There has been a raging debate regarding whether staying physically fit is good enough for the athletes to be a part of a match. Across experts spanning various sports like cricket, ice hockey, basketball, football, etc. have varied remarks on the matter. Some feel that if a professional player is physically fit, he is good to go for a match. Others think that the two are a different ball-game altogether.
The Corona pandemic has been trying times for sportspersons all over the world. There is a limited amount of workout that they can do from their houses and surely, they have no scope of being involved in a match. This has added more fuel to the previously discussed debate. In this article, we would speak about the various aspects of physical and mental fitness and our take on the debate. The analysis would be furnished by the opinions of some of the greatest sports personalities around the world.
How they are being physically fit during the lockdown?
A particular state of basic fitness level in an athlete is termed as their base fitness level. With the modern gym amenities and in-house equipment and trainers, many are trying to stay fit, even during their stay at home. With the advent of video calls, the trainers can instruct on call, and their virtual presence together with the home equipment is helping the athletes achieve base fitness level.
How they are being mentally fit?
For this purpose, there are mental conditioning coaches who take care of this matter. They constantly motivate the players to stay in shape and keep themselves prepared to the best of their abilities to take the field any day. One of the legendary coaches of the UFC, Dan Garner thinks that the aspect of being ready depends upon staying physically, mentally, and emotionally fit. Otherwise, one cannot be said to be prepared. He has termed this the tripod of performance and if one of the stands is broken then the tripod falls.
Players have to thus battle through various types of anxiety and fear and keep their motivation and inspiration going the right way. Someday, when the lockdown ends and the matches resume, they have to acclimatize to the new normal as early as possible.
One of the exceptions to this rule of being match fit is the English cricketer Kevin Pietersen. He has been a star of the game and over the years he has starred for England in numerous matches. He feels that he benefits more from a rigorous net-session than a practice match. According to him, being match ready is more of a state of mind and he could get there with thorough practice sessions. Many like the West Ham footballer Ryan Fredericks beg to differ. He cannot stress enough on the importance of getting the feel of a match ambiance to be match ready. In other words, if one is not involved with the games, it is not possible to be mentally prepared no matter how hard he practices.
There are hundreds of such opinions and each comes with their own set of logic. You cannot question the opinions of any because they have all been successful in their respective fields. To each his own, we say and we offer our take on this matter in the final segment of the article.
Now is the time for our verdict on the debate. As has been elaborated already, the flow state of an athlete is what defines how to match ready he or she is. As for the flow state, one requires total control over their physical, mental, and emotional health. So clearly, fitness physically is not equivalent to match fitness.
It can never be the same if one has mentally prepared to be a part of the final, and the other was surprised when made a part of the team. So, match fitness cannot be attained without the match. With mental conditioning, physical training, coaching, the athletes can be kept as ready as possible. This would ensure that they would require the minimum time when they eventually have to take the field. Till then, keep watching the highlights aIs staying physically fit being match-ready? end to these traumatic times.