By Jeanette Smith  Americorps VISTA for BYW, September 15, 2020.

What are some of the skills that transfer over from training in the sport of wrestling to your training to become a coach? Leadership, communication, learning through failure, and adaptability are just a few of the answers our panelists offered in the discussion with the public.

Watch our three high school panelists confidently answer questions like these from their community here. The youth from our summer Coaches in Training program volunteered to speak on a panel hosted by our partner organization, Up2Us Sports. All three successfully completed the program, some returned from previous summers and one decided to become an Up2Us Sports coach. He is starting college this Fall.

Michael T

Just know that there is always somebody out there…

Michael shares his tools for self-motivation.

One of the skills that our Coaches in Training practice frequently over the summer is public speaking. Read more about their training and the business that they launched this summer on our website’s News page. 

Coach Addison steered the direction of the conversation with a few poignant questions for the young voices of the first panel in the series. “How did you navigate the change of pace and everything else that Covid-19 impacted in your life?” 

Malcolm responded, “The change was abrupt… It was a sudden change of pace to go from in person to virtual…the change to online learning was not easy…”

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I actively try to make every day better than the last…

Malcolm reveals his technique for self-motivation as a young voice.

Michael tagged onto that saying, “…I was in the middle of training for the Greco

[Roman wrestling] season… It would have been my first year of competing in that different style of wrestling…” 

Greco-Roman wrestling is arguably the oldest competitive sport in the world according to It is a style of wrestling that involves your arms and upper body only. As far back as 708 BC, Greek and Roman competitors used this style to wrestle in the ancient Olympics.  

As for Malaky, he had college on his mind early in the game. By the time Covid-19 took hold and stopped all senior commencement related activities, he already had his school picked out and knew what he wanted to do. The main set-back, according to Malaky, is that Covid-19 slowed down the process.

Despite these unfamiliar set-backs, the panelists highlighted the positives that came from the new change of pace. Malcolm happily noted all the extra quality time he has spent with his family. Malaky thoughtfully added that even though his school delayed for a while in deciding when and how to reopen for the students, he took advantage of the ample time to reflect about the next transition in his life from high school to college. “For me I’d say the highlight of quarantine has been being more effective in [asking], where do I see myself in two years? five years? or ten years? What do I want to accomplish?” 

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…looking at what is in front of you and being thankful…

To stay motivated through uncertainty, Malaky shows fortitude.

The upside of this summer for Michael was the fact that he had his first work experience and made new friends through the CIT program. 

Under quarantine it is not always easy to look at the bright side. If you found these students’ positive experiences inspiring, do share.