“A lot of it is mental toughness,” Ledford said. “Your mind will tell you you’re done before your body is actually ready to be done. Just being able to go through practice very day and have Coach yell at us and push us to where we won’t normally be, it’s completely made the difference. If he didn’t do what [he] did, then I probably wouldn’t be where I’m at now, toughness-wise. How he’s made our mindset will change your total outcome in a match.”
Wells said that last season, Ledford was a “tough, scrappy kid” but not very technical when Ledford joined the Kats last season. Little refinements have helped.
“He’s been like a sponge,” Wells said. “He just absorbed stuff and listened and wanted to learn. He’s such a better technician now than he was. He has learned how to push himself through walls, that physical wall, that mental wall where your body tells you to stop but you have to train your mind to let your body know it can keep going. He’s trained his mind to be able to do that and a lot of people are incapable of doing that. It shows out on the mat. He just never stops. He just goes, goes, goes. That’s taken him a long way.”
A tough season, and a tough final week will be worth it if it leads to glory this weekend.
“If anything, I feel it’s an easier week because I have more motivation to keep myself going,” Ledford said. “I’ve definitely pushed myself harder and further than what I have the entire year, but it’s all for a purpose, and we’re about to show it on Friday.”