A scientific approach to high-performance sports

KUCHING: The Strength and Conditioning (S&C) unit, a major component of the High-Performance Unit (HPU), was the first to be set up together with the High-Performance Unit under the Sarawak Sports Corporation (SSC) in March 2018.

The seven-strong unit, headed by Nathaniel Tan, is responsible for improving the strength and physical conditioning of the athletes and preparing them for competitions.

Joshua Kudi Philip looks after the sub-section – Return To Sports (STS) – where he will ensure that athletes who are injured and have undergone rehabilitation, are fully ready to return to their respective sports while Spancer Biondy will train athletes in combat sports, Ndrieson Saini in invasion sports, Nickholas Chia in individual sports and Mackinson Robin in target sports.

We draw up high-performance programmes for the athletes based on the coaches’ requirements, do a battery of tests and measurements and from the information gathered, work out intervention plans for the athletes. After a few weeks, we will test the athletes again.

“The Strength and Conditioning unit works very closely with the coaches as we need to know what they require for their athletes.

“We also work closely with the other units such as Sports Rehabilitation, Sports Nutrition, Sports Psychology, Performance Analysis, Research and Innovation as we are an integrated unit within the HPU,” Tan told thesundaypost.

He said it was vital to build up the training programmes, based on competitions, adding that the training programmes were long-term ones.

“Strength and physical fitness cannot be achieved in one week or one month. It’s a continuing process,” he explained.

In S&C, there are different components such as strength training, power training, agility training and endurance training.

The regimen does not only prepare athletes before and during competitions but also after the competitions by putting recovery programmes in place.

The SSC Gym at the Sarawak Stadium is where all types of strength and conditioning training are carried out.

However, it’s still not adequately equipped to meet the needs of the over 100 athletes in Kuching.

“Our biggest challenge is arranging the training schedules for team sports. At this trying time of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO), only 10 athlete and coaches are allowed per session in the gym.

“For sports like football and basketball, we need to divide the athletes into two or three sessions. We conduct up to 12 training sessions for each sport a week.

“We’re still short of training equipment and by early next year we’re expecting to get more,” Tan added.

He also hoped the coaches could change their approaches, especially those still following the old school of coaching.

“We do courses from time to time and are continually educating coaches, athletes and officials from sports associations to give them a better understanding of sports science and our work.

“We also hope through our work, our athletes can improve and represent the country at regional competitions such as SEA Games, Asian Games and even the Olympics,” he said.

Source : The Borneo Post

Sarawak Sports Corporation