A Desire to Grow
Cary Kolat answers the question, “How do you get athletes to become more motivated?” He explains that first, you have to be dealing with someone who wants to be successful. Maybe they have certain hurdles they need to overcome or are struggling with but the individual needs to want to change. When Kolat was competing he had that self-motivation innately built into him from a young age. He wanted to win every sprint and every scramble and didn’t need a coach to push that will to win upon him. Some athletes have passion and talent but need a boost to get them on a self-motivated path to success.
Letting Go (1:21)
The way to get an athlete to push themselves mentally and physically without a coach’s influence is to back off. If you’re constantly blowing the whistle and instructing step by step they can’t learn to push themselves. All motivation is self-motivation. The external forces and voices will become internal ones.
Setting a Baseline for Improvement (2:00)
There are 4-6 things Kolat always brings his team back to for conditioning as a group. This way they can see the line in the sand that they drew the first time and can improve upon those standards. When a wrestler sees self-improvement, it is extremely motivating.
Taking Ownership (2:53)
Kolat has structured workouts that give ownership to the athlete. On the airdyne bike, he has his athletes figure out their RPMs for a sprint. Then Kolat gives them the structure of the workout but allows them to set their own pace. They set the goal for themselves and aren’t relying on a screaming coach in their ear. Kolat takes this approach in a lot of his team practices, not exclusively for conditioning. It then becomes more of a management system, but you first have to teach the athlete how to do manage themselves. Overall what a coach is trying to accomplish is getting the athlete to push their own limits whether the coach is there or not. The more ownership they take on, the more motivated and driven they’ll become.
Learning from Other Sports (7:55)
Track athletes exemplify an extreme amount of self-motivation and drive. Track is a sport that you don’t need anyone else to compete against. Kolat believes wrestlers can draw a lot from the self-discipline and mental toughness of track athletes and use it within wrestling.
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