*If you're reading this... Congratulations, you're alive. If that's not something to smile about, then I don't know what is. - Chad Sugg*

Today, I want to ask you all to take a P.L.E.A.S.E. pill. This pill should be taken daily or more than one a day as needed. The P.L.E.A.S.E. pill is a proprietary blend of elements that will aide you in navigating through life's uncertainties and empower you to live a life of purpose and meaning. Side effects: the risk of discovering your own greatness and enjoyment of a fulfilling life.

Passion - Find your passion and your WHY? In doing so, understand that success is a criteria you get to define and set. I've come to recognize that the most successful and happy people have a passion and a pleasure in getting to do what they love everyday. Once you find what that passion is and know your WHY don't let anything detour you in your quest to "catch" your own happiness.

Live - When I say live I don't mean just to breathe and exist. I want you to live in the moment. Get rid of distractions (such as toxic influencers, regrets, and negative self-talk) and the external noise that hinders you from being present. Be alive!

Embrace - Embrace the uncertainties of life. None of us is promised a tomorrow - which is why it is so important to have your passion, to live your WHY, and to embrace each day because we never know when it will be our last.

Attitude - Your attitude is your everything. It can carry you over that mountain or it can sink you in that valley. Don't let negative energy hold you back and hinder you from living and embracing your passion. Life is all about your decisions. It's the little things that make a big difference. Keep your attitude on the right path and it will lead you to your greatness!

Smile - This is one of the things I love to do most. I love smiling and laughing. It sounds so simple, but time and time again (I'm not innocent), we let external factors control our happiness. Like I said earlier, your attitude is your everything. Let your smile be the reason someone else smiles. I also love helping other people smile. Your smile is your gift to the world. Don't be stingy with it. Which leads me to the last ingredient of this potent and highly effective P.L.E.A.S.E. pill.

Engage - Engage and encourage the people around you. Make a difference in the lives of the people you see everyday or even a stranger by simply taking your medicine, PLEASE.

If you approach your day having taken this medicine as prescribed you will be able to appreciate that it's the little things that make a big difference. It's the people that smile at you. It's the person that sees you're having a tough day and provides you that little bit of encouragement that helps to push you through the day.

Understand that even with these compounds, life won't be easy or without difficulties. You will have to get out of your comfort zone and push yourself to find your success and happiness. Along the way, you will recognize the innate quality of GREATNESS that has existed inside you this whole time. You just needed to discover it!

The best thing about this antidote is that it doesn't cost you any money. So, as you finish reading I ask you to PLEASE, pass this along as that little piece of encouragement that could help someone through their day!

Be Blessed,

Over and Out. Kyven Gadson

-- www.Gadsonstrong.com Gadson Strong, LLC. Cyclone Wrestling Club, Senior Level Athlete 2016 Olympic Hopeful




I remember watching a video of my first wrestling practice with my Dad. Ironically, it was on this day - December 31, 1998 - 17 years ago in our living room in Iowa City, IA. I was always a pretty high energy kid, and didn't have the best attention span for long technique sessions. One thing that stood out to me (as I watched as my Dad worked to show me the stand up) was my inability to LISTEN! I'm writing this blog because that inability and weakness hindered me for so long! I hope it won't hinder you.

During the video, my Dad/Coach tells me several times to keep my arm tucked in on the stand up. For whatever reason, though, I repeatedly failed to do so. He simply says, "You don't LISTEN very well!" Little did I know at 6 1/2 that this would be a recurring theme for the greater first part of my now 17-year wrestling career.

A bit of background on my father, Willie Lee Gadson. He was a 2x Junior College National Champion at Nassau Community College and then went on to become a 2x All-American for Harold Nichols at Iowa State University. After experiencing a fairly accomplished career as a Senior-Level wrestler, he coached for several years on all levels, including Division 1. He led the Eastern Michigan Eagles to their only Mid-American Conference Tournament title back in 1996, and was Coach of the Year. So, to say the least, he had a hefty amount of experience and expertise in the field of wrestling and life. Many coaches and wrestlers, up until his death in 2013, respected his technical skills and passion for the sport. He was an advisor, scout, and counselor to so many.

So, back to listening! I had all this knowledge and know-how in someone who had been where I was trying to go, and I still WOULDN'T LISTEN. I say "wouldn't" because listening is a choice and a decision. I thought I could do it by myself, which was a bad decision.

5 Reasons Why Athletes Don't Listen

  1. I KNOW: They think they know it all! If they don't, they think they can find it some other way other than THEIR own coach.

  2. PRIDE: Pride can be your biggest friend and your biggest enemy. If you don't know when to set it aside and ask for help it will hold you back.

  3. TRUST: A lack of trust in THEIR coach's ability to coach. If you can't trust your coach to tell you the right things then you're on your own.

  4. I CAN'T HEAR YOU: A lack of communication is a downfall in any relationship. When there isn't an open line of communication problems will not get solved and will become detrimental to growth and success.

  5. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: A lack of respect is another big reason why some athletes don't listen. If you don't respect someone, then why would you listen to what they are saying? Answer Yourself.

