In wrestling, your mindset, mental strength and resilience are just as important as technique and physical power. To excel in this demanding sport, wrestlers need to cultivate a strong mindset that enhances their performance on the mat. Sport psychology offers valuable techniques and strategies that can help wrestlers overcome challenges, manage stress, and perform at their best.

In this blog, we will explore several sport psychology techniques that wrestlers can incorporate into their training and competition routines. By understanding and implementing these strategies, wrestlers can develop a winning mindset and unlock their full potential.

  1. Goal Setting and Creating an Action Plan:

Setting clear goals is a powerful technique that can enhance a wrestler’s performance. Writing down your long-term goals and posting them where you can see them frequently is an important starting point.  Many wrestlers will post their goals in their bedroom, on their phone or in their locker room so they begin to see them on a daily basis.

Next, it is important to write down shorter term goals. What do you want to accomplish in the next month, this season or this year?

A key step that is missed by many, is developing a thorough action plan. These are your day-to-day process goals. These are the things that you are going to do on a regular basis that are going to help you improve as a wrestler and increases your chances to achieve your goals.

A good action plan, includes a schedule of when you are going to strength train, work on various techniques, watch video, improve your mindset, build conditioning, develop flexibility and explosive power.

  1. Managing Performance Anxiety:

Performance anxiety can hinder a wrestler’s performance and undermine their confidence. This section will explore techniques such as deep breathing exercises, positive self-talk, and pre-performance routines that can help wrestlers manage anxiety and perform at their best under pressure.

Developing a pre-match routine is one of the first and most important steps to improve consistency in wrestling. A pre-match routine is different than a warm up, which is usually done with your team more than an hour before competition. A pre-match routine is the actions you perform in the 15-20 minutes right before your matches. Many wrestlers simply pace and bounce around with no routine. This tends to lead to more nervous energy or thinking too much before matches.

A good pre-match routine will consistent of deep-breathing, dynamic stretching, hands on drilling, positive self-talk and what we call an element of fun. An element of fun is simply something you do, listen to, or tell yourself as a reminder to enjoy the process of competition. Each aspect of a pre-match routine is designed to help reduce nerves, improve focus, while mentally and physically getting ready for the upcoming match. At Wrestling Mindset, this is one of the first tools we help our wrestlers develop to improve consistency and performance.

  1. Developing Mental Resilience:

Wrestling is a physically and mentally taxing sport, and resilience is crucial for success. One important technique is developing a reset button. A reset button is a physical gesture that allows a wrestler to clear their mind and focus on the present moment. It has helped many wrestlers deal with adverse situations that are inevitable during a wrestling match or season.

As an example, many wrestlers lose focus after a mistake or bad call from a referee. We have countless examples of our wrestlers using their reset button in these moments (deep breath, headgear tap, shaking hands out, etc.) to regain their composure and move forward with confidence. This helps wrestlers to respond in a planned and productive way to these challenges rather than react negatively.

Another key sport psychology technique to develop mental resilience is to learn about other wrestlers who have struggled and bounced back in matches or in their careers. Many athletes have struggled with similar injuries, losses, setbacks and problems off the mat. Their stories and lessons can provide important motivation and belief that you can success in spite of challenges. Read their stories, talk to these wrestlers, watch their videos and interviews. Write down how these responded to adversity and make a plan of how you will continue to find ways to win no matter the odds the circumstances.

  1. Building Confidence:

Confidence plays a significant role in wrestling success. Most coaches focus on working harder to build confidence. Many coaches unfortunately do not provide any additional strategies to build confidence.

What a wrestler chooses to focus on plays a large role in their confidence level. For instance, many wrestlers are constantly focusing on improving their technique and skills. This is important, however, it is imperative to focus on your strengths and past successes in order to boost confidence.

One way to improve confidence is to make a list of your strengths. What are the techniques, physical and mental skills that you have developed and are proud of? Who are some of the best opponents you have beaten or competed well against? What are some of your strengths on and off the mat? Listing these out will help a change a wrestler’s focus on improve confidence.

Another tool is to understand and improve your body language. Confident body language may look different to different wrestlers, but improving the way you move and act, can lead to greater confidence. Identify wrestlers who look confident. Write down how they move and behave differently. Start to change your body language accordingly.

Visualization and affirmations are also key tools to build confidence. Start by visualizing yourself execute clean technique against good opponents. Progress to visualizing difficulties you may encounter and how you will respond positively. Write down affirmations that build you up and make you feel good before competing. Rather than listening to yourself (inner doubts), talk to yourself in a positive and encouraging way as you would to a good friend.

Creating a highlight video of your best matches, takedowns, escapes and turns is also a great way to improve confidence. It is like visualization on steroids since you are actually watching your past success.


Sport psychology techniques provide wrestlers with valuable tools to enhance their mental game and optimize their performance on the mat. By incorporating goal setting, action planning, anxiety management, resilience-building strategies, and confidence techniques into their training and competition routines, wrestlers can gain a competitive edge. It is important for wrestlers and their coaches to recognize the significance of mental well-being and to devote time and effort to develop the psychological aspects of the sport. With a strong mindset, wrestlers can unlock their full potential and achieve success in the demanding world of wrestling.

Wrestling Mindset has helped tens of thousands of wrestlers, develop a winning mindset on and off the mat. Learn more about our 1-1 coaching and team training to give your wrestler’s the Mental Edge!