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Next Level Wrestling Club
Sports Psychology

As athletes acquire advanced skills, and performance becomes more physically automatic, the mental elements of a performance have greater impact.  Physically, they are as prepared as possible.  Performing to their full potential comes down to being mentally prepared.


Beginner- Analytic >>

Intermediate- Associative >>

Advanced - Automatic >>


Below is a series of quizes to see what level you are currently on in your athletic progression. The rating system is at the end.

 Take the time to not only understand the what of sports - but also the why.



Rating your Mental Preparation Skills


0 =Never             1= Sometimes                2=Almost Always


_____ 1.  I know how I need to think and what to say to myself to perform well.


_____ 2.  I am able to control my thoughts before competition.


_____ 3.  If I feel tense/over energized before a competition, I am able to relax to aa appropriate level.


_____ 4.  I know how my body needs to feel to perform optimally.


_____ 5.  I am able to stick to my pre-competition strategy and not be distracted.


_____ 6.  If I feel sluggish or fatigued before the competition starts,  I use specific strategies to effectively energize myself.


_____ 7.  I purposely think/say specific things to myself that get me appropriately focused and ready to compete.


_____ 8.  Regardless of the competition, I have a means of mental preparation that I use consistently.


_____ 9.  If my pre-competition performance strategy is interrupted, I am prepared to get myself back on track.


_____10.  I know what I need to do and say before competition to keep confident.




If your total added up to:


15-20  Good Job!  It seems like you are not only aware of how you need to think and     feel to perform well, but you are consistently doing things before competition to help reach your optimal “mind set”.


8-14  Keep working.  You are on the right track but need to work on developing and using a mental routine.


0-7   Time to get started.  Mental preparation is crucial to performance.  You need to start figuring out how to best prepare yourself for competition.


Test produced by Sports Psychology Staff of the USOC in the Sports Mental Training Manual




Positive Self-Talk encourges:

Belief in ability



"I can become" self-esteeem


Negative self-talk = Doubt and Worry

Challenge becomes Threat





Rating your Self-Talk Skills


0 =Never             1= Sometimes                2=Almost Always


_____ 1.  Before competition, I purposely tell myself what to do, how to focus.


_____ 2.  I am able to keep my focus on what I am doing instead of outcome.


_____ 3.  While competing, I am my own best friend (e.g., supportive, encouraging, positive).


_____ 4.  I know what to say to myself to “get over” a mistake.


_____ 5.  I have specific things I say to myself to stay focused.


_____ 6.  I have specific things I say to myself to keep motivation during practice.


_____ 7.  I know how to talk to myself to perform at my best.


_____ 8.  I focus on my strengths, and not my weaknesses, prior to and during competitions.




If your total added up to:


11-16  Great!  Your score indicates you are doing a good job of managing what you say to yourself.  But, there is always room for improvement.


6-10  You are on the right track but could probably benefit by working on better managing your self-talk. Remember, just like physical skills you need to practice controlling your self-talk on a regular basis.


0-5   You are leaving your self-talk to chance by not controlling what you say to yourself.  This may be okay when things are going well but chances are it hurts you when you are struggling.  You could definitely profit by putting some time and effort into working on controlling your self-talk.


Test produced by Sports Psychology Staff of the USOC in the Sports Mental Training Manual







Rating your Goal Setting Skills


0 =Never             1= Sometimes                2=Almost Always


_____ 1.  I set specific goals for practice.


_____ 2.  I set specific competition goals other than winning.


_____ 3.  I do regular goal setting.


_____ 4.  I review my goals after practice and competition.


_____ 5.  I re-set my goals if I get sick or injured or change my schedule.


_____ 6.  I’m hard on myself if I don’t meet my competition goals, even if the competition results were good (like if I win by being lucky).


_____ 7.  I give myself credit for meeting competition goals, even if the result was less than I hoped for.


_____ 8.  It is hard for me to come up with competition goals when I am winning.


_____ 9.  I write down my goals.


_____10.  Doing goal setting changes the way I train, compete, and perceive    accomplishments (like performing to personal standards, not just winning).


 _____  Total.


If your total added up to:


19-20       You make goal setting an essential part of your training.


13-18       You are already an effective goal setter who already has benefited from this approach.


6-12      Goal setting helps you somewhat but you could benefit from this approach.


0-5   You either dislike goal setting, or are new to the concept.  We hope you learn to benefit from it by incorporating this skill into your training program.


Test produced by Sports Psychology Staff of the USOC in the Sports Mental Training Manual.






Goal Setting!

GOAL SETTING IS FOR EVERYONE. Make the time to set goals, design a plan to reach your goals, and make a commitment to achieving them.
Below are ten goal setting guidelines. 
1. Be Specific, setting technique and training goals, as well as performance goals.
2. Set a variety of goals, including a combination of short, medium and long-range goals.
3. Make your goals personal. Personal goals are more meaningful because they are what you want for yourself, not what others expect of you.

4. Make your goals challenging yet realistic. Many of your short-term goals should be easily achievable while others should be lofty. You accomplish in proportion to what you attempt.

5. Post your goals. Write your goals down and refer to them often. Post your most important goals in your bedroom, on the fridge and/or in your locker.

6. Do not fear failure. If you only set easily obtainable goals, you will never reach your highest levels of achievement. There is no crime in not reaching your goal but only in failing to set one.

7. Evaluate your goals. Refer to your goals regularly. Check them off as you achieve them and set new goals. You must constantly evaluate where you are and where you are heading.

8. Design a strategy for achieving your goals. Decide how much and what type of work it will take to achieve your goals. Then design and follow a training schedule that will allow you to reach them.

9. Make a Commitment to your goals and work plan. Anyone can set a goal. Those who achieve their goals have the discipline to stay focused on their training and the perseverance necessary to work through the inevitable frustrations.

10. Believe in yourself! “If you do not believe in yourself...chances are that nobody else will”. It does not matter who believes in you as long as you believe in yourself.
If you wish to excel in wrestling or life, you must have meaningful, concrete goals and you must believe deep down inside that you will achieve them. I encourage you to make a commitment to achieving your highest goals today!

Taken from