“Be optimistic about everything.” – Michael Jordan
You cannot always control what happens to you in life, but what’s important is how you handle it. Champions are not only champions when everything is going right, but when things don’t go right they know how to turn their obstacles into opportunities - it all starts with a mindset.
It was June of 2013 and I was on the tail end f a great fight camp, two weeks away from the biggest fight of my MMA career to date. I was about to make my debut at World Series of Fighting. WSOF is the #3 MMA promotion in the world. Their fights broadcast live on NBC Sports across the country. Needless to say this was a big opportunity.
Less than two weeks out from the fight I started to feel some pain in my jaw. In about 24 hours the pain went from annoying to excruciating. I went to the dentist and he said my wisdom teeth were coming in (I should have gotten them pulled much earlier) and one of them was growing in on an angle. That tooth had gotten infected so bad that it looked like I had a golf ball in my cheek. It was painful!
The dentist said I needed to get four teeth pulled immediately. When I told him I had the biggest fight of my life in 10 days, he didn’t have much sympathy (when you tell your doctor that you get punched in the face for a living, they don’t usually like it). So I was 10 days out from the fight and the recovery time for the surgery was… 10 days.
Surgery was done – I had no choice. But I did have a choice on how I was going to view this problem. I could have said to myself, “I can’t train for the last 10 days of my camp. How am I going to cut weight? I now am going into a fight with four holes in my jaw, what a disadvantage! This is a disaster. How can I win under these circumstances?”
Instead, I took a different approach. I said to myself, “This is an obstacle that I will overcome and how much cooler is this victory going to knowing the adversity I had to overcome to achieve it! After this win, I am going to have a good story to tell!”
That is exactly what happened. I won a hard fought battle and the adversity made the win just that much more special. Now I get to tell the story. Watch the fight video below…
We see champions react to obstacles this way all the time. One of my favorite fighters and favorite human beings is Tyron Woodley. T-Wood is one of the top welterweights in the UFC right now. Recently, he busted his leg and he is now in a cast. Don’t think for a second that held him down. He is probably in the gym right now working the heavy bag on one leg.
The word coach derives from the the horse-drawn coaches that were developed in the town of Kocs during the fifteenth century. The vehicles were originally used to transport royalty, but in time they also carried valuables, mail, and common passengers (1).
“A ‘coach’ remains something, or someone who carries a valued person from where they are to where they want to be.” - Kevin Hall
As coaches, our valuable cargo are our athletes. We care about their success and because of that we want to help them get there in the most efficient way possible while inspiring them to be the absolute best that they can be. The following are 5 principles that I believe are marks of an influential coach:
1. Positive Reinforcement
“The way to develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.” - Charles Schwab
B.F. Skinner, a world famous psychologist, discovered that an animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learn what it learn far more efficiently than an animal punished for bad behavior. While our athletes are not animals, I do believe this principle applies to people as well.
Praise is much more effective than criticism. An influential coach focuses on telling his athletes what the are doing RIGHT twice as much as on telling them what they are doing wrong. However, the praise must be real, not cheap praise or flattery.
It is also important to teach the athlete to practice positive reinforcement on themselves. One of my favorite books, and the book at really opened my eyes to the power of the mental game is With Winning in Mind by Olympic gold medal rifle shooter Lanny Bassham. In his book he defines the principle of reinforcement - the more we think about, talk about, write about something happening, we improve the probability of that thing happening (2).
2. Coaches the Individual
“If there is one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get other’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as your own.” - Henry Ford
In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie says, “The only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it” (3). Every athlete is different and is motivated in a different way. For example, if you call someone out for being lazy in front of the whole team, one guy may crumble and take it poorly while another guy might get angry and motivated to prove you wrong.
It is very important for a coach to understand their athlete and how to get the best out of them. However, If an athlete does not have a desire to get better or just hates the sport he is doing, there is not much a coach can do to change that - they must truly want to be successful themselves.
"Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results predictably. However, without a system, even extraordinary people find it difficult to predictably achieve even ordinary results." - Michael Gerber
As my brother Conor and I discuss what makes great college programs successful year after year, we have realized once common theme - each program has a proven and effective system that is repeated year after year.
