Read the interview we had with our Mindset Coach Dave Zabriskie, former NCAA Champion and Olympic hopeful.

What percent of wrestling would you say is mental?

I think wrestling is at least 50% mental. Knowing you can win and having confidence in
your ability goes a long way.

What is your Mental Edge or what sets your mindset apart from others?

One thing that I think sets me apart from other wrestlers is being able to maintain my
composure in matches regardless of the situation.

How do you mentally approach the sport? Is there anything specific you do- pre
match routine, writing anything down, pre plan how you’ll handle pressure,
visualization, etc?

I like to try to stay calm and I always visualize winning and how I want to win.
What mentally prepared you most/ improved your confidence/ relaxed you?
Reflecting back on my training and everything I’ve done to prepare for a match.

Which coaches/ people influenced your mindset most? Why?

Cael Sanderson and Tim Hartung. Cael helped keep me stay calm and confident during
high stress times and Tim Hartung just helped me become flat out tough and pushed
me to my breaking point.

What mental mistakes did you make early in your career? What would you do

When I first started wrestling I was intimidated by someone else credentials and that
would always set me back a little. Once I learned I could keep up with them, wrestling
guys who were “better than” me enabled me too wrestle harder and not concede.

What mental mistakes are most common even at the highest level?

I think letting the fact that you might not be competing at 100% percent bother you is a
mistake on every level.

What are your favorite motivational quotes, movies, songs, etc?

Cinderella Man is one of my favorite motivational movies. A great example of finding the
right motivation to become a champion.

What are your key philosophies for consistently high performance? 

Train smarter, not harder.

What other wrestlers have a great mindset and why?

Another wrestler that has a great mindset is a guy that I train with, Robert Hamlin. I
swear he doesn’t let anything phase him. Regardless of the situation of how he feels he
gives 100% every time he trains and competes.