Brothers share knowledge at camp
Published 12:35 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
It’s a brother act that has paid major dividends for Alexander’s wrestling program.
Sean Moistner and Daryk Cochran, who are brothers, have been the co-head coaches at Alexander for more than a decade, and they’ve overseen a program that is one of the state’s best.
They led Alexander to a dual-format state championship in 2010, and the team won both the dual and traditional-format state titles in 2017.
Last season, Alexander nearly pulled off the championship sweep, finishing second in both of the state meets.
On Tuesday, Moistner and Cochran were in LaGrange to share their extensive knowledge with more than 100 wrestlers during a camp that’s being hosted by LaGrange High.
For six hours, the two veteran coaches worked with the wrestlers on various moves, and even got on the mat with them to provide some hands-on instruction.
LaGrange head coach Scooter Weathers, who has been friends with Cochran and Moistner for years, was thrilled to be able to get them to come to the camp for a day.
“We wanted to see a lot of stuff they do because of the caliber of program they are,” Weathers said. “They’ve won state titles, they were runner-ups last year twice. And they’ve had a ton of (individual) state champions”
Moistner and Cochran are always happy and willing to share their knowledge, whether the wrestlers are from Alexander or elsewhere
“For me, it’s just wrestling,” Moistner said. “For me, we always want to see the Alexander kids do well. But it’s fun being with other kids. When it’s all said and done, I just want to see wrestling grow. I want to see other kids get good at it. I want to see teams get better.”
Cochran said he has “a great time” coaching, and he takes a lot of satisfaction when he sees someone he’s taught put something he learned to the test.
“It’s good to see when kids pick up on stuff,” Cochran said. “I like it when I go to tournaments. As long as they’re not doing it to my kid, I’m like yeah, I showed that to him.”
Moistner and Cochran, who were both standout wrestlers at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, have been coaching together for close to 20 years.
“I’ve been coaching for 23 years, and (Cochran) about 18,” Moistner said. “We’ve probably been coaching together for 16 of them. We like it. It works for us.”
Cochran said he and his brother have different coaching styles, which is a benefit to the wrestlers they work with.
“I’m a fiery guy,” Cochran said. “That’s how I am 90 percent of the time. Some kids may not be like that. This may not be working (for a wrestler), but something else may work.”
Moistner figures the more voices a wrestler is exposed to the better.
“The more coaches you have, the more kids you can appeal to,” Moistner said. “My personality and the way I do things may rub this kid wrong, while this kid and his personality may work. Maybe we can get that kid to stay a little bit longer, and learn a little bit more.”
Moistner has been at Alexander since 2005, and Cochran arrived at the school a year later.
Under their leadership, Alexander has been a state power, winning the three team state titles and nearly 20 individual state championships.
“The kids work hard,” Moistner said. “That’s what’s important. We have great parents, and support staff. I tell people, it’s half-joking, we don’t want to mess anything up. We’ve got to put them in the right place at the right time, and give them the skills to do the right thing.”
Cochran has been coaching wrestling for nearly a quarter of a century, but he feels there is still plenty he can learn.
“Any coach who says he knows everything knows nothing,” Cochran said. “One of our former national-team kids, he’s 28-years-old, and we’ve coached him since he was in the eighth grade. He did a little clinic for us last night, and I learned a couple of things. I’m always learning. I learn from other kids, other coaches.”
Cochran also said it’s important for a coach to be flexible, to be willing to change and adapt, something he believes he and his brother have done.
“(I met with) one of our wrestlers on the 2010 state-championship team, and he’ll tell you the way we coach now is different than it was in 2010,” Cochran said. “We won another state championship in 2017. We doubled up. You’ve got to keep learning.”
LaGrange’s wrestling camp will continue today and conclude on Thursday.
Today’s guest instructor will be Carrollton coach Nick White, and Northgate’s Adrian Anderson will take over on Thursday.