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My annual open letter to wrestling coaches

By Jamie Baker
EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m going to leave this up at the top for a couple of days so everyone sees it. I think it’s important to remind everyone to promote the sport.
I also have a couple of forms that coaches can use to report results and information to their local media outlets.
Here is a Courier wrestling dual match reporting form form and a Wrestling preseason analysis form. Download them and use them however suits your needs. Of course, if you return your information to me, I’ll certainly post it here. There will be new posts added daily below this one. And I’ll be mailing one of these forms to every school in NW Ohio on Monday. I hope to get them all back and you can always reach me at jamiebaker@thecourier.com or via Twitter: @Courier_Sports

Comments are always welcome!

Dear Wrestling Coaches,
If you don’t care enough to call in your results to the local media, don’t bother complaining about a lack of coverage.
You should know most sports writers and editors don’t know a half nelson from a jelly doughnut. Most of them would rather watch a 28-21 girls basketball game than watch your team wrestle. It’s just a fact of life and a hurdle that will be tough to overcome. You have to lead a horse to water if you want him to even think about drinking.
If you report you results in a complete, timely fashion you will get better coverage. If you show no interest, neither will your media outlets. They have a lot of things to do and if you make their jobs easier, you will be rewarded in some shape or fashion. Not only that, because of the recent economic downturn, budgets have been slashed and positions at most media outlets have been cut. So there are fewer people at newspapers and radio stations than there were five or six years ago.
It only takes a minute to shove your results in a fax machine and send them off or type them up in an email. A call is even better…the personal touch. If you don’t want to report the results yourself, appoint a responsible assistant coach, statistician or even parent to do it.
If you have any story ideas for them, don‘t be shy give ‘em to them. They might not use every one of your story ideas but chances are they will use some of them and those stories will only promote your program. It will also help keep parents happy because they like to see their kid’s name in the newspaper.
What better way is there to promote your program than foster a good rapport with your local media? Report the results to ALL media who cover your school. Give them your varsity and junior varsity results and make your junior high coaches report their results too. Even tell them about your special events like when your biddy practices begin, senior nights, tournaments you are hosting, etc.
Who knows? Maybe better coverage will draw more attention to your program and get more kids involved. If you flood them with wrestling information and results you won’t be ignored. And you will draw more attention to the sport of wrestling…and we all win.