J Robinson Wrestling Camps Blog

One of the biggest things is why we train the way we do at the Intensive Camp and the reason we train that way is to build an endurance base both mentally and physically. As I’ve said before there's four parts to be a good athlete; there’s technique, there’s strength, there's endurance and there's mental attitude. Everybody wants to do the technique part because it's cool that it's easy, strength training is a little bit harder, and endurance training is the hardest of all. So at camp what we do is everything is based around endurance; the ability to function over and over and over again. You have to be able to function when you're tired. Anybody can do anything that's easy and if it was easy everybody would do it. Everybody's heard that comment time and time and time again, but the endurance part of it, that's the hard part. So we run at camp and people talk about “all they do is run at camp, all you do is wrestle hard”, but they don't understand, they don't get it because the way that you get it is by the hard training and by running. There's no easy…
So when we start talking about the different things in wrestling there's four things to be a good wrestler: there’s strength, there's technique, there's endurance, and there's mental attitude. Those are the four categories for any athlete, but as you look at them in wrestling the most important one for me is endurance. The endurance part comes from you have to be able to do whatever the task is; whether it be in wrestling, or anything over and over and over again. So what you do is you have two parts: you have a mental part in that requires patience and persistence; the ability to do something over and over again. A guy takes a two on one off, you take it off he takes a two on one, and you take it off. One of the two things endurance wise mentally, you're going to get into because one guys going to stop and then the other one’s going to continue to do it. So you have a mental part of endurance, but you also have the physical part. On the physical side you have to have the aerobic part, which the point is he takes it off you…
As Haniotis said, we both have these fears; we have fear of failure and fear of fatigue, you know we talked a little bit about fear fatigue, but then the fear of failure is the same thing. You get to a point to where you’re so worried about losing, you’re not worried about performing. Okay and the key is if you perform, the winning will take care of itself, but it's what you focus on. As Haniotis said, is that when you go when you're warming up and you have all these distractions and you’re thinking about all these other things, that's where your mind goes. Through training, through hard training and learning to focus, you can focus on what you need to do. As you focus on what you need to do, then that part of the fear of failure takes care of itself. You go to perform, you don't go to win, because if you perform, most times you will win and that's the key. So you always go back to function and you hear it 100 times about you control what you can control, and that is your performance. Then you leave the fear out of…
In the late 70s, I was trying to look at the part of the mental part of athletics, and the mental part of wrestling. The "why when you get really good sometimes you lose your fire?" So we had great workshops at Iowa one weekend and we had a lot of people come to it and it was a training camp and the guys had been guys in the world teams, Olympic teams, national champions, all these people. And we worked with this one guy, Dr. Haniotis, and we went around the room that I believe there were 21 or 22 of us and everybody went around and talked about their biggest fear. And basically after everybody talked, it basically came out that everybody has one of two fears; one is either the fear of failure, or fear of fatigue. And in some form or another you try to address this and one of the things that Dr. Haniotis was really good at talking about was that sometimes you use different words like fear of fatigue and fear of failure and you would think that guys that were on Olympic teams, or World teams, or already won World Championships…

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