Wrestling With Confidence Makes DifferenceMay 02, 2014Posted by james
Confidence can be a funny thing. When you have it, you can “will” the body and mind to do things never considered possible. When you don’t have it, bad results quickly can snowball.
Rockland County high school student-athlete John Hartnett lacked confidence when he was bounced last year from a state tournament. He lost the first two matches.
“At states…I got knocked right out—like a one-two punch,” he said at the time. “Wrestling definitely showed me that I can compete with these guys—I just have to keep going to a level higher.”
He rebounded earlier this year, upsetting the second and third seeds on his surprise run to the state finals. Though he lost the last match, he realized that training and commitment got him to the finals. It also increased his confidence. He wasn’t done just yet.
“At one point, I was depressed for like three days,” said Hartnett. “I couldn’t talk to anyone in my house, and the only name that kept popping in my head was [that of the wrestler who defeated him].”
In recognition of his overall accomplishments during the wrestling season, Hartnett received a second wrestling life this year when he was selected as a wild-card entry for the New York State Wrestling Championships. He used the invite as an opportunity to redeem himself.
Hartnett and the wrestler who beat him a few weeks earlier, that name that kept popping into his head, each won their first-round matches. This set up a rematch in the 220-pound Division 1 quarterfinals. Hartnett regained his confidence and came away with a 6-4 decision.
The high was short-lived, though, as Harnett lost in the next round. But, he learned two things about himself. He was able to compete at a higher level, and he needed to continue to work hard to hone his athletic talent.
Confidence in sports, and in business, can be fragile at a young age and even when you are a seasoned pro. What you decide to do after you are knocked down determines if you will regain your swagger to compete at the next higher level.