Someone said once that "wrestling is not a sport, it's a philosophy - a way of life".
In the sport of wrestling you and your adversary are matched by weight but not necessarily as "equals". Both know why they are there facing each other, both have the same goal. The goal is to put the opponent to their back for the pin, "the ultimate win !" At the very least you want to score more points for yourself so that it is your hand that is raised in the end, to be victorious in this meeting of skills. Sometimes the match is easily won, sometimes too close to call; but one fact remains, only one will win. Each wrestler desires to have the edge. The "edge" is what I call the "wrestler's mentality ! "
Having the "edge" is much more than physical prowess, training or the body and stamina. To be a great wrestler, it is the mind and spirit that needs to be developed and trained. To be victorious the wrestler must push past pain, deny the body and tap into the spirit. He must be willing to give more than he thinks is possible and when he he's given 100% to give even more! The wrestler must disregard the "clock", score, every possible gauge he has that defeat may be possible, erase all self doubts and continue to the end. When the referee taps him, only then does he return to his physicalness and cease in his efforts.
Sometimes it can take several moments before he realizes the match has concluded. The mind of the wrestler must be so in tune with his opponents' than he can become one with him and anticipate his every move; and in the same split second determine his own strategy and direct the opponents body where he wants it!
There can be no room in his thoughts for fear or doubt. To win there can be no mistakes and there is often little time for correction when one is made.
However, there is always the one who does not win. I did not say the loser, for to go out on the mat alone to face an opponent already constitutes a winner. To return to the mat, again and again, wiser, stronger and keener is his ongoing quest. No matter how big the defeat, how beaten or ragged; to persist! The wrestler returns again for another match, sharpening his skills, drilling for mastery and then taking what comes with courage!
This training, this discipline and will are the components of the challenges of life. When he leaves the circle, he is tired, spent, glorified or downtrodden. He smiles, or he cries, because he's done his best and returns again and again.
Dedicated to my brothers: Frank Carrozza (All American) and Carl Carrozza (Section 8 Champ) both from Long Island NY.( Island Trees High School)