Wrestling is more than just a physical battle; it’s arguably the most intense mental battle in all sports.  Ask any wrestler worth their salt, and they’ll tell you that wrestling is at least as much mental as it is physical. Whether it’s pre-match nerves, the fear of failure, or the pressure of a big match, the mental challenges a wrestler faces are intense. It is no surprise than that Wrestling Mindset has become a leading authority in the sport of wrestling and other combat sports.


So how does a wrestler win the mental battle in order to achieve a high level of success? The key is building unshakeable confidence. Let’s explore a few ways to build confidence on the mat.


Understand the Importance of Mindset


First, it’s crucial to acknowledge the significance of the mental game in wrestling. The best wrestlers are working on their mindset; plain and simple. Two equally skilled wrestlers can compete, but the one with the stronger mindset will often come out on top. No wrestler is complete with the perfect mindset, just like no wrestler is complete with perfect technique, strength or speed. Improving mental skills like motivation, mental toughness, resilience, confidence, focus, injury recovery and overcoming mental blocks are a career long process no different than technique development and strength training.


Watch Interview of World Champion Vito Arujau discussing the importance of mental training


Set Clear Goals and Develop an Action Plan


Establishing clear, achievable goals provides direction and purpose. Whether it’s mastering a particular technique, winning a specific match, or becoming a state champion, having tangible objectives helps maintain focus and motivation. Every practice and training session is a step towards that goal. An action plan full of process goals is essential to develop the physical and mental skills to improve rapidly. This action plan can boost confidence immensely.




Visualization is a powerful tool in the wrestler’s mental toolkit. By picturing themselves successfully executing moves or winning matches, wrestlers can foster a sense of self-belief. Visualizing adversity and challenging situations is another important way to improve confidence by becoming more comfortable in uncomfortable and challenging situations.


Watch interview of World Champion Stevan Micic discussing how he uses visualization as a mental tool  


Embrace Failure


Failure isn’t final it is feedback. The best wrestlers lose more than other wrestlers. Why? Because they compete more, go after more challenges and take more risks. This might sound counterintuitive, but embracing failure is a cornerstone of building confidence. Every setback, every loss, and every mistake is a learning opportunity. Instead of viewing these instances as failures, see them as lessons. Analyze what went wrong, adapt, and come back stronger. Over time, this approach not only builds resilience but also instills a belief that no challenge is insurmountable.


Consistent Preparation


This one should be a given. There’s a saying, “Confidence comes from preparation.” The more consistently and rigorously a wrestler trains, the more equipped they feel to handle any situation in a match or any opponent. You could be the most confidence person in the world, but if you never played the piano before, your confidence isn’t going to help you play well on day one. The same goes for wrestling or any other sport. Competence breeds confidence. Live the lifestyle of a champion on and off the mat and your confidence is sure to grow.


Positive Self-talk


The inner dialogue a wrestler has with themselves can either be their biggest ally or their most formidable opponent. Negative self-talk, such as “I can’t do this” or “I’m not good enough,” erodes confidence. On the other hand, positive affirmations like “I’ve trained hard for this” or “I am capable” can bolster one’s belief in themselves. Writing down and rehearing one or more mantras can be a game changer for dealing effectively with difficult moments and enhancing confidence. Cultivate a habit of constructive self-talk, and watch the transformation in your mindset.


Surround Yourself with Positivity


The team or network one keeps plays a significant role in shaping their mindset. Being around positive, supportive people who believe in your potential can do wonders for your confidence. You’ve probably heard that you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Don’t let your fab five be filled with negative people or small-time thinkers. Whether it’s coaches, teammates, or family, ensure that your inner circle uplifts and encourages you.


Celebrate Small Victories


While it’s essential to have long-term goals, celebrating small victories along the way is equally important. Many good wrestlers stifle their confidence and growth by always looking at the next goal without celebrating or savoring in other victories or achievements. Every milestone, no matter how minor, is a testament to your progress and hard work. By acknowledging these moments, you continually reinforce your self-belief and build confidence.



Building unshakeable confidence in wrestling is not a one-time task but a continuous journey. It requires consistent effort, introspection, and adaptation. By focusing on the mental aspects of the sport and actively cultivating a robust mindset, wrestlers can transform their performance and approach every match with unyielding confidence.


Remember, the body achieves what the mind believes. So, fortify your mind, and let it be the driving force behind your wrestling success.


Wrestling Mindset is the leading authority in mental performance training. Learn how 1-1 Mindset Coaching could help you Jump Levels on the mat.