9 Days Away from the 2018 World Championships:
I can’t recall a time when I have been more relaxed and calm leading up to a major wrestling event. In high school I can remember nervousness setting in weeks before the State Tournament. I’d constantly play out all the different scenarios in my mind and study hours of tape of my potential opponents. Early in my college career, I remember being anxious all week leading up to a big dual. You would think these emotions would amplify the bigger the stage, but each year the stressful emotions have faded away. I’ve never had a lack of interest in training my physical body. I was raised to work hard and believed that consistent pain and suffering would ultimately lead to a better performance. I envisioned how other athletes around the world would be training. I pushed my physical limits to higher levels, truly believing there was no one on Earth that could outwork me. I’m confident that work ethic plays a huge role in your success. But I’ve learned there’s much more than physical effort that goes into being the best in the world.
Reaching My Potential:
People can be born with physical gifts that play a large role in their individual success. However, I’ve come to realize that having the correct mentality is essential to reaching your full potential. The majority of people define success by the number of times they’ve stood on top of the podium. They place too much emphasis on results. As a competitor, my true definition of success is reaching my full potential. I believe this shift in mentality has had the biggest influence on how I train and compete. I don’t visualize my opponents in my mind leading up to an event, I visualize myself. I’m fully focused on sharpening my skills and seeing the image of the wrestler I aspire to be. There are times when I catch myself thinking about details that are out of my control. But I quickly eliminate those thoughts and focus on the details that are within my grasp.
Challenging Myself to be the Best Wrestler I can Possibly Be:
This is something that drives my effort every day in the practice room. On October 22nd and 23rd, I have another opportunity to set a new standard for myself, as I attempt to chase down perfection. Honestly, I feel like I don’t have anything to lose in this event. To be completely candid, I don’t believe there’s much to gain either. This might sound weird and appear that I’m lacking the motivation to win. The reality is, I am 100% committed and focused on competing as hard as I possibly can during every match in Budapest, regardless of outcome. There are no outcomes that will build me up or break me down. I am as motivated as I have ever been, I am more prepared than I have ever been, and I believe I will be able to deliver the best performance of my career. My last thought before stepping onto the mat will be Don’t Protect Anything. This thought will release my body and mind to compete without fear. No matter who the competitor may be. This attitude remains the same.