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Shawn Michaels On Training Athletes vs. Wrestlers: It Takes A Different Coaching Style, A Lot More Patience

Shawn Michaels says NXT’s coaches learn new styles as much as the athletes they are training as wrestlers.

During his NXT Deadline Media Call, Shawn Michaels was asked about how he approaches coaching wrestlers versus athletes that are new to the sport. Michaels came up in the territory days, a stark contrast to some talent’s road to WWE today. He says that people that don’t love usually show themselves early on, but there’s a lot of dedication involved from both trainee and coach.

“There’s different techniques, obviously, from a coaching standpoint. You have the people that are very familiar with it and [they] have grown up as fans of the WWE, have watched it over the years, and then you might have an athlete who’s never seen it. I gotta tell you, that’s where we really lean on Robbie Brookside and Normal Smiley. To watch those two train some of these young talents is just amazing again when they’re coming from absolutely, really no wrestling background and have no knowledge of it. And look, also Steve Corino does a great job that once you get here, you may not have been a fan, but you learn the history,” Michaels explained, “and we start helping them understand it and look, even though I always compliment this generation about being better than we were.

“I think there’s still a little bit of that, ‘oh they don’t didn’t start the way we did, and therefore they don’t appreciate it.’ I think there’s a little bit of that that goes on, but that’s a healthy competition as well. And look, when everything’s said and done, the ones that don’t fall in love with it and don’t totally commit to it. They weed themselves out, man. I mean, I gotta tell you, so we don’t worry about it. But there are definitely different techniques and styles, and all of our coaches continue to learn as well. Because of the point that you made is that you have so many people coming in now that may or may not be familiar with it. And that takes a totally different coaching style and a lot more patience. You’re understanding timing, footwork, just some of the natural movements,” Michaels added, “looks of selling and things of that nature, even story and psychology. If you don’t have any familiarity with it, it’s a much longer process.”

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If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the NXT Deadline Media Call with a link back to this article for the transcription.