Coach LeRoy Gardner

The Tyranny of the Goal

'Aim for the Moon so even if you don't make it you're among the stars...' I've seen a form of this shared, and read it frequently throughout my time as a competitor. Over time I have reflected on this concept of setting high goals or goals in general. During my time as a competitive student-athlete, I spent many days and years with the goal of being a National Champion. It was incredibly rewarding and immensely fulfilling when I was fortunate enough to attain it. However, it also created an interesting introspection, why me? In my senior season, our team put six of ten individuals into... read more »

Perfection = Fear of Failure

Photo credit "I am a perfectionist." I heard it the other day at Brazilian Ju-jitsu training. It always raises my eyebrows. I have been around many competitors at various levels of successful performance. The subtext or often trailer after this comment is, " I find myself hesitating or looking for the perfect opening/opportunity/execution." In my experience, there is rarely a perfect opening or execution, just the one that succeeds in that moment - and we won't know ahead of time which that is. Only our effort to seize that opportunity, whether a tie-up, set-up or take down makes it so.... read more »

Showing Up

"Half the battle is getting started." I've heard that saying and I know staring at a blank page ready to receive some thoughts - it's always true. I am getting ready for our next season of wrestling, and school year at University of the Ozarks. I have been working through my notes from last season, organizing my thoughts, and gaming refinements for next season. My assistant and I will work through the same process. What are the big blocks that will continue to help us move forward and help these student-athletes become their best? It is simple, but not easy. Show up. I realized it all... read more »

What Do You WANT?

“Do you want to wrestle or play football in college?” I asked this question of a high schooler after a wrestling practice. This young man probably was asked often by adults around him. I remember being asked during my time from sixteen to eighteen. Sometimes the answer was influenced by the asker. Sometimes the answer was based on events at a respective athletic event. However in time, with enough iterations over the questions, the answer became clear to me. My answer became, ‘I am not done, I still have work to do in wrestling, things to accomplish. I am not finished with wrestling.” This mentality was... read more »