By Steve Fraser
October 4, 2017
I loved listening to Kyle Snyder's post Paris World Championship gold medal match interview. His comments and answers to the questions, immediately after his victory, were powerful and very insightful. Especially the responses about how Kyle dealt with the pre match mindset and his effort.
As you probably know, his match was the last match of the world championships and the world team title was on the line. Whomever was victorious would not only become world champion but would win the team title for their country. USA or Russia. The last world team title for the USA was 22 years prior. So no need to say, this was big!
The atmosphere was electric! The crowd in the Accor Hotel Arena was ecstatic. It seemed to me like an equal split of USA vs. Russian fans were in the seats. And everyone there in attendance was poised and excited to see how the story would unfold… history was in the making!
The match was everything that anyone could have ever hoped for. Extremely competitive. Back and forth in the scoring. Intense! Close! Spectacular! The entire arena was on their feet! Talk about getting your monies worth... wow!
In the Kyle interview, right after the match, here are a few of the questions presented to him by the many reporters:
Reporter: What's going through your mind right now?
"I happy, man! I would have been happy with that performance even if I lost, because I wrestled really hard," said Kyle. He went on to say, "I'm really happy with my effort!"
Kyle was focused on his effort, which he could control. Focusing on the things that you can control takes the anxiety out of the equation. Think about it. Kyle said that, even if he lost he would have been happy with his performance. Why? Because of his effort! That says a lot!
Reporter: Were you hyped before the match?
"Yes. I was really hyped! I couldn't wait for this. This was the match I was the least nervous for. I was so excited for this. I was so thankful for the challenge and opportunity."
This is a guy who is hungry to compete. Hungry to perform in front of thousands of people. Hungry and not afraid to put himself out there. Put everything on the line. He was excited and ready to enjoy the moment, and enjoy the battle!
Think about it. The world championship team title was all up to him. It rested upon this young man's wide shoulders. Twenty-two years of no team gold for team USA. Not since 1995, the year Kyle was born.
Reporter: What were you most proud of?
"I was most proud of my effort. And my emotional control. Mentally being able to stay in the match no matter what happens."
You can't always control your wins and losses, but you can totally control your effort. This mental state, which I call ones "Ideal Competitive State," is the state of being that allows for us to maximize our potential to win. It doesn't guarantee the win, but maximizes the chance that you will win.
Enjoying the battle is something I am always promoting and teaching. This mindset is the mindset of most world and Olympic champions that I have watched or studied over the many years.
Kyle also commented on how he hopes that his Russian opponent, Abdulrashid Sadulaev, and he will have many more fierce match-ups for many years to come.
"He was a great opponent and hopefully we will compete for many years to come. That match was fun for everybody."
Now THAT’S what you call enjoying the battle!
In my assessment Kyle Snyder has the perfect mindset and mental approach for competing at the highest level. His hunger for competing with the toughest wrestlers on the planet and his focus on his performance and effort is what allows for him to compete at his peak ability. He's not focused on wins or losses, he’s focused on his effort alone.
"I love wrestling! The outcome isn't for me to think about. It's for God to plan," said Kyle.
You can find the interview at https://www.facebook.com/usawrestling/videos/vb.112918477404/10154875236092405/?type=2&theater. I encourage you to check it out.
As always, "expect to win!"