Sports in Uganda may be on hold for at least 80 days in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic but Uganda Cricket Association (UCA) is shaping its players mentally.
Over the weekend, UCA through interim Cricket Cranes coach Davis Turinawe, alongside UCA development officers Grace Mutyagaba and Franklyn Najjumba, tutored the fraternity particularly female players about how they can partake in High Performance Programme (HPP) training.
“90 per cent of cricket is in the head, the other 10 per cent is what you do at the oval,” Turinawe stated during the meeting that had representatives from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa and USA.
Conducted through an over two-hour online Zoom meeting, the trio shared tips drawn from personal experiences to goal setting and achievements to help players lift Uganda to greater status on the global map.
“This is basically to impart skills and keep coaches and players engaged in a learning environment,” said CEO Martin Ondeko.
Uganda’s cricket has struggled to elevate in both formats of T20 and 50-Overs and the meeting targeted maximum result orientation. ICC Level II coach Mutyagaba offered a brief presentation on goal setting for both coaches and players clustered in both achievement and performance goals.
“Performance can be improved by effective use of goal setting which should be measurable, agreeable, challenging but not too difficult and well-planned out,” he stated.
Najjumba, a Lady Cricket Cranes all-rounder and also a UCA Women’s Development Officer, was at the centre of the discussion having attended a one-month HPP with Zimbabwe’s national side Lady Chevrons before the Covid-19 outbreak.
“We have many talented cricketers here but we have to polish them. The only difference with Zimbabwe is that the facilities were always available,” Najjumba said of her time while in Bulawayo.
Key during the HPP as the Chevrons were preparing for the World Cup Qualifiers set for Sri Lanka, was application of skills from nets to the centre wicket, utilisation of knowledge during game situations such as batting power-plays and death bowling among others.
“Our training here sometimes takes two months but it takes time to learn these new things in place like practicing reverse-sweep shots. The Zimbabweans spend 4-5 months preparing for a tournament,” Najjumba added.