Getting your mind right on match day part 1
by Jon Gums
Owner and Editor Dakota Grappler
Mindset Is Everything
Mindset Is Everything. Stamp that statement into your brain. Mindset should be considered the intangible factor that can strongly determine your competitive success or failure. Wrestling itself is tough enough, but to win consistently being in the right mindset will bring you more success on and off the mat.
The reality you perceive is always the end product of your mindset. One overlooked aspect of mindset is this: your mindset is but a true reflection of who you are as a person. In other words, the personal qualities you possess and represent fully instill your mental outlook. Interviewing Terry Steiner this past week he said something that I took to heart, while talking about Jordan Burroughs Terry said, “Jordan is not only a great wrestler, but he is a great human being.” Understanding that your mindset is who you become is a huge statement!
With that in mind, determining the best mindset for your game day is really about honing these key personal qualities. While everyone has a different personality, I have found there are many mindsets that lead to success these are the first three mindset qualities common with nearly all successful athletes:
- Positive Realism
1. Persistence & Perseverance
Persistence & Perseverance: how would a wrestler define this… For me it is simply the quality of always continuing to move forward. Many might say getting off their back, getting off the bottom, or never giving up when put in situations not so favorable… Ultimately not giving up, and doing something until they perfect it. Focus forward even after setbacks. Endure?
In terms of persistence & perseverance, that’s exactly the kind of man/woman you want to be. To just keep going after your move fails or even when you’re absolutely beaten down.
2. Positive Realism
Being positive is an integral and intrinsic aspect of having the right mindset. But, it’s important to temper your positivity with some realism. I will have to write a near future article for the wrestling mindset on how to deal with negative thoughts, no one is positive 100% of the time.
I teach physics so I will relate this concept to some of Newtons Laws… Maybe you’ve heard “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” or “Without friction there would not be movement “friction” (make that your opponent) That friction must move you forward or stop you and in realism that becomes your choice…. Is it going to propel you forward or Stop you? Not every situation you encounter in your competitive atmosphere: the practice room, on the mat, wrestling partners etc. will be positive. Trying to adopt an overinflated positive-towards-everything mindset is going to set you up to fail because our brains just aren’t wired that way. For every positive, there has to be a negative. Sports like wrestling are there to teach you persevere.
So, positive realism is about trying to make the best of a bad situation or challenge but tempering that with realistic assessment and action based on your circumstances.
“Don’t forget! Your mindset is but a true reflection of who you are as a person. mental outlook.”
Another wrestling coach maybe Randy Burwick or a SD coach Jerry Appl sent me an article about humility, and I have always took it to heart. As a young coach this is often forgotten in the spirit of competition or maybe not even taught. I remember the article talked about signs of a humble athlete, I will try to do it justice but also spoke to me and has stayed close to my heart.
1. The humble athlete welcomes critique and correction from coaches and teammates.
2. The humble athlete recognizes his limitations.
3. The humble athlete is gracious in defeat and modest in victory.
4. The humble athlete acknowledges the contribution of others.
5. The humble athlete respects the officials.
6. The humble athlete forgives and forgets.
7. The humble athlete gives glory for all his athletic accomplishment to God.
Humility for some is very hard to understand, and it takes years of work to master it… But so well worth it. So humility is about remaining hungry to keep improving. A humble person is one who is quietly confident in his or her mindset yet is always realistic in assessing his or her strengths and weaknesses.
If you practice humility, you will become an internally motivated person. You will seek to achieve and improve yourself not for external validation, but to satisfy your own desire to keep growing as an athlete and a person. That is the essence of competitive fire right there. That’s the kind of motivation that will keep you running the halls, making weight, doing the extra hard drilling, and respecting the others around you.
Part 2 continued soon… I will link it up when I have it finished. Thanks for reading.