Stormers flank Jaco Coetzee says the players should use the lockdown period to better themselves physically and mentally. JON CARDINELLI reports.
What are the players getting up to during the three-week lockdown in South Africa? Since the restrictions were enforced last Friday, many have taken to social media to share various workout drills and to offer messages of inspiration and support.
The reality is that these players have to stay fit and focused while they are in isolation. Many coaches have already made the point that teams will have to hit the ground running when the restrictions are eventually lifted.
At this stage, it’s not certain when that will be, as Covid-19 cases are on the rise in countries like South Africa.
‘You have to be immensely self-disciplined,’ Jaco Coetzee told SARugbymag.co.za. The Stormers flank says he has decided to view this period as an opportunity rather than a setback.
‘I’m staying with my girlfriend for the lockdown, so I’m fortunate in the sense that I have someone to train with me and we motivate one another. We have a few weights here at home as well as a Wattbike, and obviously the coaches have sent the players some programmes to follow to ensure we stay in shape.
‘There’s no one watching, though, you’ve got to look after yourself. In that sense, it’s a nice challenge.’
Coetzee added that the Stormers squad still stays in touch regularly.
‘There’s a lot of chat on Whatsapp. There’s a bit of banter. We have spoken about shaving our beards at the start of the lockdown to ensure we start from scratch. There’s a lot of motivation on those groups.
‘I see this time in isolation as an opportunity,’ he said in a more serious tone. ‘I want to make the most of these three weeks. I want to come out the other side better than I was before.
‘Obviously there are things that you can’t simulate, like training with other players on a field and running in open spaces. But I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that when I report for duty after the break I will be in the best possible condition.
‘I suspect my teammates will have the same attitude. There will be a lot of competition during the next few weeks.’
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images