I believe this is the key to success for any sports program. That is why you see college football coaches move from school to school and continue to have success. It is not as much about the players but more about the system in place that gets the most out of those players.
The system has to be simple, effective and repeatable. But most importantly, all participants must buy in to the system. An influential coach builds an effective system and get his athletes to buy in - thus creating positive, predictable, and repeatable results.
4. Always Learning
“All meaningful and lasting change starts first in your imagination and then works its way out.” - Albert Einstein
I put this one after ‘Systems’ intentionally because a great coach should always be trying to learn and improve the system in place. Continually testing and measuring the results and improving the machine is key.
In his book, 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell writes,”Anyone who knows all the answers is not asking the right questions” (4). Things are always evolving and changing. If we don't do the same we will be left in the dust.
Take the sport of wrestling for example; if you watch Dan Gable matches from when he was competing, most wrestlers today might get a good laugh out of it. The styles have changed so much. If Gable was still teaching only the techniques that made him successful, his program would be left in the dust.
A great coach should always be studying new techniques, learning from his athletes and other coaches. An ego will only limit your potential.
5. Proven Experience
“To know the road ahead, ask those coming back.” - Chinese proverb
This one is kind of a given. If a coach doesn’t have some sort of a track record of success then how can you expect future success? Granted, some people are better coaches than they were athletes but they must have experience going through the same grind that they expect from their athletes.
Our high school coach, Coach Bu, is a great example of this. Coach Bu will be the first to tell you that he wasn’t the most accomplished wrestler in the sport but that wasn’t for lack of effort. He just didn’t have the coaching or technique that we were privileged to have. He definitely went through the trenches though.
Coach Bu was one of the most influential coaches not only in mine and my brothers’ lives, but probably one of the most influential coached in the history of Illinois wrestling. He knew what it was like to run long miles in the Chicago winter though knee high snow, and cutting weight, and the agony of defeat. He knew all of the difficulties of the sport and the things he demanded of his athletes because he did it all himself. This experience helped him inspire and influence many athletes in wrestling and in football as he continues to do today.
In conclusion, I have been blessed to have many influential coaches like in my life. As a matter of fact, my coaches have been among the most influential people in my life, period. I think the same is true for most athletes. As coaches, we have a responsibility to get the most out of every athlete who entrusts us with their athletic career. So lets do that in the best way possible. Lets coach with a purpose!
(1) Aspire - Kevin Hall
(2) With Winning in Mind - Lanny Bassham
(3) How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie
(4) 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - John Maxwell
Update: We got 20 new 'Competitor's Bibles' in courtesy of FCA Wrestling National Director, NCAA Champion, and former U of I Head Coach, Carl Perry. These Bibles have great daily devotions in the back. They will help our coaches and athletes grow in and out of the huddle!
Jon Jones is the most competitive guy at I can think of. It seems the bigger the stage, the better he performs. That is a trait that I want to have and I think it is the mark of a great competitor.
So why does Jon Jones compete so well? I think a lot of it as to do with the fact that he loves to compete. He doesn’t care much about the pre-fight hype. He doesn’t seem nervous before he steps in the cage. It’s more like he is excited and ready to have fun!
I think if we as competitors learn to enjoy competition more, rather than letting our nerves get the best of us, we will compete to our full potential, and maybe, beyond.
The Parable of Talents (Mark 25:15-30)
14 “For it is just like a man going on a journey. He called his servants and turned over his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents;[a] to another, two; and to another, one—to each according to his own ability. Then he went on a journey. Immediately 16 the man who had received five talents went, put them to work, and earned five more. 17 In the same way the man with two earned two more. 18 But the man who had received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.
19 “After a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received five talents approached, presented five more talents, and said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. Look, I’ve earned five more talents.’
21 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’
22 “Then the man with two talents also approached. He said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. Look, I’ve earned two more talents.’
23 “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!’
24 “Then the man who had received one talent also approached and said, ‘Master, I know you. You’re a difficult man, reaping where you haven’t sown and gathering where you haven’t scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went off and hid your talent in the ground. Look, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master replied to him, ‘You evil, lazy servant! If you knew that I reap where I haven’t sown and gather where I haven’t scattered, 27 then you should have deposited my money with the bankers. And when I returned I would have received my money back with interest.
