What makes great wrestlers so good they are considered elite? I recently asked the wrestling community what are the characteristics of the best wrestlers. They listed Heart, Pride, Dedication, Sacrifice, Believing, Humility, Work Ethic, Desire, Commitment, Courage, and Mental Toughness. Let’s take a look at what makes a great wrestler.
These aren’t just buzzwords; they are the building blocks of champions, the essence of what makes a wrestler truly exceptional. In this exploration, we’ll dissect each of these traits, peeling back the layers to understand how they contribute to the greatness in wrestling. Let’s unravel the mysteries of what makes a great wrestler and delve into the intangible qualities that elevate them to elite status.
How to be a Good Wrestler
I have seen a lot of good wrestlers. There is a difference between a good wrestler and a great wrestler. Good Wrestlers consistently win most of their wrestling matches, but a good wrestler does not consistently win championships. If you want to learn how to be a good wrestler, you need to study the great wrestlers.
Good wrestlers are easy to find. Great wrestlers, on the other hand, dominate their competition. Elite wrestlers seem to be in a league of their own. I would like to look at the qualities of great wrestlers.
Great Wrestlers have Outstanding Work Ethic
Great wrestlers show that skill and determination matter more than the best wrestling shoes—they prove greatness on the mat with their abilities, not just their footwear.
In the pursuit of wrestling excellence, an outstanding work ethic stands as a defining pillar. It transcends the superficial aspects of gear and footwear, for a great wrestler’s distinction lies in the relentless commitment to improvement.
Will work ethic help you learn how to get better at wrestling? A great wrestler has a better work ethic than his opponents. It’s not the wrestling headgear or the kind of shoes they wear. Great wrestlers are practicing and correcting bad wrestling habits when their opponents are watching television. They are doing strength training when everyone else is relaxing. An elite wrestler makes himself better by constantly learning and mastering new moves.
Beyond the practice sessions, elite wrestlers engage in rigorous strength training when others choose to relax, recognizing that the path to victory is paved with discipline and unwavering dedication. What sets them apart is the perpetual cycle of learning and mastering new moves, a commitment that echoes not only in their victories but in the continuous evolution of their wrestling prowess.
If you want to learn how to be a good wrestler, then you must have mental toughness. A good wrestler wins most of their matches. The difference between a good wrestler and a great wrestler is that the great wrestlers have mental toughness. Great wrestlers are the athletes who find a way to win matches when a match isn’t going well.
Mental toughness helps them get better at wrestling. They never give up and win matches where other wrestlers fail. The navy seals have a great video on mental toughness. The instructor talks about winning in the mind before entering the arena.
Mastering the Mind: How Mental Toughness and Self-Confidence Propel Wrestlers to Victory
Great wrestlers embody a unique combination of mental toughness and self-confidence. Their resilience in the face of adversity, coupled with an unshakable belief in their abilities, propels them to conquer challenges on and off the mat. It’s this powerful mindset that defines their success and distinguishes them as champions in the world of wrestling.
What truly sets great wrestlers apart is their ability to find a way to win matches even when the odds seem stacked against them. When a match isn’t going well, when every move is met with resistance, it is the mental fortitude of elite wrestlers that propels them forward. They embrace adversity as an opportunity rather than a hindrance.
The great wrestlers are always training to become a better wrestler. If you talk to most elite wrestlers, you will discover that almost all of them wrestle during the summer time.
Some will work on chain wrestling at practice and maybe attend a couple of freestyle tournaments and others will have a complete season where they attend multiple tournaments. Other wrestlers may not attend any tournaments but may attend a summer wrestling camp.
The common theme here is that every serious wrestler is striving to get better at wrestling. Have you ever seen a state champion that didn’t look chiseled? You will notice that every serious wrestler spends the summer in the weight room.
The best wrestlers are distinguished not only by their prowess on the mat but by an unyielding dedication to the relentless pursuit of improvement.
For the best wrestlers, training is not a seasonal obligation but a lifestyle. They understand that consistency breeds excellence. Whether in the midst of a grueling competition schedule or during the quieter moments of the year, their commitment to improvement remains unwavering. This consistency fosters an environment where progress becomes a habit rather than a sporadic occurrence.
