By Neto Baptiste
Coordinator of schools volleyball, Rosely Lewis, has pointed to a lack of quality time with young players as one of the main issues faced by coaches working within the system and even at the club level.
In an interview on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, Lewis said it is difficult to have the same crop of players in training sessions over a long period of time owing to a wide range of issues, which in turn, affects the quality of the play.
“To be honest with you, I think contact time is what’s lacking because some of the kids would show up maybe once per week and then when they come back the next time you have to start over again because they have already forgotten what we were doing the first time. So contact time for me, is something that would make our programme better,” she said.
Former national player turn coach, Frank Schwartz, supported Lewis’ claims, adding that he is also dealing with the issue.
“I coach at the St Joseph’s Academy and I have not been able to submit a team in the schools league for years because the kids have such a busy schedule and curriculum that they start off very well but then it fades away because they just can’t find the time to dedicate to the sport. If some how or some way, we can find a way around that problem … that it is not easy because I tried even coaching on a Saturday with the parents’ permission and that failed as well,” he said.
Schwartz believes that the erecting of more courts across the island could serve to spur more interest in the game.
“Back when I started, there were very few places we could go and play. We could go to Liberta, Sir Luther Winter, Villa, and people just started making dirt courts here, there and everywhere, and that’s what helped the game to grow from where it was when I started into what it became at a certain point,” he said.
“Now, because we have our home, we no longer have to be playing out in the sun and washing your socks after every game because you’re playing in the dirt but everybody will gravitate to the home and that is what is happening now, so if we had the ability to have more courts then I think that could be part of the solution.”
Volleyball, like all other major team sports, is currently under lockdown by health authorities in the country. Although teams have been given the all clear to conduct training sessions, associations are restricted from hosting competitions.