5 Excuses Wrestlers Need To Stop Using After a Loss

In wrestling there is no such thing as a tie; we are way too competitive for that, which means there is always a winner and there is always a loser, and as much as we all want to be on the winning end, it doesn’t always pan out that way. Fortunately, with every loss comes an opportunity to get better, but every time you come up with an excuse to rationalize defeat you are robbing yourself of this opportunity and the invaluable learning experiences that comes with it. Instead of placing blame when you don’t get your hand raised, you must take responsibility for your actions and figure out what areas you need to work on going forward. To get you started these are five (of many) common excuses you need to eliminate from your vocabulary.

5. I got caught
It’s amazing how overused this phrase is. It seems as if everyone is “getting caught” these days. Now if you pull a Josh Lambrecht (who was up 14-3 late in the third period of the 2002 NCAA finals) and suddenly get stuck with a gator roll, maybe you did get caught…even if you didn’t I won’t be the one to call you out on it. However, if you’re down 9-0 when your opponent sinks in a half nelson and they have to use a fork lift to pry your shoulders from the mat, I hate to break it to you, that does not fall under the category of “getting caught”.

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4. The ref sucked

Now I’m not going to be cliche and say “don’t leave it in the ref’s hands”, because barn burners are part of every sport and make for very exciting matches. Unfortunately, questionable calls are part of every sport too; sometimes you’ll be in a tough match and the ref will make a call that is questionable to say the least. That doesn’t make it okay to launch your head gear into the nose bleeds and storm off the mat like a 15 year old girl whose parents won’t let her go to the Justin Bieber Concert. Sometimes the calls will be in your favor, sometimes they won’t. Keep your composure and just take the good with the bad; let everyone else talk about how the ref’s lack of officiating skills makes them a terrible human being.

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3. The kid did nothing the whole match

Oh, really? Did you put yourself on your back? I’m just going to go out on a whim here and assume your opponent did something considering that in order to win they had to score more points than you. So, instead of complaining aka admitting that they did the bare minimum and still managed to beat you, start thinking about what YOU need to do next time to get your hand raised.

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2. I didn’t get a good warm up in

Well, than you deserved to lose. There are some things you cannot control in sports, but your warm-up is NOT one of those things. Too many wrestlers lie around on the mats before a tournament and gossip like they’re having brunch on the set of Sex and the City (not that I’ve ever seen the show or anything). If you’re sucking wind in the first thirty seconds of a match, because you decided to jog a lap and call it a warm-up that’s your own fault. Take the time to blow your lungs out and you won’t be looking for an oxygen tank after the first period.

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1. I had a bad match

Well, alright at least you admit it. Good, you’re finally realizing you only have yourself to blame…butttttt if that’s your 19th time saying it this season maybe you didn’t have a bad match, maybe that’s just how you wrestle. Having a false sense of confidence can be just as bad as having no confidence. Now you might be sitting there thinking “wait, did he just tell me I suck?” No, I’m telling you that you should always be focusing on ways to get better. Like I said in my article, 5 things every wrestler learns freshman year of college once in a while there is a walk on that nobody has ever heard of who becomes a hammer out of nowhere. Do you think a wrestler jumps levels like that overnight? No, that wrestler got tired of losing, looked themselves in the mirror and decided to make some consistent changes to become a better wrestler.

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Remember, with every loss comes an opportunity to get better, and the first step to seizing that opportunity is to be real with yourself. Look yourself in the mirror and make a commitment that you’re going to stop making excuses and start making the adjustments that will put you on the path towards accomplishing your goals.

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