A lot of times, the successful results in competition are depending on the mental state of the athlete, during his matches.
So let’s look into the possible ways to get our competitors well prepared mentally, so they could perform at their best level in every fight.
First, we could specify our goals and put them in groups.
1. Increasing the mental stability in sport specific context.
2. Perfecting the psychological and personality qualities, in order to assure successful application of the grappling technics.
3. Forming, correction and perfection of the individual style of the competitor.
Of course, almost every grappler realizes the importance of the above stated goals and is trying to improve in his own way. But there are outside factors, playing a big role in the way an athlete could perform or throw him out of balance, such as the general atmosphere of a tournament, the level of his opponents, the tournament program and many more.
We could carefully study the progress of our athletes, by watching their performance in training, club tournaments, national and international competitions. The data could be used to make a psychological profile of the athlete and give us a guideline to improve his mental preparation.
1. For his mental stability, we could gradually increase the stress during training sessions, by simulation of unpleasant for him situations (inviting to his training sessions family members, his colleagues, friends and enemies, or even recreating TV shootings, or referees, who score only low points and etc. ).
Important part of the athletes preparation would be analyzing footage of his opponents an working on certain fight scenarios, giving confidence to our competitor,so he could deal with any possible situation during the match.
2. The performance of our athlete depends on personal qualities, such as self control, accuracy of motor reactions, strength, space and velocity components, self analizis, operative thinking and etc.
To improve an athlete on a personal level, we have to use very specific exercises and drills, based on his character. For example, we could make him grapple close to the end of the mat, so we could train his ability to wrestle in a stressful situation.
3. In order to create individual style for every grappler, we have to consider his personal physical and mental abilities. Some athletes have steel nerves and usually they are the ones who take the initiative, attack more and impose their style on the opponent. Others tend to worry a lot about their matches and spend a lot of time analyzing their own game holes, so they can mentally go through the match all the way until the win. It is very important for the coach to be able to recognize the mental state of his athletes and to take actions in time, in order to prepare a competitor of the highest levels.