Something I learned from Cael Sanderson & Kyle Dake this weekend:
Ask Why in Wrestling as a Coach and as a Wrestler. Cael talked about how he has learned to ask why as a coach and it has helped his teams tremendously. He said you have to understand your wrestlers and when dealing with them you have to understand if you are doing things for yourself or if you are doing them for the wrestler. So many times we get caught up with our own agenda and we lose sight that each athlete is different and we need to ask ourselves why we are acting a certain way with a given athlete. We must make sure that we as coaches are always acting in our wrestlers best interest rather than our own.
As an athlete Cael said we must ask ourselves Why we want to accomplish certain things and even simpler why we want to wrestle? As a coach Cael recruits guys who love to wrestle and have the right attitude. He wants wrestlers who are doing it because they love to compete not because their parents want them to wrestle or any other reason. Cael wants wrestlers who love to be in the big match- guys like David Taylor and Ed Ruth. If you ask yourself Why and are wrestling for the right reasons, for yourself, for the love of the sport, you will work harder, get better, win more, and get the most out of yourself.
Kyle Dake also said that all wrestlers need to ask why. Why are we drilling this move, why are we doing this strength training, etc. It is imperative that coaches communicate WHY they are doing different drilling/technique/lifts. Wrestlers must understand WHY they are doing these things. For instance, if we are doing speed drilling for conditioning you need to know/communicate that. If you are "play wrestling" as Cael calls it, you need to know that you are doing that to feel out positions. If you are doing reverse hypers, glute hams, or Romanian Deadlifts you need to know that you are doing them to work the MOST IMPORTANT muscle group in wrestling- the posterior chain (lower back, glutes, hamstrings). Don't just take it from me, the PSU Strength Coach Shawn Contos said this weekend, "If you want to build stronger athletes, start by training their posterior chain." The bottom line here is- IF YOU WANT TO MAXIMIZE YOUR POTENTIAL YOU NEED TO UNDERSTAND WHY YOU ARE DOING WHAT YOUR DOING.
The season is right around the corner, yet many wrestlers are NOT yet competing at the level they need to in order to achieve their goals this season. Many wrestlers are guilty of putting opponents on a pedestal, psyching themselves out, and wrestling scared. Stop trying to solve mindset problems with physical solutions. Attack the real problem NOW! There is not a lot of time between now and March. Many drastic changes need to be made QUICKLY! If this is your problem, Wrestling Mindset is the solution. There are many top wrestlers around the country already using our Weekly Mindset Exercises to give them the mental edge. It is time YOU got the EDGE!
Step 1: Put Super 32's behind you. It's only 1 tournament
Step 2: Realize your mind won't change until YOU make an effort to change it!
Step 3: Take concrete action NOW so you are fully prepared to be at your best in March
Step 4: Stop doing the same thing and expecting the same result!
Step 5: http://www.wrestlingmindset.com/complete-preseason-mindset-training-package.html
My brothers Gene, Greg, and I had the opportunity to wrestle and have lunch with 2x NCAA Champion, Olympian, and Undefeated Bellator Champion Ben Askren. We discussed his Mental approach to the wrestling and MMA and what he believes separates him and other champions from the competition. Here are some Mental tips and common Mindset themes that Ben talked about:
1. Top wrestlers/fighters strongly BELIEVE that they are the best in some area of their sport. Ben did a study of NCAA Champs dating back to the 1950s to determine common themes in champions. Whether its athleticism, technique, FUNK/Scrambling, Strength, or another attribute they deep down believe that no one matches them in this area. Ben noted that it's not necessarily 100% true or in some cases not even close to true, but the important commonality is that the NCAA Champions BELIEVED they were the best in the country or world in this particular area. Have FAITH & BELIEVE!
2. Top wrestlers LOVE to wrestle and practice. Out of all the NCAA Champs Ben interviewed all but one said that they loved to go to practice. Not only did they love to win but they LOVE to train and practice. As we have noted before, one of the conditions of the Flow State is Enjoyment. If you don't love what you do, you will never reach your full potential and achieve this Flow State. "A warrior does not give up what he loves, he finds the love in what he does" -Peaceful Warrior.
3. Keep a beginner's Mindset. The best wrestler's and athletes are always willing to learn. Ben said that he learned a move yesterday from Apex Coach Damion Logan, which he is immediately adding to his arsenal. He thinks that keeping an open mind has helped separate him from other competitors who are set in their ways and unwilling to evolve and learn. This goes along with one of our Pillars of Success- Constant Improvement. Whatever level you are at I know one thing; you need to get better! Otherwise, someone else will and they will eventually beat you. Improve in some aspect of your life every day- Technically, Mentally, Physically, Spiritually, Nutritionally, Socially, etc.
