I’m not only a doctor, I’m a parent and a coach. Coaching is one of the most rewarding activities I do. For the last 9 years, I have coached the PAWS youth wrestling team. They are my pride and joy. www.pawswrestling.com.
I love to pass on the lessons I have learned in my life to my wrestlers. Youth sports, if administered appropriately, is absolutely pure. It is a great classroom for kids to experiment and stretch their wings. It allows our youth to have safe challenges. As a coach, it’s my job to stress them physically and mentally, to push kids to their limits, but to back off when necessary.
In my neighborhood and many others around me I see a paucity of kids outside playing sports. We have a national obesity epidemic because many of our kids simply don’t go outside and get exercise. They sit at the computer. We need to get more kids outside on the front lawn playing baseball, football, and biking and off the computer.
I consider coaching similar to teaching someone how to play poker. In poker you don’t always get a great hand. But if you learn to play your cards right you can still go a long way and sometimes win big. Every kid I coach has a certain hand life has dealt them. Some are are given great athletic talent, some competitive grit. Others have natural ability, some just try hard. These are the cards they have been dealt. A coach’s job is to teach a kid to play their strong suit and go for the win!
I try to impart to my athletes that your greatest competitor is never your opponent: it is yourself. I tell my wrestlers if you always compare yourself to others then you have no control of how well you do. If you compare yourself to yourself then you can monitor your improvement and see your progress. This is the key to success in any sport and in life. Coaching wrestling has made me a better doctor and surgeon.