Joe Colon had beaten Nahshon Garrett multiple times going into Final X. The matches were extremely competitive, but Colon always seemed to finish with the upper hand. It seemed as if it would be more of the same after Colon took the first match.
Going into the second match, the safe bet would have been placed on Colon to punch his ticket to the World Team by winning the best of three series with another victory over Garrett. However, Garrett came out firing and was able to stop Colon’s offense to secure a victory over Colon in the second match.
Now, the series came down to a third and final match, and after seeing Nahshon Garrett get a win over Joe Colon, there were several questions. Did Garrett just get lucky? How would Colon respond after losing a match to Garrett despite already beating him multiple times? Could Garrett do it again?
Going into the third match, it was clear that Garrett was on a mission, and was able to put to rest any doubts that people had concerning his victory over Colon in the second match. With his first two takedowns, he was able to transition straight into a gut wrench to earn eight points within the very first minute of the match, and Garrett ended the match with a third takedown to secure the tech-fall in only one minute and sixteen seconds into the first period.
Simply put, Garrett looked astounding, and he was able to earn a one-sided victory over an opponent who had beaten him multiple times in a high stakes match to earn himself a spot on the United States World Team. Moreover, Garrett solidified himself as a contender to earn a medal for the United States at Worlds.
It can be extremely easy, and maybe even natural, to assume that just because someone has beaten you before, that they will beat you again. There are so many excuses as to why we lost the first time that can run over and over again in our minds that could cause us to lose a match before we even step out on the mat.
Nahshon Garrett could have easily fallen into that same trap. What allowed him to win is that he denied that impulse and refused to fall into the trap of repeating past mistakes.
Every match that you wrestle is new. Just because you have lost before does not mean that you will lose again. Learn from your mistakes and move on!
The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die. – Steve Prefontaine
There is something to be said about the athlete with an unrelenting pressure. When talking about pace, the conversation tends to shift toward more physical properties, like cardio.
However, establishing a high pace can be described as a mental disposition and can even be described as a dare. You are daring someone to try to match your pace, and if they can’t, they’re in for a long match.
Setting a high pace is also a mental agreement with yourself that you are going to continually push until the other person quits. This sort of aggression could be seen in this past weekend’s match with David Taylor and Nick Reenan.
For those familiar with David Taylor’s previous matches, this style of wrestling is common for Taylor. He is constantly attacking, and for the person he is wrestling, it is clearly overwhelming. Taylor is unique in the fact that he is constantly working towards scoring. He never stops to reset. He is constantly working to set up his takedowns and his turns, and the other person just has to focus on defending.
However, it is important to note that setting a pace is not dependent on whether you are winning or losing. It is easy to be constantly attacking while you are winning, but getting scored on can cause to get overly defensive and stop working your offense.
Nick Reenan scored early in the first match with Taylor, but that did not prevent Taylor from dictating the pace and working his offense. As soon as they were set back to neutral, Taylor was right in Reenan’s face and setting up his takedowns.
He went on to win over Nick Reenan in both matches by technical fall in the first period. This corresponds with a key mental principle.
Constantly be looking to work your offense rather than worrying about your opponents. Set a pace, and dare your opponent to try to match it.
I keep the white-belt mentality that I can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime
– Georges St-Pierre
There is an important principle in training known as white-belt mentality. The white belt is the lowest rank for martial artists and represents a time where someone is among the least knowledgeable martial artists in the room. A white belt is essentially a novice. Being the least experienced or least knowledgeable person in the room is a humbling experience, and those looking to improve past that point will likely seek knowledge from everybody. A major part of being a white belt includes the fact that everybody has knowledge and experience to offer. However, along the line, people tend to lose that mentality. As someone gets better at something, it can be easier to allow his or her pride to keep him or her from seeking other people’s advice.
Two of the headlining match ups from this past weekend’s Final X event in Lincoln, Nebraska involved Daton Fix and Jordan Burroughs. In a video posted by Flo wrestling, Jordan Burroughs was getting Daton Fix to show him how Fix hits his trap arm gut wrench. Burroughs is a four-time world champion along with being an Olympic gold medalist. If anyone would have the kind of resume to avoid the counsel of other wrestlers, it would be Jordan Burroughs. But, part of what allows him to constantly improve despite an immense amount of success is his willingness to surround himself with talented wrestlers, like Daton Fix, that are able to teach him new techniques.
The important thing to note about the white-belt mentality is that the mentality is not conditional to your level of experience. The mentality should remain the same despite your degree of knowledge. Everyone has a unique approach to things as well as unique experiences that allows them to have a unique body of knowledge that they can share with others. The fact is, if you aren’t learning new things, you’re going to remain stagnant. If you are only seeking knowledge from a select group of people, then you are severely limiting the amount of knowledge that you can gain. Approach your craft with the mentality of someone with a white-belt. Everybody has something they can teach you!
American soccer star and standout, Abby Wambach, recently delivered the commencement speech to the graduating class at Barnard college, and gave a simple instruction to those in attendance: fail. Failure is something that is never truly appreciated in our society. In fact, it is condemned. In Patton’s famous speech to his fifth army, he assured his troops that America was going to win the war because Americans love winners. People always will favor the champions and those who succeed. Our society glorifies success and belittles failure, so it is understandable that people, especially athletes, choose to stay within their comfort zones, to stay in local tournaments that he or she is guaranteed to win, or never take a chance when it counts. However, refusing to fail guarantees mediocrity.
The problem with failure is a total misconception of what a failure is and its implications in a person’s life. Nobody likes to lose, but when someone fails, they often get too caught up in the present. A loss is something that is painful in the present, and that is why it is the source of fear. People are simply afraid of feeling that pain that accompanies a loss. While the sting of failure is likely unavoidable, it can serve as a source of motivation, purpose, and self-knowledge for one’s future if one chooses to change the way that he or she views failure. After failing thousands of times in pursuit of inventing the light bulb, Thomas Edison said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” The difference is perception. You cannot view failure solely as a source of pain that should be avoided at all costs; failure must be seen as an opportunity for future growth.
If you were guaranteed from birth to be the greatest of all time at a given sport or craft, then why would you ever spend any time working on that given sport or craft? Losses and mistakes only bring your shortcomings to light and serve as a platform for future growth. If you lose, don’t get wrapped up in the loss; use it as a source for growth. Someone on top of the mountain has no reason to keep climbing, and you should always be more scared of the hungry lion rather than one that just ate. Failure is not pain; failure is a platform for growth. Push yourself until you fail. Then keep going!
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