1. Recharge your battery in between rounds. Detach yourself emotionally and mentally from other matches during the day. Don’t watch too much wrestling. Get out of the tournament area when there is some time to do so. Leave the building and get some fresh air if you can.
2. Do not make the tournament into an event. You wrestle several matches each practice. This is no different.
3. Don’t spend too much time looking at brackets. (1) All you need to know is who you’re wrestling and your mat number. You do not need to read every name, since you will probably only wrestle 4 or 5 people there anyway. (2) Over-analysis of brackets leads you to “looking ahead” and playing “what if” scenarios in your head. (3) Brackets can make the tournament into more of an “event” which could add pressure.
4. Stay away from negative people/small time thinkers. Upsets happen to even the best wrestlers. They all can be beat. No one is superhuman. The only person in the building who needs to believe in you is YOU.
5. Stay away from people who make you overthink or add pressure (certain team coaches, private coaches, parents, friends, teammates).
6. Stay positive and BELIEVE in yourself even when it’s tough to do so. Part of being mentally tough means staying stubbornly positive and optimistic despite adversity.
7. In between each match, get a drill in to get back to that good feeling. Drilling for feel, not analysis, helps you regroup and improve confidence.
8. Wrestle a practice match before you wrestle your first actual match (get the bad match out of you).
9. Don’t over or under eat/drink. Be full, but stop when you’re full. You should be fully hydrated when you compete.
10. Stay in the present moment. Don’t look ahead or behind. If you lost or wrestled poorly, do NOT let the same opponent beat you twice. On the other side of the coin, do not celebrate or become too content when you place, qualify, pull off a big upset, or fulfill/exceed other people’s expectations of you. Keep wrestling hard and hungry.
10.5 Take advantage of a Free Mindset Trial Session with our team.
If I could sum up the post season in one word it would be Confidence. I believe that Confidence is what separates good wrestlers from great wrestlers.
The wrestlers that win State and National Championships don't stumble upon their wins. Ask any of them. They expected to Win going into the tournament. Now this of course does not guarantee success, but it gives you a fighting chance. If you aren't confident that you will win or execute your technique in certain matches or against certain opponents, chances are you won't... EVER. At some point, whether in practice or in your Mental Training you must the develop Confidence to get to the next level.
I look at David Taylor as an excellent example. He is far from a physical specimen- doesn't appear to be the strongest or fastest guy out there. His technique is fairly predictable at this point. His Confidence, however, is the among the best I've seen and I think separates him from the other wrestlers. He KNOWS he is going to get 5 or 6 takedowns out there. He KNOWS he is going to find a way to put his opponents on their back. He KNOWS he is going to score big points each time he goes out on the mat.
He has developed nearly unstoppable confidence in his technique, ability to score, and crush his opponents. Confidence is what separates you from executing technique against your best opponents and ultimately beating them.
Hard work will without a doubt improve your confidence, but what happens when everyone else is working their tail off?This is when Mental Training becomes essential. I believe that the higher the level of wrestling, the more Mental the sport is. At a high level (state finals, national finals, etc.) you better be using the Mental tools to ensure that you are Confident every single time you step on the mat and every time you Pull the Trigger and go after your technique.
This includes personal Motivation, Body Language, Visualization, and on and on. Confidence is not optional at the highest levels, it is absolutely mandatory. Do everything in your power to Improve Confidence before and during competition and you will have the ability to Jump Levels and win more.
Check out our Mindset Training Program for Wrestlers
Remember, a Confident wrestler is a better wrestler!
1. Constantly look to score. Focus on putting points on the board, not winning the match
2. Score the next point. Each moment of wrestling.
3. Win the battle off the whistle. (top and bottom)
4. Look to turn and pin (don’t just ride).
5. Your tie or no tie. Never hang-out in his tie-up. Don’t “hang-out” in your tie-up either.
Move him and score.
6. Take the most risks and score the most points. Don’t “feel him” out.
7. Be the last one wrestling (at end of periods and by the out of bounds).
8. Be the most intense person on the mat.
9. Feel good out there. Keep that good feeling the whole match no matter what.
10. Have fun. It’s just a game out there. Don’t blow it out of proportion.
11. Win the match 2 or 3 times. Don’t get frustrated/mad/hang head after a bad call, mistake,
opponent comes back, etc. Beat him again.
