The Stronger Wrestler can Start from a Near-Pin Position to Simulate a Comeback
The Stronger Wrestler can Start from a Near-Pin
Position to Simulate a Comeback

Coaching/Sport Psychology: Simulate Come-from-Behind Situations in Practice

Dick Moss, Editor, PE

Sooner or later, your athletes will face a situation in which their competition gains the upper hand. Will your players scratch their way back to win the competition or concede defeat?

The outcome in such situations may depend on whether your athletes have been prepared for the unique pressures involved in “coming from behind.”

Developing Come-Back Confidence
You can make your players confident in their ability to come from behind by  simulating come-back situations in practice.

In individual sports, you could play a stronger player against a weaker player and use a handicap. For example, in a badminton match to 15, start the stronger player with 5 points and the weaker athlete with 10 points. Or in wrestling, the stronger wrestler, starting from a near-pin position, could wrestle a weaker opponent.

In team sports, the first string, starting from a deficit position, could 
scrimmage against the second string. In such situations, the goal of the stronger competitors is to make a comeback.   The weaker athletes should attempt to prevent the comeback, or at least provide competitive play to slow the comeback.

In the process, the stronger athletes will learn that they can come from behind to win, and the weaker players will gain valuable experience against their more seasoned teammates.

1. Richard Cox, Sport Psychology: Concepts and Applications, McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 7th edition, 2011.
2. Terry Orlick (PhD), In Pursuit of Excellence (2nd Edition), Leisure Press, 1990.

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