The Osprey Academy players have turned to the ring over the last two months, practicing the 'noble art' in preparation for the new season.
The youngsters have undertaken an intensive eight-week training programme aimed at developing their speed, agility and co-ordination, that has kept them busy boxing and skipping under the watchful eye of Neath based boxing trainer Malcolm Pugh.
Pugh has led the twice-weekly sessions that have seen the Academy players start their day at the Afan Lido, learning how to skip and punch correctly.
As the players technique and form has improved so has does the speed and intensity of the work out. Over the course of eight weeks, Ospreys Academy Conditioning Coach Keith Holifield, has noticed a significant improvement in the players speed, quickness and power. He said:
“The beauty of the programme is that Malcolm can tailor the programme to almost any sport. The various boxing and skipping steps and routines are both challenging and fun but they lend themselves to almost any sport that involves quick reactions and multi- directional speed.”
Academy player Lloyd Peers has also noticed big changes over the last 8 weeks, commenting:
“The training with Malcolm has been tough but enjoyable. Both the skipping and boxing sessions have been extremely tough. The sessions have made me a lot lighter on my feet and I feel that I am able to punch a lot faster and with more power.”
Pugh was full of praise for the young academy players, saying:
“They have been a great bunch to work with, they have a great attitude and progressed very, quickly”.