What does it take to be successful in the NCAA tournament? Think about some of the most impressive wrestlers in the tournament. Then ask yourself what do they have in common? That is a pretty good starting point. From a performance standpoint some of their qualities are pretty obvious:

– Looking to score a lot of points. Not satisfied to eek out a win.
– Not afraid to Pull the Trigger on big moves.
– Loose and relaxed (even smiling) before and during matches.

The day before the NCAA tournament there was a coaches interview on Flowrestling. Coach Koll from Cornell made an excellent point. He said something to the extent that the wrestlers who find success in the NCAA tournament are the ones who are looking to dominate each match and score a lot of points. He said that if a wrestler is trying to eek out 1 or 2 point wins each round, chances are that at least one of those matches doesn’t go in their favor.

In other words look to dominate and you may win. Look to eek by and you will likely come up short. If you want to be an All American aim and train to be a NCAA Champ. If you want to be an NCAA Champ aim and train to dominate the tournament.

Shoot for the moon because if you miss you will still be among the stars -Marcus Allen

Many of the most successful wrestlers were “shooting for the moon.”

Coach John Smith said in an interview that Alex Dieringer set a goal to be the Most Outstanding wrestler before the tournament. Maybe he came up short but did he really? He won his 2nd National Title in dominant fashion. What sticks out in my mind is Dieringer looking to score with 10 seconds left in the bout. He was relentless.

Cody Brewer did not shut down his offense after scoring two takedowns in the national finals. Instead he got 3 or 4 more. There was no let up.

Zeke Moisey pulled the trigger all tournament. There was no hesitation in throwing the kitchen sink at each opponent.

Kyven Gadson hits the big throw in a one point match to get the fall in the finals.

Logan Stieber is the poster boy for looking to dominate on pulling the trigger in every match every round.

Isaiah Martinez keep attacking and attacking. He isn’t satisfied to just win.

Nick Gwiazdowski wrestles like a lightweight and gets to his offense all match.

They say defense wins championships. I don’t think that applies to wrestling. The most impressive wrestlers we watched this weekend went after their offense and pulled the trigger each match.

In no way am I saying this is easy to do. In order to Pull the Trigger you need 3 things:

1. Confidence in your go to moves
2. Poise before and during the match. Controlling nerves and anxiety is essential to pull the trigger.
3. No Fear of Losing or making mistakes. Once you overcome this fear a major burden is lifted.

Takes time and takes practice. But if you want to wrestle like Moisey, Tomasello, Brewer, Stieber, Dieringer, Gadson or Gwiazdowski you better learn how to pull the trigger and look to dominate each bout.