West Virginia Wrestling


by Dr. Bill Welker

... on Paralysis by Analysis

Paralysis by analysis...the result of all "thought" and no action.

As a wrestler, I often had just this problem. I use to think too much, instead of letting things happen. On such occasions, I did not perform at my highest level of athletic ability. So, I went for advice from one of my strongest supporters--Dad.

His counsel was quite simple. He first made me aware of the fact that in sports you sometimes lose--a reality of competition. Dad went on to say that you can't dwell on this fact, but on skill improvement and conditioning. Losing would then be a rare occurrence.

Next, Dad explained to me that wrestling (as well as all other sports) was only a learning experience for help in preparing oneself for adult living in a highly competitive society.

Moreover, my father emphasized that my studies should always take a priority over athletics. By doing so, he said that I would not think too much about losing or being devastated by a loss, because I would always have my academic successes to comfort me. (I must admit that this point was the hardest one for me to digest.)

Finally, Dad stressed that no matter what the final outcome in a match was, the important thing is knowing that I did my best.

From that point on, before every match, I prayed to God--not to win--but to allow me to wrestle to my fullest athletic potential. Oh, I still lost some matches, but it wasn't because I thought too much. In essence, I learned to do all my thinking at practice, and all my reacting during matches.

You can do the same, too, by putting everything in its proper perspective. First and foremost, develop your thought processes via studying hard in school. And secondly, develop your motor skills via dedicated mat training. The you will be referred to as a "Scholar-Athlete"...the biggest WINNER in sports and life!

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