By Cedric J. Harris Sr., contributor 

When will it end? The undermining, mudslinging and spinning in our sports community of our beautiful Dominica.

I am not any angelic being, never have been and surely don’t want to create wrong impressions in the mind of anyone that I am perfect. But when wrong is done and it is brought to the fore by individuals, it seems to be that guilt and penalty are decided  by  myopic thinkers, based not on the wrong that is done, but exclusively  on the who.

To those  I might  have hurt or agitated through my actions as president of the Dominica Amateur Athletics Association DAAA I am publicly saying sorry, sorry, and sorry. People have used their influence to distort the truth and even stand in the path of  personal and professional development of others merely to score points  .

There was a time I held  black-and-white stance with relationships. I either trusted you implicitly, assuming you’d never intentionally hurt me, or believed you wanted to cause me pain and questioned everything you did.

Once you moved yourself into the latter category, there was no going back in my self-defense attitude.

As a coach I adhere to the transformative leadership approach. The transformative leader engages with a collective process between coach and players working together to meet each other’s  needs and the common goals of the team.

To get there by  creating a healthy team culture where  certain guidelines are put in place.

Another area is having a sound knowledge of the sport you are involved in coaching. There is no substitute for knowing well the rules and technical and tactical skills of the sport you coach. This is just as true for teaching beginner athletes as senior ones. In fact, to teach the fundamentals well to beginners you must have as much knowledge as you would need to coach professional athletes. They actually require different types of knowledge.  Not knowing how to teach technical skills puts you in a position of risking injury to your athletes and frustration from their repeated failure. The more knowledge a coach has on the basic technical skills of his specialty sport and about the teaching of these basic skills in the proper sequence, the more success and fun there will be,  for coach and athlete alike.

Motivation is a key factor which many coaches over look. A coach can have all the skills and knowledge in the world, but without the motivation to use them,will not be a successful coach. For example, ability without motivation may prevent an athlete  developing into an excellent athlete .

 Sometimes coaches have the motivation to be successful but not the time, which can lead to downfall at the end. Passion for what you do is paramount and this will be the difference between a good coach and a great coach.

In closing, equally important is  the area of Empathy or the ability to understand the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of your athletes and showing sensitivity to them. Understanding your athletes’ joys, frustration, anxiety, and anger is an asset to a great coach. A coach’s physical appearance can sometimes have an impact; healthy eating and other habits will also positively play its part with the athletes we interact with daily. Folks, once and for all, It’s time to take it up to new levels in the twenty first century.

Written By
Cedric J. Harris Sr.
IAAF Youth Academy Chief Coach Level 5
Olympian 96’ Atlanta
President Dominica Amateur Athletics Association

**The views expressed in this article are those of the author (Robert Taylor) and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to,


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