By Carlena Knight
Tennis boss, Cordell Williams Sr., says in order for tennis to progress, coaches need more support in their area of focus, rather than having to function in a number of roles.
He added that it is not only tennis coaches that suffer this fate but other disciplines as well.
“Well, within all associations the coach has to do everything unless it’s a sport like football where I know they have fitness trainers who you see when you go to watch a game of football would come out and warm up the guys to get them prepared before the match. So apart from football, I think all of us suffer the same fate that as coaches we do fitness, coaching, everything.”
Williams aired his concern that there are a limited number of certified trainers on the island. He revealed that there are certified personnel who, for whatever reason, are not employed in these important roles.
“Gregson Matthew from Liberta went to Cuba to specialise in exactly what I am talking about, returned from Cuba and rather than being in the field that he studied, he is a P.E. teacher, he is elsewhere. I don’t want to speak negatively in any way, but he is a P.E. teacher within the Ministry, teaching P.E. in school, when his forte, or his thing is to do exactly what we are talking about [coaching]. I think we as a country need to sit down and look at sports and see how we can deal with it, because sports gone to another level now,” he said.
The former player went on to share an example of a program in Guatemala, something he says can be adapted in the country.
“The program Guatemala has is that they have a fitness trainer at the tennis centre. That fitness trainer does all the warm-ups with the children who are supposed to go on the court, and after he’s finished with the warm-ups, you go on the court and the coach coaches you. When the coach finishes with this group, they come off the court and you cool them down by time you go through the next set.
“If we can have something like that here; because if you look at our athletes that are going away and doing good, you have to be the fitness trainer, coach, everything, so sometimes you don’t have enough time to sit down to really make sure they cool off because you are busy doing something else. So, if you have a fitness trainer within the program, that fitness trainer warms you up, cools you down. Coaches, coach.”
Williams was speaking on the Good Morning JoJo Sports show last month.