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Saturday,July 20,2019 12:46 PM

When netballers are turned into weightlifters

By James Bakama

Added 17th June 2019 10:39 AM

As these ladies laboured to lift the heavyweights, team officials led by Uganda Netball Federation supremo Susan Anek cheered!

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Retired US Army officer Lt Col Brick Diamond takes the She Cranes players through a fitness traininig session. PHOTO: Silvano Kibuuka

As these ladies laboured to lift the heavyweights, team officials led by Uganda Netball Federation supremo Susan Anek cheered!

 
 

 I SAY SO

Images of national netball team players writhing in pain as they struggled to carry heavy wooden poles headlined last week.
 
As these ladies laboured to lift the heavyweights, team officials led by Uganda Netball Federation supremo Susan Anek cheered!
 
These She Cranes’ ladies were according to their “fitness instructors” building power at the Lugogo gym for the forthcoming Netball World Cup.
 
Uganda will be one of the 16 teams competing for the coveted netball prize in the English city of Liverpool starting on July 16.
 
So, what’s wrong with some muscle building if you are getting set to take on the world’s netball crème de la crème?
 
Muscle is absolutely necessary for most sports. What’s however totally wrong in the netballers’ case, is the timing.
 
It is just a month to the World Cup. Such power training is done towards the start of the season as rusty sportsmen struggle out of recess.
 
By this time, the netballers are supposed to be at their peak. And besides, do netballers, more specifically women, need such power training?
 
If even our Africa Cup of Nations-bound footballers, who are involved in a more physically demanding game, were at no point involved in such drills, why should our ladies be stretched to such limits?
 
Such training only puts the netballers at risk of injuries. Just imagine if that log slips and hits a player’s leg.
 
That aside, there is also the issue of the players’ muscles cramping or tearing due to unaccustomed to weight. Don’t also forget the effect on the joints.
 
There is also the exhaustion that comes with such heavy drills. Don’t be surprised if they get to Liverpool and cannot jump or swiftly move.
 
Just for comparison’s sake, it would be interesting if we sought some tips from our professionals Mary Nuba or Peace Proscovia who play in England and Australia respectively.
 
I am sure they would clearly tell our clueless team officials that this is no time for power training but techniques and tactics.
 
This is a time of studying and developing counter moves for the opponents that await us. This is best implemented through tactical board sessions and actual game drills.
 
And, the She Cranes who have six coaches should be more than well equipped for this requirement. Unless it’s a case of taking tourists for coaches.
 
I gather the players, who up to now are still staying in their respective homes, are being given flash discs with games of their opponents to study.
 
Interestingly, officials are dishing out these discs well aware that none of these players has access to a computer in the limited time they have between home and training.
 
The ideal place for this exercise would have been in a camp where the entire team not only studies as a unit but also gets other preparatory needs.
 
Meanwhile, the other 15 World Cup teams are in serious camps where the study of their opponents is top of their agenda.
 
Isn’t it time Anek and her team provided proper accountability for the sh2bn they are getting from the government?
 
 

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