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Ask Cael: “what are some things to keep focus before a match?\” Well my question is how to keep m focus before a match, During tournaments my results are phenominal in comparison against my dual meet results. For some reason when im wrestling in the darkened gym with the 4 big lights focusing on my match, with hundreds of people watching I cant keep my focus. But during tournaments I don\’t feel as isolated because theirs many matches going on at the same time and all of the stress isn\’t on me. I just can\’t keep my mind clear during dual meets what are some things I can do to not stress out?

Story Published Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Hi Jared,

Consistency is the key. Control your thoughts and emotions. They should be the same regardless of the circumstances, either dual or tournament, 15000 fans or 15 fans, state finals or intrasquad match. Jared, it’s important to understand that worrying about things that you can not control is a complete waste of time and energy. Things that you can’t control are: what your opponent is going to do, what the referee is going to do, how many fans are there and who they are cheering for, what other people’s expectations of you are, etc etc. All you can control is what you think, say, do and feel. All you can control is that you are going to give your best effort. That needs to be your goal. Nothing more is possible and a waste of time and energy to think about. Everyone that really matters will be very proud of you if you go out and fight and do your very best.

English heart surgeon, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, says this well, he says “most unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself rather then talking to yourself.” Think exactly what you want to think. Of course it’s a small battle but you are responsible for everything you think, say do and feel. Talk victory. Simplify your focus as much as possible. Break down your thoughts to find what the most simple and effective instructions that you need to perform at your best and only focus on that. An example would be to hustle, or to move your feet, or move your feet and pull their head down. Really, we want to focus on the simple, controllable things that will help us get into the “zone.” We will always be at our best, quickest, sharpest form if we are only reacting and flowing (that’s the zone.) We don’t want to be out on the mat thinking our way through the match. That slows us down. Sure there are times that you need to think, but for the most part, it’s best to save your thinking for practice. I knew if I was moving my feet and pulling my opponents head down that my mind and body would shift into “the zone.” If I need to score I focus on moving my feet because that’s how I best create scoring opportunities. If I think “oh man, I have to score” and focus on trying to score then it’s not going to be quite as effective. Focus on the process to score. Break down your thoughts and actions to help you figure out what the simple thing you need to do to get into the zone. Talk with your coach to help you. Then that’s all your coach has to yell to you when you’re in competition and you need help.

That is a lot to take in but I believe it’s the holy grail of sports performance and essentially any challenge or goal in life.


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