I’ve mentioned before that I believe high school wrestlers have to be THE MOST Disciplined student-athletes in high school athletics.
In this vlog update, I was able to capture an example that justifies my belief. The team was getting ready to go outside to the school track for some warm-up laps & some bleacher conditioning.
Along the way, I was stopped by different coaches, and/or other teachers for one reason or another. By the time I was able to make my way outside to the track, the wrestlers were almost done with their warm-up laps. And, I had not given them instructions to begin. It was the habit, the standard, the expectations that had been built over time.
I Make Them Do Their Warm-Up Laps as a Team
I have wrestlers that also run for the Track Team, & their warm-up pace would be a lot faster than other non-track student-athletes. However, I tell them that they must jog their warm-up laps in single file, as a team, in lane-8. After their warm-up laps, they do some light stretching as a Team, as well. When they do their conditioning runs, they do them at their best pace, and encourage each other to push beyond perceived limits.
Every year, we begin the season with anywhere between 25 – 35 students who think they want to become wrestlers. Every year, almost half quit before the end of the season. Wrestling is just one of those sports that will test your mental toughness. You have to be willing to really grind and push yourself.
It is not always the physical part of training that leads to students quitting. There have always been, and always will be, students that are very strong, have plenty of endurance, and are very athletic overall — that will still quit because they are mentally weak. They are not committed to the process of becoming a wrestler. They are not willing to put in the time, work, and effort. Wrestling is not a sport for the mentally weak and/or fragile.
Then, there are students who will not quit on their own, but they always seem to have an excuse for not giving 100%, for not showing up to practice, for not showing up to meets, etc. This does not mean that they are mentally stronger than the other students who quit, and/or were not committed to the process. This means that they don’t have the discipline to push themselves, to test themselves, to be honest with themselves.
Whenever they think a coach is not watching, they’re cheating on push-ups, burpees, crunches, etc. They walk instead of pushing themselves when out on the track, or running bleachers. They roll over and quit during practice when live rolling.
Unfortunately, these are the students that end up having to be “cut” from the Team. They don’t have the discipline, desire, & responsibility to be a Wrestler.
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