SportPesa ambassador, Doctor Khumalo came out this week to chat about functional training and the importance of teams focusing on the training in the specific training position or area on the field.
‘16v’ continued his conversation on the matter and went further to give examples of players who have been able to master this type of training.
“Let’s talk about players that are an epitome of functional training. These players wouldn’t train with their teams, either due to injury or being managed, for days and either train on the eve of the game or go straight to camp and perform wonders. That’s because of the functional training they were doing. I don’t know if you guys still remember the former Tottenham Hotspur and England central defender, Ledley King. This guy wouldn’t take part in high-intensity training sessions during the week leading up to the game because of a niggling knee injury, but his defensive qualities were unbelievable! He was one of the best ever! He would put on a brilliant performance and that’s because they were aware of his individual brilliance and worked around that. We talk about creative players who can make things happen for their teams, yet they’re not being given that functional training where every exercise they do at training improves their creativity. That’s enhancing the God-given talent instead of stifling it.
“The small-sided games, for instance, are very good to enhance that creative element of your players’ game. I really don’t think most of our creative players are given that privilege. While we’re still at it, let’s talk about another former great, Jonathan Woodgate, who was teammates with King and they formed a brilliant partnership in the heart of Tottenham and England’s defence. Just like King, Woodgate also suffered from a niggling injury and was also managed perfectly. I bring these two names up because I want people to know that any player with a niggling injury can’t be treated the same as an injury-free player.
“There’s a way of dealing with such talent that doesn’t need much coaching. You look at the Brazilian Ronaldo, he used to be treated the same way at Inter Milan where he wouldn’t train with the rest of the team for days, only to go on and score a hat-trick on the weekend. On Wednesday or Thursday, he would go for functional training where he would focus on finishing only. The same thing happened with Romario. While the rest of the Brazilian national team players were training, he was taking a walk on the beach and playing volleyball, with his feet not hands, and that’s how he was keeping himself busy. He couldn’t be trained the same way as the other players and functional training came in handy for him. All these players had a specific role to play in the team, which is why they never failed on their duties and are still remembered to this day for their contribution.”
Grab yourself a copy of this week’s Soccer Laduma, issue 1111 and check out the full SportPesa Clubhouse column.