Foreign athletes more professional, say local coaches

August 19, 2017
Kingston College athletics coach Neil Harrison.
Jamaica's Jermaine Taylor (21) passes the ball to teammate Kevon Lambert, left, during a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal soccer match, Thursday, July 20, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz.

The attitude towards work displayed by Jamaica-based athletes has been once again brought to the fore after former national netball coach Jermaine Allison-McCracken called the senior netballers unprofessional.

Allison-McCracken isn't the first coach to have had runs-in with local players over their approach to work. In the past, former Reggae Boyz coach Rene Simoes also said footballers were not professional.

Last month, assistant coach Jerome Waite told STAR Sports that overseas players brought a level of professionalism to the national team, which he hoped the local players would emulate.

Their professionalism was on display in the national team which finished runner-up in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

"The senior players who play overseas brought back the professionalism to the local- based players. What these MLS players portrayed as it relates to professional behaviour, was amazing.

When they played, you saw the difference as the tournament progressed," he said.


Innate quality


However, Neil Harrison, head coach of Kingston College's track and field team, told STAR Sports that there is more to the issue than meets the eye.

"For me, it's a two-fold thing because you really have Jamaicans who display some level of professionalism that I started to wonder if it's an innate quality," he said.

"At Kingston College, there are members who exhibit professionalism in the way they conduct themselves, in their training ethic, work ethic. They display exemplary behaviour," he said, adding that there are other athletes who do not.

Harrison said the athletes to whom he has been exposed to from overseas, for the most part, operate differently.

"Those from abroad, they have a little more respect for time. They have more respect for the dress code, the grooming," he said.

Coach of Sprintec Maurice Wilson agreed that the approach among foreigners is different.

"There is a difference in the athletes overseas based in their punctuality, attendance, and just being able to follow basic guidelines in relation to training methodology. I am not going to castigate all the persons who I work with locally, but in punctuality and attendance, there is a big disparity between the ones based here and the ones based abroad," he said.

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