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Scientist warns coaches on Covid-19 fitness

by Staff reporter
27 Apr 2020 at 09:38hrs | Views
SPORTS scientist Khanyile Dlamini has warned coaches against taking a collective approach to dealing with athletes' fitness post the Covid-19 crisis.

Sports personalities have been forced to come up with inventive ways of keeping fit during the lockdown, which is entering its fifth week today.

Most sportspersons were given training programmes by their coaches and fitness trainers to follow during the lockdown. Dlamini, the Bulawayo Province football referees' physical coach, said it is important for athletes to follow their programmes to avoid injuries when they get back to action.

"The whole aim of individual training programmes is to work on their weaknesses and largely salvage fitness gains accrued during pre-season," said Dlamini.

"The clear danger is post lockdown when most coaches will assume everybody has adhered to the training programmes and move on to the next stage.

"Those that didn't follow the programmes risk injury and will be generally playing catch up, which defies one of the principles of training known as the principle of progressive overload."

To avert this, coaches should pre-test all athletes to establish their levels of fitness to address individual deficiencies and strengths rather than treating them collectively.

She also emphasised on the need to work on athletes' mental strengths during this period.

"It's a good time to set goals and begin to do self introspection and imagery exercises. The key to surviving a lockdown is not to see it as house arrest, but as an opportunity to learn other things that we normally have no time to look at such as the psychological aspect."

She urged sportspeople to adhere to record keeping/progress checks such as how many press-ups one can do in a minute, how many sit-ups in a minute, how many burpees in a minute, how long one can last doing the plank and then compare these with their next check in a month or compare with their teammates.

Asked on her lockdown activities Dlamini said since she's not a competitive athlete, she's not under the same pressures as they are. She does strength circuit for general body strength, skipping rope and aerobics.

Dlamini is constantly checking with fellow coaches and searching the internet for ideas to keep her training interesting.

Source - chronicle

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