The pressure to win at the ASICS/Vaughan Junior & Cadet National Championships in Fargo, North Dakota can be immense.
It's a big stage filled with some of the best wrestlers in the country.
It's at these high-level tournaments, that even the most seasoned wrestler can feel the pressure.
The trick to performing at your best?
Retrain your mind to what the true goal is for every wrestling match...no matter what the stakes are.
Many wrestlers think the goal of every match is to win.
And if you don't win, you failed.
Win = Success
Lose = Failure
But that line of thinking only leads to pressure and anxiety. Do you know why?
You don't have 100% control over that goal. You can't guarantee you will win every match.
And that's where the angst lies.
Pressure is a word that's misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it's because you have started to think of failure. - Tommy Lasorda
You can certainly influence the outcome of the match but you don't have complete control. A lose is always a possibility in every match.
When it comes to peak wrestling performance, the tougher you perceive your opponent to be, the more opportunity for anxiety to set in and interfere with your performance. You think there is a higher chance of losing so it makes you more worried.
How do you escape this vicious cycle? You have to know what to measure for your highest success in wrestling.
Let's go back to the Fargo tournament for minute. Last year, I had a wrestler there and we settled on three goals for the tournament.
- Have fun - When wrestling becomes anything but fun, you're doing something wrong or it's time for a break. I didn't say easy...I said fun.
- Wrestle hard - Full intensity, no fear, peak performance.
- Learn something - Commit to learn from your success and your mistakes. Become a better wrestler through learning.
Did you notice I never said anything about winning or losing?
Do you know why?
Because if you'll try your best to accomplish the three goals above, you will win every match that's possible for you to win.
Winning is a byproduct of peak performance.
If you're having fun, chances are you're not as anxious as you could be if you take it too serious. Like it's do or die.
If you wrestle at your peak performance you win more often.
If you commit to learning, you're acknowledging that not everything will go as planned and that's okay.
So, what should measure ever match to win more often?
Your performance level.
Did you perform to the best of your ability?
Get your eyes off winning or losing and simply wrestle your best match every time and you'll win more matches.
When you don't wrestle your best, evaluate why and what happened so you can fix it.
That is the fastest path to improvement.
If you want to learn how to wrestle your best and win more often, join the Engineered Wrestling Performance Community it's Free right here.