Zain's Champion Mindset

(Zain Retherford is focused on his World and Olympic journey)


Marysville, OH-  Zain Retherford is embracing his wrestling journey this year for the 2023 World Championships in Belgrade. During a recent interview, he generously offered us valuable perspectives on his journey and provided us with a sneak peek into the mindset of an authentic champion.


At this very moment, how do you feel going into the World Championships?

Zain is “ ready and excited to give it his absolute best.” For his fourth time at the competition, Zain is “eager” to go after his goals. ”I’m grateful for the opportunity to compete at the World Championships,” says Zain, “and I’m determined to make the most of it. I want to leave everything on the mat, knowing that I’ve given my all and stayed true to myself throughout the competition.”



How are you training your mind, body, heart, and soul?

Zain’s Mind: “ I’m working on being intentional in all aspects, particularly in my thought process. Minimizing mistakes and maintaining the right thought patterns help me wrestle freely and with confidence.”

Zain’s Body: “ I’m training hard, as always. The balance between rigorous training and adequate recovery is crucial. I’m making sure to push to my limits while also allowing my body to recover sufficiently.”

Zain’s Heart and Soul: “I’ve been focusing on gratitude. It keeps me grounded and motivated, and it goes a long way.”


What are you doing differently this year to prepare for the World Championships than last year?

“While I want to improve on my results from last year, my preparation won’t change drastically. I’m feeling good, and I will train similarly, enjoying the moments and focusing on imposing my will on my opponents, instead of the other way around.”




What advice would you have given your younger self to prepare for this moment?

“I’d tell my younger self to remember that wrestling is not just a physical fight, but it’s also an art form. Having fun is crucial, and making mistakes is part of the journey. The key is to make up for those mistakes with effort and attitude.”


Who are you on the mat?

 “On the mat, what is in my control is being myself, as in me, myself and I. I don’t concern myself with thoughts about what my opponent is capable of doing. My focus is on winning the next score, whether I’m winning or losing. Duplicating this process ultimately keeps me from being overwhelmed from thinking too far ahead. It will also control the outcome of the match, and give me the satisfaction of having given everything throughout the competition.”

Zain is dedicated to honing both physical prowess and mental resilience. He reflects the essence of a true warrior going after his goals.

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