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Coach wants to lift 'average' fitness levels

Published:Wednesday | April 19, 2017 | 12:00 AMShayne Fairman

Sunshine Girls head coach, Jermaine Allison-McCracken, has described the fitness of the fourth-ranked Sunshine Girls as "average" and has warned that they will have to improve on and off the field to get to the level of their top international rivals.

Allison-McCracken, the holder of a United Kingdom level two coaching certificate, said earlier this week that she is looking to toughen up the Sunshine Girls both physically and mentally.

"At the moment, their fitness level is average, and they haven't been training that hard. ... . If we are going to compete with them (top rivals), then we will have to have that same sort of approach," the coach said.

The new coach is in the process of starting training regimes like gym work, running, teaching sessions and swimming to her squad over the next six months.

Her plan is to have the team near the intensity levels of perennial top three teams; Australia, New Zealand and England.




"I am tough. I know where I want them to be. I think they can be at world number one, and I am gonna do my utmost to get them there, but I can't do it without them.

"They have to have the passion, they have to want it, and have to be able to see that they can get it," she underlined.

According to the head coach, the Sunshine Girls will need to be professional in all aspects.

"I know where they are now, and I know where I want to get them to. Some of them may not like the end product, in which case they can choose to leave at anytime, but I am looking for committed athletes," Allison-McCracken pointed out.

She stressed it will be a lot of hard work to become world class athletes, adding that raw talent will not be enough.

"Raw talent will get you so far, and it's got them (Sunshine Girls) to number four. If they want to be competing with one, two, and three, then they have to put in the same amount of work as the Australians, New Zealanders and English, who are all professional athletes," she told The Gleaner.

The coach added that all netballers under her charge will have to begin taking their craft very seriously as athletes.