Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Action Creates Motivation: USA Wrestling's Mike Clayton

By Daniel Kelly

Ask not what the sport of wrestling can do for you, but what you can do for the sport of wrestling.  USA Wrestling has recently appointed Mike Clayton as its National Coaches Education Program Manager.  Mike Clayton may be new to this role, but he has big plans, and he is taking action on all fronts. 

Mike was kind enough to provide me with an opportunity to ask some questions relating to his new role as well as his prior experience in our great sport.

DK:  “How great does it feel to be in this position now after all of the experiences you have had as opposed to how it would have been fifteen or twenty years ago?”

Mike Clayton:  “The timing was right for me.  I’ve had the opportunity to coach at the college level for the past fifteen years.  This job gives me the ability to give back to a much more broad support base of coaches.  I felt compelled that this is such an important position.”

DK:  “What do you miss the most in regard to coaching college wrestling?”

Mike Clayton:  “I do miss the kids; the kids that we had as the alumni, and the kids that are in the program currently.  What I miss the most is the relationship with the kids.”

DK:  “Before you were in your current role, you were basically in a position where you were an individual fighting for access to scarce resources...things that come with building and sustaining a college wrestling program.  Now you are the provider, the person who can help all that were dealing with the adversity you know all too well.  How does it feel?”

Mike Clayton:  “I would say, after 2008, I don’t know too many companies that do not have scarce resources.  We are a not-for-profit.  We are predominantly funded by our membership.  We have to serve our members.  When you give to the people you need something from, they are more likely to give to you.  An important part of what we do is to make sure we are doing the right things to drive membership and to provide good resources.”

DK:  “What can the average wrestling fan do to make your job easier and aid the growth of wrestling?”

Mike Clayton:  “Be involved.  The important part of supporting wrestling in America, at the basic level, is to become a member of USA Wrestling.”

What I want the readers of this article to truly take from Mike’s words is that we all can do more for our great sport.  Become a member of USA Wrestling.  Support wrestling at all levels.  Mike made a statement during our conversation that really grabbed my attention:  “When an individual acts, they become motivated.”  This statement is so true.  He then added:  “Action creates motivation.”  This additional statement made such a profound impact on me at that very moment.  I hope that many of you reading this article become motivated to act by purchasing a USA Wrestling membership as an athlete or coach. 

For more information on Mike Clayton and USA Wrestling Memberships, please click the following links: