Boks: Conditioning over Cup
Pierre Spies (Gallo Images)
Pretoria – For those who believe that the returning Springboks will hit the Currie Cup like super men in two weeks’ time, think again.
The real value of the one-month conditioning programme will only be seen next year.
That is the view of Blue Bulls and Bulls conditioning coach Bazil Carzis, who has Springbok players Danie Rossouw, Wynand Olivier, Victor Matfield, Pierre Spies, Morné Steyn and Gurthrö Steenkamp under his wing.
“The timing of the programme was excellent because the players needed a chance to draw breath,” said Carzis.
“The problem with conditioning is that it wanes when players have been in action for an extended period, as it did with the players that played Super 14, Tests and in the Tri-Nations. The players then lose some of those aspects.”
He says the absence of games gives the players opportunities to work harder on the training field.
“The fact that the guys are at home definitely has a positive effect on their morale and they can recover a lot quicker because they are not playing. The body does not have to deal with the bumps and bruises of a match and the guys can therefore work harder than usual in the gym and on the field,” said Carzis.
Carzis said they are focusing on developing pace, endurance and strength.
“The players I’m working with deserve praise because they are really giving it their all. But don’t expect them to storm into the Currie Cup and sweep all before them,” he said.
“Time on the field is something they will not have. While they may look rested and refreshed, it does not mean the rhythm will be there from the start. Every player is different. Some guys will take longer than others to get back to their usual form.
“We will see the results next year. The body is now getting the chance to recover and the brain time to relax. It will mean a lot for many of the players in the long term.”