“I think there are probably different challenges for each level of training,” Medley said. “If you coach a Division 1 team, these guys are there for a reason. They are recruited for a reason, and they have a level of struggle necessary to achieve greatness. More so for them, it is about refining each individual. Everyone has their own personal style, their own way that motivates them. As a coach, you need to understand that not just one athlete is the same. I think the most important thing is to impact every athlete’s life and create an authentic relationship with them, to be a mentor. I think it goes beyond wrestling.
One of Medley’s current inspirations for leading a team comes in the form of Michigan assistant coach and former UFC fighter Kevin Jackson.
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The MMA pioneer would not only win the UFC 14 light heavyweight tournament, but would also fight for the first 205-pound belt in UFC history during his incredibly short career after winning the medals. Olympic, Pan American and World gold medals.
Medley is privileged to know Jackson not as “the UFC fighter,” but as the trainer and mentor who lives his life to make a difference in fighters’ careers, not to brag about his tenacity and his days. of glory at the pinnacle of combat sports.
“He’s one of the great, great representatives and ambassadors for the sport of wrestling,” Medley said. “Wherever he went, there was success.”
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Because of coaches like Jackson, leaders like Medley, and life lessons you can’t learn anywhere else, no matter what career wrestlers excel in after they hit the mat, there’s a reason why. they will always be wrestlers first.
“I just think what sport teaches you is different than what any sport teaches you,” Medley said. “I’m a fan of Michael Chandler and his story and how he started out as an extra at the University of Missouri and ended up being an All-American. Now he is one of the best guys in his division. He returned to his wrestling roots. I think what’s so special about it is the relationships and the brotherhood you build with your teammates. Things are hard, but you all suffer together and choose to do it. The values and lessons you learn from sport stay with you for the rest of your life. With that comes a feeling of gratitude for those lessons.
Before Medley calls it a career and starts the hunt for his coaching career, he still has a run in him, and the next stop is at UFC FIGHT PASS Battle At Bragg.
Catch Battle At Bragg Friday, November 11, LIVE from historic Fort Bragg, ONLY on UFC FIGHT PASS!