Feel Good About Feeling Good: Kyle Snyder's Mindset on Preventing Overtraining

Olympic champion, 3-time World champion, and 6-time World medalist Kyle Snyder is a standout figure, having achieved and sustained remarkable success starting at an early age. In 2016, at 19 years old, Synder became the youngest wrestler to win the World, NCAA, and Olympic gold medals in the same year, a feat that had not been accomplished in a generation. Through his experience in the sport, Snyder has mastered a mindset that prevents overtraining and sheds light on how he maintains peak performance, a delicate balance of rest, and strategic training.

With the potential for success early in Snyder's career, he was eager to accomplish more, always quick to jump into training after competing, rarely giving himself recovery time in between. After his freshman year at Ohio State, Snyder went home to Maryland, where he found himself without a training partner. When he reached out to his coaches, asking what he could do, the response he got shifted his outlook.

"I was feeling pretty good and decided to call my strength Coach, Neil Serafenas, and asked him if he thought it was a good idea if I ran some 400-meter sprints.



[Coach Serafenas] asked me two questions. The first question he asked was, 'Do you think 400-meter sprinters are asking their coach if they should wrestle a couple of matches?' I said no, I don't.


The second question was, 'How do you feel?' I said I feel pretty good. I took a couple days off. I feel rested."

The response to Snyder's answer on how he felt continues to shape his mindset on training. His coach said, "Well if you feel good, there's nothing wrong with that...The season is long. It's important to feel good. Keep your mind and body fresh." This early experience laid the foundation for Kyle's thoughtful and individualized approach.




Kyle emphasizes the significance of feeling good and well-rested, even in the face of a demanding season. His perspective challenges the belief that more work always equates to better results. "Outworking your opponent is such an important thing that coaches teach, but it can make you believe that if you feel good, you are not doing enough. The real emphasis should be working smarter than those you are competing against." By meticulously analyzing five years of workout and results data, Kyle demonstrates the value of evaluating the effectiveness of each training component. This analytical approach showcases his commitment to continuous improvement and optimization.

Kyle's training philosophy revolves around working smarter, not harder. Through a comprehensive review of his regimen, Kyle highlights the importance of quality over quantity. At the end of every year, Snyder evaluates his training efforts. "If it wasn't valuable to obtaining my goal, I cut it out." By eliminating non-essential components and focusing on what actually contributes to his goals, he showcases the efficiency of his training approach. Kyle's ability to spend less time in the wrestling room while achieving better results speaks volumes about the effectiveness of his strategy.

“Feeling good is not a bad thing, it’s actually a good thing.” Snyder urges athletes to create a well-thought-out plan, diligently follow it, and trust that this strategic approach will lead to peak performance when it matters most. “Make a plan, follow that plan, and you will be ready to compete hard.”


Kyle's success serves as a powerful testament to the importance of rest, intelligent training, and a personalized approach to achieving one's goals in the competitive world of wrestling.



Kyle Snyder's journey offers valuable insights and lessons applicable to all athletes. By understanding the nuanced dynamics of overtraining and adopting a strategic, individualized approach to workouts, athletes can optimize their performance and sidestep burnout.




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