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THE SPAR LIFE

Two college wrestling coaches who discuss their passion for NCAA Wrestling, the United States Coast Guard Academy, and what they believe it takes to optimize human performance for those who are chasing their own personal excellence. Kevin Bratland & Dylan Foley have combined for over 20 years of collegiate coaching, combined for seven Conference Coach of the Year accolades, and now lead the US Coast Guard Academy Wrestling program. They have transformed the Coast Guard’s “Semper Paratus, Always Ready” motto, into their own SPAR Life team mantra and way of being! This podcast is for people who want to learn more about the Coast Guard Academy, our Wrestling program, and how the methods we implement for our college athletes and military cadets can also help YOU optimize yourself in your daily life!

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#01 - Welcome to the SPAR LIFE!

In Episode 1, Kevin and Dylan, co-creators of SPAR LIFE, talk about the origin of the brand, what it means to “live the life,” and how an idea, originally intended for the United States Coast Guard Academy Wrestling team, turned into something much, much greater.  An optimized version of yourself is right around the corner. Find out how to live the Semper Paratus, Always Ready Lifestyle! Welcome to the SPAR LIFE!

24mins

17 Jun 2019

Rank #1

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#10 - Legendary Coach Jim Miller - The Super Power called "Coaching"

In this episode of The SPAR Life, Kevin and Dylan talk with legendary coach Jim "Milboy" Miller. In 22 years of college coaching, Milboy’s teams won 10 NCAA Division III Championships and finished second 8 other times. He is regarded as the best Division III wrestling coach of all time, one of the best coaches of all time, and the greatest motivator of our era.Milboy talks about growing up in Waterloo, IA and his transition from youth, to college athlete, to coach. He also speaks in depth about the impact mentors and coaches are in shaping lives, and helping us reach our potential. If you are looking to be inspired or want to know what it takes to be a Hall of Fame wrestling coach, this is a must listen episode.

1hr 3mins

5 Aug 2019

Rank #2

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#08 - Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover

In this episode of The SPAR Life Coach Bratland and Coach Foley speak with Coast Guard Academy graduate, Dan Fiorvanti. Growing up, we are all told to never judge a book by it's cover... Looking at Dan Fiorvanti today you would assume he has always been successful. He is about to be the Executive Officer of a Coast Guard Cutter, was a two-sport athlete in college, and personifies the SPAR LIFE. Dan stated he was not born innately talented, but built himself up by never giving up, busting his tail in every facet of his life, and making the decision to find out what his true potential is. He suffered set backs and adversity, but through it all kept a positive outlook and crafted himself into the person he is today. His message is simple: You don't have to stay where you are. If you want more, make the decision, stick to it, and go work your tail off! 

47mins

25 Jul 2019

Rank #3

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#04 - "Nobody Cares How You Feel!" -LeRoy Gardner the interview

For LeRoy Gardner it took finally winning a National Championship for him to realize wrestling was something he did, not who he was. To him, a new heavyweight national champion would be crowned next season. The shine of the trophies would eventually fade. What he would always carry with him though, were the lessons he learned along the way. Now, as the Head Men's Wrestling Coach at the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas, LeRoy is focused on coaching young men to be champions on the mat and in life. Kevin and Dylan talk with LeRoy about his career path, going from the financial districts in Boston and New York, to becoming an Officer in the US Navy, to landing his full-time coaching position now - With several stops in between. LeRoy provides invaluable insight on his wrestling program, his coaching philosophies, and what drives him and his team. 

49mins

24 Jun 2019

Rank #4

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Ep. 14 - Raise Your Standard...Common to Uncommon

In this episode Kevin and Dylan are joined by Lindsi Bratland the owner of Pure Barre Waterford.  We discuss raising your standard beyond what is considered "common" to the new standard of "uncommon".  The people you surround yourself with and the habits you create for yourself are not an overnight phenomenon to change.  The process is a journey that is unique to each of us.  Wherever you are in your self optimization journey the principles of the "uncommon" are invaluable to helping us create the habits required to reach our goals! 

39mins

3 Sep 2019

Rank #5

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#11 - Relationships, Coaching, and Boutique Fitness!

In this episode of The SPAR Life Kevin and Dylan discuss the definition of a coach and explain why the dictionary definition does not encompass what it takes to be a successful coach.  Successful coaching is similar to owning and operating a boutique fitness studio.  If you have ever stepped into a well run boutique fitness studio you will understand and appreciate how the experience is revolved around YOU...your fitness goals, your experience, your community!  Relationships create the experience that make successful student-athletes and successful boutique fitness studios!

27mins

12 Aug 2019

Rank #6

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Ep. 13 - #SETYOURSTANDARD

In this episode Kevin and Dylan discuss their new hashtag #SetYourStandard.The conversation goes from individual ownership of choices, to a discussion on genetic predisposition, and to the role parents play in offspring's potential.What standard are you setting for yourself? 

48mins

26 Aug 2019

Rank #7

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Social Media and Branding

In this episode Kevin and Dylan discuss their brand, The SPAR Life, and how they use social media to spread their message to their team, fans, and alumni.  Social media is a popular and powerful tool that is an amazing, free resource that anyone can use to spread their brand!

33mins

15 Oct 2019

Rank #8

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Ep. 16 - Core Values...Thou shalt not Lie, Cheat, or Steal

In episode 16, Kevin and Dylan take their discussion of character one step further.  We all know good things happen to good people, but good things also happen to bad people.  How important is moral character such as lying, cheating, and stealing when determining a person's athletic, occupational success or personal potential?  Can a person be at the top of their profession despite lacking a moral compass?  Tune in to find out how core values can help guide you in decision making and becoming the best version of yourself.

