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Responsible Sports: Benefits of an assistant coach – even a parent



Last month, a Responsible Sports Coach wrote to our panel of experts to ask:

I recently started a position with a wrestling club. I have run different clinics, assisted teams in the past and have been certified as a wrestling coach for 4-years but this is my first time as head coach. I am having a hard time finding an assistant coach and I really do not want to have a parent assist me. I am worried that they will overrun me since I am new to the position and am fairly young (I am only six years older than some of the players on the team). I worry that these players will not respect me and will be more willing to listen to a parent over me.

Should I ask if a parent wants to step up and help me or should I just do this on my own? If I do this on my own, how should I get started?”
- Ash, an aspiring wrestling coach

We asked Tina Syer, Chief Impact Officer from Positive Coaching Alliance to weigh in.

Dear Ash,

My blink on this is that it’s really nice to have an assistant coach (assuming you can find the right parent for the job). Perhaps you can get a sense of the parents and then extend an invitation to one you think would complement you well. If you’re clear with the parent/assistant coach about each of your roles, then I think the risk of you being undermined is slim.

Simply having another coach who can help give positive feedback to team members and help you answer questions coming from parents (even as simple as what time is the next practice!) will be valuable to you and the team.

Finally, even though you are young, if you carry yourself with confidence and come to practices and matches prepared, the respect from the players and their parents will not waver.

Are you a coach or parent who has a youth wrestling question you’d like to pose to our panel of experts? Visit us on Facebook and ask your question today! We regularly post answers on Facebook.com/ResponsibleSports and each month we’ll feature one question here at USA Wrestling.

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