Coach Council Chair addresses USA Wrestling Coaches

By Rusty Davidson | March 18, 2003, 12 a.m. (ET)
March 2003 TO: USA WRESTLING LICENSED COACHES FR: Rusty Davidson, National Coaches Council Developmental Coaches Chair RE: 2003 SEASON… Preparation & Issues Coach, I hope you had a good winter and are as anxious as I am to start our spring and summer schedule. My job is to represent the interest of all the developmental coaches in USA Wrestling. I do this, as Chair of the Council, at USAW Board Meetings, at Junior Olympic Committee Meetings, and in open discussion with the US Wrestling Officials Association. Much of our discussion and many of our proposals are born, each year, at the Cadets and Juniors events in Fargo. We get pretty fired up, then moderate our ideas, package them, and present them through the several committees that govern USAW. It's an exhaustive process, but we've made some big steps on behalf of our coaches. As a result of our efforts in 2002, several positive changes are under way. We are working toward requiring Bronze Certification for National Championship events. Studies are under way to evaluate the success of our current weigh class offerings for Cadets and Juniors. New efforts are being made to offer our pairings staff more technology support, thereby solving some of the problems we have from time to time. The process and timing of the weigh ins, themselves is being closely monitored. Our screening process at weigh ins will be improved at Fargo this year. This is a direct result of the proposals made by coaches. We have asked that Jim Porter and other members of the Health South medical staff meet with our coaches during the philosophy clinic in Fargo. Let me encourage you to see that your state is represented at that meeting. Speaking of meetings and Fargo… there are some schedule changes that will affect all of us this year. Work with your state association and see the Fargo schedule ASAP. There's a lot happening on the first Friday, including the philosophy meeting and the officials' clinic. Again, let me urge you to be represented! One issue that has confronted us is the definition of a Junior. We have spent a lot of time and considerable dollars in dealing with some misunderstandings in 2002. I'm going to put this in bold… A USA WRESTLING JUNIOR IS ENROLLED ACADEMICALLY IN GRADES 9-12. As professionals, we have the responsibility to advise athletes and parents accordingly. Please make all of your state's coaches aware of this definition. If they have a question you can't answer… the ONLY place they can get reliable information is through your state association leaders or our National Office Staff. DO NOT rely on anyone else for credible information on this issue. I have a USAW Board meeting coming up April 4th. I will continue to push for those things you, as a conscientious group, consider in our best interest. Please understand though, for any idea or change to become policy, it must survive a number of committees representing the various aspects of our sport. Let me encourage you to work closely with your State Chairpersons. If something is really grinding on you… share it with me. I'll do what I can. Please, though, realize it's only fair that I communicate with your State Chair and other leaders who your suggestion may impact. Please… not cheap shots! Thanks to Ted Witulski, of our Coach Education Office, for helping me reach so many, so fast. I plan to approach you again, late May or early June, in preparation for Fargo. Good luck to you and yours throughout the spring. What you do for kids is appreciated!