Mon | Jul 6, 2020

Trust your coach!

Published:Thursday | February 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham/ Gleaner Writer
Stephen Francis

Sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce has underlined the importance of a good relationship between a coach and his athletes.

In her presentation as the guest speaker at the annual Howard Aris Memorial Lecture at the University of Technology on Wednesday night, Fraser Pryce called on athletes and coaches to work in unison while lauding Stephen Francis, the coach who has led her to Olympic and World Championships stardom.

"Effective communication is the key for success and you must trust each other as I have always trusted Stephen's judgement and this was what stood out for me at the University of Technology as I was not serious but he always encouraged me . He is not only concerned about our success in the sport but also in the classroom as he always tells us that there is life after sport ".




She said Francis was both a coach and mentor.

"Stephen was someone who I could always talk to as I shared everything with him because as the coach he needs to know what is going on in our lives. If we have a bad day in training he will know the reason for that. I remember in 2009 I had a serious surgery and he encouraged me during that period and it was a very successful year for me as that encouragement helped me to win a gold medal at the World Championships."

She said contrary to popular thinking, Francis was not a very hard person to deal with.

"There is something that they do not know - he has a soft heart. He is like a teddy bear inside, " Fraser-Pryce said.

Fraser-Pryce, 31, is one of the most celebrated athletes in international track and field having won two Olympic and three World Championships 100m titles, plus gold and silver in the 200m at the World Championships and Olympic Games respectively.

She battled a serious toe injury in the build up to the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 to finish third in the 100m final in what she described then as one of her most meaningful performances.

After taking a year off due to pregnancy, Fraser-Pryce has vowed that her return to the track will be the greatest comeback in the sport.

Fraser-Pryce, who gave birth to her son Zyon in August last year, is set to resume her career this season and the iconic Jamaican speedster is promising that the sequel, will be just as epic as the original.

"My comeback will be the greatest in the sport", while noting the questions on whether or not she will in fact be coming back into competitive track and field.