Sports science crucial for success – Jeans

HARARE - Two-time Zimbabwean Olympian Debbie Jeans believes the country will continue to fall behind the rest of the sporting world if it does not embrace sports science in primary education.

Jeans, who is a judo referee, judge and instructor, believes most local athletes only receive fundamental training when they are already representing Zimbabwe at international level.

However, by then it’s too late to cultivate techniques needed for athletes to reach their full potential and recurring injuries become the order of their careers.

“What we are finding is that at the highest level of competition youngsters are missing the fundamentals,” Jeans said during a sports journalist’s forum organised by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (Zoc) last week.

“We get teams that come to the Innovate High Performance Centre, recently we had the Zimbabwe Under-21 rugby team and it’s amazing that the core strength and core stability was not there. If you cannot control your back then everything else is weak.

“We really need to focus on functional training and make sure kids are taught the necessary movement levels in physical education so that by the time they are 15 they are now training for performance. Because at the moment we are training an imperfect technique.”

The University of Zimbabwe trained psychologist said if the country harboured any ambitions of reaching the top more needed to be done to train coaches.

“We can have the best athletes in the world but without good coaches they can only go as far as their coaches. So we should be giving everything to our coaches,” she said.

The three-time All African Games gold medallist believes the country has talent in abundance but is failing to put in the structures for athletes to become world beaters.

“I will say to you the judokas are coming from the high density not the private schools. Look at the boxing champions they are from the Bronx. So it’s not all about money,” she said.

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) Director General Charles Nhemachena said they recognise the importance of sports science and are offering diplomas that cover the ever growing discipline.

The SRC currently offers an Executive Diploma in Sports Management in union with National University of Science and Technology.

Nhemachena was, however, concerned that despite their efforts to educate national associations, most of the local sports union leaders “are not interested.”

Sport science is a discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health from cellular to whole body perspectives.

The study of Sport Science traditionally incorporates areas of Physiology, Psychology, Anatomy, Biomechanics and Biochemistry.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.