- Starting on Mondays in season, we will be posts tips, ideas, and strategies on this page to help improve our "mental game" Click the links below to see the info for that day! 

- Content will be from sports psychologists, college coaches, and coaches from around the country. 









- We should also be reviewing Hudl video from the season! 

Coach's Corner


                PRE SEASON OFF RIGHT:

1. ITS TIME TO LIFT - but don't lift to get big. Lift to get strong.  Set goals and work to achieve them.  Work with the team and the plan not on your own - work with a partner - keep yourself accountable! 


Thursday – March 10, 2022



Middle School, JV and Varsity WRESTLERS


Front Royal Fire Dept 

221 N Commerce Ave

Front Royal, VA


Banquet Opens 5:45pm

Banquet Begins 6:00pm

Dinner Catered Deliteful Food


Mr. Devin Smith 


**All wrestlers, parents, and staff, and admitted free this year!  Any extra guests will be $15 for the dinner**




Name of WRESTLER__________________# Of Guests_______________

      Extra Guests can pay in advance or at door





May 26 - Controlling Emotions

This topic is about emotions in a match.   What happens when your opponents scores on you?  What happens when a call goes against you?  What happens when the match isn't going your way.  How do you react?  Do you stay calm and focused or throw a fit? How do the best wrestlers in the country act?  How do these reactions lead to growth as an athlete?

Today we look at controlling your emotions on the mat and why its important! 

1) Video – Bill Zadick (US National Coach) talks about emotions in wrestling


2) Video - Mental Monday with Ben Asken (talks about why its important to control emotions) 


3) Article - article on maintaining emotions in Sports 


4) Reasons and Tip - here are some reasons why this is important and tips to help! 

Reason we struggle to control emotions:

    *Perfectionism — athletes focus on performing without errors 

    *Social approval -  worrying too much about what others think

    *Irrational Beliefs — thinking about things that don't make sense 

    *Fear of Failure — fear causes athletes to worry too much about losing or failing.

    *Dwelling on Errors — when athletes get too caught up in mistakes 

    *Unrealistic Expectations — it’s good to be positive - but be realistic about goals


Tips to help:

   *Emotions are an essential component of sports, but if you don’t control them before and during competition, they will control you and hinder your performance.

 * Routine - establish a routine that you can follow when emotions are high - work on it 

 * Goals - have goals (both long and short term)

 * Work with Parents/Coaches to come up with a strategy to deal with highs and lows

 * Accept responsibility when you lose control - you must be in charge of your actions 

 * Practice , practice, practice  - to get better at a skill you must practice it and be aware. 






May 18 - Dealing with Failure 

This is by far by favorite mental monday - I have quoted the videos below throughout my coaching career.  I truly recommend watching them 

Dealing with failure - 

No matter who you are or what sport you play, you have dealt with this topic – failure. Coaches/athletes talk about winning, talk about performance, and talk about success, but how many discuss failure?

It’s like a taboo – you say it and it will happen.  Can’t talk about it or it will put negative thoughts in your mind.  Can’t focus on it or you will lose.

 Those statements are silly but instinctively we all have them.  So how do we approach failure – how do we face it and use it to each our goals?

1. Video - Failure  and Performance 

Chael Sonnen, wrestler and UFC Fighter


2. Video – Overcoming failure

 J Robinson legendary coach at University of Minnesota


3. Article 

Embracing  failure


4. Tips 

Some great tips to help keep the focus off failure (from Protext Sports) 

     1) Set positive goals– Never set goals to avoid mistakes or failure such as to “not strike out.”  Always set positive goals, such as to have a quality at-bat and strive for success. Don’t be obsessed with avoiding failure, pain, or embarrassment.

    2) Focus on execution - instead of fearing negative results. Fear of failure causes an athlete to focus on outcomes and negative consequences. So your task is to stay grounded in execution in the present moment.

    3) Embrace the challenges of competition -  instead of fearing the consequences of failure. Love the challenges that come with sports such as playing a tight match. Set simple achievable objectives that are positive, such as “play with trust and confidence for 60 minutes.”

    4) Simplify your performance -  instead of over think your game. Use simple images and performance cues to perform and trust you athletic reactions in competition. Let go of verbal instructions, over-coaching yourself, or over thinking your performance.

     5) Let go of mistakes quickly - Try less and reduce the stress and mind chatter. Don’t dwell on mistakes or errors. Know that mistakes are a natural part of the leaning process. Learn from your mistakes after the game; don’t analyze them in the middle of the game.

