The Winners Journey

Wrestling is a complex mix of team and individual sport. Unlike most team sports your coach won’t be watching your every move at practice. Your expedition can get bumpy, there is no one out there with you in tough matches, no one to help you. Everyone including world champions take lumps, this can be very humbling. Thousands of hours of practice, drilling, strength and conditioning can be undone with the effects of travel, nutrition and weight loss, mindset or warm up.
The internal drive necessary to be a champion is astounding. It means that you are able to push yourself to your limit during training when no one is watching, when you’re not at 100% and even whey you don’t feel like it. Quitting during wrestling leads to more lumps and embarrassment. No one wants to be handled on the mat in public or in front of teammates and friends. The deeper you get and the more investment a wrestler has the harder it becomes to quit. This can create a tremendous amount of self-pressure. Training alone with the weight of pressure can get depressing or at least make you question your goals and commitment. Having fun or satisfaction along the way can make all the difference. That said your inner voice knows that the winner of the next big match is usually the guy that worked harder in preparation and sacrificed more of his other life for his wrestling goals.
Wrestling can be transformational and multidimensional if the other side(s) of life doesn’t require as many sacrifices. A driven person only has so much time and has to prioritize that time. Wrestling, schoolwork, family, friends and faith seem to be at the top of most wrestlers lists. Applying yourself to these other values the same way you apply yourself to wrestling makes your life after competition so much more enjoyable and successful.
Wrestlers are such a rare breed to begin with especially in this day and age. America is the land of the unfit, unloving, judgmental contact sport haters. If you’re a wrestler, congratulate yourself on bucking the societal trends.
Successful wrestlers and people give 100% to everything in their life. It’s easier to know when you’re hitting the mark on the mat than it is as an adult with the complexities of marriage, parenthood and career. All I can tell you, from experience, is that in the long run: is the pursuit of the juice is worth the squeeze!

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