We tend to think of mental toughness as what we do. But many times, mental toughness is reflected in what we don’t do.
Here are 9 things I’ve identified that mentally tough wrestlers don’t do.
They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves.
Feeling sorry for yourself never helps your wrestling performance. It kills it. Mentally tough wrestlers strengthen their emotional threshold so they can face the negative and hard situations to figure out how to keep moving ahead.
They don’t fear change.
Change can be hard, but it’s a necessary part of getting better at anything. Mentally strong wrestlers train themselves to embrace change for what it is…the chance to get out their comfort zone and make improvements.
They don’t waste mental and emotional energy worrying about things they can’t control.
Elite wrestlers intentionally work to improve what they can control, and refuse to spend time worrying about what they can’t control.
For example, you can't control who is in your bracket at the next wrestling meet. Don’t spend precious mental and emotional energy on it. Mentally tough wrestlers focus on what they can control because they understand that what they can control is where peak performance lives.
They don’t try to please everyone.
Trying to please everyone is a recipe for a miserable wrestling season. You have to respect and cooperate with your coaches, parents etc. But your goal should be to get better, not worry about making sure everyone is happy with you.
When someone is upset with you talk to them to see if there is anything you can do to help the situation but don’t assume you need to make all the changes.
For instance you may have friends that don’t wrestle or have goals as high as yours. They may not be pleased when you tell them you can’t hang out because you need to get to bed early so you’re at your best for the tournament the next morning.
If they can’t understand that, they have an issue not you. If you have friends that continually want you to do what pleases them and ignores your priorities and goals, get new friends.
They don’t fear taking strategic risks.
Becoming the best you can be at anything involves taking some calculated risks. Think it through, decide if you can live with the worst-case scenario, and take a chance!
You will improve faster, win more often and have a lot of fun if you take some risks instead of playing it safe. A ship is safest in the harbor, but ships weren’t made for harbors. Set your sail and launch out!
They don’t dwell on past losses.
One of the most crippling mental patterns to peak performance is replaying past losses, wishing they didn’t happen, or being critical on yourself for mistakes.
The tricky part is your brain has a built in bias to remember these losses so it can protect you from future harm.
Mentally tough wrestlers know that dwelling on past losses is a true performance killer when it counts the most.
They realize tough losses of the past have a way of lodging in their mind and emotions. This mental interference will haunt you until you learn how to collapse it so it doesn’t affect you ever again.
They don’t make the same mistake over and over.
Mistakes are an inevitable part of life. But repeating the same mistake over and over again is a sign that you aren’t taking time to consider what you’re doing wrong and how to fix it.
Mentally strong wrestlers take responsibility for their mistakes and build a plan to ensure they have the best chance of it not happening again.
They don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time.
Mental toughness means understanding that many accomplishments in wrestling require trying over and over. Mentally tough athletes don’t give up - they make circumstances give up.
They don’t expect immediate results.
Success is never immediate and failure is not permanent. Mental toughness is realizing that a success worth having or a goal worth achieving doesn't come easy.
Mentally strong wrestlers know that expecting immediate results is setting themselves up for disappointment.
Let's be honest, knowing what mentally tough wrestlers don't do is one thing. Figuring out how to pull it off for yourself is another!
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