Full article on https://protexsports.com/5-tricks-to-beat-perfectionism/


"Focus on what you can control - let go what you can't"






May 11 Body Language

Body Language

  Last week we discussed self talk. This week we will talk about another type of communication – body language.  I guarantee if you talk to any coach and they will tell you this is a major piece of wrestling, so why don’t we talk about it much?  Its another thing hard to coach.  It has to be worked on by the wrestler.

No worksheets or data today – just a couple of videos and articles to answer these questions:

  • How do we express our body language on the mat and why is it important?

1) Video

Video on Body language on the mat from Ben Askren (If you don’t know Ben he is a NCAA Champ, Olympic Wrestler, and UFC Fighter.  


2) Quick Article

Article on importance of Body language and what you can do


3) Article 

Article on ow coaches evaluate body language


4) Final Video

Video from legendary coach Geno Auriemma on Body language.  I know Geno is an NCAA basketball coach but give a great perspective from the coach’s side (especially if you want to play a sport – any sport in college)







       May 4 Self Talk 

  In my years as a coach I have met and heard from wrestlers/coaches at all levels from Olympic to college to high school.  They had all great and different traits, but one common theme through all of them was positive self-talk. Everyone does it in different ways but understanding and using this attribute can take your wrestling to a new level! 

1) Video

This is a video about positive self talk:


2) Information about self talk 

    First - What is self-talk?

    Second – What are the types of self talk?

    Third – How do I use it to help me?

First - Defining Self-Talk

The Mayo Clinic defines self-talk as “the endless stream of unspoken thoughts that run through your head…can be positive or negative.”


Negative Self Talk                                Positive Self Talk

I’ve never done it before         -            It’s an opportunity to learn something new.

It’s too complicated                  -           I’ll tackle it from a different angle

Its too hard                                -           I will give it my best effort

No one explained it to me       -           I'm going to ask for help and communication

I’m not getting any better        -           One step at a time – I will give it another try   


**The Mayo’s cover-all rule: “Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else.”

Second – What are the types of self talk

Research shows there are 4 specific categories of performance-based self-talk:

  - Calming/relaxing (“Take a deep breath.”)

  - Instructional (“Bend your knees.”)

  - Motivational (“Yes! Come on, let’s go!”)

  - Focus (“Don’t think about anything. Just concentrate.”)

Third - how do I use self talk 

 Here are some tips for effective positive self-talk

  • Self-talk should be practiced ahead of time (outside of competition – in your daily life)

  • Self-talk should be focused on what should be done, rather than what should be avoided.

  • Individual preferences are okay – find what works for you.

  • Be consistent and it will become a habit - it’s not as much about pos/neg but what is productive! 

  • It is difficult to turn off self-talk. For most people, self-talk is going to happen, for the good or the bad, regardless of whether you work on it. Knowing that, you may as well make the monologue in your head helpful… and positive!

*Info for these tips is from article written by Lindsey Wilson on Coach’s toolbox.net

3)  Use of Self Talk / Guidelines: 


Ted talk – This is a video about the use of self talk and an article which explains the guidelines of self talk

Guidelines About Self-Talk to Avoid

Rule One: Avoid Thinking That Leads To Worry Or Anxiety

Rule Two: Avoid Thinking About Past Failures

Rule Three: Avoid Thinking That Ties Self-worth To Performance

Rule Four: Avoid Reviewing Negative Odds Of Your Winning

Rule Five: Monitor Your Internal Dialogue

Rule Six: Use Statements That Assert Your Ability To Regulate Your State

Rule Seven: Regard Stress Symptoms In A Positive Way

Rule Eight: Convert Negative Statements Into Positive Ones




April 27 - How to self Scout 

Our fourth Mental Monday is self scouting using  hudl or your videos.   

During the season scouting opponents is important  to winning, but in the off season self-scouting can be a huge help to your growth as a wrestler.  So many wrestlers think they know their best moves but are surprised when the see the actual stats on a piece of paper. 

This week you can add a self scout to your off season planning. 

We have  info today:

- self scout sheet 

- tips 

- a useful tool on hudl

*This can be worked on all week, and remember to use your wrestling notebook to keep track of the things important to you for the season.   

