State tournament time: 3 tips for wrestling success on and off the mat

In the article titled first time guide to postseason tournaments for USA Wrestling, Matt Krumrie, Author of The Ultimate Guide to Wrestling, discussed how parents and wrestlers new to the sport can prepare for – and enjoy – postseason tournament time.

In the article Greg Bach of the National Alliance of Youth Sports made a good point, saying:

“Parents should talk to their kids about nerves and let them know that sweaty palms and nervous stomachs are actually a good sign,” says Bach. “It shows that the youngster cares,” says Bach.

Whether you are a first time wrestler or experienced wrestler, now is the time to prepare for the postseason. That includes focusing on mental and physical preparation on and off the mat.

“The countdown has begun and the post season is just right around the corner for most of us,” says Nick Spatola, owner of Spatola Wrestling, a club that provides wrestling instruction, camps and clinics for youth and high school wrestlers throughout Greater Cincinnati, Kentucky and Indiana.

Spatola also puts on the Spatola Classic, a youth wrestling tournament that attracted 350 wrestlers from 7 states in 2015, offered these tips for wrestlers seeking postseason success:

  1. Find balance on and off the mat

“Make sure all the little things are tightened up in your wrestling life and personal life,” says Spatola.

For examples: Manage you weight, class work, health and personal relationships.

“If there is any turbulence in any of these it can negatively affect your performance on the mat,” says Spatola. “I’ll never forget the story of my old coach and his student. The wrestler was a senior in high school and was desperately trying to make the prestigious Ohio High School State Tournament. He had been training so hard for so long and was so close to achieving his goal. The only turbulence he had in his life at the time was him ,om yelling at him for not cleaning his room. “Big deal”, he thought to himself. His coach instructed him to clean his room the week of the state tournament. This way everything in his life would be smooth before the big show. Well, he cleaned his room and guess what? He made state. He will tell you to this day that cleaning his room helped him do it!’

2. Don’t put pressure on yourself

“This is not roman gladiator days where it comes down to life and death,” Spatloa reminds parents and wrestlers. “Believe in your training and preparation and just go out and perform. It’s a fact that athletes do not perform their best when they put too much pressure on themselves.

Stop thinking about it so much and just do it.

3. Mental preparation is important: Visualize

“You need to see it before you do it,” reminds Spatola. “Visualization is key to success whether it is in your athletic life, personal life, or business life. Your mind is the most powerful tool you will ever have so use it yo your advantage. I like to visualize when I am running on the road or when I am in bed about to go to sleep.”

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