Shapawi: Adopt scientific approach in training to improve Malaysian sports


BY RAJES PAUL

KUALA LUMPUR: National coaches have been urged to keep an open mind on the usage of scientific training approach to help uplift the standard of their athletes in the respective sports. 

Yesterday, the National Sports Council (NSC) said that they were committed to provide expertise from their million ringgit home of sports science- the National Sports Institute (NSI) - on a long-term basis to assist national teams to excel in major events like the Olympic Games, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. 

But first of all, the NSC's international athletes preparation director Ahmad Shapawi Ismail, want the national coaches to have faith in the modern technology. 

“We have the experts, the gadgets and the programmes. We have qualified physiotherapists, physiologists, trainers, biochemists and IT savvy sports officials, nutritionists and others. All these will benefit the athletes,” said Shapawi. 

“In fact, we have been harping on the scientific approach but many national coaches prefer the conservative method.  

“For example, some do not believe in weight training and some are just happy with their traditional way of training.  

“Our experts in the IT unit help the coaches to analyse their players' performances and their opponents in details through a computer programme. For now, these experts are helping the coaches but later, we want the coaches to do it by themselves.” 

He said that the NSC was committed to provide their personnel for the sports associations' long-term programmes. 

“We are more than willing to help out if for example - badminton and hockey - are looking at the 2008 Beijing Games and want full-time personnel to take care of their athletes. We can work out a programme together,” he said. 

“In the past, we have assisted these sports (hockey and badminton) but probably there were some loose ends. We can come out with a better structure.” 

Shapawi said that they had given great attention on the scientific approach in training prior to the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. 

“Every year, the sports science people from the NSI have a gathering with all the national - local and foreign- coaches. Plans are made on when the athletes are expected to peak, their conditioning and etc. But I can say that only, 50% of the coaches are implementing it. Some just follow the programme half way,” he said.  

“We know the importance of the scientific approach and we are giving it a great emphasis. Most of the European countries are using it and so is Asian powerhouse China.  

“At the end of the day, we want the coaches to be open and make full use of our facilities here.  

“But if the coaches are reluctant, we will not see any outstanding results,” he added. 

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