I was a sophomore in high school, football was my main sport. My position coach in football was the head wrestling coach and was just waiting out the head football coach getting fired so he could take over.
I usually practiced with a senior who was a weight class up from me. He pounded on me every practice all practice. But he should have, right? He was older, bigger, and a returning state place winner.
One day, the head wrestling coach was gone and the assistant ran practice. He was a real wrestling guy. When we were doing situational live goes, he came over to me and the senior and said loser has to do 20 pushups. I lost a few in a row. Then I started to get pissed. I lost a couple more. Now i’m really pissed off, this isn’t fair, i’ll be doing push-ups all afternoon. Then I win one go. Then another. I won the last four in a row.
Being young, it took me a while to realize that the assistant was able to get me to perform at a level I didn’t believe I could. He believed in me before I did.
I was almost 50/50 with the senior the rest of the season in practice, and started the whole year on varsity. I never even considered being able to do that before.
About 15 years later I ran into the assistant coach and told him this story. He tried to play it off like it was no big deal, but I made sure he knew I thought it was.