The Way #7 | A RUDIS Wrestling Podcast: Switch: Grow Your People
Growth Mindset (0:00)
Cary Kolat and Matt Dernlan discuss Chapter 7 “Grow Your People”, of the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard by Chip and Dan Heath. The last chapter, “Shrink the Change” taught how to segment your goals in order to make them into feasible tasks. This chapter teaches how to develop your people to adopt a growth mindset. It reframes failure as a part of the change process and to look at failure as learning. Dernlan and Kolat agree that these two chapters overlap and work together.
Initiate the Change (4:26)
Kolat can relate to this chapter by the way he interacts with the administration at Campbell. Getting them to envision and buy into the growth plan of the wrestling program both emotionally and practically. Most administrators don’t come from a wrestling background or fully understand the sport. Coaches should initiate growing their administration’s excitement and engagement in their program and not wait for them to initiate it. A coach has to show that they understand what is important for the athletic department and the institution as a whole.
Changing Perspectives (8:36)
The book uses the example of a conservation student who was studying the St. Lucia parrot that was on the verge of extinction. He was able to save the St. Lucia parrot by engaging people’s emotions and appealing to their best qualities, in this case, national pride. When you build up and inspire your administration, your fans, and the people around you, you’re triggering a strength to act. Kolat says one way to gain an appreciation from your athletic director is to take them with you on a trip. This will give them the perspective of all that goes into being a college wrestler and coach. This allows them to disregard any stereotypes they might hold about the sport.
Successful Teams (16:00)
The pair talk about how this doesn’t only apply to administrators. When Dernlan was a head coach he would explain to his support staff truly how much they mean and impact the program. For example, an athletic trainer or nutritionist is a part of the coaching staff and an academic advisor is an academic coach. Extending ownership and getting everyone to collaborate and invest in the program is how you separate from the rest.
Generating Buy-in (21:22)
Kolat talks about the importance of getting people to buy-in and the way to spark that is small steps. Once you get that initial buy-in people are willing to take the next bigger step much easier. Team captains are a great example of this. Accepting a captains role is saying you care so much about the program you’re willing to step up into a leadership role. This inspires the younger athletes coming into the program. When a captain leads a practice everyone else realizes it’s not just the coach leading it’s all of us.
Prove Your Worth (27:10)
Stepping in the door to a new program you can’t ask for the world. Dernlan talks about proving to an administration what you can do with a restrictive budget. If you can show you can produce with the small budget you’re afforded it’s easier to envision what you could do with a larger one. Before you ask the administration to step up you have to step up yourselves.
Creating a Culture (32:40)
Now that college wrestling is heading into postseason Dernlan asks Kolat what the key things Campbell is focusing on. Kolat talks about how his first focus is wrapping up a conference title. You can’t get caught not giving your attention to the current goal because you’re more focused on future goals. Kolat is focusing on bonus points to separate Campbell from the competition. Overall, he is creating a standard, an identity, and a culture around Campbell Wrestling. Kolat says re-reading Switch is sparking a lot of ideas on how he is going to do so.
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