Cognitive Conditioning With Cornell Wrestling

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When it's late in the third period and a match is on the line, the grappler who's better conditioned— physically and mentally—is the one whose hand gets raised.

Cornell strength and conditioning coach Jay Andress uses cognitive conditioning drills to ensure his wrestlers come through with the W. "We refer to cognitive conditioning as any drill that will challenge our athletes physically, while requiring them to mentally overcome physical hardships to take their training to the next level," Andress says. "The drills we use are more demanding than an actual match."

One taxing drill the Big Red endures is the Suicide Crawl. They perform it once or twice a week in the preseason and at the beginning of the season to "condition the athlete's entire body, including the cardiovascular system, muscular system and mind."

Suicide Crawl
• Perform Bear Crawl to each tapeline and back on single mat
• Immediately repeat in same pattern with Crab Walk
• Repeat in same pattern with Army Crawl
• Repeat sequence for no less than seven minutes

Andress: As you become better conditioned, increase the duration of the drill and perform it using multiple mats to make it longer.


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