Strength training has become such an integral part of an athlete’s training regimen over the past several decades that you would assume it is universallyaccepted as standard operating procedure.
There is no doubt about the vitality of fitness in an athlete, as an athlete with the required skills but without the much-needed fitness can’t give good outcome constantly.Skills are known to be harnessed and evolved as the years go by, but fitness is needed to complement the skills that a person has to triumphed.
For an athlete to consistently perform during the event, strength and conditioning training is very important as an athlete with poor fitness will get tired a lot faster.
Ramji Srinivasan is the man who served as the Strength & Conditioning coach of the Indian Cricket Team during their World Cup Triumph in 2011 and helped team India turned their dream in reality.
He made a lot of efforts with advanced skills and led team India win then having enough courage.
“Fitness per se in sports is a waste of time if there is no transfer taking place on to the field to give out top class performance. Positive transfer from one to another is the key to fitness,” Ramji told PTI during an interaction.
Ramji has many a first to his credits, but he seemed to be a man of few words, and did not care to boast about his achievements so far.
Srinivasan, who was himself involved in athletics and won many individual championships till 1984, is behind fitness of many Indian ace athletes, whether it’s A.Sharath or G.Sathiyan from table tennis, tennis star, Ramkumar Ramnathan or Narain Karthikeyan, the first Formula(F1 race) driver.
Meanwhile discussing more about the importance of fitness in athletes life, Ramji Srinivasan opens up his training methodology and fitness specialty in an exclusive Interview with The Bridge.
Here are the excerpts:
Vishal Sharma: How do you evaluate an athlete’s readiness to play in a game?
Ramji Srinivasan: This is a very important component in overall athlete’s management.
All the support staff with the help of Sport science need to connect the dots between performance, monitoring, assessment, interventions, and performance outcomes at regular intervals. This data being available, it becomes easy to have a subjective and objective comparison of an athlete at every stage and holistic information on his or her readiness to play at every stage.
Vishal Sharma: What Strength and Conditioning therapy techniques and equipment have you used to treat India’s top athletes?
Ramji Srinivasan: It’s a real challenge to train the elite athletes, since there is no room for error on any aspect of training. Patience is the key.
We have some of the best performance based equipment’s in the world in training and testing each athlete. Empirical data collection during training and testing proves an important tool for high performance to the world level.
One cannot fight the war with sticks and stones anymore when the world is hitting on a hyper drive technology based fitness equipment’s.
Of course the other side of the coin is working on basics, which vary from an athlete to athlete. What’s basic for them today May not be basic tomorrow. This changes constantly as they go up or down the ladder of performance.
The training mode is directly related to specialised equipment’s and out of the box thinking protocols, in making a successful athlete.
Our speciality lies in Individualization of program for each athlete according to the sport and skill. Each athlete is so different even though they may play the same sport or skill. Specialised regime taking into account the long term development is the key to our success.
We don’t dish out the same program which has been successful to one athlete to all others
End of the day it’s the team work
Vishal Sharma: What’s your fitness specialty?
Ramji Srinivasan: Adaptation and understanding each game from Biomechanics to diet regime in a specific manner and then dissecting the skill set and then digging further into periodization. Since I deal with multi-sport like Motor Racing, Cricket, TT, Tennis, Shuttle I need to have a good understanding of the game and the movements on all aspects from muscles used to other components of Fitness , probable injuries, energy system used, joint ranges, recovery methods and many more…
We deal with multi-sport and with athletes ranging from 11 years onwards.We engage only few players per annum, so we can focus on each of them personally.
Making an adaptable athlete and intelligent athlete has always been our motto, and has succeeded in it pretty well.
Main thing is we don’t copy or blindly follow workouts from any one or any one expert or school of fitness. Integrated approach on all fitness components will make an athlete reach peak performance. We do loads of inference from our own data to keep the athletes on a peak fitness level and make them ready like a commando.
I am blessed with the excellent team of sports professionals, who works in a very positive manner.
Vishal Sharma:Tell us about your training philosophy?
Ramji Srinivasan: Keeping things simple and don’t confuse the players with unwanted jargon or knowledge to show off our own knowledge.
