Every wrestler is different, every coach is different, every team prepares different. Some wrestlers “leave it all” on the mat, where as some don’t. Some wrestlers need extra motivation (not sure why). We’ve all see that “Coach” at one time or another that feels his wrestlers will perform better after a swift slap in the head (gear). Then you have the cool calm wrestler that prefers to be alone, thinking, visualizing, etc, then proceeds to take care of business with ease.
As a parent, coach and wrestler, I’ve seen it all. When it comes to getting the most out of your athletes it could come down to 3 simple things. Leaving out the obvious, they must be prepared for their competition. Their training must have them in “wrestling shape”… which is different than any other kind of shape and a completely different topic all together. Your athletes must also be eating the right foods days before, the day of and after the match. These few things are the “OBVIOUS.” Training and the right nutrition will have them prepared.
What is “not obvious” is what we’re here to talk about today. How can you get the most out of your athletes?
1. Communicate with them. Ask them questions.
2. Teach them how to visualize. There is nothing more powerful than “seeing” something positive in your head prior to making it happen. Visions such as your hand getting raised, your first takedown, etc. You have to first see it, before you can believe it… PERIOD!
3. Keep them calm and relaxed. Even a little laughter and having fun pre-match could be the most important thing a coach can do for his athletes.
Let’s think about #3 for a second. If you were 10 minutes away from competing against a returning state qualifier and he was across the mat smiling and having fun, I’m guessing that this would send some uncomfortable thoughts into your head. “He’s not even nervous…” “I don’t know if I’m ready…” “he’s not even nervous…” hands down you will be thinking of things you can’t control.
Most wrestlers will compete at their best when they’re calm and relaxed. Sure when the intensity picks up, emotions running high, adrenaline pumping, you’re sure to battle tough and finish strong, but you won’t if you’re not FOCUSED.
We need to focus on things only WE can control. Not what your opponent is doing or what the ref decides to call. Stay calm and focused and watch what happens.
Train Hard, Smart and EXTRA… Expect to Dominate!