You have a choice each moment on the mat, in school and in life. Are you going to be the Predator or the Prey?

Think about the Animal Kingdom. There are Predator animals and their Prey. In college at the University of Pennsylvania I took a class in Animal Behavior. We learned that animals generally considered Prey had evolved to have eyes on the sides of their head or further apart than predators. This is to improve peripheral vision so that they can see everything that is going on around them. It is a way to protect themselves.

Predator animals have eyes much closer together. They don’t need to be as concerned with the world around them. They need to have tunnel vision to attack their prey.

I use this as an analogy for wrestling and life. We have a choice. Be a Predator wrestler or a Prey wrestler?

The Prey is concerned with everything around them. What weight is this guy wrestling? What are my friends going to say if I lose? What do I look like when I am out there? What am I ranked or seeded? Who will I wrestle if I win or lose?

The Prey is worried about all of these external factors. Things they have no control over, things that won’t help them and most importantly things that don’t matter.

A Predator wrestler doesn’t care to look around at these external factors. He/She makes decisions based on what they believe is best regardless of others. They focus on the things they can control. They put forth a full effort and are aggressive regardless of rankings, seeds, score and outcome. The predator wrestler doesn’t look ahead, doesn’t look around, doesn’t look back. They focus solely on the task at hand. The wrestler in front of them.

This postseason you have the same choice. Predator or Prey. Are you going to look around at what other people are doing? Fans? The crowd? Other wrestlers in your weight class? Predictions/Seeds/Rankings? That is a Prey mentality.

Be the wrestler who acts like a Predator. Focus on what you have to do to be successful. Tune out your opponents results, ranking, predictions and all the hype. Use tunnel vision, stop caring about what is going on around you and focus all your energy on wrestling aggressively from start to finish.