How It All Began
With the recent release of RUDIS’ newest series, ASK KOLAT, Ben wanted an opportunity to sit down with Cary and get some of his own questions answered. Ben Askren begins by asking Cary where the inspiration for Ask Kolat came from. Cary started his own website, Kolat.com, in 2007 and his business partner began using YouTube to promote the brand. Relatively quickly the YouTube channel gained a following and amassed around 128,000 subscribers. Through that following Cary was receiving hundreds of questions and comments daily. After some pressure from his business partner, he decided to create weekly videos to answer those questions and help anyone he could. Those videos were designed to cover the basics of wrestling such as, dieting, conditioning and training for coaches, parents and wrestlers.
A Father’s Influence
Discussion shifts to the documentary made by FLO Wrestling about Kolat. Specifically, Ben asked about his father and the impact he had on Cary’s life and success in wrestling. Cary started wrestling at 5 years old and, similarly to Ben, had a father who pushed him from a very young age.
Kolat’s Unique Style
Ben then asks Cary Kolat where his unique style of wrestling originates from. Cary hates the term “god given talent”. But, if everyone has one given talent, his would be that he could perform technique after seeing it once. This started for him at a very young age. He always wanted to be the guy everyone talked about when he left the wrestling room. So, he taught himself and learned as much as he could from those around him and developed his own style.
Small Schools Huge Accomplishments
Next, Ben asks Cary about his affinity for the small college setting. What about that setting allowed him to flourish? Cary’s collegiate career began at Penn State and was fairly dominant before he transferred to Lock Haven University. At Lock Haven, he went on to win two national titles. Cary is now the head coach at Campbell University, another small school. He has done incredible things with the program, including a brand new wrestling facility. Cary tries to live a life of convenience. As a very goal oriented person he likes as little distractions as possible. At lock Haven he found that he had more opportunity to train with little distractions and a larger pool of talent.
Conversation next turns towards Cary’s career after college. Cary bounced around training for a few years before the 2000 Sydney Olympics and retired afterwards. One of Cary’s life goals was to be an Olympic Champion. After the Sydney Olympics, he was beginning a family and without the current RTC programs that exist today, he had to begin working and providing for his family. He returned to the sport a few times after retirement, eventually taking second at the 2011 US Open. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to compete in the Olympic Trials due to a neck injury. He returned again in 2012, but wasn’t successful and eventually lost the drive to compete.
Leadership and Coaching
Ben and Cary next discuss how leaving the sport to pursue business ventures made them more well-rounded individuals. They wanted to experience the world and prove to themselves they could do it and leave a better legacy for their children. The podcast comes to a close as Cary Kolat and Ben Askren discuss coaching and the impact coaches had on their own lives as well as the impact coaching has on athletes in general.
Where to find the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast
The RUDIS Wrestling Podcast is hosted Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan. Ben Askren, World Champion and Olympic wrestler, joins RUDIS from the T-Row & Funky Show in an official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from a D1 college coaching background with family roots grounded in Ohio wrestling with a collective 10 state titles on the shelf.