Next Play Episode 21 I Chris Ayres on Building a Championship Culture at Princeton Wrestling

By August 29, 2017 No Comments

Welcome to the Next Play Podcast Series brought to you by Game Plan – my name is Vin McCaffrey.

We took the summer off – it’s been a series of sprints around here and our best summer on record.  More to come later on Game Plan later.

It’s great to be back on the Next Play Series.

This is a special one for me – Chris Ayres, Princeton’s Wrestling Coach joins me.  Chris and I have known each other for over 20 years.  He and I were fraternity brothers at Lehigh at ATO.  He’s the ultimate growth mindset person.  Just loves challenges.  And what he has accomplished at Princeton is remarkable.

Chris and I are friends which is woven throughout the discussion.  He goes into his journey as an All American Wrestler at Lehigh to head coach at Princeton, the recruiting process at Princeton as well as the turn around process over the past 12 years.

Given Chris’s role at one of the most challenging universities in the world, his insight and perspective are outstanding – something we can all learn from.  I loved it.  Special thanks to Chris for joining me.

Let’s jump in!


What is covered:

  • [00:15] Recapping Chris’ last 12 Years at Princeton
  • [03:15] Chris’ Journey from High School to College Wrestling
  • [09:16] Chris’ Academic Journey at Lehigh
  • [12:15]  When Did You Make the Decision to become a Coach?
  • [15:20] Similarities between Coaching and Running a Business
  • [16:20] Recruiting at a Princeton University
  • [24:35] Who to Define Success in a Growth Mindset
  • [30:45] Interaction with Coaching and Support Staff
  • [33:05] Establish the Wrestling Brand on Campus
  • [36:05] Support from Princeton’s Wrestling Alumni
  • [38:12] Identity Transition away from Wrestling for Chris’ Athletes
  • [42:05] Closing Remarks

Next Play Episode 21 I Chris Ayers on Building a Championship Culture at Princeton Wrestling

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