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Mental Preparation for Wrestling

Posted on May 30, 2012 , by junowebdesign

Mental preparation is an essential part of wrestling. You might be at your peak of physical fitness and wrestling skill, but this won’t translate into match wins if your mind isn’t in the right place. So, how can you get a head start in getting your head around those big matches?

No Negatives

The way that you talk to yourself in your own head is one of the most important parts of your mental prep. How you think before your match is therefore essential to winning.

You need to first eliminate all your negative thoughts – yes, you could well be nervous but don’t start beating yourself up mentally or thinking you can’t do it. Negative thoughts can quickly turn nerves into real fear, which your opponent will be able to take advantage of on the mat. When you start thinking negatively, just catch yourself – mentally say ‘no’ to these thoughts to try and banish them.

Try to convert your negative thoughts into good ones. If you’re facing a state champ or someone you’ve lost to before, thinking that you can’t beat them won’t help. Instead, think of what you need to do to beat them.

Remind yourself why you deserve to win. Positive reinforcement of your skills will help you when you step onto the mat. This can be as simple as thinking through all your strengths or remembering how hard you’ve trained for the match.


Visualization is a tool used by athletes from all over. You can visualise your match plan in your head – just go to a quiet place and think through all your moves, visualising yourself completing them. Wrestling through the match in your head will reassure you that you know what you’re doing – and that you’re able to win.

Get one step ahead of the game with the right mental preparations, and you’ll soon feel the benefit on the mat.


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