He who hesitates is lost!
Last year during the season, we spoke about a golden rule of wrestling- do unto others before they do unto you. Some people misquoted me saying- do harm to others before they do harm to you. I like both. I want to clarify this point further. What does this mean in concrete terms? TAKE THE FIRST SHOT or as we now say DRAW FIRST BLOOD. (Rambo First Blood is making a comeback here).

When I think of some of the top guys Cael Sanderson, Logan Steiber, David Taylor, Ed Ruth, etc. It’s hard to think of matches they wrestled where they were not the ones who shot first. And usually, they get the takedown. They aren’t always the cleanest shots either. (Doesn’t mean they’re taking dive bombers with no set up). But they are not always clean shots, what they are is HARD and DECISIVE. I can think of many Jordan Burroughs doubles aren’t all clean, but he finishes because he commits to a hard shot. You’re shots aren’t always going to be pretty, but you gotta make sure you fire them off.

Think about it. What’s the worst thing that can happen (outside of getting pinned, which is rare)? You miss the shot and get taken down. At least you got the ball rolling early. You showed your opponent you’re coming after him. And you got yourself into the flow of wrestling. You cannot afford to let your opponent dictate the pace. You gotta show them early that you are here and ready to wrestle. There’s no better way to do this than to be the one to fire off the first shot.

I can’t even tell you how many wrestlers come to us saying they did not feel good until the 2nd/3rd period or have 0-0 first periods, only to wish there was more time on the clock in the 3rd period when they finally opened up their offense. Let’s get the ball rolling early! Fire off the shot!

We’ve been dealing with some of the top wrestlers in the country and we hear infinitely more wrestlers tell us losses from matches they didn’t come out aggressive than matches they lost because they took a poor first shot. We almost never hear the latter.

When you step on the line, you should already know- what tie-up, if any, am I looking for? What am I about to do with my hands? What shot am I looking to fire off?

Wrestling Mindset is very big on focusing on things you can control, which usually breeds the best outcomes. You can control this! In all your matches, commit here always to TAKE THE FIRST SHOT/DRAW FIRST BLOOD.

A few points here…

-We’re not talking about some half shot or leg tap or dropping to your knee and calling it a shot. We’re talking a full hard shot. One where you use a set-up and fully commit.
-There’s no guarantee you will score from your first shot. But there is a guarantee that you can commit to taking it.
-Doesn’t always mean it’s right off the whistle, and you don’t need to panic if your opponent shoots off the whistle. Just be the one to take the next hard shot.

Finally, you need to have this Draw First Blood Attitude against EVERYONE you wrestle. Not just against the scrub wrestlers. This would be a lack of guts & toughness on your part. You need to step on the line thinking the same thoughts against the top guys as you would anyone else- what tie-up, if any am I looking for? What am I about to do with my hands? What shot am I ready to fire off?

A final key point is that things are rarely, if ever, perfect. Do not wait for the opportunity, create the opportunity. If it looks good enough, it is good enough. Most people lose because they wait for a perfect moment. The best know there is none. Your set-up and shot will never be perfect. Just commit and GO! Believe me, you will wish you did after the match.

Pull the Trigger. Step on the mat with the Killer Instinct. Then get out there and DRAW FIRST BLOOD, TAKE THE FIRST SHOT!