I know in my situation with my Father/Coach, I suffered from numbers one, two, and four more than anything else, and occasionally number three. It wasn't until my sophomore year of high school - after losing and getting embarrassed by Derek St. John in the State Finals at 145 pounds - that I went to my Father/Coach and said, "I will do WHATEVER you tell me to do as long as that never happens to me AGAIN!" After that, WE started winning more. I won my first national tournament two months later. And still to this day, I wish I could've been smart enough to LISTEN sooner.

As I write this, I smile. Moving forward, I know now that the possibilities are endless; and as I work to become an Olympian and an Olympic Gold Medalist in 2016, I'm pleased with my maturity all because I made a decision to shut my mouth, open my ears, and trust that my coach knows more than me!

Don't forget a great coach is there to help YOU reach YOUR FULL POTENTIAL!

If you can't LISTEN, you can't WIN! Just ask 15-year-old Kyven. I'm sure he can elaborate.

Thanks for reading, and as you move into 2016 remember this: The word 'listen' contains the same letters as the word 'silent'. - Alfred Brendel

Hope you all have a prosperous and great New Year!!

- Kyven Gadson






*Semi-Finals of the 2015 Men's Freestyle Open/Olympic Trials Qualifier, Las Vegas, NV*

Remember when you were in elementary or middle school and you had a big test coming up? Your teacher probably told you, "If you have any doubt, go with your first answer. It will probably be right." So, you circle "B" and then the rest of the time taking the test you're thinking, "Is it B or was it C?" So, then you go back and erase "B" and put "C." Afterwards, you talk with your smart friend and she (Come on, you know it was usually a girl!) put B for the answer; and now you're thinking, "Man, I should've LISTENED and stuck with my gut. My preparation had me ready and I second guessed myself." Now, instead of an A on the test, you get a B.

Man, LITTLE THINGS MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE in life and in wrestling!

A couple of things Coach Jackson has always told me are: "Explode through the position" and "If you get to your position TAKE HIM!" What I learned this weekend (The HARD WAY) is something that I've always known. It's THROW or get THROWN. My hesitation in the second period of my match ended with me on my back and reporting to the wrestle backs. Not a feeling I like at all and I'll learn from my decisions.

It's been a while since that had happened to me in competition. If I'm correct, I think the last time was in 7th grade. I got hit with a headlock and was pinned. I don't like how it feels; and although it does happen, I don't like it when it happens to me. Since we are in the holiday season, it's always better to GIVE than to receive (something my Dad would always say) - especially when it's the gift of a pin!

So, here are my biggest takeaways from this exact match:

1) Trust your instincts and your training. Your preparation will have you prepared! 2) Be coachable and continue to listen to your coaches. They know what they're talking about. In my case, I'm very fortunate to have Coach Jackson's knowledge and expertise, along with Coach Paulson's. 3) Finally, if you're going to do something right, go ALL IN and commit to it! In wrestling, hesitation can cost you, like it did for me at the US Open.

Getting PINNED can be a big motivator moving forward and in learning from my decisions in the hopes that it doesn't happen again for another 10 years!

Thank you all for reading!

No Mas, Not Being A Champion

No Mas, Not Being A Champion

On Sunday evening when I got back from working out and had sat down after listening to some church, I decided to flip on the TV. It was already on ESPN so I kept it there! It was about 20 minutes through an episode of the 30 for 30 No Mas about the story of the Great American Boxer Sugar Ray Leonard and his rivalry with Panama Legend Roberto Duran! If you have not had an opportunity to watch it I would highly suggest it! 

Right when I turned it on it was just getting through the part where Sugar Ray lost this close fight to Duran. Man was he devastated! He had been training and working his whole life trying to become the best possible boxer he could become and he LOST. So the question is How Do CHAMPIONS Deal w/ Adversity or Losses? 

In the next scene, the interviewer had Sugar talk about the fight and his thought process right afterwards. He said, "I get in the dressing room and that's the worst time for a fighter, after a big fight that he loses, because all of a sudden now I'm by myself and I have to deal and come to grips with what the HELL just happened! And I'm sore. I'm beat up. I mean tears running down my face! And I'm saying, 'I don't need this, I don't NEED this!'" - Sugar Ray Leonard

Because of the way he fought, he gained the respect of many people and was still viewed as a champion. The question still remains 'How Do Champions Deal w/ Adversity or Losses? Because I want you to watch the episode and break it down for yourself, I don't want to go into it any farther. Otherwise, I'll spoil it! There are some great lessons in it though!

One thing I know is that CHAMPIONS - whether in WRESTLING or Life - are R.A.R.E., which makes them true examples of resilient people. They are not quitters; and even when the mind is negative they make a choice to keep striving to be better. Not giving up or giving in, they know that to be a TRUE Champion they must continue to battle and to fight! When they look in that mirror they are looking at a warrior, a fighter, a CHAMPION!

As I look in the mirror today, tomorrow and for the rest of my days, I will challenge myself to be a TRUE CHAMPION in all that I do! Even when dealing with losses like the ones I had this weekend, or the bigger ones like losing my Uncle to suicide or my Father to cancer! Or when facing the common opponent of adversity, I will look in the mirror and say "I AM R.A.R.E. and I AM A CHAMPION!" And that along with God and my faith will carry me through, one day at a time!

Hope you all know that you all can be CHAMPIONS also! YOU just have to make a decision!!

¡no más de no ser un campeón!
No more not being a champion!



My Best,

Kyven Gadson


P.S. Netflix does have the No Mas: 30 for 30!