Thursday, October 21, 2010

Use Asian Games Snub To Succeed At SEA Games

The cycling team were not picked for next month's Asian Games but national cycling coach Yafiz Jamaludin (pic) wants his athletes to use the snub as motivation to train harder for next year's Southeast Asian
Bandar Seri Begawan - Yafiz Jamaludin wants to use the national cycling team's Asian Games snub to inspire his cyclists.
Cycling was not chosen as one of the five sports to represent Brunei at the Nov 12- 27 Games in Guangzhou, China, but the head coach agrees with the Ministry of Culture, Youth- and Sports' decision.
Nine athletes from karate, wushu, fencing, cue sports and equestrian will be competing in the Asian Games.
"They think our standard is not at the Asian level yet and I have to admit I agree with them," said Yafiz on Wednesday.
"We are still far away from that stage. If we go to the Asian Games we can complete the races but we can't provide a fight.
"But we are not going to let that affect our morale.
"It's a challenge for us, a challenge for us to succeed.
Our target now is next November's Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Indonesia and we will use this as motivation ahead of the SEA Games, for us to work harder in preparation for the SEA Games.
"I hope we will be able to get the support of all parties as we prepare to embark on a systematic and strategic plan to peak in time for the SEA Games," added the Malaysian.
An ex-state and national cyclist for Selangor and Malaysia, Yafiz was the only full-time coach to be hired by the Selangor State Sports Council (MSNS).
A sports science degree holder with a major in coaching from Universiti Malaya, Yafiz also helped nurture the National Sports Council of Malaysia's (NSC) development team.
He took over the reins of the national cycling team in December and has helped the Brunei Darussalam Cycling Federation (BDCF) notch up increasingly impressive results.
Though the SEA Games is more than a year away, Yafiz has already started preparing.
The "systematic and strategic plan to peak in time for the SEA Games" he was talking about is a "periodisation plan" which is used the world over.
Four of the Sultanate's five cyclists at last Sunday's Siol X-Treme Mountain-Bike Challenge 2010 in Kuching, Sarawak, finished in the Top-5 of their respective events, with the fifth coming in sixth.
It was a result which would have been hard to imagine before Yafiz took over, but the coach believes his cyclists could have done better.
Since the Hari Raya break the national team have been in the first stage of the periodisation plan, the General Preparation Phase (GPP).
The Malaysian said that if the team were at a more advanced stage of their training, they could have returned with better results from Siol.
Muhammad Raihaan Abd Aziz came in second in the cross-country event after clocking 1:32.1 while Mohd Nurjamri Johari (1:33.8) and Muhammad Rafiuddin Zikara (a lap behind) came in third and fourth.
Yafiz said that in the cross-country race the trio could keep pace for half the distance (six of the 12 2.5km laps) but because they weren't training for speed during GPP, they couldn't maintain their speed when the eventual champion attacked.
Set to last until the end of the year, the GPP stage involves nonspecific training and focuses on endurance and strength.
The next stage, Specific Preparation Phase (SPP), will see the riders focus on their respective disciplines such as cross-country, downhill and road race.
Yafiz said that he expects to start the three-month SPP stage in January, where the focus will also shift to working on strength and speed.
In the five-month Pre Competition (PC) stage which starts in April, the riders will be concentrating on improving their speed and power.
"We will be competing in a lot of races and we are targeting an overseas training stint," explained Yafiz.
"It will be less training but more competition," he added of the PC stage.
If an overseas stint works out during the PC stage, the cyclists will be back in Brunei in August for centralised training, where high speed training will be the name of the game.
The three stages all build up to the competition stage, where cyclists will be able to go "maximum speed".
"This is the system that most high-level coaches use. Athletes can't be expected to go 100 per cent all the time, they have to trained so they peak just in time for a tournament," said Yafiz.
"You need to go through the stages.
You can't build power if you don't have speed, you can't build speed if you don't have strength, and you can't build strength if you don't have endurance.
"Let's not talk about logic; this is the system that world-class cyclists use." -- Courtesy of Brunei Times
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