Short, sharp start to training week
Monday 14 January 2013 11:25 AM
Two-time Olympian Paul Di Bella says he has found a receptive audience in his new students at the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys.
The 2002 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist has started work as the Cowboys’ part-time sprint coach, with the goal of making each member of the NRL squad quicker off the mark and then faster in his initial burst upfield with the ball in hand.
The NRL squad was split into three today with the Cowboys’ latest coaching addition having the opportunity to spend 45 minutes with each group.
“We’ve been doing some short, sharp sprinting and adding some resistance with some sled training,” Di Bella said.
“We’re just trying to increase their speed and power from zero to 10 and 20 metres.
“I think they’re really enjoying it. They’re learning some new things, a bit about their bodies which is scary sometimes, but every little bit that we change will help them on the field.
“It’s just a matter of trying to nurture the speed the players already possess.”
Di Bella works closely with North Queensland’s physiotherapist Steve Sartori in what he calls “tinkering” with the players’ sprinting actions.
“We’re trying to apply force better,” he said.
“The boys are naturally explosive and it’s just a matter of applying force on the ground correctly in the direction you want to go in order for them to run faster.
“It’s just little improvements we’re after and on a rugby league field, little improvements are going to be big.”
Cowboys high performance manager Paul Bowman said North Queensland’s distance away from the capital cities which house the country’s elite sprinting coaches and talent had previously been a handicap in attracting a specialist sprint coach.
The club was quick to contact the Ingham-born Sydney and Athens Olympian when he returned home to NQ.
“It’s great that we’re able to tap into his knowledge,” Bowman said.
Di Bella said Test and Origin front-rower James Tamou had been a stand-out during the sessions he had run since last Monday.