1. Make sure you make the most important thing the most important thing.
If you want to achieve your goal on the mat, be successful in the classroom or at work, or be happy you need to know what you value most and live accordingly. If your faith or family is the most important thing to you, are you putting them ahead of everything else? Are you living and practicing your faith regularly? Are you spending quality time with your family? If you want to be a state or national champ, you better know what you need to improve on and make that a priority during each practice. If you run a business, what do you need to do to take things to the next level? Not all things are equal. Know what the most important things are and act on them regularly.
2. Never be outworked.
Start you New Year out watching the documentary Terry. Watch Iowa the Season and Iowa the Program. Watch a guy like Nick Suriano train. These guys pride themselves on outworking everyone. Overtraining is an overused word. Very few people need to even think about overtraining. You are likely not one of them either. Pride yourself on working harder this year. The surest way to be successful is to get fanatical about your training.
3. Be consistent. Do something daily to get closer to your goals.
We always talk about consistency. Every day you need to do something to get closer to your goals. It can be physically, mentally, spiritually, nutritionally, etc. From a three hour practice, to a healthy meal, to 10 minutes of visualization you have to do something each day to get closer to your goals. Cael Sanderson has his wrestlers check off each day on their calendar they do something to get closer to their goals. Make sure everyday is checked off.
4. Write it down.
Your goals, your areas for improvement, your successes, your confidence list, your workout log, what you are grateful for, etc. You have millions of thoughts each day. Make sure you are writing down the things that are important and tracking your progress. Make sure to write it down each morning or night.
5. Learn from the best & do something about your Mindset.
We all know that wrestling is as mental as any sport out there. Our mindset effects our results on the mat, in the classroom and in life. If you are leaving this aspect to chance you are making an obvious mistake. Spend at least 15 minutes everyday doing something specifically geared towards improving your mindset. According to the book Secrets of Soviets Success, the Soviet wrestlers spent at least 15 minutes each training session developing their mindset (mental toughness, confidence, relaxing under pressure, goal setting, focus, etc.). Lets learn from the best and take a page from their book this year. Your mindset is what separates you from the person equally talented. Study the best both on and off the mat, learn from them, then execute!
Start now- Wrestling Mindset Program
Happy New Year! May God Bless all of you!
This weekend was a good weekend to be a wrestling fan. I was fortunate to watch many matches from the Beast of the East and the US Nationals. I will focus on comparing a few observations between 4x Beast Champ Nick Suriano and 4x NCAA Champ & US Nationals Champ Kyle Dake.
1. Consistency- You can't talk about these two wrestlers without talking about consistency. We all know they work their tails off consistently. Work hard in practice consistently and you'll perform well consistently right? Wrong. It is more than that for these guys. The way they approach matches, the way they warm up and the way they work DURING each bout is consistent. Watch the effort they put into each match. They don't give up any easy or free points. Observe the way they look and move before matches. It is consistent. This leads to more consistent thoughts and feelings before they compete. Then of course look at their results. Consistent. As the great Sammie Henson (WVU Head Coach & World Champ) preaches "Consistency Wins."
2. Drawing First Blood- In the finals of their respective tournaments both attacked early and drew first blood. That is a key among elite wrestlers. They don't wait. They don't feel their opponents out. They look to score early. This is a great way to win the mental battle.
3. Killer Instinct- After each drew first blood, they jumped all over it. Suriano finished the match with a first period fall against the #2 wrestler in the country and Dake scored 8 points in the first 30 secs. When the best wrestlers smell blood they jump all over it. They seize the moment. They are not complacent with a win when they can pin or dominate. I remember Tom Brands talking to his team and telling them that it doesn't have to be close if you are wrestling a good opponent. Many wrestlers assume that to beat a really good opponent it has to be a close match. These elite wrestlers know that there is no such rule. It does NOT have to be close. They have developed the killer instinct to put matches out of reach.
