Go Hard & Have Fun
Coaching at Its Best
South Dakota’s Jared Richter
By Bill X. Barron – RMN Events Writer
In a sport where one athlete wins and another loses, success is often defined by the outcome. For Coach Jared Richter, a youth club coach in Rapid City, South Dakota, winners are those who “go hard and have fun,” for the victory is in getting on the mat to face a formidable opponent. In his coach’s heart, you only lose by not having the courage to compete.
Coach Richter’s perspective comes from being involved in wrestling from age five, following a dad who was an official, continuing in high school where he joined the National Guard, which provided tuition assistance to wrestle at SD’s Augustana University, followed by coaching at all levels. Presently, Jared is a coach for Rapid City’s Westside Raider Wrestling Club.
Over those 35 years, all of this helped him develop the “Pay It Forward” philosophy to coaching: give back what you have learned. Give to your family – his sons Caleb and Shea are successful jr. high and youth wrestlers. Give to your community – his club involves 100+ youth at little expense to their families. Give to your country – for 22 years, Jared has served in the National Guard, currently serving as 1st Sergeant for the Recruiting & Retention Battalion in SD.
With a core philosophy of creating a foundation on the basics, Coach Richter emphasizes team bonding; he begins the season with the RMN Monster Match, which is as much about seeking competition as it is for connecting with one another. But, much like Basic Training, he also values preparation for the challenges ahead. For the Raiders, “RMN is a wonderful experience. Those who run the tournament really know what they are doing. When those kids later face the bright lights at State, they know they have gone against bigger, tougher opponents at RMN.”
Wrestling for Jared is about “teaching life lessons. I am passionate about the sport. No matter where a kid comes from, if he’s a wrestler, I will help him out.” He encourages his wrestlers to do the same: most of a tournament is spent off the mat, so he wants them to befriend an opponent. Once an opponent, that individual may become a friend for life.