  Student-athletes need to know why they are doing something, yet it must be explained in minimal verbiage.  We will determine student-athletes’ strengths and weaknesses and work to improve their performance.  We’ll be honest with our wrestler or run the risk of losing credibility with them.

10.  Make sound and timely decisions.  The ability to make a rapid estimation of a situation and to arrive at a sound decision is critical to all coaches and leaders during the heat of a competition.   A coach must have a plan for his athletes and he must have them prepared.  We must be able to improvise, adapt, and overcome adversity during the heat of competition. We will have a plan for individual wrestlers, but be able to adjust it if circumstances dictate change. More importantly we must train our student-athletes to do the same.

11.  Delegate authority and develop a sense of responsibility among student-athletes.  We will delegate responsibility to our student-athletes to guide them in their development of leadership traits.  This process will also compel the athletes to take ownership of their success.  There are several ways we will delegate authority such as team captain, goal setting, taking inventory of what we have, and taking inventory of how we are valued.  All of these procedures develop a positive self-esteem important to success, as well as quality leadership skills.  On a daily basis we must fuel their emotional gas tank. We will be contributors to our school’s culture by developing independence and responsibility in the individuals we coach.

12.  Take responsibility for our team’s actions:  No excuses.  We must be willing to take the initiative and take on added responsibilities without receiving instructions from administration.  We take responsibility for our team’s failures, and the student-athletes take credit for our team’s successes.  It is of great importance that we have our athletes’ back, especially if they are struggling in their performance.   Win or lose we must stand by them. We must be results-oriented as coaches—winning is important to us.  Winning is not the only important thing, yet it will be a priority. 

13.  Keep parents informed and involved.  We’ll inform parents with all information concerning their child’s participation in wrestling.  We will have annual parent meetings before the season to explain team philosophies, rules, and schedules. We must facilitate strong relationships between coaches, wrestlers, parents, administration, custodians, bus drivers, and teaching staff.  Coaches will collaborate with each other, as well as wrestling parents, so student-athletes can reach their full potential.                    

14.  Train in basic fundamentals with periodization, and don’t introduce new skills until the first ones are mastered.  Add on advanced techniques as necessary.  This concept can be difficult in the sport of wrestling when you have a wide range of experience levels at a high school practice.  We should strive to bring all of our student-athletes along with a mastery of basic skills.  Our wrestlers must be technically proficient as well as physically fit.  Each practice will consist of a technical, tactical, and physical component.  We will bring their mental (cognitive/technical), physical (psychomotor/power/endurance), and emotional (affective/social) components together for a peak performance in February for post-season tournament time.  For this reason we divide the season and practices into three phases:  Early Season Phase (second highest workload and lowest peak performance), Middle Season Phase (highest workload and second highest peak performance) and the Late Season Phase (lowest workload, and highest peak performance). 

15.  Emphasize the attack—Develop an aggressive attitude and confidence in our system.  Wrestling is a combative sport, a spotlight sport and therefore, 

 physically and mentally demanding.  Our student-athletes will be much more effective on the mat if they have a plan and stay aggressive---attack, attack, attack.  The match will be much more fatiguing for the defender than the aggressor.  Subsequently, the defender will run out of gas.  In developing confidence we will always emphasize our conditioning as an edge we’ll maintain over our opponents.  We want our wrestlers to develop their confidence from their realization that we have worked hard and that we are prepared.  We will make sure our wrestlers are in great physical condition, because this a requirement of the physical, aggressive style we teach.  Our sport requires us to train our athletes’ power, endurance, & technique.

16.  Train under adverse conditions
.  In practice we will push our wrestlers to wrestle when fatigued and other match situations.  The emphasis will be on making practice as realistic as an actual competitive match.  It’s one thing to learn the techniques and be in shape, but wrestlers must also learn how to compete if optimal performance is going to be reached.  How wrestlers react to rapidly changing events in a match will determine how successful they will be.

17.  Drill, drill, drill—Repetition.  We teach wrestling technique (motor skills) through repetition.  Studies show it takes about 100 repetitions for a motor skill to be fully learned.  We like to call this muscle memory.  Therefore, the more times a wrestler finds to drill in a day, the more repetition he will have toward mastering the motor skill.  When teaching motor skills through repetition it is important to vary drills.

18.  Set high standards and enforce them—Discipline.   We will give student-athletes and parents a list of team rules before the beginning of every season.  Student-athletes must have the team ethics which are expected of them clearly defined; parents must understand what is expected of their son.  We will be fair, impartial, and consistent when enforcing rules as we respond to violations.  If we don’t respond to a particular violation it sends a message to the wrestlers that the behavior is acceptable.  We will also have our student-athletes practice high standards.  If we want to see a specific behavior out of our athletes we must define, model, shape, practice and reinforce the desired behavior.  

19.  Be a motivator---Coach with high morale.  We will coach with enthusiasm and that passion rubs off on our wrestlers.  We always display a positive attitude, and reframe all negatives into positives—the glass is always half full and not half empty.  When our wrestlers pick up on this morale they will gain a feeling of confidence.  That confidence will enable them to face uncertainty with courage, endurance, and determination.  When motivating student-athletes we’ll focus on things they can control, and ignore outside stimuli that they can’t control.  We will motivate while guarding against over-coaching at practice or during competitions.  A micro-managed wrestler will not have fun, and therefore not be able to attain his highest or optimal level of achievement. Wrestlers who trust their coach will listen, learn, fail, recover, improve, and be able to compete fearlessly.

20.  Create pride in the program—Be a visionary leader.  We must have a vision of what we want our program to look like. We must display pride in, loyalty to, and enthusiasm for the program.  Coaches must activate a sense of pride in our wrestlers.  Once our wrestlers pick up on pride their personality will express a battle to win in spite of previously insurmountable odds.  As coaches we create pride in the program by being a walking picture of confidence and positive thinking.  We publicize and celebrate our high standards, achievements, and results.  We advertise our team’s schedule, and develop promotional ideas to improve our visibility in the community.  We constantly appreciate and recognize good work.  We reserve most of our praise for effort, because that is one of the only things a wrestler has full control of while competing.  


Our action plan has discussed West Monona Wrestling’s philosophies and policies concerning leadership.  The success of our team depends on our coaches, wrestlers, and parents’ willingness to buy into the concepts of the program.  All of us must maintain discipline, morale, confidence, poise, focus, and cohesiveness—even during the heat of competition!  Leadership in education is an opportunity to motivate student-athletes to the highest possible individual and team standards—Mission accomplishment and student-athlete welfare.

The legendary Iowa Hawkeye coach Dan Gable summed up coaching philosophy very well when he said “A wrestling program is people.  That’s who it starts with; that’s who it ends with.  The most important people are your wrestlers and coaching staff followed by parents, administration, and the community.  Given that people are the backbone of the program the philosophy you adopt should be people centered.  By that I mean that your approach should be in the best interest of your athletes and others associated with the program.”

We agree with Gable, and direct our classes, practices, and program toward developing winners both on and off the mat.

Advisor Duties

Grading Scale

APL Instructional Strategies (Classroom Management Strategies)

Classroom Management Strategies

Instructional Strategies

IPI-T (Student Engagement)

Project Based Learning

Differentiated Instruction

Iowa Teaching Standards

Iowa School Leader Standards

West Monona Faculty Handbook

Staff Evaluation Process

Master Contract

Faculty Handbook

Professional Development/Collaboration Hours