Grimmond captivated by Academy players’ dedication to training

first_img-cricketers to wear masks, continue following safety guidelines upon resumption of trainingBy Clifton Ross GUYANA Jaguars Academy Coach, Clive Grimond, is highly impressed by the dedication shown by the local cricketers over the last 5 months as they overcame a number of challenges to ensure they remained in peak condition following countrywide lockdown.Grimmond, who is a veteran coach in the Guyana mix-up, dating back to the Stanford T20 tournament, is also one of the academy’s premier coaches and a part of the Guyana Jaguars senior coaching staff. The veteran coach told Chronicle Sport, on Monday, that what he has been observing since the beginning of March was heartwarming as the local cricketers were determined to stay in shape through the Cricket Guyana Inc. (CGI) virtual training sessions while doing their best to keep the camaraderie going despite social-distancing.“It was a big challenge over the past few months. However, we have the Zoom training program where the players get 45 minutes to an hour daily, so it was effective and the guys also have their own guidelines as it relates to their personal training. So far so good; also some of the guys took up their own responsibilities and did work at home like weight training, skipping, push-ups and the basic things we would have been doing together as a team”, Grimmond outlined.The Academy has been a reservoir for talent over the last 5 years, as a number of players including Ashmead Nedd, Kevin Sinclair, Joshua Persaud, Kevlon Anderson, Niall Smith and others have either gone on to play for Guyana or the West Indies, at some level or capacity.Speaking on some of the things current young players in the academy did during quarantine as they sought to keep fit, the coach said while activities were very limited, he was pleased to see the fledgling players showing the hunger and dedication to put in that hard work in their own personal spaces.“Some of the training the guys did was more physical because bat and ball would have been tough. Some of the players may not have a bowling machine at their homes but they would not let that stop them, as many have been doing throw-downs with relatives while two or three players may even put in some net sessions by friends if possible”. He said.While grueling, Grimmond said the recent state of things have also helped players to mature mentally as records of participation and training during lockdown were kept as to better place players in a responsible working environment. But with September being earmarked for the local cricket fraternity to return to some semblance of normalcy, Grimmond pointed out that it was important to gradually ease the cricketers back into real-time training and action.“The first challenge is social distancing; when we return to training at the LBI facility our players will be wearing masks and one of our challenges will be to gradually get them back into catching a few balls, running in the sun and so on, because five or six months not training in the sun could cause a burnout”. Grimmond added.In all, when thigs get back to normal, Grimmond and the other coaches will have their hands filled with caring for the next generation of Guyana’s cricket ambassadors and the senior trainer was adamant that the academy will continue to reach newer heights and produce quality stars for Guyana and the West Indies.“The academy has done a great job and it has been effective for the last five to six years. We were hoping that these guys, because of the pandemic, didn’t fall apart, but they didn’t. People had mixed thoughts about the academy and eventually most of the men did well in IPL, CPL, Guyana and West Indies”.“It’s a success story; it’s a good base for players fighting for a spot in the national team because our academy is like a second Guyana team. We played competitive matches in the past against the senior’s guys and we did well, so I’m really impressed with what I have seen. It’s also great to see Smithy (Niall) now with the Jags in the fast bowling; he was also a part of the academy and we know one day the senior guys will hang it up and the youths are going to be the ones who will replace the older guys”, Grimmond ended.last_img