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An Open Letter: To The Coach that Tried to Ruin Wrestling for me

It’s been a long time since this experience occurred. It’s a lifetime ago, but as I watch many struggle with similar issues with their coach that I did it’s time I get some things off my chest. I know that you’ve thought about it from time to time but never really think that you did anything wrong. You took the job because it was some extra money and heck you could learn the about the sport and coaching. How hard could it be? On top of that you had a really good feeder club sending you quality boys every year. So you likely thought that you were much better than you really were, with winning teams in a tough section and region. In reality it was easy to see that coaching wasn’t something you were meant for. Being a gym teacher was good as you could do.
While you were decades older than us your mental maturity was on par with us high school boys.
We never got the sense you knew what you were doing and you regarded most of us with low esteem. So we never respected you. I know now that you had no idea what you were doing. You would tear kids down in public and then expect them to bounce back and win for you.
After the quality feeder program went away so did your success. Then you left the program with your hand picked successor to finish the program off. Luckily for wrestling there was a benefactor that covered most of the programs expenses so the school couldn’t cut what was left. Are 5 or 6 kids worth having a high school team?
I’m sure the number of boys that came back to thank you are very few and far between. I wonder if this occurs to you? I remember with mixed emotions how you didn’t create one practice for me the week of states. WTF? Thank you for the life lessons.
I started coaching too early but I always used you as the coach that I didn’t want to be. I hardly knew what I was doing but I found that if you care for and respect the boys you’re working with they will respond no matter how hard a practice is.
So while I never achieved my personal wrestling goals it is something that I’ve reflected on and has driven me for most of my life. So as bad as you were as a coach my life is better off for the experience. As a coach/teacher I’ve helped thousands of people get better in life and I hope that I’ve got more than a few left in me.

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