The best pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die. – Steve Prefontaine
There is something to be said about the athlete with an unrelenting pressure. When talking about pace, the conversation tends to shift toward more physical properties, like cardio.
However, establishing a high pace can be described as a mental disposition and can even be described as a dare. You are daring someone to try to match your pace, and if they can’t, they’re in for a long match.
Setting a high pace is also a mental agreement with yourself that you are going to continually push until the other person quits. This sort of aggression could be seen in this past weekend’s match with David Taylor and Nick Reenan.
For those familiar with David Taylor’s previous matches, this style of wrestling is common for Taylor. He is constantly attacking, and for the person he is wrestling, it is clearly overwhelming. Taylor is unique in the fact that he is constantly working towards scoring. He never stops to reset. He is constantly working to set up his takedowns and his turns, and the other person just has to focus on defending.
However, it is important to note that setting a pace is not dependent on whether you are winning or losing. It is easy to be constantly attacking while you are winning, but getting scored on can cause to get overly defensive and stop working your offense.
Nick Reenan scored early in the first match with Taylor, but that did not prevent Taylor from dictating the pace and working his offense. As soon as they were set back to neutral, Taylor was right in Reenan’s face and setting up his takedowns.
He went on to win over Nick Reenan in both matches by technical fall in the first period. This corresponds with a key mental principle.
Constantly be looking to work your offense rather than worrying about your opponents. Set a pace, and dare your opponent to try to match it.