28 “‘So take the talent from him and give it to the one who has 10 talents. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have more than enough. But from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 30 And throw this good-for-nothing servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
29 “For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 30 Throw out the worthless servant into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
It is important to pin point our God-given talents and make sure we are investing in them well. When I look at my own talents, I feel God has blessed me with athletic ability, intelligence, and leadership skills.
I need to make sure I am getting the most out of what God has given me athletically. That means I need to study the mental game and compete to my full potential. I can take notes from Jon Jones and learn to enjoy competition and remember to always have FUN!
I can use my mind at work. By being successful in business I can use my God given talents to generate contributions to Kingdom building causes. I can use my leadership skills at Beebe Trained to help lead these kids to become better athletes and better men!
1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
-This passage refers to an early international competition much like the Olympics. What makes the Olympics so important?
-What do the athletes get for winning?
-The award that these athletes won was nothing more than a crown made from a tree branch! How long will that last? ( the why or pay value in goal setting).
3 P's of wrestling:
1. Preparation - studying the sport, the mental game.
2. Practice - developing the skills required to excel the sport and keeping them sharp. Technique, drilling, strength & conditioning.
3. Performance - the actual competition. The endurance to compete and win; putting your desire and practice into action.
3 P's of spiritual training
1. Preparation -the desire to know and follow Christ and read about Him in the Bible.
2. Practice - developing the skills by learning to grow as a Christian. Bible study, prayer, and fellowship are to be kept sharp continually.
3. Performance -running the race. Continuing to use your skills to develop endurance. Taking Christ with you at home, in the class room or on the mat.
-Describe mental preparations you make for wrestling. What thoughts help you get ready for a match? Do you ever visualize a match before you step out there?
-List one essential skill required in wrestling.
-List one essential skill required in your Christian life.
-How do you develop endurance for wrestling? How do you develop endurance for your christian life?
95% of winning is done by 5% of those who compete. One habit separates the 5% from the rest: goal setting. Most people don’t set them. No surprise there. This is common knowledge.
However, every major corporation sets goals. Every government sets goals. Every builder who builds has a blue print. Every banker has a written contract on how the borrower is going to pay back each loan. But among individuals, only the super successful even bother to set personal goals and plan their work.
Are our goals just a pipe dream? Are our goals set too high to not high enough? There is a 10 step process you can use to set you goals just right:
1. Decide what you want.
State you goal in the present tense.
Ex. “I am a state Champion”
2. Decide when you want it.
Ex. “March 2014”
3. List the pay-value.
Why do you want the goal? This is the most important step. What is your PURPOSE? Is it sincere? Is it powerful enough to motivate you to reach beyond you potential?
Ex. “Through being successful in wrestling I will improve my character and become a better person. With a state championship under my belt I will be able wrestle in college, get an education, and become a productive member of society.”
4. Determine the obstacles in your way.
What must you do to reach your goals? Habits, attitudes, etc.
Ex. I need to improve in the following areas: Strength/conditioning, technique, mental game.
5. What is your plan to reach your goal?
The biggest difference between a wish and a goal is that a goal has a written plan. What do you have to do to overcome the obstacles in your way?
Ex. Strength – I train at The Functional Athlete 2x a week to improve in this area.
Technique – I attend every Beebe Trained practice and clinic and learn every day.
Mental Game – I attend the Champions Huddle a Beebe Trained every Sunday and I study the mental game like it is my most important class.
6. Ask yourself: “Is the prize worth the pay?”
7. Schedule you plan.
Gather the necessary resources, schedule your workouts, etc.
8. Start now!
Don’t delay. Put out high quality effort, consistently over time, and you can do anything.
9. Never reach a goal without fist setting another one.
To add to this one, I would say, don’t be afraid to alter your goal if need be, as long as the purpose of achieving that goal stays the same. For example, if your goal was to be a state place winner and you go out and beat a state champ, maybe you need to adjust you goal.
10. Never, ever, ever, ever quit!!!!
Lastly, take all of these steps and put them together to develop a “Directive Affirmation.”
