Reinforcing the Message

Cary Kolat and Matt Dernlan discuss Chapter 10, “Rally the Herd” from the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, by Chip and Dan Heath. Dernlan starts by discussing how some chapters become redundant the closer they get to the ending. Kolat comments that anything with a solid foundation is worth coming back to that idea and enforcing it. Consistency and continuity to the main message is key because change is hard and doesn’t happen overnight. Kolat pulled a lot of insight from this chapter when answering the question “Can You Build Competitiveness?” on his last episode of ASK KOLAT.

While getting ready for this years NCAA Tournament, Kolat focused on rallying the community around Campbell Wrestling as a whole and not only focusing on his team. Every Campbell fan and teammate knew and supported the goal and rallied behind it. When everyone is focused on a goal together and believe, they are more likely to achieve success.

Body Language (6:35)

After analyzing the NCAA Tournament and the season as a whole, Kolat and his staff came to a few conclusions about how to improve for next year. A large factor that contributes to competitiveness is body language. When Kolat was competing, he watched competitors wrestle and observed how far they were willing to push themselves. Kolat now teaches his own wrestlers that at any given moment, their opponent might be watching for signs of weakness. If the opponent does not appear to be watching in person, they may also have videotape on your reactions before and after a match and can analyze body language. When you have a high standard of how you carry yourself, it reflects in your wrestling and hinders the confidence of the opponent.

Hostile Environment (11:40)

Another way Kolat rallies his team to work towards a common goal is by establishing an US vs THEM mentality. Kolat found motivation from hostile environments with rowdy fan bases that motivated him to wrestle his best.

Tweak the Message (16:50)

Truly knowing your wrestlers is extremely important. Kolat explains how his team is distinct in their own ways and require unique coaching. Every individual is at a different level of expertise and they all have different personalities that need catering to, in order to get them to perform at their best. The overall message is the same that the group unifies over. Then recognize that personalizing the message is powerful. This makes the overall message more tangible, relatable and obtainable for each wrestler.

Transfers (21:32)

Dernlan asks Kolat about how he integrates a wrestler who has transferred to Campbell from another program. Kolat talks about a transfer from Eastern Michigan who recently integrated into their wrestling program. For this wrestler, he needed to work on his style of wrestling. He already came in with a great mindset and work ethic.

Building the Herd (25:53)

Dernlan brings up the topic of converting new believers in your mission and growing your program’s following. One thing he speaks on is letting go of control. You can’t force someone to immediately be on board and understand your message. People are attracted to high achievers. This chapter talks about letting the current believers go out and perform and allowing the newcomers to naturally see and embrace what the first adapters are already doing. If you’re recruiting the right type of individual, they will organically be pulled up to the elite within the culture. 


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