Testin Your Limits

Jacob - Peoria, Arizona
Entered on December 9, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

You never truly understand your limits until someone has pushed you further than you thought you could go. I believe it takes someone to push you past what you thought were your limits to understand fully what you are capable of. I wrestled on my high school varsity team all four years. My wrestling background showed me how important coaches are because of how they pushed me farther than I thought I could ever go.

The idea behind wrestling practices was not just to prepare yourself physically for a match but also mentally. Throughout the years I found to have success when competing, a practice must be much more difficult than an actually match or tournament.

For competition I learned you have to practice with a higher intensity than a match. This is because live competition is so much more stressful to the mind and body. A lot of the match is decided not just on skill and strength, but on who gives up or gives in mentally first. I believe that intense practicing is not only important but it is vital. Because of the importance of the practice, every team needs a coaching staff that has full knowledge of what they are doing.

I believe it is very difficult for someone to push themselves past their own limits. Many people tend to set low standards or too high standards without really testing what they are capable of. After four years of long and grueling practices I learned that everyone needs help to push past that limit, like it or not.

My coaches would take us to our physical limits during practice. The entire practice would be focused on getting us tired. Once the entire team was dead tired, the real training would begin. This is when they would begin to show us we could do better than the standards we had set for ourselves.

The purpose of the practice was to get us to the point when we wanted to give up. Once the team had reached that point, the mental workout would begin. This was the point in practice when coaches would begin giving us a choice to keep going. This part of practice coach would ask you to take it past that limit, to run the extra mile, lift the extra weight, and wrestle the extra match. You had already met your physical limit, but by having someone encourage and challenge me I learned to conquer my limitations.

Those of us, who made the decision to continue on, later could bring that skill to the mat. By being pushed to the limit and then taking that step further, it breaks that ceiling of victory and is proof for yourself on what exactly your limits are and if you can break them.

After constantly training to continually break your own limits and constantly surpass goals, wrestling a match seems a little easier. Practicing over and over how to take one step further made it seem easy when it came to a competition.

Without someone to push you to that limit, many of us never break that barrier. I believe when someone reaches their limit, it takes an internal force to continue on but an external force to poise the question, are you going to take another step or not? This is why I believe that having a coach or a mentor is so important in order to be successful.