Ex. March 2014. I am a State Champion. I attend all Beebe Trained practices and train strength and conditioning 2x a week. I study the mental game like it is my most important class and attend all Champion’s Huddles. Through being successful in wrestling I will improve my character and become a better person. With a state championship under my belt I will be able wrestle in college, get an education, and become a productive member of society. I am a State Champion!
Write your Directive Affirmation on 3 note card and strategically place the card in 3 places that you know you will see them every day. When you see the card throughout the day, stop and read it to yourself. Only one of two things can happen; you will achieve your goal, or you will stop trying.
The above are excerpts from the book With Winning in Mind by Lanny Bassham – this book changed my life. It was introduced to me by a man that had a big impact on me. He is a warrior, a Marine, a Vietnam vet, and my mentor while I was at Purdue - Lou Famiano.
Get this book on Amazon – click here.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Wrestling Ministry’s Champions Breakfast at the NCAA National tournament. This opportunity was provided by the very charitable and totally Christian company that I work for, The Cochlan Group, inc.
TCG sponsored the event and sent me down there to try to recruit some new guys to hire. Our criteria for application are; business degree, wrestler, and Christian. Needless to say, the FCAW Breakfast was the perfect place to find such candidates (if you think that you may fit this mold, or know someone that does, contact me).
This was an amazing experience for me. Not only did I get to hang out with some of the most inspirational wrestlers of our time, like Jordan Burrows and Anthony Robles, but also with high level Christian business men, whom I hope to imitate. I loved the opportunity to listen and chat with men who are older, wiser, and more experienced/accomplished than me. In the short time I was there, I learned a lot, and here are some of my notes:
Mark Mestemacher – FCAW board member, successful business man, and huge advocate/supporter of wrestling in Illinois – Mark reaffirmed my belief in the power of a wrestling based Christian ministry. To give you some background, Mark had invited me to an FCA Wrestling "24 Hour God Camp" a few months ago that had a huge impact on me
Mark said that the power is two-fold; 1) for the older wrestlers that are Christians, these camps gives them a platform to share their faith to younger guys that look up to them in an atmosphere that the feel comfortable- I couldn't agree with this more. There are not many places that I feel more comfortable than in a wrestling room with a bunch of wrestlers.
2) The young guys who may have never been exposed to the gospel feel comfortable talking about faith with peers and older wrestlers that they look up to. Wrestling is a very niche culture. Us wrestlers like to stick together because, let’s be honest, it’s hard for other people to understand why we do what we do (i.e. skip parties, run in plastic suits, spit in cups, etc).
Jordan Burroughss – Olympic Gold Medalist. Jordan was at the FCA "24 Hour God Camp" that I metioned. He was also a guest speaker at the breakfast this past weekend. What Jordan said was likely the coolest part of the weekend – as it turns out, Jordan gave his life to Christ at the "24 Hou God Camp"!!! I had no idea this happened, and I was there! If wrestling ministry has the power to impact an Olympic Gold Medalist, then just imagine the positive influence it can have with young wrestlers all across the country!!! (read the blog I wrote about the 24 our God Camp)
Hearing this inspired me so much to push forward with a Beebe Trained affiliated wrestling ministry. I am still not sure exactly what this will look like but I truly believe God has a big plan here (check out the BBT Ministry page here).
Anthony “Unstoppable” Robles- NCAA Champion (the guy with one leg from ASU). Anthony was another guest speaker at the event. He talked about God’s calling for our lives. His mom always told him that God had called him to do something special with his life. Through all the obstacles that he had to overcome, she always told him that quitting was not an option. If God calls you to do something special with your life, to not do so would be disobedient.
One of the biggest things that stood out to me about Anthony was his outstanding character and humility. I can’t help but think it was forged through all of the struggles he had to overcome throughout his life. This reminded me of one of my favorite verses:
(Romans 5: 3-4) Rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
John McGovern – head coach at Dubuque University. John is a long-time family friend and a very wise man. Some things that he said in our conversation really stood out to me. As we were talking about MMA, I told John that my motivation for fighting is to use the MMA platform to try to inspire others for Christ. But, I have been struggling to do that in a tangible way. It’s one thing to grab the mic after a fight and say, “All the glory to God,” but I want to see people’s lives changed!
