With mental fortitude, Miller wins before matches start

January 20, 2015

Jared Miller wrestlingHe has won more than 100 wrestling matches at the college level and Jared Miller of Kotzebue believes more than half were decided before he stepped foot on the mat.

Confidence is a beautiful thing.

The 23-year-old NAIA All-American at Montana State University-Northern approaches every match believing he will win because he prepares to win every match.

“I’m mentally strong,” Miller told me. “Our coach really emphasizes confidence in practice. It’s a mind game. You have to approach those seven minutes thinking, ‘I’m gonna beat this guy.’”

Miller is a three-time NAIA National qualifier and defending national runner-up. He recently picked up his 100th career victory, a marvelous milestone that reflects durability and dominance in the sport he loves.

“It means a lot being a varsity wrestler and having a winning record and being able to perform at the level I’m capable of,” he said. “It’s a pretty awesome feeling.”

Miller has been a model of consistency over his career. Just look at his weight. He’s managed to stay at 174 pounds for the last four years.

“It hasn’t been too much of a struggle,” Miller said. “I usually walk around 185, so it’s not too terrible of a cut.”

He sounds nonchalant, but he monitors his calories closely.

“Controlling your weight is a really big deal in college because you have to make weight,” he said. “I’ve ran into some instances where I haven’t made weight at a couple tournaments and coach has not been very happy. I made sure to make weight ever since and control my weight much better than I did in high school.”

Miller won’t have to sweat his weight much longer. His remarkable career at MSU-Northern will come to an end in a few months. He almost can’t believe it.

“I wasn’t really thinking much of it, and then it hit me pretty good. It’s sentimental in a way,” he said. “Leaving it kind of sucks, but at the same time I won’t have to be worrying about cutting weight every week.”

He won’t drift far from the sport once he graduates with a degree in electrical technology.

“I’d love to be involved with wrestling for the rest of my life,” Miller said. “It’s been my whole life so far, so might as well keep going with it and seeing how far it goes.”