By Kristina Boyko
From the sweaty practices to the sore muscles that follow, the training for it is only half the battle of the road to state. The ups and downs of the wrestling season are all made worth it during the most important matches of the year.
Freshman Angelo Falise--a member of Grandview’s varsity wrestling team-- had been preparing for his first State Competition through hard work and determination in every practice.
“I went to every practice with the mindset of the harder you work the better you’ll get. I also did my best to refine the moves I already knew and the techniques,” said Falise.
As wrestling is an individual sport, not only the physical, but mental preparation as well, plays an essential role in the outcome of the match.
“The mental part of the sport [is the most challenging], if you go out there thinking you will lose, you will lose because it’s such a mentally tough sport,” said sophomore Frankie Sanchez.
To overcome the anxiety prior to the big match, all wrestlers can agree that it’s important to build confidence. For senior Fabian Santillan, who placed first in the state for the second time, faith is the difference between winning or losing a match.
“I was expecting to do well because I trust the process and had faith in all the work I’ve put in,” said Santillan.
During the match the key to victory is focus. Coming up to the mat, one must remove all distractions and have faith in all their training.
“In wrestling it’s in the moment and about how much you've worked to get to that point that matters and that in the end is how you feel- this calm and controlled randomness,” said Falise. “You almost have to experience it to understand it truly.”
Just as before any competition, the wrestlers feel the pressure of the sport; however, the wrestlers advocate that athletes must overcome it.
“It was very nerve racking but I was very confident and ready to wrestle” said Sanchez.
The highs and lows that come with the sports are valuable training for not only the body, but the mind as well. From the first practice of the season to the last, one is building not only muscle mass but character as well.
“As a wrestler I’ve reached a new level, as a person I still have the same drive to compete if not more” said Santillan.
Just as with anything in life, in order to succeed it is essential to stay determined and hard working, wrestling is no different. With perseverance in one’s passions, it is inevitable that one will see improvement.
“[Advice that I would give to someone is] go into everything like it’s your last and put your all into every moment,” said Falise. “There are no days off in sports and everyday you cheat or take off is just another day lost where you could've been better.”