4. Don't be afraid to put it on the line. Champions are Fearless in their pursuit of Greatness. Ben said he was never afraid to lose and always was up for challenges. He wanted to wrestler better competition and go to the best tournaments growing up. There is a FloWrestling interview after the Askren/Herbert Super Match. He said what makes both of them successful is that they were both willing to put it on the line and risk losing. Often times when young wrestlers get their first taste of success, they begin to feel like they have something to lose now when they compete. This adds pressure and often they will avoid challenges and matches that will make them better competitors in the long run. Ben says and proves that he is not afraid to put it on the line and risk losing. Champions detach themselves from the outcome and know that these constant battles and challenges are what makes you a better competitor and a true champion on and off the mat.
Wrestling Mindset endorses 3 Pillars of Training. 3 philosophies to live by. 3 WHYs- Intensity, Consistency, and Constant Improvement. Today is the Pillar #1- Intensity. Intensity is performing at the highest level to which you are capable of RIGHT NOW.
This is likened to the idea of always seeking the challenge. Compete with people or situations that are at or slightly above your present level. This will push you forward toward growth and expansion.
You are always faced with the decision, Am I going to go all out, or am I going to hold back? Consistently decide to go all out. Err on the side of being gutsy. That is what life is all about. Not taking it easy and just getting through things. You only go around once, so you might as well go hard when it is your turn. Or, you will probably be sorry you didn’t. Few people get old and say, “ I shouldn’t have gone for it so much” or “I should’ve taken it easy” or “I should have played it safe during the game.”
Compete a grade level above yourself in sports, don’t play video games on Easy for long, volunteer for more responsibility at work or school. Set all standards a little bit higher. (Best yet, don’t let others standards impact you at all- set your own mark and enforce it!) Remember that this is all a game designed for your improvement. So do not take wins or losses too seriously. You objective is improvement- so you must be INTENSE. Do not put yourself in too high of a level.
Failure and success are both important. Failure is important to keep you humble and continually seeking improvement. Success is also important for confidence. This is why you must compete or participate in the highest level you are presently capable of performing- you will experience both success and failure.
I must add here that PASSION for what you do & Desire to Improve are prerequisites for all goal attainment. You will not have proper perspective of success and failure if you do not love what you do or want to improve. If you are not looking to improve, you may want to participate at lower levels to ensure success and good feelings. But, if you have a goal, then you must always push yourself to your threshold or risk becoming stagnant or moving in the opposite direction of your goals. There is no substitute for Intensity. You gotta go hard. You gotta be Fanatical.
Stop approaching your sport as a spectator! Players play, coaches coach, administrators administrate, and there can be no overlap in between.
Identify your role first. You are a player, an athlete, a participant. This means you must think like a participant, not as a coach, not as an administrator, and certainly not as a fan.
Most athletes have never experienced being a coach or administrator. But pretty much everyone has experience as a fan. We watch ball games on television and followed our sport before we ever competed. This is why the “fan mentality” is so difficult for us athletes to shake.
Fans talk about the importance of the game, streaks, wins, losses, slumps, records, predictions, rankings, and war stories of individuals. They spend countless hours watching television, listening to radio, reading articles on the internet, participating in forums, debates, gambling, etc. etc.
We learn all about stats and what indicators to look for in teams and individuals so we can win bets. We know all the stories about guys on our favorite teams and past records. We figure out stories and streaks so we have things to talk about while watching these games with our friends.
We learn very quickly how to become a great fan.
What we do not learn is how to think like an athlete. We just kind of sit back and hope it happens to us. We should be proactive in this process.
Sport Psychology and common sense teach you to focus on things you can control and stop worrying about things you cannot. When you compete, you cannot think about stories, and records, and streaks, etc. You need to stop looking at the newspaper, predictions, forums, and seedings.
Many people say that these things do not affect them, so they can still be a competitor and fan at the same time. If that is the case, I challenge you to think of past poor performances. Think of at least 3 of them. What were you thinking before and during the competition? If anything had to do with how good or bad your opponent was, this is in part a result of getting involved in the hype. Walk away when friends and teammates start talking about the sport as spectators. Do not let that garbage into your mind.
The “fan mentality” is a difficult habit to break. This will take real work on your part, but the results are well worth it. Stop caring what other people think of you, how they will view your performance, what this all means, records, seedings, predictions, streaks, and stories. Read a book on technique or mindset instead of box scores and newspaper articles. Start thinking like a participant. Destroy your “fan mentality,” and live in your own reality!
MISS A MINDSET MONDAY CALL?