Wrestling is an individual sport, everything you do is on you, how you prepare for a match, how you warm up mentally and physically, one cannot tell you how to do that. Your coach can prepare you for the tournament and they can help you during the match but before the match, it’s all on you. Today's article is on being authentic with your warm-up.
Two years ago before my second nationals, a coach said to me,
“Make sure everything you do to prepare for your match has a purpose, and that you're not doing it because they're doing it.”
These words really stuck with me because I realized I had to do what worked for me and that I didn't have to slap my knees because a well-known wrestler did it. You can read thousands and thousands of articles and post about how to better your mental game before a match or your focus but really its all on you.
It’s important to be authentic in your warm-ups because you have to be real with yourself and ask yourself, “Why am I doing this Exercise? Is it because they’re doing it or will it really help me.” Obviously not with every exercise like a bear crawl, because everyone does that, it's part of the wrestling warm-up. Here’s an example that everyone does, the knee and arm slap. I don't know the reason for each individual that does this. It could be because it helps them feel tougher, it may hype them up, they may do it because they're really excited or they could be doing it because they saw another wrestler do it.
An Olympic gold medalist can tell you they like being serious before their match and have a game face on. 2019 80 kg Cadet Pan Am Champion can tell you he likes to goof around and play tag before his match. Others can say they enjoy listening to music, but just because they do this and they're successful, it doesn't mean it will work for you.
“Authenticity isn’t about being the “real me”, but being true to our purpose and values that drives us.”
- Tanveer Naseer.
You must find what best fits you, what makes you feel prepared and what helps you get your head in the game. Don't do it because he or she does it, Do it because it truly has a purpose to you.