WYC 168 – Youth Wrestling – Chris Mance – Helping sports families

Chris Mance is a family coach who helps sports families pursue difficult goals while maximizing their happiness on their journey. Chris has a unique story from playing at football at West Point to becoming an entrepreneur, husband, and eventually a father of two young wrestlers. Through his experiences in leadership, Chris has been able to work with families to plan and execute their strategic plans.

Chris’s Website: chrismance.com

Chris’ Twitter: @chrismance

Chris’s Instagram: @chairmance2


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Coaching Your Own Kids

  • Chris was really hard on his first son from an early age. He has gone 180, with him now and with his younger son, he stays focused on being proud of them and just giving them a hug afterwards and de-emphasizing the winning/losing.

Cringe moment

  • At youth dual meets, early on in Chris’ coaching, he was too focused on the scoreboard with the newer athletes instead of just working on technique and focusing on improvement.

Teaching skills & Keeping it fun

  • Reward kids for working hard with a fun game – sumo wrestling is fun.
  • King of the hill – start with smallest kid, whoever takes down other wins, and keep going working way up


  • Parents are a big part of it – keep them tied in and on board
  • Doing something like fantasy sports with the kids is a really fun way to build some comraderie within the players of the team

Travel sports

  • The biggest problem is the season never ends. In a perfect world, kids would only play a sport during its primary season, and then be able to enjoy other sports in the offseasons.

The one that got away

  • Chris’ final wrestling match – he got beat someone who probably wasn’t as good as him – but he had taken it for granted and not trained well that week.

Best stolen idea

  • Sports is a chess match. You always need to be 2 steps ahead, especially mentally.

Favorite books/quote:

  • Quote: ‘Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard’
  • Book: Wooden (by John Wooden)

Parting Advice

  • Have a system, plan and prepare

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