As an athlete who’s had to opportunity to coach our other teams, I have a unique outlook on how that has impacted my own wrestling. First off, Coaching others has given me a lot more respect for my coaches and teachers. As an athlete or as a student, I just get to show up with a good attitude and work hard, but as a teacher or coach you have to plan everything and be able to assess people and see what they need to improve upon. You also have to be able to plan a practice and have one technique lean into the next technique you are teaching. It’s been a lot of fun to learn about how coaches plan a practice.
I have also learned a lot more about the technique that I already thought I knew. Going through and teaching that technique forces you to think deeply about the small details and motions you make without thinking about. Because of this added attention to detail, you are able to learn from yourself and improve. I had a big breakthrough on a position called a crackdown come from coaching this year. I was doing a move wrong but never noticed it until I tried to teach it. After trying to show others how to do it slowly I realized that I wasn’t using my hip correctly and needed to roll one way instead of the other. I spent about 45 minutes working on this one technique with the kids I was coaching and after all of it, I was much better.
Coaching also teaches you a lot about leadership. I’ve been a team captain and in leadership positions before, but it is very different when you have “power” over the people. Generally speaking, as a leader I’ve been on the same level as the people I’m leading and I have just stepped up to help others or lead by example. When it is your job to lead though, you have to be much more attentive and focussed. A few moments slipping up and you will lose the attention of the kids you are trying to teach.