Maintaining motivation and staying focused. How do young wrestlers stay focused and motivated through all the distractions they face? HERO recently sat down with Cade Olivas, ranked as the number one wrestler for the 106lb. weight class and a current wrestler for St. John's Bosco High School in California, and we discussed how he has maintained his champion mindset.
The journey for Cade began when he was five years-old. His dad enrolled him in a multitude of sports to keep him active, including baseball, basketball, and soccer. But one obviously stuck: wrestling. Cade knew from a very young age that wrestling was going to be his thing.
So he then began to develop something that would certainly set him apart from his competitors: his focus. From a young age, Cade knew he wanted to make it to the big stage and to be one of the greats. And from that same age, Cade was always set on staying focused. “I like to set goals. I start with a small goal and work bigger. Most importantly, I never stop setting goals, so there is always something to strive for." For Cade, being incremental, so that you are always focused on the present and also looking to the future, makes him especially focused. Cade’s goal setting goes as far as the Olympics, and he never loses sight of it. Just last year, Cade traveled to China to compete on the World’s Team, where he got the Bronze medal.
For Cade though, staying focused is also about knowing when to step back and take your mind off things. His family is his biggest supporter and motivator, but they are also his relaxer. “I have two younger sisters who I’m very close with. They always help me take my mind off wrestling when I get home at the end of the day, but they are also at every match ready to cheer me on, and they want to see me succeed to the next level.”
Asked about other activities that help take his mind off things, Cade talked about the simplicity of a family dinner or outing. “I love to go golfing with my dad and grandpa, not having to take it seriously so that it’s a lot of fun. A family dinner or a trip to the beach is always fun and a great way to take my mind off wrestling.”
While his family, friends, teammates, and coaches have all been great for motivation, Cade ultimately fell in love with wrestling for its individuality.
“I get to push myself. Everything is on me. Coaches can teach you a lot, but you have to have it in you, inside yourself. Anybody can be a national champion, they just have to find it in themselves.” So I then asked Cade how he prepares before a match. “I ask myself: Am I really ready? I tell myself I'm doing good, I say it out loud, and you just have to remind yourself that you are the most prepared. You got yourself to where you are.” So Cade always secludes himself before matches, gets into his zone and removes outside distractions, keeping with his routine and reminding himself how he got there. In talking to Cade, I noticed how much he liked to remind himself of his training before
matches. Regardless of the match, whether it was a small tournament or the biggest stage, Cade always remembered that his body was ready to do the work, and it was up to his mind to follow through. Every match, Cade sees it as a further opportunity to grow. He believes you have to treat each match like it's the first one, and looking past one match makes you lose sight of your goals and your focus. "Never go out there thinking you can just take every match. Focusing on every match takes away outside distractions, so you have to treat each match the same." So how does wrestling relate to the rest of life? Cade looked at wrestling as an opportunity to be within yourself and push yourself further. "I want to make sure that I'm succeeding and always being the best at whatever I do. School is no different. Wrestling just pushes me to try my hardest in school." All in all, Cade's exceptional ability to transfer the qualities of wrestling into other aspects of his life seems reason enough for anybody to wrestle. Cade's wonderful ability to focus on wrestling, on every match, and on the bigger picture are certainly reasons he has been so successful. We wish Cade the best in his future endeavors, certain that he will continue to be an inspiration in the world of wrestling.
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