This time last year, I had the opportunity to meet a coach that had sparked my interest for some time now. Constantly looking for those stand-out athletes who are in-line with the Mind, Body, & Spirit of our company, I noticed many of these athletes were in some way or another tied to Wrestling Prep’s Coach Carolyn Wester. What was it that had these exceptional athlete’s spending entire seasons alongside Coach Carolyn competing at the toughest tournaments in the country? I had to find out for myself.
Jump to this year’s World of Wrestling Tulsa Nationals, widely regarded as one of, if not the most, difficult youth wrestling tournaments in the country. I was privileged with the opportunity to observe how Coach C. worked with her athletes. What I discovered is that Wrestling Prep was so much more than just Wrestling. What I discovered was a few key ingredients mixed together that made for an environment that promoted the success of everyone involved.
The most prominent characteristic I noticed was how she truly cared about the athletes. Not just for them to win their match or for them to maintain good grades. She cared about their well-being, their success, and their accountability. Mr. David Manville, father of world champion Mason Manville and consistently #1 ranked Carson Manville, chose a special word to describe her, “genuine.” When a coach genuinely cares about not just the athlete, but the person, it creates a bond between them that promotes trust and communication. As a result, you have a coach who understands the needs of the athlete to improve and an athlete who is willing and able to be coached. Her approach at coaching goes beyond a simple win or championship… she aims to teach the kids how to deal with and overcome challenges both on and off the wrestling mat.
You might say “Well that’s great, she cares, well so do the athlete’s parents!” and you’re right. I’m an athlete’s parent myself and I know for a fact no one cares about my son more than I do. However, what parents don’t always know are the small details that make the difference in my son’s overall success. Coach Carolyn has an understanding of a person’s strengths and weaknesses, what needs to be done before and during matches, and what needs to be fixed afterward. This could be technique, food choice, getting ample rest, or even mindset. Not only does she play close attention, she is able to identify problems and find solutions. Mrs. Aberchelli, who has two sons in the Wrestling Prep Residential Program said, “Once my boys started believing in the system, we really started seeing results.”
Which brings me to the next key ingredient, her ability to communicate. I’m no expert on wrestling technique or diet & nutrition, but I do understand effective communication. Communication involves both speaking and listening. Beyond that is recognizing when the other person or people can understand and grasp what is being said. Coach Carolyn is very steadfast in ensuring the wrestlers absorb the information she is giving them. On the other end, she is constantly asking questions and allowing the students to speak and ask questions of their own. This open line of communication reduces missed opportunities for the athletes to learn and improve.
The last thing I observed that made a huge difference is something many coaches don’t have, the willingness to put in the time and effort to go the extra mile along with the athlete. This includes answering questions, providing the best nutrition, review of technique, or even what the schedule for the next day was. Whether it was right after the match or the last question before everyone went to bed, I watched Coach Carolyn happily go over anything her students brought up. Maybe it was something they got caught with in a match, maybe it was what they should eat for breakfast, it didn’t matter, she was there for them. On top of it all, she did the extra steps to put the kids in the best shape for success. One fun example is having Ryan Franco put his legs in an ice bath to reduce leg fatigue for the next day of wrestling.
I intentionally didn’t go over any technique or moves that Coach went over. The reason being is that her Body Leveraging for Wrestling and Scrambling by Design is something that can only be taught by her. The results speak for themselves, and if you’re truly interested you can find out by joining up! See for yourself why athletes such as UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier, Coach Javier Mendez and the rest of AKA work wrestling with Coach Carolyn. You can see why the top kids in the nation are willing to fly from the Atlantic to the Pacific to train at Wrestling Prep.
For more information, head over to www.WrestlingPrep.com.
There is no off-season! Head over to www.wrestlingprepsummertrainingcamp.com and join hundreds of wrestlers from around the country in one of the best Wrestling Camps in the country!
4×6 WP Summer Camp_outlined
Coming to the 2017 Battle On The Midway? Coach Carolyn will be hosting her clinic in beautiful San Diego, CA the day of weigh-ins! Don’t miss it!
Special thanks to Coach Carolyn Wester, Mrs. Sandy Aberchelli, Natalie Lipman, Mr. David Manville, the Mr. Fontanez family, Coach Daniel Cormier of AKA, and all the wrestlers for all the help and hospitality! Here’s a little gallery of some photos from the event, including some of the food choices to fuel the boys for the tournament!