Having taken over the sprints team of Nanyang Polytechnic since May 2018, I'm proud to announce that within 6 months of preparation, every sprinter who represented NYP in the POL-ITE Games came home with at least one medal, some even two!
NYP with a total of 360.50 points became the overall champion, leading by a huge gap of more than 70 points to the 2nd place. Our men's team ranked 1st with 212 points! Our women's team came in 2nd, 16 points behind Ngee Ann Poly.
According to Mr Ronnie Cai, the sports development manager, "This year's men's POL-ITE results is NYP's all time 2nd best in history!" The athletes ran hard, put in their best effort, and with everyone's support and hard work, we are blessed with these great results!
Coach Kenneth Khoo and Asmah Hanim laid a solid foundation for the team so it was easy for me to take it from there earlier in the year. However, my training style is definitely different from them. It was only after our victory that some athletes confessed to me that they were doubtful of my training, since they were used to the old ways! For instance, my warm up routine is much longer than what they've been doing, and the weights program was also very different.
Given the short time frame, I planned a 12-week conditioning program that ended in August. I'm very sure the kids didn't enjoy the "hard training" that much. The endurance workout volume was high, the weights program was something new to them. They were given 5 sets of 12reps for 2 upper body exercises and 2 legs exercises. The captain joked that I was training them to be body builders.
There were so many questions raised to me: "Will I be too heavy to sprint?", "Are we doing too much endurance runs", "When are we going to wear spikes?", "Why are we not doing speed endurance workouts?", "You mean we are ready to run the 400m without speed endurance training?"
To answer their questions, we started the next 8 weeks of specific preparation. We planned to make use of the Interclub Championship in October to test the runners. The athletes started wearing spikes and went under high intensity training, with plyometrics exercises and blocks starts. Our weights program changed from 5 x 12reps to 5 x 6reps working on max strength.
The athletes felt strong, and were ready to compete! We attained good results from the interclub championship, and clinched top 3 for all relays men and women. Some of the athletes broke their personal best times, and it was a great morale booster for the POL-ITE Games!
Left with only 6 weeks to POL-ITE, we stepped up our training for the next 4 weeks, leaving the last 2 weeks to taper and fine tune. The rest is history. And we definitely tasted the fruits of our hard work!
I'm very sure most of the coaches out there have their fair share of uncertainties. "Is my planning correct?", "Can I do such workouts at this point of my plan?", "Should I be giving higher intensity workouts, or more speed endurance workout?", "Do my athletes have to train more?"
A knowledgeable coach is as important as an experienced coach. I strongly believe in coaches upgrading, to keep up with the most up-to-date training system. With a wealth of knowledge, these "uncertainties" can be well managed by proper planning and execution.
- Coach Alfred Sim