Five Reasons You Must Train Your Mind for Top Wrestling Performance

Posted on Posted in Mental Training









Mindset is the deciding factor in wrestling.

Coaches, parents, and athletes accept that all things being equal, the wrestler with the best mental mindset will win. That's why having the right mindset is absolutely CRITICAL to enjoying real, serious, lasting success in the sport of wrestling.

Wrestlers focus 99% on the physical side of wrestling.

The current popular training methods focus 99% of the effort on the physical part of wrestling. Drilling, learning technique, conditioning, live wrestling in the practice room, and generally working to get better physically. If you work on the mental side as much as the physical side of wrestling you will see huge gains in your performance.

Remember this:

Physical skill practice + nothing else = incomplete wrestler.

Your biggest performance gains come from mental training.

Many wrestlers think they need to sharpen their technique before they are ready to focus on the mental game. But it’s actually the other way around.

Once fundamentally sound technique is in place, it is the mind that divides wrestlers into different groups.


Your mind and body work together as one machine. If you don't know how to manage your mind to get the most out of your body, you will never achieve your maximum wrestling potential.

One thought can screw up everything.

Wrestlers often assume there is something wrong with their technique instead of their mental game.

But the truth is your mind and body work together to form a dynamic energy system and your brain controls it all. Motor coordination and timing of movement can be knocked offline by one thought.

Most wrestlers know that mental interference affects wrestling performance. But many don’t know that your entire mind-body system responds to negative thoughts and stressful situations.

These thoughts move into the body’s cells and disrupt various physical functions such as muscle coordination, timing, vision, not to mention heart rate, breathing etc. All this leads to sub par performances on the mat.

No matter what your level of achievement in wrestling, you can still benefit from mental training.


Listen to any high level wrestler for very long and you will hear them talk about mindset, mental toughness or some mental element of the sport.

For instance here's someone you may know that claims his intensity was largely due to his mental preparation:

"A lot of my intensity in wrestling was due to my mental preparation before the matches. I got myself into a different world". -Dan Gable

Matt Lindland, Head Coach & CEO of Greco-Roman Wrestling for USA Wrestling, recently wrote on his website, "The team was not out matched; we just did not compete to our team’s abilities. We competed scared and frightened to lose."

If world level wrestlers can "compete scared and frightened not to lose", I think it's a safe bet that you could benefit from mental training.

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