I know it’s Tuesday! My blog didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to yesterday, so I did a new one. Just for today we’ll call it Temporal Tuesday.
It’s that time of year that if you are not going to Fargo for nationals, (which if you are not, you are making a mistake, but that is a different topic), you probably will not be competing until the next Folkstyle season, so it’s unrealistic to expect a wrestler to be at peak performance. I encourage wrestlers to wrestle all year, but take a break here and there if needed. If you do decide to take a longer break from wrestling, there are a lot of things that you can still do to get better, such as putting in extra time in the weight room, play another sport, take some yoga classes, or do anything that could improve your wrestling skills. So far though, none of what I have talked about has to do with your mental mindset during this time that is referred to as the off-season. That brings me to the question, what should your focus be like during this time?
If you are able to still attend practice or work out with a teammate or friend, now is the time to concentrate on weaknesses and learn new technique. To do this you need to redirect your focus. During the season practices can be really intense and your focus is to go, go, go doing your technique and drilling to the best of your ability. The focus is on doing everything strong and fast. Now is an opportunity to slow down and focus on improving your technique, learning new technique, or advancing your good techniques. You have to use your brain to stop and think why something works the way it does, or how it can be done better. Sparring is a great way to do this. During sparring, each wrestler goes about 60% and keeps good technique but is able to think and learn during wrestling.
Also, if you are still going to practice or wrestling on your own, be conscious of what you are focusing on. Is it great that you are getting work outs in? Yes, but only if you are staying focused on wrestling. It’s a no brainer that you should always remained focused during season, but during the off season, if your mind is somewhere else, and you start doing poor technique, you will create bad habits and may have been better off not wrestling at all. Also, wrestling while unfocussed can be dangerous and lead to injuries.
If you want to be a great wrestler, you have to constantly be getting better. Wrestling in the off-season is a great time to redirect your focus and make some huge strides. Just remember to stay focused on wrestling while wrestling!