by Ken Chertow
To excel at the highest level of competition, you must be prepared every time you step on the mat. Just because you practice regularly does not mean you will automatically perform well when the whistle blows.
To have peak performance in your most important matches, you should focus on what you want to do to win. You should "see" or visualize yourself successfully scoring, "believe" you will win and do everything possible to prevail.
Visualization is the ability to imagine yourself performing in certain situations. If done constantly and properly, it will enhance your confidence and mental toughness. This will in turn enhance your most important goal and then "See it, believe it, do it".
With the season quickly approaching, it should be easy to identify and focus on your most challenging goals. No matter how high your goals are, you must "see" yourself achieve them daily.
When I was
in 8th grade, I went to watch the high school state finals. The arena
was packed and there was a spotlight shining down on the finalists as
they paraded around the mat. I still remember that evening vividly,
because the adrenaline rushed through me like nothing I had ever felt
After running, I began to shadow drill my favorite takedowns. I pictured myself hitting them successfully in the same finals and I could hear the crowd roaring in the stands. When I was finished training, I saw myself atop of the awards stand. I had achieved my goal; I had become a State Champion...in my head at least.
In order to
fully prepare for any anxiety and pressure that may exist before and
during intense matches, you should rehearse the possible scenarios over
and over in your mind beforehand. If possible, actually picture yourself
in a specific arena scoring against a particular opponent. Imagine yourself
warming up in front of the crowd and then stepping on the mat to do
battle. Visualize yourself successfully attacking and counterattacking
from every position. Always picture yourself coming out on
If you will picture yourself prevailing in your biggest competitions, it will help reduce any competitive stress that may exist when you have to actually compete. Visualization can also be used to review new techniques in your mind.
When I became a state champion my junior year, I had already rehearsed the match in my head hundreds of times. When I won, it was the most intensely satisfying experience I have ever felt.
"think big, work hard, and have a dream" as you pursue your loftiest
goals in wrestling, and the rest of your life.
All Images and Text are exclusive property of Ken Chertow and unless otherwise noted may not be used for commercial purposes without permission.