Mindset Mondays- Dealing With Frustration

Wrestling Frustration

This is actually my first blog I’ve ever written. This is all new to me but I’m going to give it a try. We’re going to call this Mindset Mondays. If you haven’t figured it out yet, the mind plays a big part in Wrestling. Everyone who has wrestled has gone through mental struggles, and I definitely have some experience in this department. I learned to deal with it though, and hopefully now I can help others.

I’ve been at Freestyle tournaments the last couple weekends, and I’ve had a great time coaching our wrestlers. There is one thing that was very common, whether you wrestled in the younger sessions or the older sessions, and that was a lack of experience. Experience was not the problem though, but rather the feeling one gets from a loss due to a lack of experience, and that is called frustration. I understand why this is frustrating, and that is because as a wrestler starts to see success in Folkstyle and wins more matches, it’s hard to go back to losing and still believe that he or she has improved. Yes, Freestyle is wrestling, but it is different than Folkstyle in a lot of ways. If you are an inexperienced Freestyle wrestler it is unrealistic to think you will have the same success that you had in Folkstyle. The big question really is, how does one deal with frustration?

I have a couple tips… The first is to calm yourself and find the positive. No one is ever frustrated with good things that happen. When a wrestler loses, and comes off the mat, something negative is said such as is, “This is stupid, I don’t know what I’m doing, I’ll never be good at this.” To counter think these thoughts we need to stop and think, what was something good that happened? Maybe a couple weeks ago you learned a leg lace and you scored one for the first time. Maybe your shot defense has improved a lot since the beginning of the Folkstyle season, but you wouldn’t have noticed it if you weren’t at this Freestyle tournament. Maybe you got tech falled in 20 seconds and it’s hard to find any positive, but you chose to strap your shoes on and compete in a wrestling tournament, and that’s better than a lot of other things you could have chose to do.

The second thing to help with frustration is to move on and look forward. Although it is important to learn from mistakes, you cannot dwell on the past. If it’s your first year wrestling Freestyle, your goal is not going to be to win Freestyle state. Your goal might be to win Folkstyle state though, and the things you are learning wrestling Freestyle will help you reach your goals in Folkstyle. Don’t be frustrated with what happened, because it’s over and cannot be changed, so be excited for your next opportunity to try and better yourself.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the Freestyle wrestling season and hope everyone continues to have fun. If things don’t go the way you had hoped, remember to find the positive and move forward.

3 thoughts on “Mindset Mondays- Dealing With Frustration

  1. mmatelich says:

    First, very important advice! The overall message of the piece was both excellent and true. Freestyle will improve your Folkstyle performance.

    But … I’m not a huge fan of Freestyle (it’s getting better) and I don’t completely agree that “Freestyle is wrestling”. I think Freestyle Wrestling is PART of wrestling but by itself it is neither. Neither Freestyle nor wrestling – it is part of both. Freestyle is great for one position of wrestling (feet) but ignores mat wrestling (top control, and bottom: escapes/reversals) and to some extent conditioning. We saw this clearly in the last UFC event where Romero (silver medalist) could get takedowns at will but apparently couldn’t hold down a lead brick.

    Sorry, I apologize for diverting attention away from your original message. My rant is another matter altogether.

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