USA Wrestling State association co...

State association coaches get in depth instruction at Coaches Development Seminar at the Olympic Training Center

By Gary Abbott | Nov. 07, 2008, 6:09 p.m. (ET)

Coaches from state associations across the nation came together this past weekend for USA Wrestling's annual Coaches Development Seminar at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

With sessions spanning four days, coaches who are working within USA Wrestling state associations received technical instruction from USA Wrestling National Coaches, along with experts on numerous other important coaching skills. For those who attended, the weekend was a smashing success.

"I think it is great bringing in coaches around the nation, and getting us all on the same page with technique, terminology and goals," said Justin Bruscino of Colorado, who has also been active in wrestling in Florida and New Jersey. "It was excellent to see the resident practice, seeing live situations of the techniques we learned. With the technique, we saw the little things that make a difference. Bringing in the coaches from each state will allow this information to trickle down and lead to more success. I like the direction where USA Wrestling is going with this program."

Among the USA Wrestling staff members who coached at the clinic were National Freestyle Developmental Coach Dave Bennett, National Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson and National Women's Developmental Coach Izzy Izboinikov. USA Wrestling National Coaches Education Program Manager Sam Barber was also a featured lecturer.

National Greco-Roman Coach Steve Fraser also conducted a session. USOC strength coach Mike Favre was a featured clinician, and U.S. Air Force Academy Head Coach Joel Sharratt also provided a technique session.

"It has been awesome," said coach Ned Schuck of Minnesota. "All of the clinicians have been top notch. This is where it all happens for our Olympic athletes. It was a great experience to see the Olympic athletes train, and learn what happens outside of the wrestling room also.

Shuck took some extra time to run the Cog, the famous incline run outside of Colorado Springs, between sessions with NCEP Manager Sam Barber.

"It was a blast. It showed I was out of shape. I would like to come back and do it again. You need a strong mind and body to do it well," said Shuck.

The instruction covered the two international styles of wrestling, but also covered many aspects of coaching that can be used in scholastic wrestling, as well.

"There were sessions that were applicable for high school coaches," said Steve Livingston of Indiana. "We learned techniques and other strategies that I can take back with me and will be very useful. So many times, you go to clinics and say that you will never use it. This will make me a better coach and make my athletes perform better."
"I came to find more technique," said Vern Zellner of New Jersey. "What I found the most interesting was the Coaching the Heart segment. We had a real dynamic speaker, who was really energized. He was refreshing. One of the things I find lately is that coaches are asking how to motivate kids today. He explained it. What you have to do to motivate a kid is to develop a relationship with the kid, and have him want to be better."

USA Wrestling's Developmental Coaches were very pleased with this year's program and the response from the coaches who attended.

"It went very well. I try to do something different each year, because we see different coaches each year. This year, I concentrated on mat wrestling. Last year, I concentrated on the feet. Each year, we want the coaches to experience something different," said Greco-Roman Developmental Coach Ike Anderson. "We are trying to get our grassroots coaches on the same page with our national coaches. This is a time when we are not at a tournament, where we can talk about what they should be teaching in their rooms."

"It us great to get grassroots coaches to the training center. They put their shoes on and get right into learning situations. They can bring this back to their kids, their teams and their states," said National Freestyle Developmental Coach Dave Bennett. "This makes sure everybody is on the same page. It is great to see their positive response. They have an honest interest in learning. They are better off having been here, and we are better off that they came here."

Coaches Developmental Seminar participants
Gary Auer (MN)
Paul Bonner (CO)
Andy Bright (KS)
Justin Bruscino (CO)
Rusty Davidson (NM)
Sean Fortmann (WI)
Tony Guerra (NV)
Matt Hamtton (IL)
Del Hawkins (TN)
David Heath (OK)
Larry Holloway (GA)
Jon Horn (OH)
Jesse Hull (CO)
Mark Hull (WI)
Andy Johnson (ID)
Alex Joseph (CO)
Steve Livingston (IN)
David Mathews (GA)
Sean Moistner (GA)
Dean Nelson (OH)
Jacob Pavey (CO)
Rob Quarry (CO)
James Renfro (KS)
Ned Shuck (MN)
Jonathan Simpson (TN)
Joe Somerville (IN)
Danny Struck (IN)
Raymond Troup (CO)
Joseph Willmann (IN)
Bill Young (CO)
Vern Zellner (NJ)