Change of Mindset
With a lot of highly competitive collegiate and high school matches happening, Ben Askren shares his techniques on how to deal with the pressure. Wrestling in enemy territory is something we see the best in the world struggle with. It’s a proven reality wrestling in your home gym gives you an advantage. This advantage is amplified when the match is a rivalry. If you can beat your opponent even though they have all the home advantages that will stick in their head for the rest of the season.
It Doesn’t Matter
The first strategy in dealing with wrestling in an environment where the majority of spectators are not rooting for you is to tell yourself it doesn’t matter. It’s the same wrestling mat, time limit, and rules. You shouldn’t be thinking of the possibility the referee may favor the home team or how loud the crowd is. Instead, you shouldn’t give the referee a reason to make a call against you or the crowd the opportunity to cheer against you. Worry about scoring more points than your opponent.
An Opportunity Not a Disadvantage
Many wrestlers feel they have the best opportunity to win at home. They don’t have to travel or get bad sleep in a hotel. They get to cut weight and cook in the comfort of their own home. Also, they have the crowd behind them which can influence the referee’s decisions making. If you can go to their “house” and beat them then you not only won the match but you have a big mental advantage for any future matches with that opponent. So while you have those disadvantages by traveling and wrestling in an opponents territory, it’s a giant opportunity. The next time you’re faced with that opponent that loss will be stuck in their head. They got beat on their home turf even though they had all the advantages. Ignore all the noise and focus on the opportunity you have.
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