Sports science, a key component in modern day football – Kalisto Pasuwa

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By Bhora Afrika

Malawi based legendary former Dynamos FC coach Kalisto Pasuwa has applauded the role being played by sports science in modern day football.

The eight time title winner in Zimbabwe and Malawi believes the discipline of sports science is a “key component” in the so-called ‘beautiful sport’ (football).

The Nyasa Bullets coach also encouraged fellow elite as well as lower division coaches to ‘jump on the bandwagon’ to keep abreast with the new trends in football.

Speaking on the sidelines of an ongoing two-day high-performance symposium held by Major Consultancy Sports between 14-15 June in Harare, Pasuwa outlined:

“I think us (coaches) we need to move with time. Gone are the days (long back when we were still playing) where we would go on a mountain to train on ourselves running up and down the hill thinking we are doing it for fitness but without knowledge of the implications.

“I will take myself as an example. Most of the times I went to the mountains (to run), but because (I didn’t know much about loads), I may say that cut short my lifespan in football after sustaining too many injuries,” he said.

The former Warriors coach added: “But looking at what we are doing here, we are learning a lot in terms of how we load a football player, and the recovery part of it, it’s key in football so that one can play the next game at higher level.”

Desmond Mhene, Kalisto Pasuwa and Thulani Munzabwa in class at the High-Performance Symposium in Harare

Sports science is defined as a “discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health and performance from cellular to whole body perspectives.”

A definition by the Swansea University indicates that it is: “the scientific study of physiology, psychology, biomechanics, nutrition, understanding the social role of sport and exercise in social policy, ethics and philosophy.”

Research shows that most English Premier League teams have between eight and 10 sports scientists taking on various roles within each club.

The roles include handling, managing and making sense of the information, but the most important is the physical preparation and recovery of players.

Also present at the educational event are local league head coaches.

These include Takesure Chiragwi whose Ngezi Platinum Stars is leading the pack and newly promoted Greenfuel FC’s Rodwell Dhalkama.

The 2019 championship title winner with FC Platinum, but now at Bulawayo Chiefs, Lizwe Sweswe and the 2022 Chibuku Super Cup finalists Herentals’ Kumbirai Mutiwekuziva are some of the coaches that are in attendance.

Former Warriors team doctor Nicholas Munyonga, the ZIFA technical director, Wilson Mutekede as well as the founder of Major Sports Consultancy, Nyasha Charandura are the facilitators.

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