Confidence can be acquired many different ways. Patrick Samson knows it can be built from winning.
The 11-year-old from Costa Mesa has done plenty of winning as a wrestler. He's 62-0 this year.
Confidence can be huge on the mat. Samson has it and will never back down. He was brimming with swagger entering his title match in the 60-pound novice division of the USA Asics National Championships at Cedar Falls, Iowa March 30.
He wrestled against Kellyn March of South Dakota. Both wrestlers entered the final match undefeated on the year.
"I was confident and I thought I was going to win," said Samson, a sixth-grader at Davis Magnet School.
Samson won in dramatic fashion. Late in the third overtime period, he scored one point on an escape and finished with a 5-4 win over March.
Jim Samson, Patrick's father and coach, watched with Patrick's three sisters on an Internet feed. They watched as Patrick jumped up and down in celebration of winning the national title. The victory was further confirmation that Patrick has found his calling at such a young age.
"It means a lot to me," Patrick said of wrestling. "It's one of the things that I'm really good at."
Patrick, in his third year as a wrestler, continues to excel through plenty of practicing as a member of the Pounders club from Rowland Heights. His father has also been a strong influence.
Jim Samson wrestled in high school in West Los Angeles and went on to become a wrestler at UCLA.
"He got into wrestling and he just loves it," said Jim Samson, who also noted Patrick has won three state titles. "He does all three styles of wrestling: freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle. Folkstyle is the type you see in high school and college."
Patrick's most recent national title came in folkstyle. He reached the quarterfinals with a pin in 3:47 against Jeremiah Reno of Missouri. Patrick then scored a 3-2 victory over Maxwell Crowe of Minnesota to advance to the semifinals.
Patrick rode a nice 8-0 major decision win over Kurt McHenry of Virginia before his big win in the championship.
He said he was excited to win the national title in such thrilling fashion.
"It was my first time winning in triple overtime," he said. "It was a really good feeling."
Patrick was honored at Davis recently. Several of his classmates congratulated him as it was announced he became a national champion.
"This is the ultimate tournament of the year," Jim Samson said.
Patrick acquired some ultimate confidence.