Parents take on coaching roles

Wrestling team led by the parents of wrestlers

Gabe Jensen takes down an opponent at a home duel vs Del Oro

SIDNEY ZABELL

Gabe Jensen takes down an opponent at a home duel vs Del Oro

Max Schwartz, co-editor-in-chief

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  A parent and a coach hold very similar – and at times interchangeable – roles in a child’s life. But when those two positions are held by the same person, the speculation of it bleeding into both areas may be hazardous.

  David Wells, a three time NCAA All-American for wrestling at California State University Polytechnics, has been involved in the sport for 28 years.

  Between coaching and wrestling, Wells has seen many different parents coaching their own kids.

  “There can definitely be positive and negative outcomes to coaching your own kid,” Wells said.

  The positives come mostly from understanding your child.

  “When you are coaching your kid from the side of a wrestling mat,” Wells said, “you see what they are doing physically and also know what’s going on in their head too. It is a lot easier to work together with your kid.”

  However, there are some reservations to be aware of before becoming the coach of your own child.

The kid has to be okay with it,”

— David Wells

  “The kid has to be okay with it,” Wells said. “If they aren’t okay with the parent being there, it’s not going to work, if not the kid is going to passively shut off and lose complete interest in the sport.”

  Robert Cooley, the head coach for Granite Bay wrestling for the past 14 years, has seen this situation play out as well. His perspective is aimed towards helping the team.

  “The parent is (usually) very dependable, there is a really deep involvement that comes along with the job,” Wells said. “They are a lot more interested to volunteer, and they educate themselves a lot better to help their kid learn the most.”

  He also has had the experience of coaching his own son in the program.

  “I coached my own kid for about seven years,” Cooley said. “I thought it was easier to coach him;  it was a huge motivator to spend time with your kid in a sport you both enjoy doing.”

  Victoria Wells, a GBHS freshman, is the daughter of David Wells. Although her wrestling career hasn’t been long, she has already realized what makes a good and bad recipe for a coach.

(My dad) understands how I operate. He put me in late and said let’s just go slow and I liked it a lot more.”

— Victoria Wells

  “I would have been burnt out if  my dad was too hard on me,” Victoria said. “He understands how I operate. He put me in late and said let’s just go slow and I liked it a lot more.”

  Victoria can read from experience of the times where a parent can ruin wrestling for a child.

  “I knew these two boys that were (basically) the faces of California youth wrestling and they were expected to be state champions when they got to high school,” Victoria said.

 Due to their parent, however, the sport was ruined for them.

  “They eventually quit due to their mom and how she forced them,” Victoria said. “It was sad to see because of the potential they had.”

  Sophomore Gabriel Jensen has wrestled for as long as he can remember.

  “My dad coached me since I was 5,” Jensen said. “He ran one of the largest wrestling clubs in California, and he was known across the map.”

My dad was getting the hang of it and was hard on him, which led my brother to burn out eventually.”

— Gabriel Jensen

  He can relate to the experiences of a parent coaching.

  “My brother was my dad’s first kid,” Jensen said. “My dad was getting the hang of it and was hard on him, which led my brother to burn out eventually.”

 Although the negative seeds of parent coaches are in the mix, the positives can create great athletes and moments with their child.

  Wells brought up his favorite moment with his daughter wrestling.

  “She was getting beat up pretty bad in the consolation round at a tournament. It was pretty much over,” Wells said. “She tried a move that (we) worked a lot and suddenly she went from getting owned to realizing that she can do it and she ended up getting a pin.”

 Coaching his daughter made the match a lot more personal and the takeaway was more memorable.

  “She was really proud of herself and in turn, I was really happy that she had the mindset to push on,” Wells said. “It is all in the balance of how you coach your kid, when it works out, it works out great.”

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