Great Wrestlers are Consistent
Be consistent if you want to know how to get better at wrestling. Great wrestlers wrestle the same way from the time the whistle blows to the very end of the match. They are aggressive and looking to take advantage of any mistake that their opponent makes. That is why a great wrestler is hard to beat. They never let up.
Consistency is key to getting better at wrestling. They are consistent in their wrestling diet, training regimen, and continuing to learn and improve. Champions are continually pushing themselves and learning how to become a better wrestler.
Grace and Humility
Recently, I realized that a wrestler’s greatness endures even in defeat—it took a moment to sink in. Can you imagine a top-tier wrestler throwing a fit? Highly unlikely. While their disappointment is evident in a loss, these remarkable athletes handle defeat with grace, offering a handshake to their opponent and leaving the mat with dignity and their head held high.
They learn from their mistakes and strive to get better. They look at what they have accomplished and learned from their mistakes. Cael Sanderson wrote a great article called “Why my kids will wrestle“. I think humility is one of the best traits of a great wrestler.
Additional Reading Material on Great Wrestlers
Never Stop Pushing – This book is an autobiography about Rulon Gardner. Rulon won the Greco-Roman gold medal at the 2000 summer Olympics. He talks about his upbringing, overcoming learning disabilities, and struggles in school that helped him win the gold medal. Want to learn how to get better at wrestling? Read this book. In my mind, Rulon is a great example of a wrestler that worked his butt off and achieved arguably the greatest upset in individual sports history when he defeated the Russian Alexander Karelin.
Oklahoma Shooter The Dan Hodge Story – When my son was a little league wrestler, he was always amazed when he would watch Danny crush an apple with one hand at Tulsa Nationals. Dan is renowned for his wrestling career, but he also is also a 3-time golden glove national champion. When I think about great wrestlers, Danny comes to mind.
All-time greatest college wrestlers – This is a great article by win-magazine.com that is written by Mike Chapman, where he expertly delves into the realm of collegiate wrestling and offers insights into who he believes are the greatest 15 college wrestlers of all time. Chapman’s deep understanding of the sport, coupled with his engaging writing style, provides readers with a comprehensive exploration of the achievements, skills, and lasting impact of these remarkable athletes.
20 best high school wrestlers over the past 20 years – this article is from intermatwrestle.com and was written on October 25, 2005. This article is about who he feels were the best high school wrestlers over the last 20 years. He mentions wrestlers such as Pat Smith, Cary Kolat, Alan Fried. This article is a good read and with a lot of great facts about some very good wrestlers.
A Wrestling Life: The Inspiring Stories of Dan Gable – You cannot mention great wrestlers without talking about Dan Gable. Dan Gable is a legendary wrestler who overcame numerous obstacles to having an incredible career in as a wrestler and as a coach. The book about Dan will provide inspiration to wrestlers everywhere.
I hope you enjoyed the article about what makes great wrestlers. My goal is to inspire you to improve your wrestling skills. It’s sad to see many talented wrestlers who don’t move to the next level. It’s disappointing when a skilled wrestler lacks a champion’s mindset. Whether you’re a wrestler, coach, parent, or fan, we should all work together to grow the sport. Let’s motivate our wrestlers to achieve greatness and become exceptional athletes.
More Resources for Parents Involved in Wrestling Training
I’ve penned several articles tailored for those navigating the world of wrestling training. These pieces cover various aspects, offering tips on how to support wrestlers during demanding training seasons and insights on fostering their growth and confidence within the sport. If you’re in search of valuable information and guidance on your journey in wrestling training, you’ll find a wealth of resources in the articles I’ve crafted.
I just wrote an article about wrestling dynasties and the incredible wrestlers they produce. The piece digs into the secrets behind their ongoing success, spotlighting the rich traditions and excellence defining these powerhouse programs. It’s a celebration of the enduring legacies in the sport and the remarkable individuals who consistently make their mark in the world of wrestling.
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