John told me that there are different seasons of life. If God is calling you to be a competitor and you think that you should be on the pulpit preaching, then you are not pursuing you calling correctly and God will not be with you. He said that right now might be the time to fight and focus on competing so that later in life I can speak and contribute in a more tangible way.
John also said, "standing on the pulpit is a dangerous place, because one may start to think that the impact is coming from their own power and forget that it is really coming from God." I totally agreed with this and thought to myself that I really need to develop my maturity and humility before I think about speaking to others. I can see how pride can overcome someone in ministry and I need to be aware and make sure that doesn't happen to me.
Stay tuned for more developments and more blogs. Please comment on this blog and give me some feedback! Thanks for reading.
Recent news has come out that the IOC has voted to drop the oldest sport in the world from the Olympics. This is terrible news to anyone who loves or has been impacted by the sport of wrestling. While wrestling has not reached as large of an audience as many other sports, the impact has been much deeper for those individuals that it has reached.
One positive outcome of this whole “dropping wrestling form the Olympics” fiasco is the over whelming support that it has inspired from the wrestling community through media coverage, videos, interviews, and testimonials about how wrestling has impacted people’s lives.
Wrestling is the greatest sport on earth and the recent coverage and support for the sport has given me substacial evidence on which to build my case.
From a child’s perspective:
Wrestling is an equal opportunity sport, more so than any other sport. It doesn’t discriminate against the small, the weak, or the slow (or, like I was as a kid, all of the above). Wrestling doesn’t even discriminate against the poor or the underprivileged.
“It doesn’t matter where you come from or what resources you have. If you are willing to work, you can be successful a wrestling. Wrestling has weight classes so the smallest guy can be successful, and the biggest guy can be successful. Anybody can be successful but it requires hard work.” Cael Sanderson- Olympic Gold Medalist, 4x NCAA Champion
From a wrestler’s perspective:
Wrestling is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle. And as such, it penetrates all aspects of your life. For many sports, after practice or a game, the sport is over. But with wrestling, the weight cutting, and overall discipline required, wrestling is on your mind 24/7.
“The discipline of wrestling carries over to all aspects of my life. It makes me a better husband, a better father, a better son, and a better friend.” James Yonushonis- Olympic hopeful.
“Wrestling has taught me how to live my life; how to be tough, determined, good work ethic, all the things you need to be successful in life. It has taught me how to learn and how to teach. I owe everything to wrestling.” Reece Humphrey NCAA Champion, Olympic hopeful.
“Gotta finish, never give up, push after you goals and walk away knowing that you did everything to pursue your goals.” Michael Mitchell- Olympic hopeful.
“We aren’t in it for the fame or the fortune, cuz there is none.” JD Bergman
From a parent’s perspective:
"I have kids and I don't care if they are champions, but they will wrestle. Wrestling will make up for all of the mistakes I make as a parent because it teaches humility, hard work, and it teaches everything that you need to be successful in this world." Cael Sanderson
Cael said it best. No additional input from me is needed on this one.
From an employer’s perspective:
I personally can attest to this point because I was hired, less than a week after my last final exam, solely because I am a wrestler. My boss is an ex-wrestler and he understands the mentality wrestlers have and how that can transfer over into the work place. In fact my firm is looking to hire more, but prospects must be high level wrestlers.
“Current research indicates that individuals who have competed in elite level athletics, i.e., collegiate, international, or professional level competition possess higher levels of emotional intelligence than their non-athlete counterparts” Richard Mendelson, a human capital consultant/researcher.
"I specifically like to hire wrestlers that have experienced success in the sport because they are sharp, passionate, tenacious, disciplined and they have a huge desire to succeed." Steve J Cochlan, President/CEO of The Cochlan Group (my boss)
“Olympic champions display higher levels of specific attributes directly linked to success, in particular emotional intelligence, stress management, interpersonal skills, and self-regard.” Forbes Magazine
“Wrestlers have a capacity to push themselves harder than most and display an unrivaled mental toughness” Forbes Magazine.
“Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy” Dan Gable.
