One on one with Sharks biokineticist

2015-11-11 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Mark Steele has developed an online rugby training programme.

PHOTO: supplied Mark Steele has developed an online rugby training programme.

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THE South Coast’s Mark Steele, current Sharks biokineticist and fitness coach, is passionate about rugby development and in giving­ back to young and up-and-coming players.

The Fever caught up with the Scottburgh­ local to find out more about his involvement in developing young talent.

• Tell us about your passion for rugby­ and where it all began?

Growing up as a young boy my first memories of rugby was waking up at 5am to watch the Springboks playing the All Blacks in New Zealand in 1984. Watching the likes of Danie Gerber and Ray Mordt really caught my eye as a youngster and the interest was ignited­. I played a lot of rugby at school in Maritzburg and I guess that’s where I really developed my passion for the game. Afterwards I spent a year overseas travelling and playing. When I returned to study I continued to play for a local club in Durban.

• When did you decide to become a biokineticist and fitness coach?

From my passion in sport at school I really wanted to study a degree that would marry with sports. It was when I went to America and studied under Dr Mel Siff in Colorado, that I knew I wanted to become a biokineticist with a special interest in sports conditioning.

• What does the job entail?

My job as a conditioning trainer involves­ physically training athletes and teaching them exercise techniques­. It’s also a process of educating­ them and making them understand­ what the best training modules for the individual for what the sport demands are, and this is also position­ dependent. Each day we map out and plan our training sessions according­ to volume and intensities that we need to achieve in order to gain the best physical performance from the players.

• How does it feel to work with the Sharks?

Working with the Sharks is an everyday­ experience. I see my role as not merely a conditioning trainer, but also someone who needs to educate the athletes so they can understand and make correct training decisions.

The players train very hard and it is a very rewarding and enriching experience to be a part of it.

• Tell us about your decision to “give back” and develop up- and-coming­ rugby players and why you decided to start this initiative.

I decided to develop a computer programme that would help youth development in a professional and scientific­ manner that unfortunately, is seriously lacking in our country.

The programme currently is for women’s and men’s hockey, soccer and rugby, but we are looking at growing it further. My main focus was to help young athletes who are so hungry and eager to learn.

This programme enables them to do that while steering them in the right direction.

• Where does coaching take place for the young talent?

My programme allows the athlete to be located anywhere in the country or world for that matter.

Logging into­ their private profile will give details­ about how and what to do each day.

• How does one get onto the programme?


One has to read through the terms and conditions­ and then sign up on line, it’s really as simple as that. The programme has also been made compatible to use on any device and we are looking to launch it as an app next year.

• Can coaches also get involved?

The programme is best when you have a combination of players and coaches interacting.

The coaches can load all their respective players onto the programme and either the players, or the coaches can input all the data. It then becomes very easy for the coach to analyse each one of his players­ by merely clicking onto that player’s profile to see where he or she is at and where they need to go.

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