I’m a big believer in goals now as an adult.

I can’t say that I have always been however. It’s hard to believe in something that you have not personally experienced.

These were goals for me.

Something that other people did … that really didn’t apply to me.

Then my wife and I started giving them a try in our business.

Year after year, we started hitting these (seemingly) random goals that we would set for ourselves.

Before long, I was sold on the power of clear and decisive goals.

I don’t want my wrestler (or yours) to have to wait 30 years before figuring this out. Better yet, I already have a few goals on my mind for him.

Here are 5 for starters:

  1. I want my wrestler to be able to kick my butt by the time he is 18. This one makes me laugh because now my son it such a little peanut. He’s maybe 45lbs soaking wet. I think all parents want their kids to be better than them – and not just in sports. I estimate that he’s got about 6 months before he passes me up in gymnastics … so he’s already way ahead of schedule. He’s also got a stiff right hand that could have probably knocked me out as a 10 year old. (He’s only 5.)
  2. I want my wrestler to love fitness. I recently read a statistic (here) that this next generation (our kids) will be the first with a life expectancy that is actually less than ours. A big part of this is lifestyle induced. In my opinion, a wrestling lifestyle is the antidote to this problem. I still find myself making time to exercise – even with a business and 3 (almost 4) kids. This is 100% due to wrestling.
  3. I want my wrestler to seek out challenges and growth. I think that it is natural for us to want things to be easy on ourselves and our kids. I’ve come to realize however that challenges are how we get better. In wrestling, we know this. It was always the tougher matches where our weaknesses were exposed. I’ve found the same thing to be true in life. When our wrestlers try things and fail – the world will give them feedback. My goal as a father is to help them see that feedback as advice and guidance to get better. This starts with the right mindset.
  4. I want my wrestler to see the connection between effort and outcome. This is another life lesson that I can’t say I really understood until I hit my 30’s. Life is funny. Sometimes, you work on things for seemingly ever … and don’t see anything as a result. Other times, you reap rewards from what seems like little work. This view is dangerous … and just flat wrong. Recently read a book new by Dan Gable that seemed like an awesome solution to this problem in wrestling. He says to give a new habit at least 30 days before deciding whether or not to scrap it. By then, he feels you can make a smarter choice – and hopefully see some of the results of your new practice. 30 days is a good start.
  5. Last, but certainly not least – I want my wrestler to see the value in a good coach. I was very fortunate to have a high school coach who believed in me more than I did myself. A good coach does this. A good coach also cares about us outside wrestling, holds us to our word, and can help us come up with a plan to improve. I think that we can all use a good coach … even as adults. I think it’s a great idea to get started young.

What are your goals for your wrestler? Take a few minutes and write them down and discuss them with your son.

Then, send me the one that you are most excited about.

I would love to hear about it.

-Joe

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