If I could sum up the post season in one word it would be Confidence. I believe that Confidence is what separates good wrestlers from great wrestlers.
The wrestlers that win State and National Championships don’t stumble upon their wins. Ask any of them. They expected to Win going into the tournament. Now this of course does not guarantee success, but it gives you a fighting chance. If you aren’t confident that you will win or execute your technique in certain matches or against certain opponents, chances are you won’t… EVER. At some point, whether in practice or in your Mental Training you must the develop Confidence to get to the next level.
I look at David Taylor as an excellent example. He is far from a physical specimen- doesn’t appear to be the strongest or fastest guy out there. His technique is fairly predictable at this point. His Confidence, however, is the among the best I’ve seen and I think separates him from the other wrestlers. He KNOWS he is going to get 5 or 6 takedowns out there. He KNOWS he is going to find a way to put his opponents on their back. He KNOWS he is going to score big points each time he goes out on the mat.
He has developed nearly unstoppable confidence in his technique, ability to score, and crush his opponents. Confidence is what separates you from executing technique against your best opponents and ultimately beating them.
Hard work will without a doubt improve your confidence, but what happens when everyone else is working their tail off?This is when Mental Training becomes essential. I believe that the higher the level of wrestling, the more Mental the sport is. At a high level (state finals, national finals, etc.) you better be using the Mental tools to ensure that you are Confident every single time you step on the mat and every time you Pull the Trigger and go after your technique.
This includes personal Motivation, Body Language, Visualization, and on and on. Confidence is not optional at the highest levels, it is absolutely mandatory. Do everything in your power to Improve Confidence before and during competition and you will have the ability to Jump Levels and win more.
Remember, a Confident wrestler is a better wrestler!