Today I was excited to tweet that I got my USA Wrestling bronze coaching card in the mail today.
I went through a whole season of coaching my 7 year old son before I decided I needed to take the coaching class and become officially certified.
If I could do it again, I would have done this day one.
Even though I wrestled throughout middle and high school, I found out there was a ton I didn’t understand about how to properly engage a child when coaching them through a sport as demanding as wrestling. I also learned that there were some basic skills I forgot to teach my little guy that put him at a disadvantage.
The material USA Wrestling teaches through the Bronze certification class was worth every bit of time and money spent during the process. I spent a full day (nearly 8 hours) on a weekend taking an in person class that covered everything from sportsmanship, to training techniques, to real wrestling moves on the mat. I also spent several more hours studying and taking the test.
I left that class armed with more than a few new tools in the belt to help my son continue his progress learning how to become a better wrestler, a better athlete, and a better person. What’s more, while studying to take the certification test I was able to explore and gain an understanding of some complex topics I would have never touched otherwise.
It’s tough being both a dad and a coach in an intense sport like wrestling. Now that I’m educated however, I’m more than ready to take on the challenge to help my son enjoy the sport of wrestling while not getting burned out by its physical and mental demands.
This week I had a epiphany about “success” while coaching my son at wrestling practice.
My son is a beginner wrestler, only in his second season participating in the sport. In practice, however, he is often grouped with advanced wrestlers who would be considered among the best in the state at their age and weight. As a result of this, my son doesn’t have much success during “go live” with his partners. That is, until a few weeks ago.
A few weeks ago, something started to click. He had a couple great practices back to back. My immediate thought was that he turned the corner, he figured out the sport. He was ready for prime-time!
Not so fast…
The next practice was the total opposite. The success I saw just a few days ago was gone. It seemed that maybe it was only a flash. Then low and behold a few days later it was back again, then gone again the next practice, then back again. And so on and so forth.
It started off as more bad days than good days. Now I’m starting to see more good days than bad days.
That’s when it hit me. An early sign of breakthrough success is inconsistent success.
When you start at something, it’s typical to experience consistent failure. If you stick with it, the next thing you will experience is a back and forth between good days and bad days. You will get a taste of success only to be followed by a mouthful of failure.
Most people look at inconsistency like this as a bad thing. This may be true in the case of an experienced veteran. But if you’re new at something, inconsistency like this is the light at the end of the tunnel. It means you’re on the brink of breaking through to greatness. All you have to do now is stick with and perfect the process that has taken you this far.