Oct. WIN Article # 105 Building Confidence


Building Confidence
By Ben Peterson #105

The steps to building confidence can be many and diverse, but there are principles which I have seen work for several generations of wrestlers. Let's talk about five crucial points of emphasis that have helped many wrestlers.

1.) Train alertly during each practice
There are going to be many practice sessions with varied purposes that most any wrestler is asked to do. Some practices are filled with controlled drills and walking through moves. Other times strength building or conditioning are the focus. Sometimes coaches may even plan for fun. Most practices contain hard battling with another tough determined workout partner. Alertness is needed during each practice no matter what the immediate need and goal is.
I urge all wrestlers to begin their training with thoughtful focused alertness. Wrestling practice is not the time to turn off our thinking and follow our coach’s instruction without any thought of our own.
Remember, you are preparing for a wrestling match where you must respond to very diverse situations and control them. Therefore the successful wrestler needs to learn to be alert and on guard at all times. An opponent could turn and take advantage and get control most anytime. So the wise competitor is always working on his "alertness."

2.) Do Extra Training
A second point to building confidence is to do extra training, to stretch yourself to new heights. What stretches a freshman may be lazy playing for a seasoned senior. Stretching your limits will build confidence. Step by step your lifting limits can be moved up. Simple steps like adding a pull-up per week, or decreasing time to run a mile by a couple seconds each time will steadily build confidence.
Slowly but regularly attack your limits. A discontentment with what you did yesterday and a pushing for bigger, faster, stronger, smoother limits will build confidence in your own abilities. So, do extra!

3.) Do Right and Avoid Regrets
Keeping a clear conscience is a great way to build confidence. Our conscience is a most valuable gift from God. The more our conscience reminds us to do right and the more we follow it the more good and right we will do and be glad and confident because of it.
But when we do not care about doing right and the good thing, we become content to get by with something lesser. Eventually we will even work to deceive ourselves and others into thinking we are doing right. But that will then be a lie to us and others. And the more we lie to convince ourselves and others we are worthy of confidence the more we will need to lie again to cover the first lie.
Before matches and special events, I often have needed to get alone with God and His Word and have a heart to heart cleansing time. Big matches and special events have been a time of clearing my conscience and asking God to forgive me and cleanse me. With a clear conscience I can build confidence on the truth that He forgives sin and is able to help me do right. I urge you to practice the same.

4.) Help Others - Be Unselfish
A great way to learn and build confidence is to help others. We can be tempted to tear others down to make ourselves look better. But that only makes us feel and maybe look better for a short time. When reality hits us we realize we have not really improved at all.
The more we seek to teach and help others learn something the better we will learn it ourselves. And the more likely it is that we will be complimented and encouraged in return.
Hold your teammates accountable and ask them to hold you accountable. Then you will be able to mutually help each other improve, realize new heights and seek a clear conscience.

5.) No Pouting and Feeling Sorry for Yourself
There is no time or place for pouting and feeling self-pity. If you failed and made a mistake then learn from it and do better next time. If you missed a takedown than learn how to counter your opponent better next time and get closer to getting your own takedown.
If you are a new, young wrestler be patient and stay at it. Almost every advanced wrestler can tell you of failing time after time their freshman year. But the truth is that we needed to fight through practicing and wrestling with those much better wrestlers until we reach and maybe even pass their level. Don't lose hope as a young wrestler. If you are getting beat today take responsibility and ownership of your wrestling and determine to stay at it until you find a way to improve and get better. Keep looking, asking, trying and praying until you find a little bit better way to do it each day. With time those many little improvements could win you and your team a championship.

6.) Listen to Honest Compliments
As a Coach I love giving compliments to wrestlers that I see specifically and definitely improving on something. When I see a young wrestler working hard and who keeps stretching to improve, seeks what is right, helps others and avoids pouting under pressure, I want to compliment them. I know my compliment based on their effort can help young wrestlers make huge strides in their confidence.
Even Jesus benefited from compliments. His Father said in Mark 1:11, "You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That statement catapulted Jesus to resist Satan's temptations for 40 days and nights. No way would Jesus give in to Satan and disobey His Father after a compliment like that.

So let us be alert. Let us go the extra mile in our training, Let us ask God to help us do right and avoid regrets. Let us help others to improve. Let us not pout and complain. And let’s receive honest compliments as encouragement. Over time these steps can build strong confidence in us as wrestlers and as men. Best wishes to each young wrestler who labors day after day to do so!

You can find other articles by Ben at these web sites: www.campofchamps.org & www.TheCompetitor.org Today Ben & John run Camp of Champs Wrestling Camps and are frequent guest speakers for numerous special events. Arrange them for your special event by contacting them at: PO Box 222 Watertown, WI 53094; 800-505-5099 or ben@campofchamps.org

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