FORT CARSON, Colo. - With smiles and sweat on their faces, Soldiers prepared to split off into groups to conduct Total Soldier Enhancement Training (TSET) May 23, 2019, at the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) gymnasium at Fort Carson.
TSET is a peer-to-peer based training system led by Soldier-Athletes assigned to WCAP to help provide Soldiers with tools to better their combat readiness and resilience, said 1st Lt. Toby Erickson, officer in charge of the training, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
"We try to give (Soldiers) basic tools from an athlete mindset on how to handle obstacles, whether it's on the battlefield or in daily life tasks," said Erickson, who is also a wrestler in the program.
During the training Soldiers from 1st Bn., 41st Inf. Reg., 2nd IBCT, completed five different stations.
The first two stations focused on teaching Soldiers the basics and fundamentals of boxing and taekwondo. The third station focused on agility and tumbling, which wrestlers' practice on a daily basis. The fourth station exposed Soldiers to Bulgarian bags and workouts. The last station included fundamentals on how to properly run, as well as ways to improve run times.
"We wanted to put these Soldiers through workouts they haven't done before, as well as equipment they have never handled before," Erickson said. "We wanted to test their physical and mental agility and see how they would handle a new and different obstacle."
Being challenged with new equipment and workouts was something the Soldiers said they enjoyed the most.
"I love learning new exercises that I can bring back (and) teach my Soldiers and even possibly implement into our (physical training) plan," said Staff Sgt. Aria Mantz, personnel section NCO in charge for 1st Bn., 41st Inf. Reg., 2nd IBCT. "I think its super beneficial for us, as leaders, to do stuff like this and learn new things to make our own formations better."
Mantz said the training allowed her to get out of her comfort zone.
"One thing I loved about the training was hearing the instructors continuously say 'it's all mental, don't quit on yourself' because that is something I say to my Soldiers when I see they want to quit," said Mantz. "You have to be resilient in today's Army and you have to be able to push and not quit on yourself."
Being resilient and learning how to handle situations when the body and mind are tired is exactly what the Soldier-Athletes want to teach others, Erickson said.
"Mentally, (everyone) is so much more capable of what (they) think (they) are, but a lot of people get a little tired and want to quit," Erickson said. "You will never know what you are truly capable of doing if you don't let yourself continue to push, it's important for all Soldiers to know how much they can handle."
Mantz said she recommends all units, on and off of Fort Carson, to participate in TSET.
"I think Soldiers of all ranks would enjoy the training and all the knowledge you gain from it," she said. "It's also nice to able to interact with the Soldiers who are part of the WCAP and be part of their world for a little bit."