Boston MA — Boston Youth Wrestling began the summer Coaches in Training (CIT) Program 5 years ago with the intention of engaging student-athletes in the off-season by bridging the three realms of school, home-life, and wrestling. The program provides a life-skills learning community space for rising high school students, grades 8 through 12, to become coaches, mentors, and leaders of their communities. By providing compensation for our dedicated and hardworking participants, many are allocating their first paychecks to supplement their family needs. Continue reading below.
Why We Choose to Train the Next Generation of Coaches: Teaching Youth to Think Globally and Lead Locally
By Jeanette Smith and Jacque Davis Americorp VISTAs for BYW, August 25, 2020, 11:43 a.m.
Hitting development milestones in our program is crucial to launching the participant’s initiation to work and adulthood.
To be selected, CITs must pass two rigorous hiring rounds on par with U.S.A. Wrestling coaching standards. All interested youth begin by submitting a resume with a cover letter and completing an interview with B.Y.W.’s Executive team. For some, this is their first formal job interview and Boston Youth Wrestling provides mentoring throughout the entire process.
Once accepted, the students participate in an orientation, which includes 20 to 25 hours of training on trauma-informed coaching techniques that lead to the mandatory completion of nationally recognized USAW Copper and Bronze Coaching certifications for a lifetime membership and SafeSport Certification. This season also incorporated Covid-19 safety protocol to onboard the cohort before officially starting the primary curriculum, delivering 300 hours total of in-person and virtual programming.
Remarking on the program intensity, a first year CIT says, “This job was full of laughs, smiles, sweating, headaches, and most importantly, friendship…I feel like that was important because from the beginning we knew it would not be an easy job especially with all of the coach training we had to do before we could even get the job.”
Traditionally, run in partnership with community schools and youth centers like the Boys and Girls Club and The Mildred, BYW pivoted the program model delivery once Covid-19 safety protocol eliminated the chance of on-site programming. BYW stayed true to its mission and adapted the programming to be deliverable outside of the wrestling room and into the community, all while staying focused on this summer’s three core initiatives: Health and Wellness, Entrepreneurship, and Mentor And Training (M.A.T) Time.
Under the lens of Covid-19, the 2020 participants thrive on the built-in group support and a mentor-led approach to boost team spirit, garnering better outcomes. Participants show up eager to innovate in this continued education space.
A first-year coach, Nyerrie H., reflects on insights from his introduction to the mentoring role this summer, “Being a CIT Mentor allowed me to learn the correct coaching perspective. BYW taught me how to give the young athletes ownership over their development and understanding as athletes within the sport of wrestling.”
He adds that, “My favorite memory