“There’s real power in understanding that we don’t know everything, which lets us approach return to play with a mindset of learning and adaptation”

Chad Kolarcik

What You will learn

  • Insight into effectively managing the balance between maintaining performance and allowing for injury recovery
  • Strategies to help athletes manage the pressures from professional and personal demands during recovery.
  • Discussion on measuring performance in sports beyond just game outcomes, focusing on detailed process-oriented metrics.

Chad Kolarcik shares his journey into professional sports and his transition out of it. He discusses the return to play process and the balance between maintaining performance qualities and allowing the injury to recover. He emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the performance and medical teams, as well as putting the athlete at the center of the decision-making process.

Chad also highlights the challenges of working in sports, including the sacrifices required in terms of personal and family life. Chad Kolarcik shares his insights on achieving work-life balance in the sports industry and the importance of clarity and acceptance in professional sports. He emphasizes the need for clear communication and setting expectations in organizations.

Chad also discusses the impact of competition on the sports industry and the emotional toll it can take on individuals. He shares techniques for managing stress and maintaining emotional well-being. Chad reflects on his own journey of self-discovery and the realization that his identity is not solely defined by his work in sports. He offers advice on how to judge success in the sports industry and highlights the importance of foundational principles such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, hydration, and moments of stillness.

Chad concludes by discussing the joy and sense of accomplishment that comes from winning championships and his favorite cities and stadiums in the sports world.

Listen here – Finding Small Wins Podcast:

024 | Chad Kolarcik: Managing Return to Play

Key Takeaways

  • Collaboration between the performance and medical teams is crucial in the return to play process.
  • The athlete should be at the center of the decision-making process, with the final say in their own care.
  • Managing external pressures and helping athletes navigate them is an important aspect of the job.
  • The end stage rehab process involves replicating the intensities and demands of the sport to prepare the athlete for competition.
  • Working in sports can be fun and rewarding, but it also requires sacrifices in terms of personal and family life. Clear communication and setting expectations are crucial in achieving work-life balance in the sports industry.
  • Competition is a fundamental aspect of sports, and the emotional toll it can take on individuals should be acknowledged and managed.
  • Techniques such as accessing the heart’s energetic center can help manage emotional situations and prevent emotional depletion.
  • Self-discovery and recognizing one’s identity beyond their work in sports is essential for personal growth and fulfillment.
  • Success in the sports industry should be judged based on individual roles and responsibilities, with consideration for the work done outside of team results.
  • Foundational principles such as sleep, exercise, nutrition, hydration, and moments of stillness are key to improving health and performance.
  • Choosing moments of discomfort and embracing change can lead to personal growth and success.
  • Winning championships brings a sense of joy and accomplishment in the sports industry.
  • Favorite cities include Southern California, particularly Los Angeles, and favorite stadiums include Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta and soccer-specific stadiums like Providence Park in Portland and Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City.

episode timeline

00:00 Chad’s Journey into Professional Sports
09:59 Collaboration and Athlete-Led Care
16:26 Balancing Performance and Injury Recovery
31:06 The Joys and Challenges of Working in Sports
37:04 Achieving Work-Life Balance in the Sports Industry
43:18 Techniques for Managing Stress and Emotional Well-Being
50:49 Judging Success in the Sports Industry
56:07 Embracing Discomfort and Personal Growth
01:00:29 The Joy and Accomplishment of Winning Championships

Adam Loiacono


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