1) Self Scout Sheet 

This is a guide to self scout and graph to visualize your data 

       Scout Sheet (click on document) 


2) Tips  

A few Quick tips for self scout (after you've looked at document) 

    - use the same paper or notebook when you scout so your data stays  

       the same 

    - be brutally honest. don't count moves if they "almost worked" or

       "were close"

    - have a clear definition of what is effective (I gave you my thoughts) 

    - do all your matches, not some.  Have to have all the data 

    - don't just collect data. use it to form a goal/plan

3)  Hudl Instructions Website 

- Here is part of the hudle wesbsite where you can get info on creating your own tendancy report.  (this is definetly optional - but if you like using hudl - this can help!) 

- https://www.hudl.com/support/classic/breakdown-stats-reports/manage-stats/run-tendency-reports








April 20 - Action Plan 

Our third Mental Monday is about creating an action plan

So you now have goals (first mental monday) and now you have an idea about mental toughness (second mental monday). What do you do with these?  How do you actually get from your goal to a result. What actions do you need to get from point A to point B. 

This week you need to create an Action plan using the ideas from the past weeks and what you learn today.  Think of an action plan like a roadmap to your goal - time to create yours! 

We have four parts to our action plan info today:

- a video on why goals fail/why have a plan

- a article on stages of activity (where are you?)

- a goal staircase pdf to help you wrtie down your goals in order 

- Steps to create your own action plan 

*This can be worked on all week, and remember to use your wrestling notebook to keep track of the things important to you for the season.   

1) Video

This is a quick informational video about  why many goals fail .

  Intro - Plan and Vision Video (click on link) 

2) Article - 5 stages of physical activity 

This is a short article on the stages of activity.  Where are you right now?

What do you need to do to get the final stage - accomplishment?


3)  Goal Staircase 

- Here is a goal stair case you can use to help you visualize your action plan 



4) Steps to create an action plan:

Here are some simple tips to create your own action plan:

  • Goals – Write down your long term and short term goals. How will you put these goals in order (goal staircase) to achieve what you want. 

  • Honesty - Be honest with yourself - where are you in the state of activity (article above) and what are your strengths and weaknesses. 

  • Action Plan – What are the steps necessary to achieve this goal? What items do you need, What activities will you do, how does your strengths/weaknesses fit in and What is the final order of your action (what will you do 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc...) 

  • Visualize - Visualize you actually going through this plan, visualize positives, negatives, and you overcoming to reach your goal! 

  • Action – You have your goals - You have your plan - tie for ACTION! 

  • Adjustments – Be flexible - be able to adjust goals and plan when you hit problems - be able to overcome. 

  • Results - Don't just accept results. Analyze, use to create new goals and plans. 

**This is not just an athletic tool - this is a life tool. 



April 13 - Mental Toughness

Our second Mental Monday is about Mental Toughness

Mental toughness is a necessity in the sport of wrestling.

A great idea from Legendary Coach J Robinson about mental toughness -

   How do you define mental toughness?  Everyone's definition is different - I guarantee an army ranger has a different definition than a freshman in high school.  

This week you need to think about how you define mental toughness and how you can increase yours.  Just like a muscle toughness can be worked and strengthened. 

1) We have three parts to our goal setting info today:

- a video 

- a article on mental toughness 

- a mindset checklist 

*This can be worked on all week, and remember to use your wrestling notebook to keep track of the things important to you for the season.   

2) Video

This is a motivational video about mental toughness - be uncomfortable!

  Mental Toughness video (click on link) 


3)  Mindset Checklist 

- Here is a checklist you can use (Wrestling Mindset) 

                                     (click on word doc )

4) Article

 This was a great article found on the web by 

Wrestling Mindset

Zannetti Brothers 


Mental Toughness -

The phrase “mentally tough” gets thrown around often in wrestling rooms. Coaches constantly tell you that you need to be mentally tough, and for good reason. There are so many aspects of the sport of wrestling that make it mentally stressful.

If you are not mentally tough, you will be severely limited in your success. But, saying you need to be more mentally tough without providing a means of increasing your mental toughness is like trying to squat 500 pounds without ever spending time in the rack. There has to be a method in place. One way to improve your mental toughness is to practice putting yourself in uncomfortable positions.

The idea that you should look to practice putting yourself in difficult and uncomfortable positions correlates with one of our major mindset principles. This principle being that you cannot make anything special, and you should treat your practices the same as you would treat any match. You can’t expect to improve something without working on it. It is unlikely that you’re going to be in a match or tournament and find yourself in a difficult situation and simply be able to summon some sort of mental toughness as if it were as simple as flipping a switch.

