At Winton Woods High School, our wrestling program is all about training our wrestlers. We are training them to be championship wrestlers but also to be championship men. We believe so strongly about this, we have it painted on the wall of the wrestling room. It is our mission! This has always been central to our wrestling program. However, how to train the boys has been a continuous evolution. At the start of Year III, we feel very good about how our boys should be trained. Let me share with you the four parts of our boys to men program at Winton Woods.
First and foremost we are going to train the boys to be championship wrestlers. Physical training is an essential part of any young man’s growth. Possessing sports skills that can help you win, adds to a boy’s confidence and growth. Let’s face it, to pursue strength and achieve it is every young man’s dream, whether that’s through football, wrestling, soccer, lacrosse or any sport. To know that you can physically fight and defend yourself and/or others is also so very satisfying. We want our wrestlers to train hard, learn skills and win battles, every day, and to push their bodies beyond their limits. Sadly, this is not the norm in our culture today, for so many boys. We are an obese country, lazy too. We are training our guys to change this.
Secondly, we are going to emphasize academic success. Talented, skilled athletes are a dime a dozen. Talented, skilled athletes that are intelligent and academically successful are far more rare. Winton Woods High School is primarily a minority dominated school. Our boys are expected to be athletes. So many, however, are not expected to be scholars. We must celebrate academic success, kids are expected to excel in class, to do extra after school if need be, to go to college. Being able to read and write intelligently is a key to success in any field, in college and beyond. Coaches that preach and foster academics in their programs, give credibility to school. We will not be coaches that “put up” with school so the boys can wrestle at Winton Woods.
Thirdly, we are going to expect our boys to be virtuous. We are going to train them to be virtuous. We have weekly virtues that we practice and have goals in such virtues as charity, self-control, perseverance, work ethic, etc. Wrestlers must make commitments to improve on these virtues throughout the season. They will have opportunities at home, in their community, in the classroom and on the wrestling team to practice these virtues. We will constantly talk about the virtues we are working on as a team and one on one, coach with the athletes. We are in dire need of virtuous athletes! Look at the news any day, we are doing young men an injustice in not helping them act right.
Finally, we are going to give our boys real-life experiences outside the classroom to foster their understanding of the world. These real-life experiences will vary. Snow shoveling in the winter for free, taking care of the high school building, helping out in the community are all volunteer programs meant to help the boys understand the importance of giving. Manual labor, provided by donors and community members can provide ways to give the boys skills, can give the boys an idea what life after high school could look like, or can give the boys a chance to earn some money the old-fashioned way……by working for it! Climbing mountains, camping trips, mission trips are all in the program as well as initiations for the boys to discover their strength and possibly give some insight on what God might have planned for them.
As you can see, the wrestling program at Winton Woods is so much more than wrestling. It has to be! We hope through our program, our boys will be equipped to take on the world when they graduate from high school. We want them to be ready and I know in my heart our program will go a long way in helping them. But as you already know, we can not do this alone. We need your prayers, your financial support, your ideas, your commitment, your enthusiasm. To put on a first rate program, one that is national and excellent, like-minded men and women must come together and rally. I hope you rally around our program. I hope you rally around whatever mission you see as yours, it gives you so much more purpose in your life. I know it has for me.
Winton Woods Wrestling: “Wisdom comes only through suffering!”