4. Scoring from Top- The best wrestlers at the Beast and US Nationals scored from the top position. Dake had a bunch of trap arm guts, Suriano and his teammate Chris Foca had falls in the finals and plenty of backs throughout, Daniel Dennis teched his opponent from top, etc. Riding is not enough and now in college with 4 point backs, it becomes even more important to score from top. The best are tough on top; they can ride but more importantly they can turn.
*** Last point: Before stepping off the mat after Suriano's finals pin, he made the sign of the cross and pointed up. Sometimes after big wins and tough losses it is difficult to keep perspective. It is easy to get too high or too low. Many times the very best are the best because they are able to keep perspective and to remain consistent with their values even during difficult times. Knowing what you believe and living out your values is critical to happiness, success, and fulfillment. Nick Suriano is a guy who knows what he believes (on and off the mat) and lives out those values on a consistent basis.
TAKE THE FIRST SHOT (DRAW FIRST BLOOD)
He who hesitates is lost!
Last year during the season, we spoke about a golden rule of wrestling- do unto others before they do unto you. Some people misquoted me saying- do harm to others before they do harm to you. I like both. I want to clarify this point further. What does this mean in concrete terms? TAKE THE FIRST SHOT or as we now say DRAW FIRST BLOOD. (Rambo First Blood is making a comeback here).
When I think of some of the top guys Cael Sanderson, Logan Steiber, David Taylor, Ed Ruth, etc. It's hard to think of matches they wrestled where they were not the ones who shot first. And usually, they get the takedown. They aren't always the cleanest shots either. (Doesn't mean they're taking dive bombers with no set up). But they are not always clean shots, what they are is HARD and DECISIVE. I can think of many Jordan Burroughs doubles aren't all clean, but he finishes because he commits to a hard shot. You're shots aren't always going to be pretty, but you gotta make sure you fire them off.
Think about it. What's the worst thing that can happen (outside of getting pinned, which is rare)? You miss the shot and get taken down. At least you got the ball rolling early. You showed your opponent you're coming after him. And you got yourself into the flow of wrestling. You cannot afford to let your opponent dictate the pace. You gotta show them early that you are here and ready to wrestle. There's no better way to do this than to be the one to fire off the first shot.
I can't even tell you how many wrestlers come to us saying they did not feel good until the 2nd/3rd period or have 0-0 first periods, only to wish there was more time on the clock in the 3rd period when they finally opened up their offense. Let's get the ball rolling early! Fire off the shot!
We've been dealing with some of the top wrestlers in the country and we hear infinitely more wrestlers tell us losses from matches they didn't come out aggressive than matches they lost because they took a poor first shot. We almost never hear the latter.
When you step on the line, you should already know- what tie-up, if any, am I looking for? What am I about to do with my hands? What shot am I looking to fire off?
Wrestling Mindset is very big on focusing on things you can control, which usually breeds the best outcomes. You can control this! In all your matches, commit here always to TAKE THE FIRST SHOT/DRAW FIRST BLOOD.
A few points here...
-We're not talking about some half shot or leg tap or dropping to your knee and calling it a shot. We're talking a full hard shot. One where you use a set-up and fully commit.
-There's no guarantee you will score from your first shot. But there is a guarantee that you can commit to taking it.
-Doesn't always mean it's right off the whistle, and you don't need to panic if your opponent shoots off the whistle. Just be the one to take the next hard shot.
Finally, you need to have this Draw First Blood Attitude against EVERYONE you wrestle. Not just against the scrub wrestlers. This would be a lack of guts & toughness on your part. You need to step on the line thinking the same thoughts against the top guys as you would anyone else- what tie-up, if any am I looking for? What am I about to do with my hands? What shot am I ready to fire off?
A final key point is that things are rarely, if ever, perfect. Do not wait for the opportunity, create the opportunity. If it looks good enough, it is good enough. Most people lose because they wait for a perfect moment. The best know there is none. Your set-up and shot will never be perfect. Just commit and GO! Believe me, you will wish you did after the match.
Pull the Trigger. Step on the mat with the Killer Instinct. Then get out there and DRAW FIRST BLOOD, TAKE THE FIRST SHOT!
MISS A MINDSET MONDAY CALL?