Imagine yourself warming up at a wrestling tournament. You see your opponent make his way to the mat. You think to yourself, “There’s no way he could be in my weight class. He is absolutely huge! How am I ever going to beat him?”
Sound familiar? Consider these three sport psychology techniques while eyeballing your competition.
Since a wrestling match is a one-on-one battle of strength and endurance, it’s natural to size up your opposite number. Some wrestlers use it to intimidate and stare down their opponents, trying to make them feel small. But even if you’re the best in your class, chances are that at some point or another, you’ve watched an opponent and concluded that the odds are against you.
The problem with this is that your opponent hasn’t defeated you; you’ve defeated yourself before you even have a chance to compete.
So how should you look at a hefty opponent without mentally losing before the match begins? Try these three tips.
What Sets You Apart?
Look at your opponent and figure out what makes you different. He may have muscles in places where muscles shouldn’t exist, but what are your strengths? What is your competitive advantage? Is it your determination? Is it your work ethic? Your speed? Your resilience? Whatever it is, focus on the edge you have over your opponent.
Come up With a Plan
Next, strategize a bit. You may not be able to take this guy down, so what can you do? Maybe you will score more through reversals. Think it through and come up with a strategy for the match. Being prepared will boost your confidence.
Finally, imagine yourself wrestling against your opponent and picture yourself winning the match by successfully executing your strategy. Problem solving is a huge factor in wrestling, so visualize yourself escaping from sticky situations. Make sure to keep your thoughts positive!
Bottom line: the outcome begins with your thoughts, so make sure to give yourself every opportunity to be successful.