Setting a Goal

With Matt Dernlan absent, Cary Kolat tackles chapter 4 of the book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard By Chip and Dan Heath and how he uses its lessons every day as a wrestling coach. By pointing out the goal it gives the rational mind an objective that doesn’t allow for over analysis and gets the emotional mind excited. Kolat describes an example in the book of a first-grade teacher. In order to motivate them to be more successful in the classroom, she asked if they would like to be third graders by the end of the year. This applied to their emotional mind as they look up to the older kids. Another change the teacher made was asking the kids to refer to themselves as scholars and halfway through the year as second-grade scholars. By the end of the year, the kids were reading at a third-grade level.

Inspire and Motivate

Kolat is using this in his own life. The Campbell wrestling program is raising funds to support itself. In order to motivate the team, Kolat appealed to the rational and analytical side of their brains by setting a goal. He appealed to their emotional side by showing them the brand new wrestling gear they could get if the funds are raised. 

Working in Groups Within an Organization

Another example in chapter 4 is about a doctor that dealt with breast cancer patients. The doctor dealt with the elongated process of giving a patient diagnosis and then moving them into treatment. The doctor was able to get all the departments to work together with her. This took a lot of time out of getting a diagnosis and moving the patient into a formal treatment plan. Kolat can relate to getting a team together within an organization. In order to do so, you have to convince people to trust you and be willing to work with you. It’s a great example of how to work within a company, organization, booster club, etc. The doctor figured out how to achieve her goal and win.

Easy to Collaborate With

Kolat relates to this example in a major way. Kolat recently headed a project that invested heavily into the Campbell wrestling program. Campbell wrestling added an extended practice space, new locker rooms, coaches offices, cardio space and athlete lounge. Kolat wanted to create the best wrestling facility in the nation. A place where a wrestler could do everything from practice to study to hang out and in general want to be. Kolat had to work with a lot of people to get this project finished. learning to work with people and being easy to work with is a huge part of achieving your goals.

Holding True to a Standard

An executive at BP was tasked with bringing the price to find and collect oil down. A lot of money was wasted drilling holes searching for oil. It was that you didn’t know exactly where the oil was so you blindly drill in an area you believe it to be. This executive started to hold the geologist in charge of targeting where to drill to a higher standard. They were forced to analyze the data and be accountable for their mistakes.

Take Responsibility

As a wrestling coach, you have to set a standard. Wrestlers are given ownership whether they want it or not. Being the guy that gets all the glory comes with the responsibility of being the guy that takes the hit if you come up short. Language choices within a program are huge. There’s a reason you see certain phrases decorating wrestling room walls. By stating things like “we get the first takedown” or “Heavyweights don’t get pinned” creates a culture. It also points to a destination of scoring and winning.


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