After I lost in the state finals as a senior it was a bitter 4 months. I always thought that winning a state title would change my life. What I didn’t realize at the time is that wrestling already changed my life.

One message I wish I could get across to every wrestler is that one match or one tournament does NOT define you as a person. It’s tough to see the big picture when you are still painting. What really defines you is the choices you make on a daily basis, the lifestyle you live, and the way you train and compete.

If you live the right lifestyle, make good choices, train and compete with a full a effort and positive attitude you have changed your life for the better regardless of outcome.

Don’t mistake what I am about or what our program is about. We ARE about winning. Our program is about giving you the best chance to win on and off the mat. The win however is not what defines you as a person. Winning a state, national, or Olympic title will never change you as much as the way you play the game, the way you train and way you live your life.

One of the best interviews I have ever seen is on this topic by the great J Robinson (This Sport Changes You- http://www.flowrestling.org/coverage/240483-Cliff-Keen-Classic-Coaches/video/620373-JRob-This-Sport-Changes-You)

He talks about how the sport changes you regardless of whether or not you achieve your ultimate goals on the mat. The TRAINING makes you who you are. You gain skills and learn valuable lessons by making the right choices on the mat- Discipline, Dedication, Sacrifice, Hard Work, Responsibility and Accountability.

Looking back on my career I can honestly say that I learned these skills from wrestling. Whether I won or not, whether you win or lose wrestling changes you. When you live the right lifestyle and make the right choices you earn the right to succeed. Earning the right to succeed changes us. That does not guarantee that we achieve of our ultimate goals, but it is a perspective that I want every wrestler to have.

This perspective will help you wrestle more fearlessly and enjoy competing. It is key to your optimal wrestling mindset.

One match or competition does not define you. The things you do on a daily basis to get there will!