Physical fitness key to success in modern day sports

January 15, 2017

The Western countries have understood the value of the physical fitness, so they organise standardised physical fitness sessions. But in Pakistan this area is being neglected

Physical fitness key to success in modern day sports

The Western countries have understood the value of the physical fitness, so they organise standardised physical fitness sessions. But in Pakistan this area is being neglected.

Germany’s famous hockey coach Horst Wien dealt with physical fitness issues in detail in his book "The Science of Hockey".

He gave clear-cut warnings and wake-up calls to India and Pakistan to make efforts to improve their players’ fitness.

The world has moved way ahead and for the betterment and advancement of game of hockey new methods and systems are being adopted but we in Pakistan have been listening outdated stories. And then we want to win at international level.

We will have to seriously consider the following things:

Selection of the players in teenage: The experts should select children keeping in mind their speed, body structure and ratio of fat in the body.

In our society we are still asked at which age a child should take part in sports. In today’s world a six-year-old child is deemed old enough to begin sports. In that age the "Neurons" are growing rapidly. This process is called Synapses. At that age, children’s thinking power is much faster.

Good coaches: In our country commonly senior players get coaching positions mainly due to their influence. An assistant coach, an MBBS doctor, a physiotherapist, and a former goalkeeper help coaches. But in developed countries coaches are those who have done coaching courses from universities.

Before exams, the coach is sent to schools, colleges and universities to get experience. Their professional careers often start from schools.

Pakistan should emulate these practices.

Schedule for fitness: There are two types of time blocks for training. Every country in the world prepares training schedule according to its geographical location and its climate. Pakistan should devise training schedules for its athletes keeping in view its climate.

Training in phases: After passing through basic training in the game, children should be taught various skills separately. They should have drills to master one specific skill at a time. For example, flick, scope, technique of passing, dribbling, pushing, stopping, hitting, short corners.

At Montreal Olympics in 1976 the grassy hockey grounds were done away with and synthetic turfs were introduced which require players to be much stronger.

In 1980s, late Air Marshall Noor Khan and Brig Atif directed me to write a comprehensive document on requirements of advanced fitness.

After reading my report they appointed me physical trainer of Pakistan hockey team. After my appointment as a trainer the training session was divided into two parts. The first part started early in the morning, at 6am, for psychical training. In the evening, from 3-6pm there used to be hockey training.

This procedure continued till 1988 and during that period Pakistan won 1982 Hockey World Cup in Mumbai, 1982 Asia Cup Gold medal in New Delhi, 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Gold medal and several other tournaments.

In today’s world, the importance of physical fitness has been realised by almost every hockey-playing nation. Along with the hockey coach, there has to be a physical trainer with the team.

To get the desired results, the coach, the trainer, the doctor, the assistant coach must work jointly, but unfortunately our coaches want to do all these things themselves.

In modern sports, running and exercises are not enough. The coaches and the trainers must know bio-mechanics, sports sociology, sports psychology. Only then can players produce desired results.

Importance of physical trainer: The trainer cooperates not only in developing the body of the player but also in maintaining the emotional stability and spirit necessary to handle anxieties encountered in hockey matches.

The players need stretching, flexibility, strength training, speed training, and endurance or stamina training.

Due to speedy game the pulse rate of the heart is 220 per minute or more. In this state, the ratio of lactic acid increases in the lower limbs and legs which affect the performance.

Those who can rapidly recover are successful hockey players.

Physical fitness key to success in modern day sports