There is a false idea out there that it's smooth sailing for many national and world champions. That practices, weight loss, and other training comes easy to them. That they dominate every day without losses and setbacks.
Well I assure that national and world champions have their bad days too. They get beat up, embarrassed and have their setbacks. There is one big difference that makes them stand out:
After these bad days, losses and setbacks they STILL believe that they are the best. They wake up the next morning and are able to put it behind them enough to have complete confidence that they can and will achieve their goals.
Look at Kyle Snyder. He loses in the Big Ten finals, the national finals and then goes out and wins a World Title. You don't do that without having a tremendous amount of confidence and faith in yourself and your training. And its no surprise that when I asked Tom Ryan what is Kyle Snyder's greatest asset he said confidently that it is his Mind. He believes in himself even after devastating losses, embarrassment and setbacks.
Mindset Tip: Every morning write down- I am going to achieve my goal and there is nothing that can stop me!- End of story. Keep it simple. No matter what happened yesterday, today you are unstoppable!
Mathematically, a pyramid can only be as tall as its base.
What does this mean for wrestlers?
You must build a strong foundation- spiritually, mentally and physically. If the foundation is weak, wrestling and life will continue to poke holes in it. You are bound to fail. But with the right foundation you are poised for glory and cannot fail.
There are 3 essential parts to pyramid: Spirit, Mind & Body.
The foundation must be made up of the Spirit. What is this?
The Spirit consists of knowing who you are and knowing what you believe in. This may mean many things for many people but it includes faith, morals and values. This belief system needs to be what drives us and determines our choices and behaviors. When we are able to do this to the best of our ability we are able to ensure real "success". It will simplify, clarify and enhance our decisions. The Spirit will enable the proper foundation to maximally grow our own pyramids.
We had the opportunity to present this weekend among some of the top coaches and wrestlers in the world at the Pennsylvania Coaches Convention. Every year we learn a ton and get to meet with some great people in our sport. We are excited to share to some quick takeaways from the weekend. Topics include technique, mindset, coaching philosophy, faith and much more. If you are a coach, do everything in your power to make it next year.
1. Nazareth Head Coach Dave Crowell did a phenomenal job presenting on 3-D Coaching. They break coaching into 3 dimensions; physical, psychological, and heart. Crazy statistic: 85% of coaches only teach the physical dimension (technique, strength, condtioning, etc.). Only 10% teach the psychological dimension and 5% the heart dimension, yet most of the team problems (motivation, confidence, character, values) are in the 2nd and 3rd dimensions. If you want to be a better coach and impact lives in a more positive way it is essential to find a way to implement dimensions 2 and 3.
2. Dave Crowell discussed 3 things that kids need which will lead to more motivation:
a. Place to belong
b. Something to believe in
c. Someone to believe in them.
Coaches are the #2 influence in athlete's lives outside of their parents. Make sure that you are providing these 3 things.
3. Footwork is critical! We talk about this frequently. NC State head coach Pat Popolizio makes this a focus. Instead of running around the room to warm up, his team does stance and motion and footwork drills. He said that 2x NCAA Champ Nick Gwiazdowski spends about 20 minutes after practice developing his footwork.
4. Pat Popolizio has his wrestlers immediately sit or lay in a sleeping bag after weigh ins. He mentioned that many wrestlers wear their legs out walking/pacing around after weigh ins because of nervous energy.
5. David Taylor gave a tip on how to relieve nerves: Keep things simple. He said to focus on getting to your tie ups and moving your feet. Have a couple takedowns you are really good at and 2 or 3 turns. Make that the point of focus not all the what ifs before the match.
6. David Taylor mentioned 3 things all great scholastic wrestlers do: Score easy points (ex: scoring off a bad shot), dictate the pace of the match and score on top. Top is called Offense for a reason!
7. NCAA Coach of the Year Tim Flynn mentioned that more isn't always better especially late in the season. Put the work in the bank but make sure to take recovery seriously.
8. WVU Head Coach & World Champ Sammie Henson quick tip: On bottom focus on positioning and not giving up the wrist. Do NOT make hand control the main priority because easy to give up cross wrist of 2 on 1.
9. Sammie Henson said that Europeans focus much more on positioning than Americans. He believes that to be slowing down American wrestling. Watch some Russians and other Europeans wrestle. Sometimes they barely get in on a horrible shot. Instead of rushing to the finish. They emphasize getting into a better position first than the finish will be much higher percentage. Get back to the fundamentals and make sure you understand proper positioning in different situations.
10. Ohio State head coach Tom Ryan gave a very passionate speech as the keynote speaker. He emphasized the big picture and the importance of living the right lifestyle on and off the mat. He credits his teams success to surrounding them with positive people, knowing what they believe on and off the mat, and being willing to suffer more than others. I strongly recommend watching some of his interviews and speeches. He is inspirational and a great role model.
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