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It pays to be fit and ready

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Over the weekend the point that has been made over and over about fitness or the lack of it, was most pronounced in comments made about the T&T Under-20 women's national football team which is participating in the Concacaf 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier taking place here in T&T.

It was either expressed outright or implied that fitness or the lack of it may have contributed to the young women struggles in the tournament.

It's not the first time nor will it be the last time the "F" word will be used after the fact as an excuse in sports.

Most times especially with team sports the "F" word comes up.

That the lack of fitness is an influential factor that equates to mediocre performances is no secret or rocket science which leaves me to ask again, why is getting fit to compete is such a difficult objective to attain by either an individual athlete or those involved in team sport? The norm seems to be to compete to get fit.

Most coaches stress the importance of match fitness - playing actual matches and games, but is that the right approach to attain proper fitness?

Is it that getting fit to play is an insurmountable problem in T&T?

When the question is asked, the answers are varied and in most cases and results in blame shifting depending on who you speak with. It's either the athletes/players fault or the coaches or the administrators fault, but the fact is, good coaches with programmes will ensure that there's a fitness element to their preparation programme.

Whose responsibility is it to ensure either individually, or as a collective - team, everyone is fit to compete?

In addition, how do you measure fitness and what are the metrics used to establish the appropriate level of fitness required to any given sport?

Whatever the answers maybe one thing is certain a lack of money can't be the excuse since getting fit and staying fit takes commitment, dedication, discipline and determination and not only on the part of the athlete and player, but also the coaches and administrators.

There must be a work ethic - a willingness to work hard and smart and do so with an open mind. No hiding or denying the truth.

Recently, Dennis Lawrence, T&T's senior men's football coach gave a speech at the Secondary Schools Football League awards function in which he shared his approach to life that has brought him great successes as an individual, a player and a coach.

Lawrence revealed that he only got 12 minutes of play during during the 1990 School football season with Malick Secondary because his coach at the time didn't feel he (Lawrence) had the ability needed to be a footballer.

Lawrence said he used that adversity to become a player and he implemented three Ds in his life thereafter - determination, dedication and discipline. He asserted to his audience that if any of them make the three Ds a part of their life they would achieve success in whatever they try to achieve.

The three Ds are important in achieving fitness, however, it may be measured fitness that matters.



Brian Lewis is the President of the T&T Olympic Committee (TTOC) and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the organisation.


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