Mental Toughness Training for Wrestlers

At a recent wrestling tournament, I watched a very good wrestler strap on his brute headgear and step on the mat. I have been watching this young man wrestle for the last five years.  One thing I have noticed about him is that he manages to win the super tough matches.  I had a chance to talk with this wrestler.

I asked him how he prepares himself for those tough matches.  He told me that he works on chain wrestling. In addition, he tells himself he is going to win and he can see himself winning in his mind.

Wrestling is a sport that I believe is mostly mental.  In fact, I’ve heard numerous coaches tell me that wrestling is 90% mental and 10% physical.  If the mental aspect is a huge part of wrestling, shouldn’t wrestlers learn how to train their mind to gain a competitive advantage?  Today, I would like to discuss mental training for wrestlers.

wrestling mental training

How Does a Wrestler Get that Mental Edge?

You hear the same thing over and over again.  If you want to learn how to become a better wrestler, you should train harder than your opponents.  Doesn’t every good wrestler train hard?  Wrestlers who don’t train hard, won’t last long in this sport.  The elite athletes gain a mental edge because they train their brains as much(if not more) than they do their body.  How does a wrestler train his mind?

Positive Self Talk

I’m a firm believer that people believe whatever they speak.  I think this applies to wrestling as well.  If you look at your opponent and you say “This guy will be tough”, you are telling yourself that you don’t think you can beat this wrestler. has a great article on how Athletes Self Talk to Boost Performance.

On the other hand, if you tell yourself that “I’m going to win this match”, then you are reinforcing positive self-talk.  You are more likely to win that match.  Learn to tell yourself positive messages about you winning and you will notice that you start winning those close matches.

Positive self talk is just as important as a wrestlers diet.  I would even say your self talk is more important than watching calories.

I think positive self talk can help any wrestler.

Here is a video by Dr. Jarrod Spencer of Mind of the Athlete that talks about listening your self talk.

Visualize the Win

The best wrestlers in the world can see themselves winning matches.

Take a look at Jordan Burroughs.  He says that he focuses and takes the time to see himself winning championships and wrestling matches.

He steps on the mat every time expecting to win.  If a world champion wrestler, applies these techniques, then you should follow.  How do you visualize the win?

I suggest closing your eyes and seeing yourself winning.  Try to be very detailed in what you see.  The more you apply this technique the better you will get at it.  Do it over and over until you see yourself getting your hand raised.

What do you think?

I think mental training is an aspect that wrestler do not spend enough time on.  I think this could take you from simply being a good wrestler to a great wrestler.  Do you have any comments?  I would love to hear from you.  Post a comment and let me know what your thoughts are.  I hope you enjoyed the article.  Thanks for reading and keep growing in wrestling.