The Key to the Top
Wrestling is a lot like life.
The longer I live it seems becoming a champion wrestler or a champion person are essentially the same thing.
Furthermore, I might also contend getting to the Top doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s been done before, plenty, so there’s more than enough maps to go around.
History and experience teaches us the Top has more than one path leading to it; not sure exactly how many, but seems certain more than one.
Just think about the large diversity of people that make it to the Top.
All those different shapes, sizes, sexes, creeds and colors…all the varying strengths, weaknesses, philosophy and beliefs.
Given the multitude of difference they somehow, someway, each one of them not-so magically find their way to the exact same spot at the very Top.
Now imagine, your looking from above, from the Top.
Go ahead and watch as the others work their way up the ladder toward you. This potent vantage point allows excellent perspective enabling one to witness the varied ways people think and do things – yet still end up at the exact same spot.
And by a sweet stroke of luck you’re graciously asked to be the greeter at the Desk, at the Top and officially “check in” all the winners of the world who make it there. Seems congrats are in order.
At “check in” you are totally free to get to know them all. You have been given full power to question each of these “Champions.” Feel free to discuss anything you noticed about their climb, or how and why they were able to do, the amazing things they did that lead themselves to the Top.
After all accounted for, your absolute #1 focus of your analysis is learning everything possible about the winning Characteristics that enabled each and every winner to do what s/he did. The second focus was discerning the keys that opened all the necessary doors that allowed the necessary forward progress to continue consistently, steadily, time after time.
After a three month, highly detailed and laborious analysis, followed by an imagined week in the Bahamas, you possess every shred of data neatly arranged, accounted for and perfectly organized.
You then take another five months to craftfully whittle it down, hone it like no other. You take it down to its inner core, the seed.
And at the end of the day to the complete surprise to some, but no surprise to perhaps a few, you notice that amid all the ocean of data, there somehow, someway stands one, single, lone, trait – one cool, common cucumber that ALL those who made it to the Top share.
That one thing?
Self-Control is the one.
Self-Control is the mother of all good things, wrestling and otherwise.
It’s actually the proud mother, father, grandmother and grandfather of it’s ever successful off-spring Discipline, Consistency, Courage, Sacrifice, Honor and Work Ethic. Self-Control is literally a wrestler’s best move.
Self-Control is the fine ability to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, whether we want to or not. Moreover it’s respected but twisted sister is just as important, if not more, and includes the ability to not do things that shouldn’t be done.
See, the absolute characteristic of “discipline” remains simply a pipe-dream without Self-Control. The essential trait of “responsibility” remains a magical mystery tour without Self-Control. The required characteristic of “persistence” is merely a grand illusion without almighty Self-Control.
Self-Control is the King of Wrestling and sometimes music.
Cool book author Jeff Olsen, in The Slight Edge made this point masterfully clear. The steps to greatness no matter the area are all in fact, small and simple; but – and it’s a hefty “but”… we do need to actually do them.
Slight Edge said to me it’s incredibly easy to do all the right things necessary to make it to Top. But here’s the rub. All those incredibly simple, little, tasks, essentials we mentioned above…they’re even easier not to do. See the problem?
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do.”
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
It’s easy to sit down and write down your goals and dreams, or watch a new technique video, but it’s just as easy, or easier, to sit on the couch in front of a television with a big bag of chips.
Doing what needs to be done seems logical, even simplistic, and something we perhaps assume falls under common sense, but the difference in knowing and doing seems to be tricky business and surprising problematic in the game of Life.
Perhaps one of life’s chief challenges is solving the riddle that bridges the gap that lies between knowing and doing. It’s even commanded the attention of some of the brightest humans to ever walk the planet.
1. “I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
Most agree the difference between knowing and doing is in the doing, which is created and controlled by our friend Self-Control.
We all know the key to losing weight is eat less and exercise more. We also know pop, candy, beer and packs of squares are not good for us. We know we should read more and perhaps watch a little less television.
We KNOW it.
But the questions is, do we follow it… do we DO?
“It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” ~Tony Robbins
Wrestling is a tough sport.
The demands of time and output are huge.
They say one of the keys to successful wrestling is being effective and efficient with our time and energy.
To get the most of our time and energy, it’s probably a good idea when teaching anything we go to the source, the seed. It’s by far the best place because it’s where the most potent stuff dwells.
This season, if possible, while teaching sweet arm-drags and power doubles, think about sprinkling in some special dust on ways kids can establish some good old fashioned Self-Control.
It’s time well spent and I believe the earlier we begin talking about foundational characteristics like Self-Control, Discipline and Responsibility to our kids the better off they will be both on and off the mat.
On the mat, because of Self Control’s power and authority over all the fine characteristics, the benefit of acquiring the skill of Self-Control on the effectiveness scale is probably equal to four years of progress in all realms of wrestling, the technical, physical and mental.
And off the mat, the learning of such key characteristics such as Self-Control enables us to be a much more successful person. It’s seems almost a no brainer because after all, when our kids are focused and learning about things like Self Control, our entire wrestling experience becomes incredibly more enjoyable, easier and fun.
Self Control – perhaps the best move in the Wrestling Book.