August 14, 2021
Fiji 7s Strength and Conditioning Coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka says players were motivated through the new set of programs they aligned with training and this kept them going for five months.
While sharing about his journey with the team to the Olympics and the successful retention of the gold medal, Cawanibuka said strength and conditioning is important because players need to be physically, spiritually and mentally fit to keep running around.
“You know physical conditioning is one of the key determinants for performance. To win Olympic gold you have to be super fit. That’s non-negotiable. You must be physically ready because if the body can’t do it your mind won’t. You know where the mind goes, the body goes. And you cannot deliver what you don’t have.”
“It demands work capacities, it demands robustness and durability. And you have to take the body to a real dark place in order to get the highest podium and the brightest gold medal that you can win.”
“You need to be physically fit and boys that have come into our environment will tell you that. Physical conditioning is a must. We have high standards of how we train our players. We test them on basic things like body weight, skin folds-we’re quite big on that, work capacities- that’s measured by Yoyo’s broncos and conditioning sessions,” Cawanibuka said.
The former interim Fiji 7s coach also highlighted the importance of having a clear mind-set in reaching their target.
“I have tailored the session where it has to be internationally and everything that we do in the training padlock or in the gym, sand dunes, on the beach, wherever we train, there has to be a transfer to the on-field performance and it’s a very targeted approach.”
“High performance is a multi-pronged approach. Physical conditioning is one of your big rocks in the performance plan. The other one is your mind-set. Mind-set spiritual of this place because you can have the best physical conditioning program but if they don’t wanna do it, if they are not motivated, if they can’t see finer, if they can’t see the vision, you can’t sell your program. It’s a buy and sell thing here in this environment.”
“You have to be a person or coach who is able to reason with the players and explain to them the journey so that they can buy in. At the end of the day you are not the one on the field, it’s them. So it’s important to us as coaches to have this relationship with players and understanding and trust for them to do the job,” he added.
By Romeka Romena