Peer Pressure and the Wrestling Team like a Family

Coaches may worry about their wrestlers succumbing to peer pressure, but they have to keep in mind that they cannot pick their wrestlers’ friends for them. Even more importantly, they cannot order their wrestlers to abandon certain friends regardless of any worries about the friends’ sleazy backgrounds or immoral intents.  A better approach by a coach is to pose questions to their wrestlers:  How do your friends support you as an athlete?  What are they doing to help you succeed?  How often do they attend your competitions?  Do they encourage or discourage you from breaking training rules?  What are their attitudes toward this team and the coaches?

Elite wrestlers simply must make the right decision when faced with peer pressure. They should encourage teammates to support each other and make reference to the team as a “family.” In this viewpoint, teammates can deal collectively with any type of peer pressure. All wrestlers, to be sure, need to be diligent to resist peer pressure. Here, mental toughness is the key. The unfortunate reality is that most kids will confront peer pressure almost daily, so the elite wrestler and his/her coach must be ready to deal with it frequently. 

Read more suggestions like this in the book The Elite Wrestler, which is available on Amazon and at

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