12. Be quick but don’t hurry.
13. Control the pace/tempo. Don’t “wait and see.”
14. Finish the period on top.
15. Blow him away! It doesn’t have to be close. Step on their throat and make them remember
16. JUST..WRESTLE..Don’t overthink/overanalyze.
17. Score last! Don't sit on leads. Put the match away.
18. Pull the trigger. Be the one to go. Err on the side of gutsy.
19. Win all overtimes. Dig down deep and let your heart show during the match.
20. Wrestle in the moment. Refocus immediately after mistakes/bad calls.
1. Give up 1 but not 2
2. We need bonus points
3. A wins a win
4. All that matters is March
5. I cant accept losing
6. You should/shouldn’t beat this guy
7. Circle/Hang On/Drop to an Ankle (obvious hint to stall)
8. Don’t get pinned/stay off your back
9. This is what you worked for all year
10. This is a big match for us
1. Coaches who say give up 1 but not 2 get wrestlers overthinking top. When wrestlers overthink they get nervous and they do impatient things, instead of doing the very things that got them the lead in the first place (presumably a coach is saying this to a wrestler with a slight lead). Also, another name for top is offense. a wrestlers job is to be aggressive. In practice this may be acceptable to say to younger wrestlers so they begin to understand the sport.
2 & 8 can be grouped in together. Many wrestlers I speak to say when coaches place an expectation on them of how many points they need to score or what they "should" do adds A LOT of nervousness to them and they often wrestle worse. Wrestlers should be focused on scoring as many points as possible and look for the pin if its there. Stay off your back conveys a huge lack of confidence in your wrestler comparatively to the present opponent. Unless you're coaching very inexperienced wrestlers, this is obvious. Does not have to be revisited right before a match.
3. "A win's a win" conveys to your wrestler that your primary concern is the outcome. Even if this is so, you don't want to stress this to your athlete because they will feel greater pressure not to let you down. You want your wrestlers wrestling free of expectations so they can let loose and open up- just like practice (where many wrestlers are at their best). Also, if a win is a win, by definition that means a loss is a loss. So what if you lose? You're setting the athlete up to think in dichotomous extreme terms about winning and losing. The more effective thing to focus on is learning a lesson whether they win or loss.
4. Why do many wrestlers "choke" at the end of the season? Often because they believe "its all about March." Coaches say this phrase with nothing but the best intentions. We want our wrestlers to keep their eye on the prize. We want to be process oriented instead of outcome oriented. The only time we want to be outcome oriented is when were doing goal setting, if an athlete is feeling lazy or feels like quitting. Then we revisit what they are ultimately trying to accomplish. This phrase may be appropriate sometimes, but use with caution. You need to be careful of the subtle messages you send your wrestlers. You don't want your wrestlers like a deer in the headlights when March comes. Treat all live wrestling as live wrestling no matter what time of year it is.
5. Accepting losing and mistakes as part of the process is necessary to be successful in any field. We strive to eliminate error and imperfections but we definitely don't let fear of mistakes dictate our actions. Its much more important to open up, let loose, and be aggressive. Be sure to reinforce that attitude most of all in your wrestlers.
6. Most wrestlers I speak to say that when a coach repeats their expectations (should/shouldnts) before a match they become focused on not letting the coach down. In practice, wrestlers do not worry about letting their coach down, and not surprisingly, they wrestle at their best. This is a hard thing to do, but great coach knows what to say and when to say it as well as what not to say and when not to say it. These seemingly simple things we say to wrestlers can add a ton of pressure. Just as you want your athlete to "trust their training," coaches must also remember to trust in their own training of their athletes. This means on match day- sometimes less is more. its one of the hardest things for any wresting minded person to do- let go a little and allow things to happen instead of waste time, energy, and efficiency in trying to control every little thing. Bottom line: don't should on other people. No one likes that. Pick less extreme words like want to and choose to.
7. Obvious hints to stall at the end of the match shift a wrestlers focus from offense to fear of getting scored on. I go to many college matches and have seen many wrestlers, even at this level, lose matches because they shifted their focus at the end of the match. These are high level wrestlers that lose matches they are winning because they change their style in the last 30 seconds. Keep wrestling until the last whistle- and wrestle your way- aggressively.