From the perspective of human nature:
(Not sure if that makes sense ^ but keep reading and you will get my point)
Wrestling is as old as mankind. Kids are wrestling before they can walk. As far back as history goes, there has been wrestling. Wrestling penetrates all cultures and all generations. It is a battle of one man against another man. Who is the best? It doesn’t get more basic than that.
“The beauty of wrestling is that it is the epitome of sport. It’s a combination of strength, speed, flexibility, stamina, mental toughness; all those things that make sport. It’s the base sport. When kids grow up they say, ok, who is the fastest? Who is the strongest? And who can win in a wrestling match?” Cael Sanderson
“I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler.” Socrates
The moral of this story is to support wrestling and get involved. The first step is to come by Beebe Trained and sign your kid up for our wrestling program ;) On top of phenomenal wrestling training, your kids will learn all of the life lessons mentioned in this blog. Get in and get better… at life!!!
“College wrestling is way harder than MMA,” said every college wrestler turned MMA fighter.
“Man, I wish I would have wrestled in college,” said every MMA fighter that didn’t wrestle.
As a young aspiring MMA fighter and a lifelong wrestler I was faced with a very difficult question: Should I wrestle in college and get and education, or pursue my dreams to be an MMA fighter? Answer: Why not both?
For the last few years that is exactly what I did. I wrestled for Lindenwood-Bellville University, while earning a degree in Business Administration, and while competing as a professional MMA fighter. When I was going to school at LUB, I earned a 3.5 GPA, won a national championship in wrestling, and I went 6-0 as a pro MMA fighter. I am not saying this to toot my own horn but rather to offer up an interesting opportunity for young aspiring MMA fighters: You can do it too!
*Note: There are only certain schools that will allow you to compete as a professional athlete while competing in a collegiate sport. For example, you cannot do this for any NCAA sanctioned schools. However, the NAIA and the NCWA will allow it. I wrestled in the NCWA.
I truly believe that I would not have been nearly as successful on the mat if I wasn’t getting it done in the class room as well. I would not have been as successful in the cage if I wasn’t getting it done on the mat.
Wrestling provided me with the most intense and well-structured fight camps that I could ever ask for. Wrestling also gave me an abundance of dedicated training partners coupled with phenomenal coaches. Training for wrestling is much harder than training for MMA. The constant grind with little to no time off includes; strength/conditioning workouts, hard/technical drilling, live sparring, and more.
After my wrestling workouts I would train MMA with current UFC contender Tyron Woodley (he has a gym near my school). I fought, on average, once every other month. By doing this I earned enough money to pay my rent and put food on the table (but not much more than that). It was also cool because all my teammates, classmates, and teachers were following my career and watching my fights. I would go over my fight contracts with my law professor and I developed a strategic MMA marketing plan as a class project. My professors were all very supportive. One day I was checking out a book and the school librarian asked me if I was excited to go to California and fight for Tachi Palace. I thought that was pretty cool since I had never even told him I was a fighter.
So, most days I was training 3 times a day. This system made for extremely hard and exhausting training. With that said, being an athlete is NOT a full time job. Any athlete, even the most intense ones, can only train so many hours in a day. The question is what do you do with the rest of your day? I suggest focus on something else other that training. Something that is still challenging but allows you to shift focus and keep you from getting burned out on training. That something, for me, was business.
I found that the better I did in the classroom, the better I did in competition. By succeeding in school I was able to compete with a lot less pressure on my shoulders. One of my favorite quotes is, “The probability of achieving your goal drastically improves when you let go of the need to have it.” A full-time fighter NEEDS to win because fighting is all he has. When I stepped into the cage I knew, win or lose, I still had an education and other things going for me. This thought process allowed be to compete free of worry, which made me fight a lot better and win a lot more.
So, if you want to be an MMA fighter I strongly suggest you take the same route. Find a college with an NCWA or NAIA wrestling program. Then find an MMA gym nearby. Train hard at wrestling, train hard at MMA, and above all… get your education!!!
If you have any questions about this idea, or need some advice, feel free to contact me through our contact page or via Facebook. I will be glad to help!
With 5 boys in the family, it's not hard to see where our competitive drive comes from. Throughout out childhood we learned success come only through hard work and didicated. Iron sharpens iron as one brother sharpens another. We are very blessed to now have an opportunity to sharpen others.