CEDAR RAPIDS — Preparing and practicing for a sport can be a critical component to one’s success.
So can eating right, especially in the sport of wrestling.
“I have to watch what I eat because of the sweets and desserts,” Cedar Rapids Xavier junior Ivan Thomas said. “The best way I avoid eating them is by having the mind-set that I will perform better without them.”
Wrestlers often drop body weight in order to get into a division they believe will give them an advantage.
Dropping weight is not the only important factor when it comes to wrestling.
“Many people believe that wrestling is only about cutting weight but that is insignificant when it comes to skill,” Thomas said. “The best way to perform is by eating healthy and feeling good.”
Xavier wrestling practices usually last around two-and-a-half hours and senior Ryan Cook believes this is a great way to prepare for upcoming duals and tournaments.
“I believe training for wrestling is hard because of how physically and mentally demanding it is,” he said. “I usually just wear sweats and a T-shirt for normal practice, but if I’m over the weight I want to be, I will wear more layers.
“The room where we wrestle can get really hot when we are going live and everyone is working their hardest.”
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Cook, Thomas and sophomore Christian Stanek all have state experience and are looking to return to state this season.
“My goals this season are to win conference, districts and state,” Stanek said. “They are big goals and I know I will have to work to achieve them.”
Thomas, who made it to state as a freshman but missed last year with an injury, is looking to make an impact and place in the top five at state.
“I am looking forward to being on the mat, from missing all of last season, I am just ready to compete again,” Thomas said.
Xavier hosts the Doug Philip Duals on Saturday, starting at 9 a.m.