SSI High Performance

SSI High Performance Manager, Clifton Dragon with Silat Athletes

SSI High Performance Manager, Clifton Dragon (second from left) with Silat Athletes

TSL looking into how our Team Singapore Silat athletes are making sure they stay on top of their game with the help of the Singapore Sports Institute (SSI) High Performance Planning team.

High Performance Planning: spexScholarship Programme

Three of Singapores national Silat athletes, Muhammad Shakir Bin Juanda, Muhammad Iqbal Bin Abdul Rahman and Muhammad Nur Alfian Bin Juma’En, have been actively participating in the spexScholarship programme since March of 2014.

The spexScholarhship programme is an initiative of the High Performance Planning team at the Singapore Sports Institute. This team comprises of individuals who are responsible for the systematic management of Team Singapore athletes’ development. A key member of the team is a High Performance Sports Manager whose role is to plan and oversee Team Singapore athletes’ periodization programme – a programme that drives training and competition profiles for athletes over a four-year Olympic cycle.

These training cycles consider the interphases between an athlete’s peak performance and recovery periods to achieve their optimal performance at the right time, without the consequences of overtraining. On top of that, holistic elements of athlete development, such as performance tracking, sports science and medicine intervention, and education and career planning, are all integrated into the periodization programme.

Athletes on the spexScholarship programme like Shakir, Iqbal and Nur Alfian receive stipend to cover the cost of equipment, transportation, coaching as well as local and overseas training stints and competitions. In addition, the programme provides athletes with access to sports science and medicine expertise who are based in SSI, with the aim of developing and supporting them towards the international level.

Before they started on the spexScholarship programme, Shakir, Iqbal and Alfian were doing their own strength and conditioning with the Singapore Silat Federation. Now, under the supervision of trainer Mr Sofyan Bin Sahrom, they do their conditioning at the SSI gym, and are on a programme that is specifically created in accordance to their individual events as well as their competition schedule.

Shakir in action

Team Singapore Pencak Silat Athlete, Shakir in action

SSI Facets of High Performance

As part of the programme also, our silat athletes have been receiving proper nutrition advice by our SSI nutritionist Cheryl Teo to ensure that they are constantly energised to be engaged in gruelling and high impact training. In addition, they have the support of sports psychologist Joshua Chua who is helping them mentally prepare for both training and competition. Quoting Shakir, “Joshua has really helped us better understand ourselves.”

Improvements to their training programme are also looked into by the Biomechanics department. This is especially so for artistic events, as the video feedback allows the athletes to watch themselves perform and make the necessary adjustments needed. Iqbal has been working closely with bio mechanist Dr Ozaki Hiroki to review his techniques and to compare them with his international competitors. This has helped him to better understand his form and to be aware of what he needs to focus on in training.

As they near the 28th SEA Games, our three Team Singapore silat athletes are confident with their preparations as part of the spexProgramme under the tutelage of their High Performance Manager, Clifton Dragon. As part of their preparations, they are competing more as well as increasing the intensity of their training to ensure that they will peak and be at their fittest for the Games.

Our silat athletes are certainly looking forward to the Games and would definitely want to stand on the podium especially so when it’s in front of the home crowd. “It is a chance for us to show our sport to Singaporeans”, says Nur Alfian, and “it would mean more because we would have the support of our families and friends as they can watch our matches live.”

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