Determination Over Talent

This episode Cary Kolat and Matt Dernlan continue onto Ch. 3 “Only the Size of Your Heart Matters” from the book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven. This chapter speaks about the size of your heart being a direct correlation and causation to the level of success you achieve in wrestling, life, and business. What McRaven means by your heart is your determination, resolve, grit, and ambition. It’s not the person with the most talent or genetic gifts but the person who does the most with what they’ve been given. 

Prove Yourself To Yourself (4:35)

Kolat talks about how many of his favorite athletes he’s coached were not the starters. You can’t go wrong surrounding your program with people who are willing to give you everything they got every day. While Kolat was competing he was the starter who got a lot of attention. He’s not sure if he was a backup for four years if he would have stuck it out. It takes a tough kid to show up every day and pour their heart into their training knowing they probably won’t start. SEAL training is about proving something every day to yourself and everyone around you. The best wrestlers understand this as well. They continue to set new limitations and expectations on themselves.

A Mindset for Life (15:46)

McRaven gives an example in the book of seeing a skinny gentleman in a waiting room and thinking to himself how hard of a time that gentleman will have in training. He later finds out he was a retired SEAL who had won a medal of honor. It’s a perfect lesson of not judging a book by its cover. Kolat says this is true within wrestling. You can’t judge your opponent or anyone by their body shape or looks. He also points out that some of the best wrestlers in the world are long and thin and use their leverage in their favor. Dernlan and Kolat discuss how all-encompassing being a coach is. They also speak on how as a coach if you instill within your athlete the mindset of going all in and being the hardest worker in the room. This mindset will not only help them win wrestling matches but they can carry it throughout their life and find success anywhere.


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Matt is wearing the USA Merit Halverson Jacket found here:


Introducing something unprecedented to the wrestling community, Cary Kolat and Matt Dernlan present their venture “The Way | A RUDIS Wrestling Podcast”. The Way is something everyone is searching for. Whether that is an athletic, personal, or professional achievement. Coming from Coaching backgrounds, Kolat and Dernlan are always looking for better ways to lead athletes and elevate them. “The Way” breaks down different forms of literature to generate discussion and different perspectives. Then takes these lessons and knowledge and applies them to all aspects of life.


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