NWCA National Convention

By Jeff Voss

I, along with IWCOA Vice President, T.J. Murphy attended the NWCA National Convention this past July.  We attended various breakout sessions on a variety of wrestling related topics and listened to some great keynote speakers. They shared how wrestling influenced their lives and businesses and helped them be successful in all areas of their life.  We both attended a CEO Leadership program, which was attended by over 50 high school coaches from around the United States.  We gained a lot of knowledge and a different perspective on various topics involved with our programs that will help make our wrestling programs better.

The big goal of the NWCA is to help coaches build and sustain their programs.  Nationally the number of high school athletes participating in wrestling has gone down for the last six years in a row.  One major goal of NWCA is to reverse this trend by giving coaches tools to recruit wrestlers to our program and retain the ones we have.  The CEO Leadership program the NWCA is the tool they are using to help reverse this trend.  We are fortunate enough to offer the CEO Leadership program again this year as part of our IWCOA State Convention free of charge. The NWCA has successfully used the CEO Leadership program at the collegiate level to start new programs and grow college wrestling.  The goal is to use this model to help high school coaches.

The CEO Leadership Academy was open to all Head, Assistant and Middle School Coaches, regardless of experience, in Iowa free of charge for the coaches that attend the IWCOA Convention.  I would encourage you to bring your entire staff to the convention and take part in the program.  Coaches initially go through a 360 evaluation and then compete a series of modules (i.e. recruiting, fundraising, leadership, organization, ect.) Upon completion of the pre-requisites, the coaches were invited to participate at an “in person” workshop help in conjunction with our state wrestling convention.

Comments from last years CEO Leadership program.

T.J Murphy, Head Coach Benton Community HS:

“I was also able to take some valuable lessons on how to grow wrestling in our school community that we can implement right away in our program at Benton Community.  I would recommend the Academy to all coaches, it is a great resource to grow the sport of wrestling."“

Jesse Sundell, Head Coach Ogden HS:

"​The leadership academy was a great learning experience.  Whether you are a first year coach or a veteran coach, you will definitely walk away with learning something.  ​I feel that it opened my eyes to some new strategies and ways to coach that I am going to be bringing into my program this year.”

Mark Weber, Head Coach at Perry HS:

“The leadership academy was a great opportunity for me to reflect on last season and prepare heading into the next. Collaborating with other coaches and picking apart the true differences between transactional and transformational coaching was a humbling process. The academy also allowed us to discuss ways that individual coaches can do their part to help grow the sport of wrestling in Iowa.”