Former Indian cricket team trainer Ramji Srinivasan feels that fitness for elite athletes is a "waste of time" if it does not translate into "world class performance" which is not possible during countrywide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Fitness per say in sports is 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.
"A person can do Olympic lift of 100 kgs at this stage, but he or she is not guaranteed to be injury free or increase in performance unless there is transfer. Bowlers do take a hit during this phase for sure. Batters not much," he added.
Asked if long breaks can be difficult for bowlers, he said, "Oh yes for sure. Bowling is all about rhythm and skill- based fitness. There has to be a transfer from one to another. Just because someone is doing 150 kg deadlift now need not bowl quick or effectively once the match starts soon. Skill-based fitness has taken a hit for sure. More time on the nets more muscle memory is my take on it."
With all sporting activity having come to a grinding halt due to the pandemic, Srinivasan, who was strength and conditioning coach of India's 2011 World Cup winning squad, said it was a testing time for sportspersons, adding they could keep themselves fit through innovative methods.
Sportspersons are the epitome of fitness and set very high standards on fitness which percolates to the common man and motivates the entire nation to embark on fitness and wellness, he said adding this is the right time for them to motivate others through various social media platforms.
"This is a testing time for them to work on both mentally and physically to reach the desired goal before tournaments start. Since skill set practise is out of question, what they need is to focus on fitness which is one of the key elements in performance and excellence," he added.
"Keeping fit through innovative methods, individualised programme from their respective trainers, rehabilitation programme from their physios or injury prevention protocols can be followed. Technology helps to track their daily routine and make them adhere to certain regime effectively," the CSK trainer said.
Srinivasan, who is presently working with sportspeople including paddlers A Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan among others, felt mental fatigue was likely to happen for sportspersons and said, "This is the time where they can focus on varied aspects of mental conditioning and physical conditioning to solve the jigsaw puzzle..."
Asked what his advice would be to sportspersons at this time, he said it was important to stay positive and think out of the box and work on weaknesses and iron out problem areas.
"...Stay positive and think out of the box to work out on the weaknesses and iron out the problems area. Now is the time to do it. Allocate time for specific activity and work on it.
"Sportspersons always seek time with family since they always are on the move. Now is the time to relish it and enjoy to the fullest," he added.
Srinivasan, who has also worked with the Tamil Nadu cricket team, said online advice/training was a double-edged sword.
"It's a double-edged sword. Depends on how one uses it. Consult a professional in using online apps or platform. Something is better than nothing.
"This technology was not available 10 years back, Since technology is available now, making use of it is prudent. Online training has become the in-thing now and in future it will hold good for all seasons," he signed off.