You are currently viewing What My Wrestling Coach Taught Me about Copywriting You’ll Never Learn in a Book, Seminar, or Course
Crestmoor 1972-73 League Co-Champs. Yours truly, second row, second from left. Mr. Kent far right

What My Wrestling Coach Taught Me about Copywriting You’ll Never Learn in a Book, Seminar, or Course

My high school wrestling coach Mr. Kent is a legend. He was an Airborne Ranger, served in both World War II and the Korean War, and ran our practices like a drill sergeant–and even made us shave our heads at the beginning of the season, just like new recruits.  

Every day during wrestling season, he would post the workout–by time–and would run practice with a stopwatch.  

When you arrived at practice, you would check in by turning over your name tag to display the black backside on the roster board. So instead of taking a regular rollcall, he would take reverse roll–only writing down the names of the people who were not there. 

Practice would begin with the same warmups each day, with the team captains leading the exercises, which were recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder. On the left channel he recorded the music. On the right channel he recorded his voice, with which he called out the exercises.

We had aerobics in 1969–at least 10 years before it became a thing. Talk about a visionary!  

What’s more, he didn’t just run the class…he participated. Not only wrestling with us but running with us, too. All you wanted to do was beat Kent in the mile and the sprints. 

After our matches, he typed up the results sheet along with monthly updates on takedowns, pins, and team points. And get this: He only typed with his two index fingers. 

So it’s no wonder that in his ten years of coaching our program, our team won the championship or co-championship six times, amassing a 78% win ratio in dual matches. 

Nor was it any wonder that our big match against San Mateo drew more than 500 spectators, more than the biggest basketball game. 

The man had a plan, a code, and formula for success that did not waver. 

In fact, I just learned that he gave one of our school’s best wrestlers a B in wrestling after he took third in Norcal (the best finish in school history at that time) because he missed two practices and wore the wrong shorts! He also cut one of my best friends as a freshman, but the kid came back and placed 4th in the state as a senior. 

He was tough, fair, and honest, and did not play favorites. His goal wasn’t just to win–but to turn us into winners.     

So it’s no wonder Mr. Kent turned out multiple league champions and a number of successful wrestling coaches. 

Nor is it any wonder that Mr. Kent was loved and adored by everyone on the wrestling team. I have been blessed to continue to keep in touch with him over the years and to reconnect him with many old wrestlers.    

So what, exactly, did he teach me about copywriting that you’ll never learn in a book, seminar, or course?

  1. Success in anything you do is no accident.
  2. If you want to win, then you must put in the time.
  3. Success can be broken down to a formula.

It was with that in mind that I was able to work hard and create my own winning formula. 

That formula not only made me one of the world’s top copywriters but also drove me to complete four marathons, earn black belts in judo and jiu-jitsu, and medal at the World Masters in Jiu-jitsu six times, winning gold three times. 

With every victory I’ve had in my life, I credit the foundation for success to my four years on the wrestling team under Mr. Kent’s guidance and direction.   

This is what Mr. Kent taught me about copywriting that you will never get out of any book, seminar, or even my coaching.  


If you want to win at anything in life, 

  • You must put in the work. 
  • You must dedicate yourself to success.
  • You will win faster when you have a formula for success–and follow it without wavering.   

This is what Mr. Kent taught me. Not in words, but in deeds, for which I am forever grateful.  

If you can adapt Mr. Kent’s lessons to your life, you will rise to the top of the copywriting A-list faster than you could ever imagine.  

If you think you would benefit from my one-on-one copywriting coaching, here’s what my program offers you.

Yours for success, achievement, and financial security in

Doug D’Anna

Doug D'Anna

As a seasoned direct response copywriter, Doug D'Anna has created more than 100 widely-mailed control packages for the world's largest specialized information publishers—generating over $100 million in direct sales.