Published on 13 Jan 2013 | over 3 years ago

Powerade, chosen by Cricket South Africa to hydrate the Proteas, ran Powerade Performance Sessions at approximately 70 high schools in Gauteng and the Western Cape in October and November 2012, and then pitted a Proteas player against an Under-19 school cricketer to demonstrate the importance of conditioning at International level.

The Powerade Performance Sessions were designed by Proteas' Strength and Conditioning coach, Rob Walter, who has over 11 years of experience in training elite athletes. Through these sessions Powerade® sought to integrate the link between high performance, biokinetics, sports science, nutrition and hydration. All the exercises targeted the specific movement patterns that players would encounter on the field of play.

The best way to demonstrate the value of the Powerade® Performance Sessions was to square up a Proteas player against an under 19 cricketer.

In the batting category Walter matched batsman AB de Villiers and SA Colts and Under-19 cricketer, Yaseen Valli.

Walter explained that the three fundamental skills in batting were reaction time, speed and foot movement. He designed three tests to measure these aspects and ran the cricketers through them.

First up was reaction time. The players had to touch random flashing lights on an activity board. Valli was able to touch the target 25 times in 30 seconds, while De Villiers scored 28 in the time period.

When it comes to batting there are two aspects to speed -- running between the wickets and turning at the end of each run.

AB de Villiers recorded a turn time of 4.09 seconds and a total time of 9.14 seconds for the two runs measured. Valli's times were 4.47 seconds for the turn and 9.92 in total.

Foot movement, Walter says, is essential for skills execution in batting and the exercise used involved the batsman using his feet and shape his body to get himself into position to hit the ball through a particular target area.

De Villiers was able to hit the ball through the allocated target 16 out of 20 times, while Valli's score was 12 out of 20.

De Villiers said that the Powerade® Performance Sessions exercises definitely help his game. "Reaction time, footwork and speed is what it's all about."

Walter said the exercises showed that these skills are absolutely essential to performing at the elite level. "Today AB de Villiers gave us an illustration as to why he is one of the best in the world," he said.

"Powerade® is the chosen sport drink of many of South Africa's sports stars," explains Craig van Niekerk, Marketing Assets Manager of Coca-Cola South Africa. "But effective conditioning is a combination of many factors and through the Powerade® Performance Sessions we want the players to continue to develop, become more functional and continue to challenge themselves so that they continue growing and improving their cricket skills."

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