Be honest about my knowledge or subjects, which I don’t know or with limited understanding, accept it and Guide an athlete to the concerned experts. There is no shame in telling I don’t know. Pernicious knowledge is more dangerous then no knowledge at all.
Open line of communication is vital at all stages and at the same time I am not a slave driver too. I believe in making the workout interesting and push them to give their best each session with a smile. Being a hard task master has been misunderstood by many as being a gestapo.
Making the workout enjoyable and effective and push them from their comfort zone to extend their frontiers to accomplish excellence. Monotony is the biggest culprit for injuries and decrement in performance.
Self-praise is for losers, be humble in the process and keep the faculties open to learning and try to make winners than self-propagation.
Vishal Sharma: Share an effective method you have used to ensure that athlete’s perform skills effectively.
Ramji Srinivasan: As I have always mentioned, each S&C coach would have their own signature method of training and designing program. Nothing is the good or bad as long it produces results. On the same line, we at Sports Dynamix have our own process and protocols in place from screening to training, which has earned us good results to most of our athletes and prevented injuries and increased the performance on varied levels, be it state level or international level. Specific integration of fitness components accordingly in correct ratios at different stages of competition has been our success.
Cut paste workouts are a big no-no with us……..
There is a thin line between will power and foolishness in pushing the athlete to perform. We border on evincing the free will of each player to give their best and reach the desired goal in an effective way.
End of the day the proof of the pudding is in eating.
Vishal Sharma: How do you stay fit in order to perform physical activities that are required in the workplace?
Ramji Srinivasan: This is a huge ocean in also many simple ways to work on it. Firstly it depends on what sort of work one do?
Secondly the life style factor needs to be considered before embarking on a program.
Combining these two a new delectable concoction of workout can be drawn to make a person stay fit and avoid injuries. Individualise the schedule according to the fitness needs is imperative for the desired results.
Vishal Sharma: What Is Your Strength And Conditioning Training Methodology And What Is The Secret Behind Keeping Many Indian Top Notch Professional Athletes Fit? Any Specific Technique?
Ramji Srinivasan: Keeping it simple and work on the needs of each sport and skill. Understanding of each sports biomechanics, energy systems, injury probabilities, physical and mental demands, technical demands, tactical demands, dietary demands and many more need to be understood before embarking on any sport, it’s a laborious process.
A through ltad program with superior process and protocols in place is designed. We stick on to it to deliver the best results.
Out of the box training methods with solid backing of our technical method looking into all components of fitness is the key.
We prepare an adaptable athlete for any occasion rather than go by the book or research by some other people. We have our own systems in place with both hardware and software to back us up.
The team work is the key with sports med doctor, coaches, physio’s, trainers. Nutritionist, and mental conditioning coaches, all have the same goal to give the best to our players and make them ready to fire on all cylinders during the competition.
One major things we avoid putting players training videos or pics on social media to gain popularity or make money out of it. Our goal is very simple-work smart and learn a lot
Vishal Sharma: In Today’s Time, Indian Sports Is At Peak Around The Globe, Nevertheless, We Get To See Many Times That Even After Having Great Techniques, The Athletes Lose Their Match. Is Physical Fitness Training The Reason Behind Lacking? What Do You Think So Is Still Required?
Ramji Srinivasan: Various factors contribute to it to win in big events like Olympics and world cup or any other top class events. It’s not only physical, but the system need a change in a realistic way.
Few of the reasons are stated below to set up our own eco system to make us the world beaterslack of long term planning on all aspects of the sport.
- Lack of long term planning on all aspects of the sport.
- Improper training mode and methodologies, proper professionals not hired in the team or system from S&C to massage therapists.
- Lifting off workout’s and diet schedules from other countries and players and apply for Indian athletes would be counter productive.
- Need to build our own eco system of sports science and medicine.
- Bridging the gap between theory and practice is missing big time.
- Athletes peaking at the right time for big events need proper processional planning.
- Grass root developments program is the key for major success in international events in the future.
Sports science and sports medicine is still in a neo natal stage in India. The association need to bring in Indian professionals and set up a new process and protocols for future generation. This can be set thro professional approach and not thro whims and fancies of higher officials.
Our athletes are second to none in the world, but with proper protocols and process in place we can become the world leader in many sports soon.One goal is the key to make India the sporting capital and make it a sport tourism capital of the world.