37mins

16 Sep 2019

Rank #9

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Ep. 18 - Sober Octo-Novemberish...

In this episode of the SPAR Life, Dylan flies solo as he discusses his 30 day challenges and the goals he has set for himself for the month of October.Starting from a challenge from a friend, find out how Dylan tries to make small improvements in his day-to-day life by developing habits that become a lifestyle.What goals will you conquer this month?

37mins

7 Oct 2019

Rank #10

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#09 - Bruh...Do You Even Crossfit?

In this episode Kevin and Dylan celebrate the upcoming 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games, beginning this week! On the surface, we all know the importance of moving our bodies and exercising. Whatever you do that keeps you moving consistently is great! Something is always better than nothing. If you follow “The SPAR Life” on social media, you already know, we choose CrossFit. Listen in as we discuss our Top 7 reasons why high intensity interval training (HIIT) has our full attention. Anyone interested in getting started in CrossFit, or has questions about it, please reach out to us on social media!- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - If you are interested in honoring Thomas Cameron and completing his workout it can be found at the link below.https://www.crossfit.com/workout/2013/03/26Tag us in your work out completing “Cameron!” @thesparlife on Instagram 

37mins

29 Jul 2019

Rank #11

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Winning isn't Everything, Performance is...

In this episode Kevin and Dylan discuss a winning philosophy vs. a performance based approach to athletic or academic performance.

37mins

22 Oct 2019

Rank #12

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Ep. 15 - Don’t Tell Me About Your Talent

In this episode of the SPAR Life, Kevin and Dylan discuss the latest in the Antonio Brown-NFL saga and the balance of talent versus character. While New England celebrates the signing of a super-talent, Dylan laments the apparent character flaws in the star wide receiver. How important is character in the formula of success? Find out on this episode! 

39mins

9 Sep 2019

Rank #13

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Ep. 17 - Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

In episode 17 of The SPAR Life Kevin and Dylan discuss Kevin's experience spear gun fishing with wrestler and avid spear gun fisher Paul Detwiler.  Kevin's experience spurred a conversation about getting out of your comfort zone and if this is necessary to being the best version of yourself.  Adversity and discomfort create a vulnerability that as adults we don't like to admit often.  As coaches and parents we are the all knowing Yoda's to our children and athletes.  How important is it to hold on to the believe we are invincible vs. admitting we have fears, too?

34mins

24 Sep 2019

Rank #14

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#12 - NCAA Champ Cam Simaz’s Journey to Coaching

In this episode of the SPAR Life Dylan is at the National Wrestling Coach Association Leadership Academy where he catches up with fellow leadership grad Cam Simaz.Cam was a 4x D1 All-American for Cornell, winning the 2012 National Championship. Naturally inquisitive, he and Dylan hit it off right away, finding out they had plenty of similarities - Including coaching at military schools.Cam is now the Assistant Coach at SDSU, and discusses his journey through coaching, the relationships he’s made along the way, and the standards he set for himself in order to reach the heights he did as an athlete. 

1hr 15mins

19 Aug 2019

Rank #15

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#07 - The Power of the Coach-Athlete Relationship with Karl Bratland

In this Episode of The SPAR Life Kevin and Dylan speak with Karl Bratland, founder and owner of the Hammer Wrestling School in Illinois.The conversation becomes one about coach-athlete relationships and the power your words and thoughts can have on your (and someone else’s) performance. Karl’s story goes to show that sometimes you need someone to believe in you more than you believe in yourself. 

38mins

15 Jul 2019

Rank #16

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#06 - The World's Greatest, Legal Performance Enhancer - Sleep

In Episode 6 of The SPAR Life, Kevin and Dylan discuss a performance enhancer that is readily available to everyone, free of charge, and completely legal. That’s right. We are talking about sleep! Optimizing your sleep requires tracking in order to monitor the three most important factors of sleep: quality, quantity and consistency. Want to perform better in all realms of your life, feel happier, be more productive, and reap countless medical benefits? The answer is simple - Get a good nights sleep. Learn how today! 

36mins

8 Jul 2019

Rank #17

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#05 - A Day in the (SPAR) Life of 1/c McBurney

With Day 1 of Swab Summer beginning for the Coast Guard Academy Class of 2023 beginning today, what could be better than hearing from rising CGA senior, George McBurney on his experiences through his first three years of Academy life!Kevin and Dylan talk with 1/c McBurney about why he chose to attend the US Coast Guard Academy, what life is like as a Cadet, and some of the amazing places you will go as a member of the US Coast Guard.George leaves us with his thoughts as to why every qualified high school candidate should take a long, hard look at becoming at a Cadet-athlete here.Don’t take our word for it, listen to someone who lives the Academy life each and every day!

45mins

1 Jul 2019

Rank #18

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Fisherman or Harvard Business man/woman?

In this episode Coach Bratland, Coach Foley, and Dr. Snow discuss the parable of the Mexican Fisherman and the American Business Man.  An American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them. The Mexican replied, that it only took a little while. The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish. The Mexican said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, señor."The American scoffed. "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."The Mexican fisherman asked, "But señor, how long will this all take?"To which the American replied, "Fifteen or twenty years.""But what then, señor?"The American laughed and said, "That's the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.""Millions, señor? Then what?"The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

52mins

30 Dec 2019

Rank #19

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This is The Game Changer...should you go vegan?

In this episode Kevin, Dylan, and Robyn discuss the highly controversial Netflix documentary "The Game Changers".  Are plant based diets the next step to unlocking your athletic potential?  Find out in this episode of The SPAR Life!

55mins

17 Dec 2019

Rank #20