That means that you have to practice being in these difficult situations so that it is nothing new or unique when these situations arise in a match. That is what being mentally tough is. When you find yourself in a difficult position, you do not worry or create unnecessary stress. You are able to remain calm, confident, and address the issue because you know that you have already experienced adversity. So, this difficulty is nothing new.

Going forward, look to put yourself in difficult situations in practice. Remember, nothing is special. If you can’t develop mental toughness in practice situations, why would you expect to be mentally tough in a match or tournament?

Renowned hunter and long distance runner, Cameron Hanes, said that he likes to schedule his runs in the hottest part of the day to be able to add difficulty in training. Look to do things like drilling and going live goes in the room with wrestlers who are stronger, faster, and better than you.









April 6 - Goal Setting 

1) Our first Mental Monday is about Goal Setting

This is one thing that is super important for our wrestlers but can be easily missed.  ​This will not be our only session on goal setting but its a base to get us started! 

We have three parts to our goal setting info today. 

- a short video 

- a article on goal setting  

- a goal setting worksheet 

This can be worked on all week! 

2) Notebook

Don't be afraid to grab a notebook and use it for wrestling - write down the things important to you.  Things you want to remember or work on for the season! 

3) Video

This is a great video about the importance of goals by the great Carey Kolat   - Goal Setting video (click on link) 


4)  Worksheet

- Here is a goal setting worksheet you can use 

               Goals Worksheet (click on Link)

5) Article

 This was a great article emailed to me by

Dr. Patrick Cohn

Sports Psychology for Athletes, Parents & Coaches

by Peak Performance Sports, LLC

Goal Setting-

There are things you can focus on while sidelined from your sport that will make good use of your time, keep your head in the game and allow you to work on skills that you may have neglected due to your busy schedule.


"So now what can I do since I'm stuck at home?"


While you may be home because of COVID-19, you can still do something.


One strategy to keep you motivated, confident and make best use of your time is to set small goals each day.


Small goals will give you direction and focus.  Each time you complete a task or make use of your time in a purposeful way, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.


You can turn what you don't have into what you can do.  


Ask yourself, "What technical skills can I work to improve?" "How can I maintain my level of fitness?" "What are the mental skills I can develop to advance my performance in the future?"


Obsessing over missed opportunities will negatively affect your confidence and motivation. Athletes are driven by goals. As you work towards your goals, your confidence grows.  


Every step forward, every improvement in training and technique helps you maintain a high level of confidence. 


Every advancement, mentally and physically gives you the confidence to push forward despite any obstacles you may face. 


If you pause to think about this timeout, you can use your time to build upon the athlete you are.


Steps in Goals Setting:

  1. Set long-term or season-long goal (based on current game)

  2. Assess where you are today – look at stats and performance

  3. Identify areas or stats to improve (or performance objectives)

  4. Set smart goals that are measurable and have a time to accomplish

  5. Decide on goal-achievement/practice strategies; "goal getting"

  6. Monitor, evaluate, & modify

For most athletes, it's easy to set goals. The most important part of goal setting is goal getting. Goal getting is the daily strategies you set to improve your physical and mental game.


Create three small goals to work on each day. Take into consideration mental, physical and technical skills.


What do I want to work on in terms of my technical skills? What mental skill do I want to develop? How will I work on my fitness while at home?


If you focus on goal getting each day, you will make the most of your opportunities, actively engage your body and strengthen your mental game as well .


Keep working to improve! 





1. EAT HEALTHY - starting eating health now before the season starts - get your schedule set up so you won't have to change your diet all at once

       - cut out the soda, junk food, snacks, and candy

       - start eating fruits and vegetable and meats


2. METABOLISM - Keep your metabolism running - don't eat 1 or 2 big meals - eat 4or 5 small meals.  this keeps your metabolism running at a high rate and give you much more energy during the day.


3. SCHEDULE: Get on a good schedule - wake up early and get 8 hours of good sleep.  The season will be much heathier when you are not tired all the time.


4. EXERCISE: The first day of practice should not be the first time you have exercised all year - get the stiffness out by starting to jog, jump rope, and lift. 









The Coach's Corner Link is used throughout the season and off season to post extra information.  


We will post:

              - flyers,

              - tips,

              - schedules,

              - and information useful to parents and wrestlers.