9 goes with #4. you don't want a wrestler putting tremendous pressure on themselves at the end of the year. if you don't remind a wrestler every day in practice that "this live go is what you worked for all year" then don't change it in a match. You see this in movies all the time- pep talk, cheering fans, inspiring music, big win, fades to black and white. In real life, pep talks often add too much pressure. Let them do what they do every day in practice. Listen to champions interviews- they talk about being themselves and doing what they do every day.
10. There's no big or small match. You want your wrestlers treating each match the same or they will add a lot of pressure and they'll usually wrestle worse.
In conclusion, it will probably difficult to eliminate all these phrases from your coaching vocabulary. The important thing is to be aware that subtle things you ay have a big affect on your wrestlers (I know, I talk to them). Just be aware of the messages and subtle messages you are saying and be sure to drive home the main points in practice. Match day should just be an extension of the same attitude you have everyday in practice.
We’re about at that point half way through the season where things become very routine, boring, monotonous. We approach wrestling as another day in the office. We get down about having to cut weight sometimes multiple times a week. How do we rise up and overcome?
Anyone who has follow Wrestling Mindset for any amount of time knows that we don’t focus on outcomes, but instead the process. Like any good rule though, there are always some exceptions- this being one of them. There are two times we shift our focus from process to outcome- when we are feeling lazy and when we feel like giving up. Mid-Season funk/blues is likely a mild symptom of this extreme attitude.
To overcome you need to revisit your 5 Goal Setting Worksheets you filled out. Remind yourself of the short term and long term goals you have for yourself. Also remind yourself that sometimes it is darkest before the dawn. The world is full of many, many “almost haves” who packed it in just before they accomplished something. I could not tell you their names because they quit on themselves. I can think of a few friends of mine, but those names wouldn’t mean anything to you. Do you know anyone in yoir life who was on the verge of achievement before they quit? Just some food for thought.
This is a also good time of the year to go back to your Enjoyment List. This is the comprehensive list you created with all the things you love/like about wrestling other than just winning. I know we all want to win and love to win, but there has to be more than just that. You can win at baseball, football, judo, and even checkers. What do you love about wrestling? The bigger the list the better and the less likely you are to feel these "mid season blues".
Another cause of this feeling is a lack of proper mental focus. If you are so focused on winning and losing and rankings, losses and upsets can really derail your positive mindset. This would take too long to explain here. Your fastest route to change is our 10 day Crash Course in Confidence!
Finally, remember that there is no such thing as mid-season blues. This is an entirely socially constructed concept. You can choose to break free at any point in time. Don’t let something that is not real hold YOU back!
You are a human, you make mistakes. There is a simple but effective way to deal with ALL losses, errors, mistakes, etc:
Extract the lesson, commit the lesson to memory, forgive yourself, and move forward with confidence.
When things seem perfect, Life isn't always as good as it seems and when things seem horrible it's usually not as bad as it seems, but somewhere in between there reality falls.
It is important that you do not repeat your mistakes, so you should note your shortcomings and downfalls. It is counterproductive to live in denial and suppression is almost never long term efficient. Recognize your flaw first and commit it to memory.
But after you recognize your mistake and commit it to memory you must, must, must forgive yourself. Successful people forgive themselves. Unsuccessful people do not.
Remember, the Good Lord put eyes in the front of your head, not the back- so you could see where you're going, not where you've been.
Now I must draw a distinction here. Many successful people send the seemingly contradictory message- "never accept failure" or something similar to that.
It is important to note that these people are probably referring to not denying reality as we spoke about above. They are also telling you never to quit and to always keep moving forward and striving to get better.
To be successful, you must put mistakes behind you so you can proceed forward toward your goals. You cannot preoccupy yourself with "the last time you tried." Many athletes and teams have made this mistake of letting another team or individual, "beat them again."
Don't let someone beat you twice. Don't let a mistake cause another mistake. Recover. Forgive yourself and move forward confidently.
Do not let a mistake or loss end your effort. Do not let it hurt your confidence. Easier said than done, sure. But this is what you need to learn how to do.
Remember, successful people make more mistakes than unsuccessful people. Successful people go for it a lot. Unsuccessful people hide behind fear, excuses and past war stories.
If you've lost to someone you're much better than this year and are having trouble putting it behind you, you need to seriously look into our 10-Day Confidence Crash Course.
Learn more about our 10-Day Confidence Crash Course
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