Eight ways wrestlers can kill postseason performances

Updated: January 31, 2023

By Jeff and Gene Zannetti

The following list is one of the examples of the resources Wrestling Mindset provides to help wrestlers reach their potential. For more information on Wrestling Mindset, go to https://www.wrestlingmindset.com.

1. Wasting time and energy on social media. Stop focusing on what your opponents are doing on social media. This often adds pressure and is a major distraction for many wrestlers. We recommend a social media “blackout” during the season/postseason.

2. Focusing too much on records, rankings, predictions and seedings. This adds pressure and does little to help you. Focus on scoring points and winning each position. The result will take care of itself. You are 0-0 now. Rankings and predictions mean nothing.

3. Not training your mind. Wrestling is 90 percent mental. You cannot outwork a bad mindset. You need to develop mental skills and focus on the right things to wrestle your best in the postseason. Talk to a mindset coach weekly.

4. Blaming the referee. Bad calls happen and mistakes are made. You cannot control the ref, but you can control how you respond to them. Stop complaining! “Sometimes you have to win the match two or three times”— Zeke Jones. Control the things you can control, your effort and attitude.

5. Wrestling like you have something to defend or wrestling “not to lose”. Maybe you won a state or national title last season. Don’t let last year’s title slow you down. Go after it again with the same fearlessness. Take chances and pull the trigger again.

6. Not controlling the “little” details. Better nutrition, sleep habits and recovery lead to less weight cutting, more energy and a better mood. A good pre-match routine helps you compete more confidently, relaxed and focused. Don’t leave these aspects to chance. These little things win the close matches.

7. Giving any opponent too much respect. Anyone following high school or college wrestling this season should have learned that they all can be beat. Go after each opponent with the same intensity, regardless of their name. No one is invincible, everyone has a breaking point, ALL are vulnerable. Expect to win, believe in yourself even if no one else does. “Upsets” start in the mind of the “underdog”. See it, believe it, achieve it!

8. Making poor lifestyle choices; smoking, drugs, partying, alcohol, dipping, etc. You are a fool if you think these things are going to get you closer to your postseason goals. In terms of performance, smoking and dipping increases heart rate and constricts blood vessels (obviously poor for endurance) and alcohol decreases testosterone.

(Gene Zannetti graduated with a psychology degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a nationally-ranked All-Ivy League wrestler. He has two master’s degrees; one in Sport Psychology and the other in Clinical Psychology. Gene is a certified school psychologist, personal trainer and nutritionist. Jeff Zannetti graduated with an Economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania and studied business at the Wharton School of Business. Jeff was also a nationally-ranked All-Ivy League wrestler at Penn.)