1. Passion– The best wrestlers love what they do period. More than just winning, they love to train, they love to compete, they love the grind. I talked with Olympic silver medalist and MMA fighter Matt Lindland this weekend and he told me that his mental edge is that he loves to train, compete, and of course win. Without passion we will never come close to our potential.

2. Courage– The best wrestlers are not afraid to fail or put it on the line. They take risks and make themselves vulnerable to criticism, losing, and failure. Ben Askren said in a Flo interview that he always willing to put it on the line. Successful people replace fear with faith and pull the trigger in matches and in life.

3. Vision– The clearer your vision, the better your chances of getting there. Kyle Dake wrote down his goal four times a day this year. Stephen Covey’s book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People talks about vision. “One of the main things his [Dr. Charles Garfield] research showed was that almost all of the world-class athletes and other peak performers are visualizers. They see it; they feel it; they experience it before they actually do it. They Begin with the End in Mind.”

4. Resilient– Every top wrestler will face setbacks and adversity. It hurts to lose or fall short of a goal. My brother Gene was hit with an unprecedented 4 stalling calls in 23 seconds, which ended his run at a state title in high school. He bounced back winning 4 consecutive matches and avenged his loss to take third place. Champions don’t give up, they bounce back and use these setbacks to make them stronger.

5. Confident- Great wrestlers are confident in their abilities. They focus on their positives and do not put limits on themselves. Champions have faith in themselves and ignore the naysayers. The best wrestlers believe that they will win when they step out on the mat.


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Jeff Zannetti