Ben Askren breaks down a fault he sees in many wrestlers. Falling into a huge point deficit early and having to fight to come back. It seems as if some wrestlers allow this to happen. With the plan on coming back and pushing the pace in the later minutes of the match. Maybe giving themselves a mental break at the beginning of the match. As an example, Askren talks about Iowa State wrestler and No. 7 ranked Austin Gomez. Gomez has had success going down early and then coming back to win matches. Askren isn’t convinced this would fly against the top-ranked wrestlers at 133 lbs like Daton Fix, Nick Suriano, Micky Phillipi, Stevan Micic, etc. If he can go even with them and still have that strength late in matches, he could win a lot more. This could potentially be the change that takes him from a top 10 ranked wrestler to top 3.
Built for the Long Haul
Relating to this, Askren talks about how that was his style of wrestling early in his career. He’s always thought of himself as a marathon runner, not a sprinter. Up until about 21 years old Askren was not a fast starter. Once he was able to figure out how to start fast not only was he winning more but also accumulating bonus points. Instead of being down 4 and scoring 8 to win by 4 he was staying even and then scoring 8 to win by 8. Askren relied on his scrambling to win matches. What he was missing was his basic shot defense. Once he was able to recognize that and tighten up his defense he won more matches.
Good Is the Enemy of Great
It is easy to resist change when something is working some of the time. A little bit of success can stop you from becoming great. In Askren’s example, his scrambling was good and allowed him to win a lot of matches. He was an NCAA runner up two years in a row. Once he added to his shot defense he was able to win and become a 2x NCAA champion. He didn’t allow some success to hinder him in becoming great. Askren was able to use his weakness in shot defense to push towards his strength in scrambling to become better than he already was. You know your strength so if you can improve your weaknesses to compliment and optimize your strength you’ll be more successful.
Where to find Mental Mondays with Ben Askren
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